6 Must-Visit Gardens in Fresno

© Susan Pease / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Alice Johnston
Food Editor6 August 2020

There’s nothing quite like being in a garden, with endless varieties of flowers, plants, fruits and vegetables on view to enjoy. With the Central Californian sun shining on your shoulders, Fresno’s gardens are just waiting for you to enjoy them.

Forestiere Underground Gardens

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Forestiere Underground Gardens at 5021 West Shaw Avenue, Fresno, California
© Alpha Stock / Alamy Stock Photo
These gardens are the lifelong work of Baldassare Forestiere, who left his home in Sicily in 1901 and was inspired to begin work right away on what might just be Fresno’s most unique attraction. A maze of underground gardens and grottos, this is like a series of decorated rooms each more intriguing than the next. Forty years in the making, the Forestiere Underground Gardens are a true labour of love.

Shinzen Japanese Garden

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The Shinzen Japanese Garden is a taste of Japan in Central California. Featuring man-made mountains, waterfalls, streams and a lake, all in classic Japanese style, the garden makes a peaceful and elegant place to spend an afternoon. Lush and exceptionally photogenic, this garden was designed to be strolled through and enjoyed at a leisurely pace. The arched stone bridge resting over the koi pond might just be our favourite spot in Fresno.

CSU Fresno arboretum and Peace Garden

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Found in the grounds of Fresno’s California State University, the arboretum and Peace Garden have been providing students with an escape from the stresses of studying for years – and they’re here to help you relax too. With more than 100 species of tree planted on the campus, the arboretum is impressive to behold. The Peace Garden has statutes of famous who represent peace, ranging from Mahatma Gandhi to Martin Luther King Jr and Jane Addams. It’s designed to inspire peace in those who visit.

City of Fresno Conservation Gardens

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These might not be the grandest gardens in the city, but they go a long way to making daily life in Fresno more enjoyable. This series of small gardens scattered around the city of Fresno feature plants, trees and shrubs in a way that makes the streets greener and brighter. Some of the gardens include one on the Waterwise Commercial Demonstration, one on the Xeriscape Demonstration Median Island and one on the Waterwise Residential Demonstration. It’s a perfect excuse to stop and smell the flowers as you walk around the city.

Garden of the Sun

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The beautiful Garden of the Sun is run by University of California gardening students. It’s made up of an extensive fruit orchard, vegetable beds, herbs, perennials and flowers, as well as specialty gardens for children and the physically challenged. With a compost demonstration area in a setting designed by landscape architect Robert Truxell and regular small-space gardening demonstrations, you’ll learn something to bring home to your own patch of earth.

Fresno County Blossom Trail

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Blossoming trees on a farm along the Fresno County Blossom Trail, Fresno County, California, United States
© Susan Pease / Alamy Stock Photo

Not a garden as such but no less desirable for it, the Fresno County Blossom Trail is a well-beaten path you can drive around in tree blossom season (February to March, depending on the weather). A panorama of fruit orchards are visible, with almond, plum, apricot, apple, citrus, peach and nectarine blossoming for you to enjoy. Seasonal attractions show the agricultural history of the area, as well as fun such as local wine tasting and ice cream for sale.

These recommendations were updated on August 6, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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