Fresno is the hub of the Central San Joaquin Valley, and the culturally diverse region has much to offer residents from the nearby cities of Visalia, Hanford and Tulare. Each of these communities are less than an hour’s drive to Fresno, the fifth largest city in California with a population of more than 500,000. That means you can sample all of its unique attractions and sites without living day-to-day with the traffic and other hassles of city life. Check out these five fun activities to get you started:
- Fresno Chaffee Zoo.Fresno Chaffee Zoo currently houses more than 125 species of animals, among them 18 protected species which are some of the rarest animals in the world. The zoo offers birthday party and wedding packages. The newest exhibit is the breathtaking Sea Lion Cove–the beautiful recreation of the California coast complete with salty air and crashing waves. Sea lions, harbor seals, and brown pelicans are among the species encountered in Sea Lion Cove.
- Forestiere Underground Gardens. The Underground Gardens are a truly magnificent encounter. The gardens consist of hand-built passageways, rooms, and courtyards, and was once home to Sicilian artist/builder Baldassere Forestiere. The Roman architecture is truly exquisite, and it is remarkable to see flowering trees growing underground. Forestiere Underground Gardens was recently listed by CNN as one of the top ten coolest underground wonders in the world.
- Fresno Art Museum.The Fresno Art Museum offers an impressive collection of Pre-Colombian artwork from Mexico, as well as contemporary and modern art and photography and cultural exhibitions. Beginning soon is Tradition, Legacy, and Culture, showcasing work from artists of Armenian descent to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the Armenian genocide. Also, Matt Black: From Clouds to Dust, showcasing black-and-white photography depicting the relationship between migrant workers and the environment.
- Kearney Mansion Museum. The Kearney Mansion Museum is the previous home of a California agricultural pioneer. The mansion is currently operated by the Fresno City and County Historical Society. Fifty percent of the original furnishings are exhibited, the rest having been replaced with historic replicas. The French Renaissance-style buildings are set on the 225-acres of Kearney Park (recently referred to as “Chateau Fresno Park”), arguably one of the most beautiful parks in the United States.
- The Discovery Center. This family-friendly activity offers a reasonable admission fee and loads of interactive activities to entertain the little ones. The Discovery Center presents scientific study in a fun, engaging way, covering areas such as geology, botany, dinosaurs, electricity, magnets and anatomy.
Fresno is unique because its diversity offers the conveniences of a large city combined with the charms of a small town. Please feel free to contact us for more information regarding homes in Visalia, Hanford and Tulare.