California San Joaquin Valley

Located in central California, the San Joaquin Valley is known for its agricultural production and recreational activities. One of the attractions in the Valley is the San Joaquin Fair, which takes place every June and features everything from animal shows to local foods. Continuing in the gustatory vein, there is an annual Pizza Festival in Lemoore that showcases bands, crafts and a local celebrity pizza delivery contest. For a more educational and enriching experience, nearby Fresno is home to the Chaffee Zoo, an animal refuge that allows visitors to observe a wide variety of animals. Fresno also boasts three national parks in the immediate area, all of which offer a diversity of activities and outdoor adventure. Bakersfield is another prominent city in the San Joaquin Valley and is famous as the one-time home of country music legend Buck Owens. Mr. Owens used to perform in Bakersfield on a regular basis at the Crystal Palace Steakhouse, which he owned.

Fresno

Fresno is the center of the San Joaquin Valley, which is home to over 1 million acres (405,000 ha) of prime, well-irrigated farmland. Grapes—many of them dried into the renowned California raisins—oranges and cotton are the main crops. The Fresno area is also the Turkey Capital of the United States. While Fresno is popular with visiting farmers from around the world who come to see this agricultural paradise, it also has other attractions. A warm sunny climate, beautiful fruit blossoms in spring and a friendly and welcoming local population all make Fresno an attractive place to visit. Museum-lovers take in the Fresno Art Museum and the Fresno Metropolitan Museum of Art, History, and Science. Roeding Park has something for the whole family including Rotary Playland with rides, a fine carousel, and a miniature railroad. The city also boasts a large student population, as California State University has a campus in Fresno.

Bakersfield, CA

The city of Bakersfield is known for its wealth of recreational and artistic attractions, giving the city a comfortable balance that makes for a desirable travel destination. Twenty miles (32 km) of pathway follows the Kern River through the city, providing an opportunity for walking, biking and rollerblading along the riverbanks. The path begins near the California Living Museum, a zoo that features a host of native flora and fauna, and ends near Cal State Bakersfield, the local post-secondary school. After a day of outdoor activity, try a night out at Buck Owen’s Crystal Palace Steakhouse, a country and western museum, restaurant and performing arts center all rolled into one. There are also several antique shows that make their way to the city throughout the year and help to showcase the popular antique shopping district that is located in the heart of downtown Bakersfield.

Sights & Attractions

Buena Vista Museum of Natural History
The Buena Vista Museum of Natural History features fossils from Kern County as well as a collection of gems and Native American artifacts for visitors’ perusal. Located on Chester Avenue in Bakersfield, CA.
Address: 2018 Chester Avenue | Bakersfield, CA | 93301. Telephone: 1 661 324-6350

California Living Museum (CALM)
The California Living Museum, or CALM, is located in Bakersfield and focuses on plant and animal life that is native to California.
Address: 10500 Alfred Harrell Highway | Bakersfield, CA | 93306-9654. Telephone: 1 661 872-2256

Chaffee Zoological Gardens
Located inside Roeding Park the Chaffee Zoological Gardens are open every day except Safari Night. March through October: 9am-5pm. November through February: 10am-4pm.
Address: 894 West Belmont Avenue, | Fresno,, CA | 93728. Telephone: 1 559 498-2671

Forestiere Underground Gardens
The Forestiere Underground Gardens, a California Historical Landmark, are a hand-built network of underground rooms, courtyards and passageways reminiscent of the ancient catacombs. Visitors can see unique fruit producing trees, shrubs, and vines growing underground (some over 90 years old), as well as ancient Roman architecture-style arches, vaults and stone-built walls.
Address: 5021 W Shaw Ave | Fresno, CA | 93722. Telephone: 1 559 271-0734

Fresno Art Museum
The Fresno Art Museum features contemporary and modern art exhibits by local, national and international artists. Performing arts and theater programs are held in Bonner Auditorium. Docent-led group tours are also available. Open Tues-Fri (11am-5pm, Thur until 8pm) and Sat-Sun (11am-5pm). Free admission all day on Tues and from 5 to 8 pm on Thurs.
Address: 2233 N. First Street | Fresno, CA | 93703. Telephone: 1 559 441-4221

Fresno Metropolitan Museum of Art, History and Science
Fresno Metropolitan Museum of Art, History and Science presents art, science and history exhibitions. ASK Science Center features hands-on science displays geared to children. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Sunday 11am to 5pm, Thursday 11am to 8pm.
Address: 1515 Van Ness Avenue | Fresno, CA | 93721-1200. Telephone: 1 559 441-1444

King’s Canyon National Park
The park posses over 800 miles of marked trails and offers views of the Sierra Nevada and San Joaquin Valley. Attractions in the park include Kings River and Cedar Grove Village, which features a variety of birdlife. Vehicles are restricted a few miles past the village but many hiking trails are available.
Address: 47050 Generals Highway | Three Rivers, CA | 93271-9651
Telephone: 1 559 565-3341

Meux Home Museum
Take a tour of the historic Meux Home, now a museum,a well-preserved exhibit of Victorian architecture that is an enduring feature of the Fresno landscape. The house is fully furnished in Victorian period furniture and was continuously occupied by members of the Meux family until as recently as 1975.
Address: . | Fresno, CA | 93707
Telephone: 1 209 233-8007

San Joaquin Fair
September
The San Joaquin Fair is an annual event that takes place in June and features horse racing, exhibits, live musical entertainment and livestock.
Address: San Joaquin County Fairgrounds, Stockton CA
Telephone: 1 209 466-5041

Sequoia National Park
Designated in 1890, the Sequoia National Park features many trees, which are named after famous US Generals. The trees are located in Grant Grove and include such names as General Grant Tree and the General Sherman Tree. Also featured in the park are the Crystal Caves, Lodgepole Village and the Trail of Sequoias. Enjoy downhill skiing at Badger Pass
Address: 47050 Generals Highway | Three Rivers, CA | 93271-9651
Telephone: 1 559 565-3341