Fresno County’s Never-Ending Summer

By MEGAN EILEEN McDONOUGH

Summer's almost here, but if you're ahead of the game and planning an event for the fall, you're in for a real treat! Fresno offers sunshine and warm breezes any time of year, and the fall months are especially pleasant. Depending on your work schedule, you might be able to squeeze in an early-morning stroll through the Shinzen Japanese Garden or save a moment for quiet reflection during a Sunset Kayak tour. Whether traveling solo for business or with friends and family, here are some of Fresno’s best year-round attractions.
Year-Round Adventure Outdoors
When your indoor conference or event is over, it’s time to head outdoors.
As the Central Valley's premier destination for "wild" adventure, Fresno Chaffee Zoo is home to animals of every size and color. Among their most impressive exhibits is the Sea Lion Cove, modeled after Central California's stunning Point Lobos. The new African Adventure, a 13-acre, state-of-the-art expansion, emulates exotic plains and savannas. Where else could you check out a pride of lions, a herd of elephants and a giraffe feeding station just about any time of the year?

When it comes to national parks and inspiring vistas, Fresno's got plenty. In fact, Yosemite National Park, Kings Canyon National Park and Sequoia National Park (best known for the towering sequoia trees) are all within a 90-minute drive from Fresno County. Then there’s Huntington Lake, a reservoir and popular recreation area in the Sierra Nevada for locals and tourists alike. Hiking, picnicking, fishing, horseback riding and snowmobiling are just a few of the many activities that can be enjoyed throughout the year. Last but certainly not least, plan a stroll through the Shinzen Japanese Garden. The gardens, open year-round, span five acres with separate sections that showcase the four seasons. So, regardless of the time of year you visit, you can experience spring, summer, fall and winter. The autumn garden is a flush of color, with chrysanthemums flourishing underneath the trees. With winter comes dark pines and other evergreens, plus plenty of picture-perfect distant views of the snow-covered mountains.

Taco Trucks to Fine Dining
With fabulous year-round weather, Fresno is all about dining al fresco.
For a quick bite and perhaps some last-minute shopping, head to Fig Garden Village. In addition to quality shops, there are several restaurants with outdoor seating, like the Patio Cafe. With breakfast all day, there's no rush to make it here before lunch. That said, there are select fresh salads on the menu, too. Whether here for a quick bite or a hearty meal, you'll feel ready to conquer the day thanks to their mission of supporting a healthy lifestyle through organic food. Pressed for time? Explore Fresno's year-round food truck scene and walk while you eat. Vendors specialize in an array of cuisines, from tacos to burgers and everything in between. Dusty Buns is a local favorite, namely for their grilled cheese sandwich. For fresh tacos packed with flavor, swing by Tacos Boys for their combo plate of tacos, rice and beans. To satisfy your sweet tooth, try the authentic Hawaiian shave ice at Lolo's. There's no better way to bask in the breeze on a crisp autumn day. In the mood for a decadent dinner? The Palms is one of Fresno's high-end restaurants serving fine American fare. While tables are set inside, there is a scenic courtyard surrounding the entrance, so make sure to take a little stroll before finding your table. With elegant decor set in a serene setting, this is the perfect place to unwind with your colleagues after a conference—or, if you traveled with your special someone, the ideal romantic dining getaway. Gourmet food awaits! 

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