The Millennial’s Guide to Fresno County
By BARRY EITEL
Like many cities in California, Fresno County is in the midst of a foodie renaissance right now. However, it is even better positioned to celebrate the state’s farm-to-table bounty since it is actually enveloped by hundreds of farms.
Beat the Heat Underground or by the WaterEscape the California heat and go underground at the Forestiere Underground Gardens, a uniquely Fresno attraction that is fantastic for anyone curious. The Forestiere Underground Gardens are a network of underground rooms and gardens hand-built between 1906 and 1946 by one man, Baldassare Forestiere, a true California dreamer. Housed in the heart of Fresno, the 10 acres of subterranean gardens are still in terrific condition 70 years later. The gardens, a state-registered landmark, have a temperature variance between 10 to 30 degrees, which makes it the perfect way to cool down on a warm summer day.
Desire an outing that is a little more Zen? Another notable outdoor attraction is the Shinzen Garden, a relaxing garden built and maintained by the local Japanese community just a few miles north of Fresno. A whole day could be spent wandering the manicured landscape or staring into the koi pond. Streams, waterfalls and meditation zones abound.
Explore the Great Outdoors (for a Great Price)
Fresno County is a fantastic spot for young travelers because the lodging is inexpensive and the city is close to several national parks. In fact, Fresno County’s central location to multiple national parks easily makes it the best city to stay in if you want to witness California’s diverse natural beauty.Yosemite National Park, Kings Canyon National Park and Sequoia National Park are all within a 90-minute drive from Fresno County. Yosemite is home to several breathtaking rock formations like the granite cliffs of El Capitan and Half Dome. The park also features miles of hiking trails and multiple waterfalls worthy of anyone’s Instagram. The rushing Kings River runs through Kings Canyon, which is also home to countless pristine lakes. Sequoia, of course, is beloved for its famous giant sequoia trees, including the world-famous General Sherman Tree, calculated to be over 52,500 cubic feet. For those who want to leave their cars at home, sit back and relax on the YARTS shuttle bus that will take you from Fresno to Yosemite. YARTS runs between mid May and mid September. Connecting Fresno with Kings Canyon and Sequoia, Big Trees Transit is another shuttle option that runs between late May and early September every year. Reservations are recommended for Big Trees Transit.