Sightseeing Museums & Galleries achitecture zoo gardens theatre US > Central California > Fresno

12 Best Things To Do In Fresno, California - Updated 2020

things to do in fresno california
Claire
Claire
Updated

Situated towards the middle-center of California, Fresno is a great place to visit and plan a vacation. Because of its location, a trip there means you can also drive a little to get to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Yosemite and Sequoia National Park. While you’re in Fresno, however, the various neighborhoods, museums and theaters are historical and must-see spots that are bound to keep you busy for the majority of your visit. Keep reading to learn about the best things to do in Fresno!

1. Walk through Downtown Fresno

Downtown Fresno Van Ness - Delivering Metronews 1997 - Downtown Books

Downtown Fresno contains the largest amount of historical buildings throughout the entire city, dating back as far as the 1800s. If you’re a history buff, you’ll want to view the Fresno Water Tower, the Bank of Italy Building, the Pacific Southwest Building, the San Joaquin Light & Power Building. Many other buildings that were built before World War II have since burned down or been demolished, but on a nice day it’s pleasant to walk amongst the historical buildings that are still standing and see some of the public art available on the streets.

Downtown Fresno

Address: 845 Fulton Mall, Fresno, CA 93721

Website: Downtown Fresno

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Fresno, Central California, US and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Fresno, Central California, US

2. Visit the Fresno Chaffee Zoo

Fresno Chaffee Zoo

Especially if you visit Fresno with any little ones in tow, the Fresno Chaffee Zoo is a highly rated attraction for the entire family. The zoo is open every day from 9 am to 6 pm, and one hour later on Fridays until 7 pm. Ticket prices are very affordable, ranging from 5.50 USD to 10 USD. It’s home to more than 100 species of mammals, birds, amphibians and plants. Some of the main attractions within the zoo include the African Adventure, where you can view cheetahs, African elephants and giraffes, or Stingray Bay, where you’re allowed to touch and feed stingrays for a small additional fee.

Fresno Chaffee Zoo

Address: 894 W Belmont Ave, Fresno, CA 93728

Website: Fresno Chaffee Zoo

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Fresno, Central California, US and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Fresno, Central California, US

3. Stroll through the Forestiere Underground Gardens

Forestiere Underground Gardens

The Forestiere Underground Gardens provide a unique view of ancient Roman architecture as well as a variety of trees, shrubs and vines - some being as old as 90 years. Ticket prices range from 8 to 17 USD. With admission, you’re able to walk through underground passages and rooms created in the 1900s by a single Sicilian immigrant. Baldassare Forestiere’s dreams of becoming a citrus farmer manifested into the underground gardens, which now provide a taste of the Mediterranean right in the middle of sunny California.

Forestiere Underground Gardens

Address: 5021 W Shaw Ave, Fresno, CA 93722

Website: Forestiere Underground Gardens

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Fresno, Central California, US and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Fresno, Central California, US

4. Visit the Fresno Art Museum

Fresno Art Museum
Source: Wikipedia

The Fresno Art Museum may be small, but it has quite the offering of pieces and exhibits that everyone can find joy in. If you happen to be visiting Fresno on a rainy day, the museum is a great option to have fun while staying dry. The exhibits always strive to represent diversity, including something from almost every culture and location.

Past exhibits have included art from the Sikhs in India’s Punjab region, the Hmong from Southeast Asia, Mexican and Peruvian cultures and Greek Orthodox iconography. Tickets are only 10 USD for adults, 5 USD for children 6-17 years of age, and free for children five and under.

Fresno Art Museum

Address: 2233 N First St, Fresno, CA 93703

Website: Fresno Art Museum

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Fresno, Central California, US and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Fresno, Central California, US

5. See a show at the Warnors Theatre

Warnors Theatre
Source: Wikipedia

The Warnors Theatre is a historic venue located in downtown Fresno, often presenting a variety of musicals and children’s shows. It is a 2,000-seat venue that originally opened in 1928, and is also well known for its historic pipe organ that was installed with the original structure, also in 1928. In addition to musicals and plays, the theatre often puts on movie series and comedy shows. The venue is also available for special events and weddings.

