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6 Best Things to Do Outdoors This Summer in Fresno, CA

Jon Fesmire | July 9, 2021 @ 12:00 AM

Summer is here, we appear to be at the tail-end of COVID, and that means the world is opening up. The fully vaccinated can get out of the house and enjoy outdoor and indoor settings, and even those not yet vaccinated can enjoy a lot outdoors.

We’ve picked six Fresno activities to get you and your family out in the fresh air and sunshine. We do encourage you to visit King Canyon National Park, Sequoia National Park, Sierra National Forest, Yosemite National Park, and King Canyon National Park, which are fairly close, but we’re going to cover some activities even closer to home.


Fresno Chaffee Zoo

The Fresno Chaffee Zoo is open to visitors from 9:00 a.m. daily. Spend a day there, having a pleasant walk, visiting the animals, and taking a break for lunch or dinner. Before you go, check out the website. There, you can pre-purchase tickets, peruse the park guide and zoo map, and learn about the animals. Some residents include cheetahs, African elephants, giraffes, impalas, kangaroos, komodo dragons, various monkeys, ostriches, sea lions, wallaroos, and a lot more. You can then adopt an animal, aka. Get a plush zoo animal in the gift shop and grab a bite in Safari Cafe, Kudu Cafe, or Kopje Lodge.


Forestiere Underground Gardens

All right, we admit it. You’ll be semi-indoors in this network of underground rooms and tunnels, but Forestiere Underground Gardens is open enough to the world outside that it’s basically an outdoors visit. More than a labyrinth, the area is a grand garden you can explore with your family. You’re unlikely to find a place quite like this anywhere else. Baldassare Forestiere, an early 20th century immigrant from Sicily, dug this area using simple farm tools, then planted fruit trees, grapes, and more. Enjoy a one-hour docent-led tour of this historical site and enjoy the underground home and the gardens. Oh yes, this is a wonderful place to go on a hot day, since the garden temperatures are a full 10 to 30 degrees lower than the upper world.


Fresno County Wine Journey

Part indoor, part outdoor, the Fresno County Wine Journey will take you to 13 wineries where you can enjoy wine tasting, buy a few bottles, and meet other travelers and locals. The Twin Rivers Vintners Association provides this guided tour. You’ll get to see a lot of beautiful scenery on the trip.

In Fresno, you’ll visit Fresno State Winery and A. Nonini Winery. Then, you’ll head out to Cardella Winery, Engelmann Cellars, Kings River Winery, Lomac Winery, Marechal Vineyards, Marian Farms, Moravia Wines, Ramos Torres Winery, Simonian Farms, Tioga Sequoia Brewing Co., Valley Oak Winery, Yribarren Family Vineyards, 559 Beer, and Ziveli Winery.


Vineyard Farmers Market

Head to downtown Fresno and visit Vineyard Farmers Market. The setting lives up to the name, an arching, open-air, vine-covered building. Check out the website to get a look at this amazing place in the middle of our city.

This farmers market is open on wednesdays from 3:00 p.m. to  6:00 p.m., and on Saturdays from 7:00 a.m. to noon. It features many local farmers selling a wide variety of produce. These include bok choy, peppers, okra, strawberries, persimmons, and other fruits and vegetables. There are also a lot of cheeses, meats, and more. Vendors include Cheng & Mao’s Produce, Garcia Farms, Three Sisters Organics, and Rocky Oats.

No dogs are allowed, and neither is smoking. The organizers emphasize that if you bring your children, you need to keep them with you.


Simonian Farms and The Big Red Barn

Let’s now combine sunshine outdoors, wine, and farming by introducing you to Simonian Farms and the Big Red Barn. This is a family farm with a lot to enjoy for adults and children. First, have a look around the on-site store the Big Red Barn. They sell produce, nuts, wine, fruit, gift packs, and more. Then, check out the rest of the site, which features antiques from the 1900s to the 1940s. These include the original 1946 Santa Fe Caboose!

You can even rent out the area for events, like mining for gems and gold, wine tasting, enjoying the shooting gallery, and indulging your sweet tooth in the old-fashioned candy and soda shop.


Riverside Golf Course

On a warm summer day, there’s nothing quite like enjoying 18 holes of golf. For that, Riverside Golf Course has you covered. This is a public course on the bank of the San Joaquin River. Enjoy the greenery, get some walking in, and challenge your friends. The website covers all you’ll need to know about the course, current rates, club membership, and more.

When you need a place to store your golf or other sports gear, off-season clothes, business supplies or inventory, and more, visit us at Derrel’s Mini Storage Inc. We have 23 locations in Fresno alone and feature climate-controlled storage, RV and boat storage, and more, all at affordable prices. You can sign up for a unit online or in person.

Jon Fesmire
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