For those new to the Fresno area, considering a visit for their next vacation, or who just want to know more about the place they have already called home, check out these fast facts on what makes the city unique!
First stop, Fresno!
Fresno was founded in 1872 by the Central Pacific Railroad Company and as a station on the Central (and later Southern) Pacific Railroad. The name Fresno means “ash tree” in Spanish and you can find one featured on the city’s flag; the city received this name due to the abundant white ash trees that once could be found in the area
A Central City
The city covers an area of around 110 -115 square miles. It is located near the geographical center of California and is a reasonable distance away from three National Parks: the Yosemite National Park (60 Miles), the Kings Canyon National Park (60 Miles), and the Sequoia National Park (75 Miles). Being centrally located to beaches, amusement parks and large cities with all their traffic shouldn’t be overlooked. Truly, Fresno is located near some of the greatest locations in the world. Here is a past post we wrote on 7 Things you can do at Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks.
What’s the weather like?
Fresno displays Mediterranean climate characteristics, with mild and moist winters, and very hot and dry summers. The record high temperature for Fresno is 115 Degrees Fahrenheit and was set on July 8, 1905. This is according to the National Weather Service but I’m pretty sure it was hotter in August of 1996 – I recall the power went off in the greater Western United States that year on the 10th. Good news, with Fresno so close to so many beaches, you aren’t likely to be here, and if you are, you should be living in a home with a pool. The record low is 17 Degrees Fahrenheit and was set on January 6, 1913. Snow is a rare sight, and the heaviest snowfall reported at the local airport was 2.2 inches on January 21, 1962.
Estimates put the population of Fresno around 545,000 as of January 2020—making it the 34th most populous city in the nation—and more than 70 ethnic groups are represented in Fresno’s demographics. The original inhabitants of the San Joaquin Valley region were the Yokuts and Miwok peoples.
Fresno is located in an incredibly important agricultural region—one frequently referred to as the “Raisin Capital of The World”. In fact, the Sun-Maid raisin company is based in Fresno. But raisins aren’t all we have to offer! More than 300 different crops are raised in the greater Fresno County area. Yes, you read that correctly, 300 different crops in Fresno County. This leads us to some amazing Farmer’s Markets!
Sports Teams to Follow
Fresno does not have a sports team represented in the 4 major American sports leagues (NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL). The Grizzlies, the minor league baseball team, does have a prominent fan base. The city is also home to the California State University Bulldogs.
Nation’s First High-Speed Rail
Fresno plays host to the nation’s first high-speed rail. Well, it was supposed to. The project began in downtown Fresno in 2015 and aims to span the entire state. The first segment will operate between the San Joaquin Valley and Los Angeles, or at least we were told. I would love to give you some more details here but truth be told, I’ve never really believed it would come to pass and it hasn’t – with no end in site.
Taco Tuesday? Taco’s Everyday!
Fresno is the taco capital of California… possibly the world! The Fresno Grizzlies baseball team even hosts an annual event, The Taco Truck Throwdown, featuring musical acts and a great variety of food trucks. We have lots and lots of Taco resources here on FresYes.com – here is a list of 5 tacos to try when you are here.
Fresno County Wine Journey
The Fresno County Wine Journey and nearby Madera Wine trail offer visitors extensive access to large ranges of wineries. One-fifth of the total wine grapes grown in California are located in Fresno County, so you may be treated to beautiful views of farmland as well!
Cooldown at a Waterpark
Fresno can expect to receive around 300 days of sunshine per year! To combat these sweltering days, you can enjoy a refreshing time at one of the incredible waterparks available in the area. The Island Water Park and Wild Water Adventure Water Park are two prominent options that are sure to offer fun for you and the whole family!
Beautiful Blooms on the Blossom Trail
In early spring, drive or bike along the nearly 70-mile Blossom Trail for gorgeous views as the trees burst with pink and white petals. As summer advances, the route morphs into a fruit trail, with vendors and their stands dotting the route with ripe seasonal offerings.
Guided Tours through Underground Gardens
The Forestiere Underground Gardens represent one man’s 40-year effort to carve a subterranean refuge from the hot summer heat. Spanning over 10 acres and going as far as 25 feet underground, the tunnels and passageways in the Underground Gardens feature living spaces and even fruit trees and grapevines still persevering from when they were first planted! Plan an extended tour to learn more about the landmark.
Fun at the Big Fresno Fair
For two weeks each October, over 600,000 people will enter the gates of the Big Fresno Fair, the fifth largest fair offered in California. Live music acts, exhibitions, carnival games, and other attractions are available for guests to enjoy, and unique events like the Annual Fall Wine Festival and Brew Fest will also occur during this event.
Downtown Fresno offers an incredible selection of murals that you can discover on your journey to explore the city. While making your way through various restaurant offerings and past unique public art staples, you can be sure to come across a stunning mural depicting scenes and sentiments of Fresno past and present.
Something for Everyone
Whether you are a sports fan, a nature-lover, an adventurer, or an art enthusiast, Fresno offers an experience for everyone. For even more ideas for planning your next trip, consider exploring the rest of our blog for interesting finds in the Fresno area.