After spending a couple of days surrounded by more much more granite than concrete, arriving in Fresno was a shock to my system. It’s California’s fifth largest city, and the second biggest in the Central Valley, with a population of more than half a million people. It’s a good gateway city for anyone visiting either Yosemite or Kings Canyon National Park, but since I was visiting both, I was anxious to get back out of town and into the wilderness again. That’s one reason why my visit to Fresno didn’t last long. Another reason: on my quick drive through town, I didn’t see much worth stopping for.
One place worth a brief stop is the old Fresno Water Tower. It was used for its original purpose from 1894 to 1963, and nowadays it houses the city’s visitor center. You’ll spot it as you’re driving into downtown on Fresno Street.
Downtown Fresno has a street set aside for pedestrians. The Fulton Mall runs along Fulton Street in between Tuolumne and Inyo Streets.
The Crest Theater also looked interesting, but I couldn’t find an empty parking spot anywhere nearby.
After exploring downtown Fresno, find CA Hwy. 180 and head east towards Kings Canyon National Park.
Here’s the time-lapse, dash-cam video of the drive around Fresno, then east on Hwy. 180: