It’s no secret, Fresno is hot in the summer. I mean, 97 degrees by 10 a.m., run for the A.C. kind of hot. However, there are also a lot of fun things to do during the summer. If you go out at night or stay on the water, you can beat the heat and still have a great time. The following activities are just a few of the fun things you can do in Fresno during the summer. There are many more, but, for the sake of brevity, I’ve included just five of my favorites.
Rafting on the King’s River
For the adrenaline junkies and granola crunchers out there, this a great way to cool off, have fun, and enjoy the stunning scenery of the King’s River and surrounding mountains. During the trip you will alternate between floating down the river and racing through Class 3 rapids. I’ve used the King’s River Expeditions company and had a great experience.
For more information check out http://www.kingsriver.com/.
Woodward Park Shakespeare Festival
When I first heard about a Shakespeare festival at a park in Fresno, I envisioned a group of cheesy actors standing around in a circle reading lines from Romeo and Juliet. Boy, was I wrong. Every summer, the Woodward Park Shakespeare Festival (WSF) produces three high quality, impressive plays on a permanent stage, complete with elaborate sets and costumes. Two of the plays are Shakespeare plays and one of the plays is usually by a more contemporary playwright like Tennessee Williams.
The shows start around sunset against a backdrop of trees at the base of a hill, secluded from the rest of the park. Patrons can bring food and drinks and set up blankets and their own chairs at the base of the hill or choose from provided seats closer to the stage.
I would pay good money to see the quality shows put on by the Shakespeare Festival, but there is no need. The shows are free! For more information, check out WSF’s website at http://www.woodwardshakespeare.org.
Kiss Country Summer Concerts
Would you like to see top country music stars perform live at a good venue for $6? You got it! 93.7 KISS FM, a local country music station in Fresno, puts on three great concerts every summer at Woodward Park. The concerts take place in the Rotary Amphitheater which seats 3,500 people. The acoustics are decent and you can see from pretty much anywhere. The concerts feature top talent like Jana Kramer, Joe Nichols, Gloriana, and Scotty McCreery. Did I mention that the tickets are only $6! For more informtion, go to http://www.ksks.com/pages/landing_summerconcertseries.
Free image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net
If you can't make it to the King's River, Millerton Lake is another great way to cool off. Located just twenty miles northeast of Fresno, it is a great spot for boating. If you get hot sitting on the boat, jump into the water that is surprisingly temperate. The lake meanders through many curves, and with over 40 miles of shore land, it is bigger than it looks when you first arrive. For more information, check out http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=587
Clovis Farmers Market
This last activity is best for early summer before it gets too hot. Old Town Clovis is a quaint strip of shops and restaurants that looks like it is from a western movie. Starting in mid-May, Old Town Clovis hosts a farmers market on Friday nights featuring locally grown produce and other great foods. Last time I went, I tried the corn on the cob, a tri-tip sandwich, and a Diet Pepsi freeze. There are also craft vendors, pony rides for the kids, and live music. It is a great idea for a date or family night. For more information on this fun event, check out Old Town Clovis' website at http://oldtownclovis.org/.