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Fresno, California

The city of Fresno sits in the middle of California's San Joaquin Valley and was once an agricultural cornucopia. Since World War II Fresno has become more of an urban center, but is still surrounded by California's stunning and bountiful landscapes. Within 75 miles of the city you will find three national parks - Yosemite, King's Canyon, and Sequoia.

Spend a day or a few exploring the giant sequoias of Yosemite's Mariposa Grove. Be sure to stop at Valley View along the Merced River for beautiful photo-ops. For a more secluded hike, try Sequoia National Park's Zumwalt Meadow Trail. Explore wildlife in a more contained setting at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo. Feed the giraffes or attend a tiger talk while you're there. Discover Fresno's Victorian architecture with a trip to the Meux Home Museum.

A rack of pork ribs and a basket of onion rings will serve you well at the Dog House Grill. Celebrate Fresno's Armenian past with a meal of lamb kebabs and dolmas at AJ's Armenian Cuisine. Treat yourself to a traditional, Bavarian-cream filled French St. Honoree cake at La Boulangerie French Bakery and Café.

Photo 2/3: Courtesy Fresno, California Convention & Visitors Bureau