California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - 52

24
CENTRAL CALIFORNIA ROAD TRIP

Fresno
Blossom
and Fruit
Trails

Fresno County's agricultural bounty comes
with both flavor and eye-popping color

S P R I N G T E N D S TO K I C K O F F E A R LY H E R E , with a fast-and-frenzied spectacle of blooming
orchards that begins in mid-February along these country roads: rosy sprays of peach and nectarine
petals, pink bouquets of apricot blossoms, and white blazes of almond, plum, and apple trees. While
the Fresno County Blossom Trail offers a few weeks of flowery glory, the second act comes in spring
and summer, when this 90-mile loop through farming towns morphs into the Fresno County Fruit Trail,
where you can stop at dozens of seasonal summer fruit stands and sample the blossoms' sweet results.
To get a delicious introduction to the area, start at Fresno's Simonian Farms, a fruit stand that's
been run by the same family for five generations. Its massive red barn encloses a model Western town
complete with saloon and schoolhouse. Before you leave, pick up a Blossom Trail driving map plus a few
bags of French burnt peanuts and dried nectarines.
Next, head east toward the town of Sanger and you'll see the terrain turn into rolling hills, lined with
rows of veggies and fruit trees. Feast on huevos rancheros at the Blossom Trail Café, then less than five
miles away, stock up on local preserves at Centerville Fruit Station. Continue along East Kings Canyon
Road another three miles to peruse the bounty at the Blossom Trail Fruit Stand. As you continue east,
the scenery grows more vivid: When the photo gods are smiling, the Sierra Nevada glows white in the
background with mustard blooms beneath the tree canopy. Keep an eye out for Jesse Morrow Mountain,
which marks the way toward Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park; it stands about 2,000 feet tall.
Keep looking straight out the window and, during blossom season, you'll increasingly see bands of
color stretching across the farmland. Just beyond the tiny hamlet of Minkler, stop at Cedar View Winery
to sample the Tempranillo and learn about the rare Alicante Bouschet grape. Continue to Orange Cove,
home to the Orange Blossom Trail, showcasing white-flowered lemon and orange groves and the sweet
aroma of citrus flowers, and check out the charming downtown.
Next, head eight miles west to the town of Reedley and let the kids ride a miniature steam train at
Hillcrest Farm, dotted with peach and plum orchards. (The owners design and build their own fanciful
locomotives, train cars, and track.) Wander around Reedley's turn-of-the-century downtown and check

S TA R T
Fresno

1

days

90
miles

out the craftsmanship on display at the Mennonite Quilt Center.
Head southeast along Highway 99 to arrive in Kingsburg. The town's Swedish heritage shows in
its gabled Nordic architecture and a giant, Swedish-coffee-pot-shaped water tower. Rent a canoe to
paddle the Kings River and, in May or June, stop for berries at Berry Lady Farms. Finish your tour in
Clovis, an Old West-style town with brick sidewalks and a fruit-filled, Friday-night farmers market that
runs from mid-May through September.

FINISH
Clovis
INSIDE TIP
Blossom season is
typically midFebruary through
most of March, so
unless your top
priority is photos,
you'll have more
flexibility in late
spring and summer.

FR ESN O COU N TY B LOSSOM T RA I L

52
VISITCALIFORNIA.COM

PHOTOGRAPH:

QUIRKIEST
P H OTO O P
The Swedish Coffee
Pot Water Tower in
Kingsburg


http://www.VISITCALIFORNIA.COM

California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures

Contents
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - Cover1
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - Cover2
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - 1
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - Contents
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - 3
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - 4
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - 5
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California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - Cover3
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - Cover4
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