At the Break Room, players grab a cue and maneuver past a foosball table and boxing machine to face off at one of 16 9-foot pool tables. Tunes pump from jukeboxes and LCD televisions readily show the sporting event du jour in a space permeated by free WiFi.
Swirls of sauce and meticulously placed herbs adorn the outer edges of the platters at Sushi Go Round, epitomizing the chefs' creative leanings. Patrons can play it safe with standard rolls that include cucumber, spicy tuna, and california, or venture into new territory with specialty creations such as the spicy Volcano roll, which, just like a real volcano, erupts with tuna and calamari. Bento boxes pair chicken, salmon, or beef teriyaki with sidekicks of soup, salad, tempura, rice, and a soft drink. Also leaving the kitchen in small plumes of heat is bulgogi, or Korean barbecue beef, served beside a california roll and shrimp and veggie tempura.
Behind courtyards filled with lit fountains, verdant trees, and grassy spaces stands the glossy façade of River Park shopping center. During each annual A Taste of River Park these courtyards fill with local chefs serving tastes of their restaurants' signature dishes and Central Valley wineries pouring samples of their wines. While visitors stroll through the outdoor festival, the mall's retailers put on a fashion show of upcoming fall fashion trends and demonstrate the 21 ways to button a cardigan. Visitors can also thrill to the sights and sounds of the featured live entertainment.
In the late 1940s, a group of artists came together to create the Fresno Arts League?a forum for art exhibition and critique. Their inspiration lives on today at Fresno Art Museum, a hub for artistic culture. The museum houses a permanent collection of pre-Columbian Mesoamerican art exhibits by the likes of Norman Rockwell and Ansel Adams. Members get more than entry to the museum; they also receive free access to opening receptions and Conversations with The Artists events, among other benefits.
Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad's track may only be four miles long, but their trains cover decades in that distance. Here, a duo of antique steam engines?one built in 1913, the other in 1928?tow travelers through the piney wilderness of Sierra National Forest. Along the way, guides provide a glimpse of how America's wilderness looked to the railroad companies and loggers as they worked their way westward and shipped raw materials back east. The lesson also incorporates a bit of biology, as tour-leaders will often deviate from historical discussion to talk about local wildlife or how lumberjacks evolved their ax hands.
On certain evenings, the conductors extend the track tour from one-hour to three. Guests begin the evening with a barbecue dinner, then ride the train to a campfire for a sing-along. They then get back on the locomotive for an evening trip back to the modern era.
California, like its European counterparts France and Italy, is synonymous with wine. During A Celebration of Wine, libations from 60 regional wineries fill tasting glasses. In addition to rich reds and crisp whites, cuisines from more than 30 central-California eateries are represented. This salute to epicurean taste is organized to raise money for the enology department at Cal State University, Fresno—it's the rare chance to drink wine and support education at the same time. The event itself is even educational, as a cooper takes the stage to perform a popular demonstration of how classic oak barrels are made. Participants can cap off their afternoon with coffee and dessert while dancing to live music performed by giant saxophone-playing grapes.