Warnors Theatre

Address: 1400 Fulton St, Fresno, CA 93721

Website: Warnors Theatre

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Fresno, Central California, US and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Fresno, Central California, US

6. Walk through Woodward Park

Woodward Park

Woodward Park is the third largest in the Fresno area, and offers a multitude of activities for visitors. Simply take a stroll along the San Joaquin River, or venture into the five-acre (2 hectare) Shinzen Japanese Garden, which includes a tea house and more than 100 bonsai plants. The park also offers the perfect picnic spot, with six park shelters, one gazebo and two activity areas.

Woodward Park

Address: 2125 Kern Street, #101 Fresno, CA 93721

Website: Woodward Park

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Fresno, Central California, US and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Fresno, Central California, US

7. Dinner and a show at Roger Rocka's Dinner Theatre

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Roger Rocka’s is a decades’ old theatre known for its superb shows and dining as well as exquisite architecture. The theatre has produced more than 100 shows, including Fiddler on the Roof, The King and I, Annie, and many more classic favorites. Executive Chef Eric DeGroot was born and raised in Fresno, and makes sure to use local produce in many of his menus, which are made to match each show.

Season tickets at Roger Rocka’s range from 90 USD to 270 USD, while individual show tickets are usually 32 USD if you’re just seeing a show, and 60 USD for both dinner and a show.

Roger Rocka's Dinner Theatre

Address: 1226 N. Wishon Avenue, Fresno, CA 93728

Website: Roger Rocka’s Dinner Theatre

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Fresno, Central California, US and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Fresno, Central California, US

8. Visit the historic Meux Home Museum

Meux Home Museum in Downtown Fresno

If Downtown Fresno didn’t do it for you, you’re sure to get your history fill at the Meux Home Museum. The two-story, victorian-style 1890’s home is itself something to marvel at, while the staged indoors will give you a feel for the history of Fresno as well as what it was like to live in the 1800s. While most historic museums already make you feel like you’re in a different era, the Meux Home Museum authentically submerges you.

The hour-long tours of the museum include a costumed docent that makes you feel like you’re simply following them around their own home. Tickets are only 5 USD for adults, 4 USD for juniors and 3 USD for children.

Meux Home Museum

Address: 1007 R Street at Tulare, Fresno, CA 93721

Website: Meux Home Museum

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Fresno, Central California, US and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Fresno, Central California, US

9. Bask in the beauty of the iconic Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park

When in California, and after a more nature-filled itinerary, a must add to your list is the iconic Yosemite National Park. This nature park is one of California’s most popular attractions, with over three million visitors annually. Yosemite also happens to be tagged as a UNESCO World Heritage Site which covers a vast 3.026 sqm (747,956 acres) which extends all the way to the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Yosemite’s remarkable granite cliffs and beautiful waterfalls are what’s often visited when in California, as well as the multiple trails that adventure seekers hike or trek for an active day out in the outdoors. See this world wonder and experience the mountainous beauty first-hand as travelers alike make their way into Fresno.

Yosemite National Park

Address: Califonia, USA

Website: Yosemite National Park

Opening hours: 12:00 AM to 11:59 PM, Sundays to Mondays

Price: 20 USD to 80 USD

Full Day Small Group Yosemite & Glacier Point Tour - with Hotel Pickup !

Duration: 9 hours

10 reviews

10. Catch a punkrock show at Strummer's

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

This Fresno institution is for the punk rock music lovers who enjoy live music and entertainment. When in this part of California, consider making plans and seeing a punk rock show at Strummer’s. The establishment which was named after The Clash’ renowned punk rock visionary, JoeStrummer, this resto-bar, and club is surrounded by a cultural community that enjoys this unique yet classic type of music genre. Catch daily shows and events like the Monday Mixer with music and art musings, as well as the Tuesday night karaoke session which groups reserve very early. Entrance is free and guests will be given the chance to enjoy one of a kind drinks from the bar like their topnotch White Riot cocktails, Spanish Bomb cocktails, and even their authentic beer, the Belgian Style Golden Ale. Bop your head to the best punk rock tunes, enjoy your fine cocktail, and dance your night away at Strummer’s.

