Fresno, California is where I was born and raised. I make fun of my hometown pretty often, but the truth is there are a lot of terrific people in Fresno. There are also plenty of reasons to visit Fresno, a city with a population just over 500,000. I have listed five good reasons you should visit Fresno. These reasons don’t even include the fact that Fresno is just an hour away from Yosemite National Park and the Sequoia National Forest.
Reasons You Should Visit Fresno
The California State University of Fresno is the pride of the city. Everywhere you go you will see people wearing their Fresno State Bulldog gear. One of the great things about Fresno State is the Fresno State Farm Market. The college kids grow veggies and fruits and they also make their own wine and ice cream, amongst other items. You should definitely pay the Fresno State Farm Market a visit if you are in town. Read more about the market here.
The Forestiere Underground Gardens is an underground garden that was dug out by hand. The original owner, Baldassare Forestiere began digging out the garden in 1906. He literally took 40 years to dig it out. It has 90 rooms with gardens and courtyards and all of it is underground on a 10 acre site! It really is a must see if you are in Fresno. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. They do allow you to take photographs but no video taping is allowed. Tickets for adults are $12. You can read more about the underground garden here.
The Tower District in Fresno is definitely the coolest part of the city. It has restaurants, coffee shops, tattoo shops and little retail stores that will definitely hold your attention. The Tower Theatre is home to film festivals and concerts and has been a Fresno landmark since 1939. The Tower Theatre has been completely restored and is a pride of Fresno. If you are looking for a walking district where you can window shop, the Tower District is the place. Stop in for lunch at Irene’s Café or have a beer at the Sequoia Brewing Company.
Roger Roka’s in the Tower District is the best place to have dinner and catch a show. The Good Company Players have a dinner theater show on Wednesdays-Sundays and prices are $27-$45. The plays run the gamut of comedy, drama and musicals and something is always going on at Roger Roka’s in Fresno. If you want great dinner theater, visit Roger Roka’s.
The Woodward Park Shinzen Japanese Garden is beautiful and tranquil. You pay the $3 entry fee for residents or $5 car entry fee for non-residents to get into the park. In addition, the entry fees for the Japanese garden range from free for those 4 years old and younger to $3 for adults. There is a $5 maximum charge for an entire family. Woodward Park is 300 acres with a small lake, ponds, ducks and walking/biking trails as well as three children’s playgrounds.
If you are interested in visiting a beautiful zoo, the Fresno Chaffee Zoo is the place to see. It is $3.50 for children and seniors and $7 for adults. They have 125 species of animals and a really fun bird show. The zoo is located inside Roeding Park.
Source: Author’s opinion based on experience from living in Fresno.