Thinking of Moving to Fresno, CA? Here’s What You Need to Know

Thinking of Moving to Fresno, CA? Here’s What You Need to Know

When it comes to outdoor recreation, breathtaking scenery, and real estate, nothing comes close to living in Fresno, CA. Here’s everything you need to know about living in this part of central California.

Known as California’s agricultural hub, Fresno produces a wide range of crops, including almonds, grapes, and citrus in addition to over 300 fruit and vegetable varieties that are grown throughout Fresno County. Its bountiful landscape is surrounded by farmland and orchards. Olive, eucalyptus, and fruit trees are abundant. The valley oak is the city’s official tree and can be found in parks and green spaces throughout. The mighty San Joaquin River flows through the city and serves as a valuable water source for agriculture and recreation.

Nicknamed “The Raisin Capital of The World”, the city is famously home to the Sun-Maid raisin company headquarters while the Fresno County area is considered the cradle of America’s raisin industry. Aside from crops and greenery, the city is home to a variety of native wildlife such as hawks, eagles, ducks, and geese, making it an excellent choice for bird watching.

Although Fresno is largely known for agriculture, it is not considered a rural area. With a population of over 500,000 people, it is the fifth-largest city in the state. Living in Fresno, CA can be quite exciting — its bustling downtown area is filled with thriving businesses, restaurants, and cultural attractions while its neighborhoods and communities offer modern housing and first-rate recreational facilities. Fresno is also a diverse city with a vibrant arts and culture scene that celebrates its multicultural heritage.

Situated in the San Joaquin Valley, Fresno has warm summers and mild winters. It is home to the Sierra National Forest headquarters and provides easy access to resorts in Sierra Nevada. The foothills of the magnificent Sierra Nevada Mountains lie north and east of the city. Its climate and location provides numerous opportunities for hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities.

Established by the Central Pacific Railroad Company in 1872, Fresno was surrounded by barren plains before eucalyptus, palms, and other drought-resistant trees were incorporated into the town’s development. It became the county seat in 1874 and was incorporated a few years later in 1885.

Located approximately 190 miles southeast of San Francisco, living in Fresno, CA provides ready access to major roads and highways. CA-99 runs along its western edge while Highway 180 runs west towards the city.


Fresno is a warm and open city that welcomes an influx of new residents each year. From living costs and the job market, to local attractions and annual festivals, here’s what you need to know about living in Fresno, CA.

Cost of Living

Although the overall cost of living is slightly higher than the national average, living in Fresno, CA is relatively affordable compared to major cities in California such as Los Angeles and San Francisco. ranked it the 7th best city for minimum wage earners in 2022 due to the cost of housing and groceries. The median household income was $57,211 from 2017 to 2021, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.


The city is served by the Fresno Unified School District, though some areas are zoned to the Central Unified School District, Clovis Unified School District, and Sanger Unified School District. K-12 schools in and around the city include:

  • Aspen Ridge Public School

  • Bullard High School

  • Carter G. Woodson Public Charter School

  • Central Elementary School

  • Duncan Polytechnical High School

  • Edison High School

  • Fresno High School

  • Fulton School

  • Hanh Phan Tilley Elementary School

  • Hidalgo Elementary School

  • Jefferson Elementary School

  • John Steinbeck Elementary School

  • Robinson Elementary School

  • Roeding Elementary School

  • Sunnyside High School

  • W. E. B. DuBois Public Charter School

Click here to view the full list of schools under the Fresno Unified School District.

As for higher education, Fresno provides many opportunities for advanced learning and skills development. There are several colleges and universities in and around the city, including:


The Fresno job market is diverse and offers stellar career opportunities in a variety of sectors.  The agricultural sector produces crops worth billions each year and supports many jobs in food distribution and manufacturing throughout the area. When it comes to meat and poultry, Cargill Meat Processing Plant  and Foster Farms are leading employers.

While known for agriculture and meat processing, Fresno has a diversified economic base with jobs in business, health care and education. Aetna, California State University, Fresno, Community Regional Medical Center, and Fresno Unified School District are some of the biggest employers in the city.

