Fresno, California, a city and the seat of Fresno County. It lies in the fertile San Joaquin Valley near the Sierra Nevada range, about 160 miles (260 km) southeast of San Francisco. Extensive vineyards surrounding the city are the basis of Fresno's leading economic activity—the production of table grapes, raisins, and wine. Fresno is a major marketing, processing, and shipping center for many other farm products, including nectarines, plums, tomatoes, and peaches. Products manufactured here include chemicals, machinery, and items made from plastic, glass, and wood. Fresno Air Terminal, east of downtown, is the city's main airport.
Many of Fresno's attractions are in the city's parks. In Roeding Park is Chaffee Zoological Gardens, which features a large tropical rain forest exhibit. Woodward Park is the site of the Japanese Friendship Garden. In Kearney Park is Kearney Mansion Museum, a restored mansion originally built during 1900–03. Other museums in the city include the Fresno Metropolitan Museum of Art, History, and Science, and the Fresno Art Museum (modern and contemporary art). In the nearby Sierra Nevada are three national parks—Kings Canyon, Sequoia, and Yosemite.
Cultural attractions in Fresno include several theater companies and the Fresno Philharmonic Orchestra, which performs at the William Saroyan Theatre. Institutions of higher education include California State University, Fresno; and Fresno Pacific College.