Coastal California gets a lot of attention, what with all its sandy beaches and celebrities, but the Central Valley is the state’s true heartland. Fresno, in particular, has plenty of its own selling points. This largest city in the region is one of the agriculture powerhouses of the country, if not the world. In fact, it’s the crown jewel of California in that regard, with grapes, tomatoes, oranges and almonds among the major producers. It’s also the raisin capital of the world, not coincidentally home to the Sun-Maid Raisin company.
Currently, Fresno homes for sale are listed at a median price of $269,974. Fresno house hunters should check out the wide range of neighborhoods, including highly walkable Hoover as well as Woodward Park, which is known for being especially safe.
Fresno is about far more than agriculture, although it certainly does wonders for the local economy. The area boasts seven stadiums and is home to California State University, Fresno (Fresno State), a major educational institution. Visitors and residents alike love to explore the popular Tower District, known for its nightlife, dining and shopping options. One of the main draws of the area is the historic Tower Theatre, which opened in 1939 as a 20th Century Fox movie house and today is an authentic art deco performing arts venue. Visual arts aficionados should also head on over to the Fresno Art Museum to take in a wide range of works. Be sure to check in at the Old Fresno Water Tower, a 109-foot-tall American Romanesque brick building that is the city’s pride and joy.
Another jewel of the area, Forestiere Underground Gardens was dug by hand by a Sicilian immigrant who sought relief from hot summer weather. Inspired by the Roman catacombs, the breathtaking subterranean space is filled with tunnels, courtyards and stone walls, and locals continue to enjoy their beauty today. Outdoor enthusiasts are also likely to love the sprawling parkland that makes up Woodward Park, incidentally home to the city’s annual Woodward Shakespeare Festival. The Blossom Trail, a 62-mile drive through the area’s expanse of fruit and nut trees, is another fabulous outdoor activity. The same trek (by bike or car) transforms into the Fresno County Fruit Trail, a seemingly endless line of fresh produce stands, during the summer.
In addition to cheering on the Fresno State Bulldogs, local fans also support the Fresno Grizzlies, the Pacific Coast League baseball team. Yet another uniquely Fresno experience is the annual Scottish celebration, the Highland Gathering and Games Festival.