Strummer's Bar & Grill

Address: 833 E Fern Ave, Fresno, CA 93728, United States

Website: Strummer’s

Opening hours: 5:00 PM to 2:00 M, Tuesdays to Saturdays; 12:00 PM to 12:00 AM, Sundays, Closed on Mondays

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Fresno, Central California, US and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Fresno, Central California, US

11. Taste Fresno's local brew at Tioga Sequioa Beer Garden

Beer Garden Philadelphia
Source: Pixabay

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Situated in the heart of San Joaquin Valley in California, this one of a kind beer garden is a crowd favorite, where many travelers book tours to experience world-class beers right from Southern Sierra. Tioga Sequoia Beer Garden was established back in 2007 and is spearheaded by award-winning “brewmaster,” Kevin Cox who is known for his 20 years in the brewing industry, creating high-quality ales sold in various stores all over California. Some of the best sellers include craft beer, Half Dome California Wheat, Gen. Sherman Ipa, California 99 Golden Ale, and Zorro Especial Lager.

Tioga Sequoia Beer Garden

Address: 745 Fulton Street, Fresno, CA 93721

Website: Tioga Sequoia Beer Garden

Opening hours: 4:00 AM to 10:00 PM (Mon to Wed) / Thurs: 2:00 AM - 11:00 PM; Fri - Sat: 12:00 AM - 11:00 PM; Sun: 12:00 AM to 8:00 PM

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Fresno, Central California, US and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Fresno, Central California, US

12. Catch a classic film at the Visalia Fox Theatre

Visalia Fox Theatre

California is all about the sun, beaches, Hollywood glitz, and glam, as well as the historic entertainment background many people have grown accustomed to. As early as 1930, Fresno has had its fair share of visitors from all over California for they are the premier destination for arts, old Hollywood, and cultural entertainment. This historic movie theatre is managed by a set of volunteers who stands as the Board of Directors known a the “Visalian Friends of the Fox Theatre.” This age-old institution continues to host classic and modern movies to date some of which include classics like the original Miracle on 34th Street (1947), M.A.S.H. (1970), and The Big Lebowski (1998) among many iconic others.

Visalia Fox Theatre

Address: 300 W. Main St. Visalia, CA 93291, 559.625.1FOX (1369)

Website: Visalia Fox Theatre

Opening hours:12:00 PM to 6:00 PM, Tuesdays to Fridays

Price: 5 USD to 99 USD

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Fresno, Central California, US and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Fresno, Central California, US

Something for everyone

Fresno has a little bit of something for everyone, whether you’re on vacation with family, traveling solo, or on a quick weekend getaway. Fresno may not get as much buzz as its neighbors, such as L.A. and San Francisco, but it’s definitely not a city to take for granted. A trip to Fresno will give you all the history, entertainment and culture you desire on your trip.

Frequently asked questions about best things to do in Fresno, California

1. What are the top attractions to visit in Fresno?

If you only have to choose which attractions to visit in Fresno, then you better not miss these top sights to see: the Forestiere Underground Gardens, Fresno Chaffee Zoo, and Woodward Park.

2. What are the best outdoor activities in Fresno?

Fresno offers plenty of outdoor activities, but what you shouldn’t miss while you’re here is visiting Fresno Chaffee Zoo and meeting new animal friends. Another is exploring the beautiful Yosemite National Park.

3. What are the most popular things to do in Fresno with kids?

Are you looking for the top kid-friendly thing to do in Fresno? If so, bring them to Fresno Chaffee Zoo and let them meet different species of animals. Another option is watching a children’s show at the Warnors Theatre.

Get Trip101 in your inbox

Unsubscribe in one click. See our privacy policy for more information on how we use your data

17141616718 c77b071665 o
Still Need Travel Insurance?

You can buy and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.

*5% off when you book with our promo code: TRIP101

*For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, we cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.

Have a question? Ask fellow travellers and travel experts here.
 Want to contribute as a Local Expert?
Explore Fresno
Good things are meant to be shared!