Deep in the San Joaquin Valley between San Francisco and Los Angeles, you’ll find Fresno. Not only is it the gateway to Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks, it’s also home to California State University – Fresno and Forestiere Underground Gardens. Stay in one of these hotels on your next trip, bookable on Culture Trip.
Life in Fresno centers on its vibrant arts scene, student population and agriculture. In the spring, stroll along the beautiful 62mi (100km) Blossom Trail. Come summer, head to the town’s fruit stands, overflowing with strawberries, peaches and oranges, known as the Fresno County Fruit Trail. Beyond, you’ll find contemporary American and Mexican works at the renowned Fresno Art Museum, as well as the famed nearby national parks. We’ve put together a rundown of the top places to stay on your next trip.
Fresno’s original, award-winning boutique hotel sits in 7.5 acres (3ha) of landscaped gardens and has a lot going for it: a nine-hole putting green, outdoor swimming pool and spa for starters. The 184 guest rooms include pet-friendly king doubles with an outdoor dog relief area and Keurig coffee makers for early walkies. The on-site Mochuelo restaurant is a real gem serving authentic Spanish tapas, craft cocktails and local tap beers. Fresno Yosemite International Airport is 10mi (16km) away.
Comfortable rooms center on a cavernous light-flooded lobby at the Fresno Convention Center. Perks include 24-hour reception, an on-site Pizza Hut (handy after a day of exploring) and a Java Stop serving Starbucks coffee for grab-and-go mornings. Fresno Yosemite International Airport is a 15-minute drive, plus there’s an airport shuttle. Don’t forget to take a dip in the outdoor pool.
This all-suite hotel in the middle of Fresno somehow makes you feel like you’re housesitting for a wealthy relative in a quiet Californian neighborhood. Outside, you’ll find a glorious pool flanked by turquoise chaise lounges, and inside, there’s a decent gym. Hang out in the Nest, Sonesta’s version of a communal living room with a TV and comfy sofas. The hotel is also wheelchair accessible and pet-friendly. From here, you can easily visit California State University – Fresno (CSU Fresno) and Kings River, or go hiking in Sequoia National Park.
La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Fresno Riverpark
You’ll find this pet-friendly hotel located in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley, just a short drive from CSU Fresno and Fresno Chaffee Zoo. The hotel strikes the perfect balance between value and creature comforts. Rooms are clean and modern with ample space, while suites come with deep-soak tubs. Breakfast is included and varies from bagels to eggs and bacon, plus fresh fruit juice and cereal. Enjoy the outdoor pool, gym and restaurant when you’re not out sightseeing.
The huge outdoor pool here is a peaceful place to spend a day sunbathing. Inside, the hotel sparkles from top to bottom. King rooms and suites are both plush and functional, complete with living room space and a kitchenette. Hit the 24-hour gym before enjoying the complimentary hot breakfast. The location gives easy access to Yosemite, Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks.
You’ve got to spend at least one night at a California winery. Wake up at the Sequoia View Vineyard, overlooking the 20-acre (8ha) estate. Three beautifully decorated suites with private entrances and baths make up the accommodation here. Each one boasts incredible views of Sequoia National Park. Stop by the winery for a complimentary tasting session on weekends; their Alicante Bouschet is the one to try.
With a Hyatt hotel, you know your stay is going to be a cut above functional. The lobby paves the way for the stylish interiors – with its exposed stone walls and Scandi-esque furniture. The 126 rooms come with high-quality bedding and a “cozy corner” living area, plus there’s a large, light-flooded indoor pool downstairs. Enjoy a complimentary breakfast, served in a homey kitchen each morning, before setting off on day trips to nearby Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
If a basketball court and billiards room top your hotel checklist, you’re in luck at Homewood Suites by Hilton Fresno. Add an outdoor pool, hot tub and gym – and you’re in an amenities paradise. This all-suite hotel sits in a quiet neighborhood in north Fresno, close to the Yosemite Freeway and downtown. Rooms boast full-sized kitchens, ideal for families and extended stays, as well as extremely comfortable signature bedding. Breakfast is included, pet-friendly rooms are available and the airport is 10mi (16km) away.