Fresno is your gateway to the outdoors! From National Parks, like Yosemite National Park, Sequoia National Park, and Kings Canyon National Park, to outdoor adventures at Forestiere Underground Gardens, the Shinzen Friendship Garden, and Kearney Mansion, there are so many places to explore! Read on to learn about some of the great things to do in Fresno, California, and how Southwest Airlines can get you there.
Located just an hour and a half from Fresno International Airport is Sequoia National Park, which features groves of its namesake magnificent sequoia trees. Take in the beauty from your car or by hiking the many trails.
Kings Canyon National Park: adjacent to Sequoia National Park is Kings Canyon National Park, which was established in 1940. Be sure to add this to your itinerary as you explore the beautiful area. In these two National Parks, you’ll experience a variety of terrain and wildlife.
Forestiere Underground Garden: This Fresno must-see got its start in the early 1900s, as Baldassare Forestiere, a citrus grower and an immigrant from Sicily, began transforming the area into an underground garden to help escape the heat. Many of the fruit trees and vines he planted years ago are still living. You can access the gardens by reserving an hour-long tour. learn more at undergroundgardens.com
Forestiere Underground Garden; photo by Stephen M. Keller
Perhaps one of the most-visited sites outside of Fresno is Yosemite National Park, located an hour and a half from the airport. Climbing sites like Half Dome and Sentinel Rock lure adventurers of all kinds. Prefer to keep your feet on the ground? Yosemite offers more than 800 miles of hiking trails.
Yosemite National Park; photo by Stephen M. Keller
Take it all in
Shinzen Friendship Garden: relax and take in the beauty of this garden, which features more than 100 special bonsai and a koi pond. In addition to offering tours, the garden educates visitors with cultural and educational events.
Shinzen Friendship Garden; photo by Stephen M. Keller
Take a step back in time with a visit to the Kearney Mansion, which was built starting in 1892. Today, the mansion is a museum and includes 50 percent of the home’s original wallpapers and lighting fixtures. The mansion originally belonged to Martin Theodore Kearney, who was a key figure in the agricultural development of California and Fresno.
Lewis Creek National Recreation Trail; photo by Stephen M. Keller
Grab a bite
Take a break from the hiking and exploring with a visit to Westwoods BBQ and Spice Co., and sample some of their smoke-kissed meats, like Pit Brisket Nachos or a Brisket BBQ Burger. Looking for lighter fare? Westwoods offers a variety of salads and chicken sandwiches.
Westwoods BBQ and Spice Co.; photo by Stephen M. Keller
South Gate Brewing Co. offers pub fare and in-house brewed beer. From porters, to pilsners, to pale ales, there’s a brew for every palate. Menu favorites include oven-fired pizzas, the South Gate Burger, Blonde Ale Beer Battered Fish and Chips, and a vegan Black Bean Burger.
South Gate Brewing Co.; photo by Stephen M. Keller
Enjoy a nightcap at Modernist Craft Cocktail Bar, which is located in the Brewery District of Downtown Fresno. The menu boasts craft cocktails like a Mangonada with reposado tequila, mescal, lime, mango, chile, and bitters; the Cataline with botanical gins, gentian amaro, and orange flower; and the Chester Copperpot with blended scotches, fortified white wine, yellow chartreuse, banana, and pecan.
Modernist Craft Cocktail Bar; photo by Stephen M. Keller
Inspired to visit Fresno and the surrounding National Parks? Visit Southwest.com to explore our flight schedule and book your next trip now! Don't forget to check out Yosemite National Park.