The Sequoia Shuttle whisks its passengers from Visalia to Sequoia National Park, a 400,000-acre nature preserve that houses General Sherman, the largest tree in the world. During rides, an informational video prepares riders for the natural wonders ahead, ensuring that the trees’ height doesn’t intimidate insecure basketball stars. Once in the park, visitors choose from three free in-park routes, which provide easy access to campgrounds, parking lots, and landmarks such as the Crescent Meadow and the Giant Forest Museum. The Sequoia Shuttle cuts down on the exhaust fumes and noise pollution that private vehicles inject into the park atmosphere, preserving a peaceful environment where critters can roam and trees can nurse their woodpecker-induced concussions.
At Freeway Lanes, families and friends bond over their shard passion for slippery shoes as they send balls careening down 18 lanes in pursuit of the elusive 300. Friday night Rock and Glow bowling sets the alley alive in a whirlwind of live DJs spinning tunes, colorful lights, and glowing pins, each activated by the superpowers of a radioactive ball. After each 10-frame game, bowlers can retire to the Starlight Lounge for savory grill fare or a round of pool.
Though guests to Island Waterpark might meet humans on their way to the water, they might also encounter Pelican Pete—a giant blue pelican in a floral-print shirt and bermuda shorts. He and an athletic lifeguard staff oversee guests as they wander among fountains and roaring water in attractions designed for everyone from toddlers to adults. Bright-blue tube slides spiral down into splash pools, a giant bucket tips gallons of water onto passersby, and a three-story open slide sends riders on a straight shot into a landing zone that pads their descent with a foot of water and a coral reef packaged in bubble wrap. Aquatic revelers can also float down an endless lazy river and children can frolic under arching fountains and waterfalls in the kids key largo lagoon.
Since 1955, the Rotary Storyland and Playland have sparked young imaginations and earned a place in the hearts of multiple generations. At Playland, classic amusement-park rides, such as a ferris wheel, tilt-o-whirl, and a historic carousel, induce merriment and occasional regret over eating multiple corn dogs immediately before boarding. In the center of Playland lies Splash Junction, a free place for patrons to cool off on hot days under jets of water. Across the lake, Storyland takes a different approach to fun, populating its grounds with themed playground equipment inspired by classic tales, such as the legend of King Arthur and the lesser-known story of Jack and Jill starting a bottled-water business.
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.
Narrow fairways and small greens shape the layout at Airways Municipal Golf Course, an 18-hole course carved in the shadows of Fresno Yosemite International Airport. Tree lines and sand traps add scenic impediments to errant shots, and slick putting surfaces make for testy putts once golfers make it to the green. Before rounds, golfers can rehearse their swing at the on-site driving range.