Fresno, CA

Things to do in Fresno before you're dead

Mark-John Clifford

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Fresno MuralFresYes

There's an old crime movie from director Gary Fleder titled Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead after a song by Warren Zevon of the same name. It was a flop on all levels, but the title and listening to Zevon's music while typing this post gave me some ideas.

As in the song's title, I decided that being dead would not let you experience what's listed below, so I took some liberties and changed the title to Thing to Do in Fresno Before You're Dead.

Fresno is a gold mine of places, people, and things to see and do while visiting or if you live here, but how many of those things have you done?

I've been here since 2005, and I still haven't seen many landmarks listed on most websites, but I have done things that aren't listed and should be done before you die.

Let's look at ten attractions (with links) you should visit, do, and experience first; then, we'll get into my list of things you should see, do, and experience.

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Forestiere Underground Gardensundergraoundgardens.com

Forestiere Underround Gardens

Fresno Chaffee Zoo

Woodward Regional Park

Shinzen Japanese Gardens

Blossom Trail

Meux Home Museum

Fresno Discovery Center

St. Johns Cathedral

Fresno Art Museum

St George Greek Orthodox Church

Those are the top things listed by Trip Advisor that you should do, see, and experience in Fresno. There are others listed on their Fresno page, and you should take the time if you haven't already and check them out.

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Millerton LakeCalifornia Greatest Lakes

But here's my list of things to do, see, and experience that I feel are just as important and worth considering before you die in Fresno.

*Go to Millerton State Recreation Area, find a tree to hang out under, and relax. Then, take a stroll to the lake, swim in the cool water, or watch others enjoying their time on the lake, boating, fishing, and water skiing. No matter what you decide to do, it's worth its weight in gold for the peace of mind it brings.

*Take a stroll through your neighborhood and say hello to your neighbors. It's been a year since you've been able to do that. So isn't it time to reconnect?

*Take a stroll on the campus of Fresno State University. Check out the sports fields around the campus and everything else the campus has to offer students and guests. Remember, they have Fresno State sweet corn at their campus store, along with other great food items from the college and a host of farm animals you can watch, smell, and enjoy. Their ice cream is to die for, by the way.

*If you're at the zoo, make sure to check out Storyland across the way with the kiddos. It'll be worth it to see their smiles as they take in the rides and sights.

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Fresno StateFresno State News

*Get involved in some community work, like joining the mentor program as Patti and I did for the entrepreneurship program at Fresno State. It's a rewarding experience for everyone involved. We have had some great times at mixers hosted at local hangouts and meeting with our mentees over the past five years. Why not join us? If interested, contact Dr. Timothy Stearns (at Fresno State) for more information.

*When I first moved here, I toured all the fish markets in Fresno to find the freshest fish. It was an experience and tour I'll never forget. I highly recommend this shopping adventure for everyone, whether you live in Fresno or are just visiting. It's incredible what you will see and how fresh the fish is at some of our local markets.

*Take in a Grizzlies baseball game (if they're in season). There's nothing like going to Chuckchansi Park and watching a ball game no matter who's in town and enjoying a hot dog and drink. 

*Take the kids on a tour of all the local skate parks. It'll make their day.

*Hang out at the dog park in Woodward State Park. It's worth the trip to sit and watch all the mixes of dogs that come with their owners to play at the park. It's more about peace of mind than anything else.

*After the dog park, go hang out under the trees on the edge of the lake, feed the ducks or geese there, and then run when you run out of food. That has always made for fun and excitement with the grandkids over the years.

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Fresno Tower TheatreGV Wire

*Walk the main street in the tower district. Stop in for some coffee or tea at the local shows, and make sure to check out the tower theatre smack dab in the middle of the district. Try to get in and see the inside of this fantastic theatre right in our backyard.

*After the tower district tour, head on over to Fashion Fair mall. I'm not trying to force you to go shopping. I want you to go, and people watch. As you're watching a diverse group of individuals walking through the mall, take a moment and wonder what they're thinking. It puts your mind to work on something fun and creative. 

You may see a young couple looking at rings for their upcoming engagement or marriage, or it could be a family spending the day with the kids doing the same thing you're doing. 

*Go check out the buildings in the city that aren't on the list of historic buildings. You'll find incredible architecture that most people have never seen, even if they've lived here all of their lives. I did this one Saturday and was amazed at what I found just walking around downtown. Most of the buildings I found to be unique weren't listed on any list. 

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Fresno SkylineIREI. Inc

These are just a few things off the beaten path I suggest to anyone that asks. Stay tuned for more adventures in Fresno in the coming posts.

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Patti, my wife, and I write about life here in Fresno, California, and the Central Valley. We especially enjoy writing reviews about restaurants we've dined at, along with the food that is served. From time to time, we also write about and share recipes that we are fond of and hope you'll try them and let us know your thoughts. We are not traditional food critics. We don't have to worry about restaurants making unique dishes for us. We're just the average customer going in to dine, and then we write reviews.

Fresno, CA
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