Welcome to the heart of California’s Central Valley, Fresno, a city that boasts a diverse array of parks, each with its own unique charm and features.
Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a fitness fanatic, or simply seeking a tranquil spot to unwind, Fresno’s parks offer a myriad of opportunities for recreation, relaxation, and exploration.
This article takes you on a journey through 13 of the best parks in Fresno, from the expansive Woodward Park with its stunning Japanese Garden, to the animal-rich Roeding Regional Park, and the historical Kearney Park.
Each park offers a unique blend of amenities and attractions, promising a memorable outdoor experience for visitors of all ages.
So, lace up your walking shoes, pack a picnic, and get ready to delve into the green heart of Fresno.
Best Parks in Fresno
1. Woodward Park
If you were told to pick one Fresno park that’s a must-visit, Woodward Park would likely be the recommendation. This massive park is one of the largest in Fresno, covering nearly 300 acres.
The park is home to many different features that make it a great spot for a variety of activities.
The highlights include an aquatic landscape, numerous walking and biking trails, a 3,500-seat Rotary Amphitheater, a hilly 18 holes of disc golf, and a BMX pump course.
But the real star of Woodward Park is the Shinzen Japanese Garden. This beautiful garden is Fresno’s only public Japanese garden, a true oasis in the middle of the city.
The garden features ponds, bridges, and a variety of plant life, making it the perfect place to unwind and relax. Birdwatchers will also enjoy this park, as it’s home to many species of birds.
There are also picnic areas and playgrounds, making it a great place to spend the day with family or friends.
So plan to spend a few hours at Woodward Park when you’re in Fresno, as there’s plenty to see and do. After all, this is one of the most beautiful parks in Fresno you need to explore!
2. Roeding Regional Park
A must-visit for any animal lover, Roeding Regional Park is Fresno’s go-to spot for interacting with some of the area’s most interesting creatures.
The park is home to the Chaffee Zoo, which features over 200 different species of animals.
The Chaffee Zoo isn’t your typical petting zoo, either. Among its residents are Blue and Gold Macaw, American Flamingo, African elephants, American Alligator, stingrays, Blue Poison Dart Frog, and much more.
Although many people come to visit the Chaffee Zoo, the park has plenty more to offer.
The park also has a playground, an amphitheater, and a few sports fields. It’s also a great place for a family picnic, with several picnic shelters and BBQ pits available.
Whether you’re looking for a place to learn about animals or want to enjoy a day in the sun, this is the best park in Fresno to visit.
3. Selma Layne Park
The best parks in Fresno all have different reasons for being top-tier. Selma Layne Park, located on the city’s northeast side, is a favorite for its playground.
This destination is ideal for young children, as it has an inclusive playground and two-tot play area.
Of course, there are other reasons to love Selma Layne Park. Generous green space and a picturesque walking trail make it an ideal spot for a leisurely stroll or an invigorating run.
The picnic area is ideal for family gatherings, and the grills are perfect for firing up some burgers.
And if you need to unwind, there’s no better place than Selma Layne Park. The gazebo and benches are perfect for enjoying a good book or just taking in the fresh air.
4. Oso de Oro Park
Do you like parks with playgrounds or parks with ponds? How about parks with both? Oso de Oro Park definitely delivers on the kid-friendly front, as it’s one of the most beloved parks in Fresno for young families.
The park is on Fresno’s northwest side and encompasses nearly 9.3 acres. It’s a very green space, with well-manicured grassy areas and numerous trees that provide ample shade on sunny days.
But the main draw for many is the expansive playground, which has plenty of slides and climbing structures to keep kids entertained for hours on end.
The playground is also adjacent to a large picnic area, making it easy to keep an eye on the little ones while they play.
Another popular feature of the park is the basketball court, which is often busy with games. And for those who want to stroll, there are walking trail that winds through its scenic grounds.
The park is open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. There’s no charge for admission or parking.
5. Courthouse Park
Want to enjoy some Fresno parks without leaving the comforts of downtown? Then head to Courthouse Park.
This park is home to a Fresno County courthouse, which gives it a unique feel among other parks on the list.
The courthouse dates back to the 1960s and is the primary reason most people visit the park. The building itself is rather unassuming, but the surrounding grounds are expansive and lovely.
The park is perfect for a leisurely stroll or a light picnic lunch. The landscaping is impeccable, and the numerous benches make it easy to find a relaxing spot.
If you’re in the mood for something more active, there are also plenty of open spaces to explore.
Food trucks often park near this park during lunchtime, making it easy to grab a bite. The park is also adjacent to numerous restaurants and cafes, so you’ll never go hungry.
Courthouse Park is one of the best parks in Fresno for its central location and easy accessibility. It’s also one of the most beautiful parks, thanks to its meticulously kept grounds.
6. Trolley Creek Park
Do you have kids who just can’t seem to get enough energy out? Take them to Trolley Creek Park.
This park is all about play, with slides, climbing apparatuses, and swings aplenty. The best part is that the playgrounds are separated for different ages.
So you don’t have to worry about your toddler getting trampled by a group of overzealous elementary schoolers.
Trolley Creek Park also has a few other kid-friendly features. There’s a water spray ground to help them cool off on hot days and a large field for flying kites or playing catch.
