Take a Bite Out of Fresno County’s Fruit Trail


By MEGAN EILEEN McDONOUGH
If you've got a craving for something healthy (and sweet), we've got the trail for you. Fresno County has long been known for its lush landscape and innovative culinary scene, but don't overlook the region's award-winning fruit farms. The best time to savor the valley's sweetest treats is from April through September, so it's not too late to take advantage of this season's fare. For Fruit Trail first-timers, here are five interactive ways to make the most of your trip. 

Indulge at School House Restaurant & Tavern
Craving a little farm-to-table fare? Well, you’re in luck because School House Restaurant & Tavern has exactly 
that. What started as a one-room wooden schoolhouse in 1890 is now a full-fledged restaurant made of brick. That said, the space maintains remnants of its history, with rustic country decor bridging the gap between old and new. The new American-style menu features flavorful dishes, such as grilled brie, lobster carbonara and braised duck stroganoff, with a touch of modern flare and fresh, seasonal ingredients.  

Take a Selfie With the World’s Largest Raisin Box
Ever wonder where “America's favorite” raisins and dried fruits come from? Make a pit stop at Sun-Maid and find out. The famous trademark was actually inspired by a girl named Lorraine Collett Petersen who lived right here in Fresno County in 1915—the same year the company began operations. Today, Sun-Maid leads the agricutural industry in new methods for boosting yields and improving raisin quality such as dried-on-the-vine technology which combines natural sun-drying process with mechanical harvesting. Stop at the store where you can take a selfie next to the world's largest raisin box. Yummy snacks like raisins, yogurt fruits, caramel popcorn and much more are also available for you to pick up during your visit.

Hit Up a Farmers’ Market
Fresno County has no shortage of farmers’ markets, and the Fruit Trail is certainly no exception. There are several options to choose from, including Fresno's Vineyard Farmers Market at Blackstone and Shaw Avenues.Old Town Clovis This arbor-covered outdoor market has been around for more than 25 years and is always a popular meeting spot for families and large groups. Then there’s the Old Town Clovis Friday Night Farmers Market from May through September. With live entertainment, kids activities and monthly events, it's a home run for the whole family. No matter what farmer's market you go to, you are sure to find fresh fruits and veggies produced by local family farms in Fresno County.  

Join in the Celebration
One of the perks of visiting Fresno County in the summer and fall is getting to take part in the trail's many themed festivals. Events kick off as early as April and conclude in late September. From Big Hat Days to Wine Walks, there's no shortage of celebrations to get you in the spirit. Upcoming events include a pistachio party at the farmers’ market in Old Town Clovis and an antiques and collectibles fair, also in Clovis. Even if your visit doesn't coincide with a themed festival, many farms celebrate the season with their own group gatherings. 

Choose Your Farms
With so many fruit farm options, it's a good idea to narrow down your wish list based on interest. Circle K Farms StoreOtherwise, you'll need a few weeks to visit them all! Blossom Bluff Orchards is a family-run farm that grows 150-plus varieties of fruit trees, all of which are certified organic. Visit Circle K Ranch to sample fresh and dried fruits, nuts and chocolate-covered raisins. Another must-see is the Sumner Peck Ranch Fruit Stand & Winery, where fruit and award-winning vino come together with gorgeous, unrestricted views of the surrounding countryside. 

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