A plus for this park is that it never gets too crowded, even on busy weekends.
The park also features replicas of city landmarks like the historic Fresno Trolley and the Water Tower. The trolley makes for a great photo opportunity with the kids.
The park is located four miles east of downtown behind a Wal-Mart.
7. Kearney Park
Looking for Fresno parks that pack a historical punch? Kearney Park should be your first stop. It was founded in 1949, thus becoming the first county park in Fresno.
It was also named after Martin Theodore Kearney, who was the first park superintendent in Fresno.
The park spans 225 acres and is seven miles from downtown Fresno. It features plenty of large trees and open spaces, making it ideal for a family picnic or a game of touch football.
It’s also home to the Kearney Mansion, which was built in eye-catching French Renaissance architecture in the late 1800s.
And if you love golf, you’re in luck. Kearney Park is home to an 18-hole disc golf course that weaves through the property.
Therefore, you can get your game on while enjoying the fresh air and scenic views.
Admission to Kearney Park is $5, which is fairly reasonable considering all the activities you can do here.
8. Inspiration Park
When it comes to parks in Fresno, few have as much to offer as Inspiration Park. This space, which is located northwest of Fresno, boasts an impressive 7.8 acres of land.
It’s also one of the newest parks in Fresno, having opened recently.
The playgrounds are definitely the biggest draw for families. They have a splash pad for hot days and plenty of climbing structures and slides.
There’s also a large grassy area perfect for picnicking or playing games.
While much of Inspiration Park is geared toward children, there are certainly plenty of activities for adults to enjoy as well.
For example, the basketball courts and fitness courses are some of the best in Fresno. There is also a dog park on-site, making this one of the most pet-friendly parks in Fresno.
9. Todd Beamer Park
For a fun-filled day with the kids, look no further than Todd Beamer Park. This park in Fresno is a favorite among families for its variety of kid-centric amenities.
There’s a large playground with climbing structures, swings, slides, and kids’ grounds.
Adults can also find ways to occupy their time at Todd Beamer. Walking trails wind through the park, making it a great place to get some exercise.
There are also shaded areas for picnicking and plenty of open space to enjoy a game of catch or frisbee. And if you’ve come with your furry friend, there’s even a designated dog park area.
This park in Fresno also offers educational programs, yoga lessons, and fitness classes. In addition, there are several events held here throughout the year, such as skating and soccer.
The park is open daily from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; admission is $8 for adults and $6 for children.
10. Figarden Loop Park
Next on my list of the best parks in Fresno is Figarden Loop Park. This park is situated on the city’s northwest side, about a ten-minute walk from downtown.
The park is only 5 acres, but it’s incredibly well-maintained and offers a ton of amenities.
For starters, Figarden Loop Park has an awesome playground for kids. It’s also one of the only parks in Fresno that has an on-site dog park.
So, if you’re looking for a place to take your furry friend, this is the spot.
The park also has a lighted baseball field, perfect for an evening game. And if you’re looking to get in a little bit of exercise, you can take a lap or two around the park.
Figarden Loop Park is a great place to spend an afternoon or evening. Its proximity to downtown makes it a convenient option, and its well-maintained grounds make it a pleasant place to be.
11. Jaswant Singh Khalra Neighborhood Park
You don’t need to travel far to enjoy a little slice of Fresno’s parks system. The park gets its name from Jaswant Singh Khalra, a rights activist who was abducted and killed by Indian security forces in 1995.
This park is on the smaller side but makes up for it in scenic value. The walking paths meander through open spaces and tall grasses, making it feel as if you’ve left the city behind.
The park boasts a playground, a basketball court, and a small dog park for your furry friends.
There are benches and covered picnic areas for enjoying a break from the sun, and the whole park is surrounded by trees that provide welcome shade.
12. Regional Sports Complex
Are you looking for a Fresno park with more of an emphasis on sports and recreation?
Then you’ll want to check out the Regional Sports Complex. It’s located on the city’s southwest side and encompasses 110 acres.
This park is a hotspot for sports teams, as it is home to different playing fields. These include baseball, softball, and soccer fields.
This means that there are always games to watch, no matter when you visit the park. And if you’re feeling competitive, you can even join in on a game.
If you’re not in the mood to play sports, there are still plenty of other activities to enjoy at the Regional Sports Complex.
There’s an extensive walking trail that winds its way through the park, providing a great opportunity to get some exercise.
Picnic tables are also scattered throughout the park, making it easy to find a spot to relax.
13. Martin Ray Reilly Park
Opened in 2015, Martin Ray Reilly Park is one of Fresno’s newest parks. It’s on the city’s northeast side and is just under 6 acres in size. But what it lacks in size, it makes up for in family-friendly features.
The park is home to a large playground with a climbing structure, splash pad, and swings.
Two convertible tennis/basketball courts are perfect for a pickup game. The park also has a large green space, making it ideal for a family picnic or game of catch.
And because it’s still relatively new, the entire park is in pristine condition. The clean bathrooms and well-maintained grounds make it one of the best parks in Fresno. Plus, the park is never too crowded, so you can always find a spot to relax.