Shopping and Dining

Fresno is a retail and culinary destination with high-end shopping centers, farmers markets, and a lively restaurant and craft beer scene:

  • Campus Pointe is a trendy shopping center with stores like Flip Flop Shops, Fresno State Kennel Marketplace, Nutrishop, and Maya Cinemas as well as restaurants serving craft beer, specialty coffee, fish tacos, and Korean BBQ.

  • Downtown Fresno features shops, restaurants, and food trucks serving Mexican, Korean, Mediterranean, and Southern cuisine.

  • Fashion Fair offers a wide range of fashion retailers such as Macy’s, JCPenney, Michael Kors, Hot Topic, PacSun, and Torrid. It also has fast casual restaurants and coffee shops for a quick bite.

  • Fig Garden Village features upscale retailers like Anthropologie, Lululemon, Madewell, and Pottery Barn as well as several restaurants serving sushi, pizza, burgers, sandwiches, coffee, and French pastries.

  • Park Place Fresno is a lifestyle complex with boutiques, specialty stores, fitness studios, salons, restaurants, and a cannabis dispensary.

  • River Park Shopping Center features major retailers such as Bath & Body Works, Best Buy, Cost Plus World Market, Petsmart, Macy’s, and Sephora. It also has several fast casual restaurants serving Tex-Mex, Persian, Japanese, Brazilian, and New American fare. The River Park Farmers Market offers an assortment of fresh produce, baked goods, and artisanal food products.

  • The New Manchester offers more than a million square feet of retail and dining. This large shopping mall is anchored by Sears and features an artisanal food hall with restaurants and food trucks called New Marketplace.

  • The Vineyard Farmers Market is open twice a week and features a wide selection of vendors selling dairy products, locally roasted coffee beans, single-source chocolate, French bread and pastry, and organic fruits and vegetables. It hosts the Fresno Fungi Festival, which features live music and mushroom cooking demonstrations.

Parks and Recreation

Fresno offers over 1,500 acres of parkland and open space as well as a variety of recreation and personal enrichment programs for the community to enjoy:

  • Figarden Loop Park is a five-acre park with a splash pad, baseball field, playground, and picnic tables.

  • Fresno Park features a playground, athletic field, and BBQ grills.

  • Holman Park has a playground, open field, and picnic area.

  • Inspiration Park is a water park with play structures and a basketball court.

  • Oso de Oro Lake Park has a lake, playground, picnic shelter, fountains, and outdoor sculptures. The park is home to a number of ducks and turtles.

  • Robinson Park features an athletic field, playground, and picnic tables.

  • Roeding Regional Park spans 90 acres, a third of which is occupied by the Fresno Chaffee Zoo in the southern section and Storyland Fresno in the southwest corner. It is a dog-friendly park with a duck pond, open spaces, and play structures.

  • Romain Park features a skate park, playground, basketball court, and community garden.

  • Trolley Creek Park has play equipment, outdoor sculptures, benches, shaded picnic tables, and replicas of Fresno landmarks.

  • Woodward Park features a gazebo, two activity areas, and six picnic shelters that can be reserved for private events and gatherings.

  • The Regional Sports Complex is a 110-acre sports facility with basketball courts and soccer and softball fields as well as a pond, concession stand, and picnic area.

Activities and Attractions

  • Yosemite National Park encompasses almost 1,200 acres of vast wilderness with cascading falls, open meadows, and ancient sequoias. Highlights include Glacier PointHetch Hetchy ValleyHodgdon Meadow CampgroundMariposa GroveYosemite Cemetery, and Yosemite Falls, just to name a few. Popular activities include hiking, horseback riding, fishing, rafting, rock climbing, and stargazing.The park also harbors historic structures and museums, including the Ansel Adams GalleryHappy Isles Art & Nature CenterHill’s StudioParsons Memorial LodgeWawona Hotel, and Yosemite Museum.

  • Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park and Sequoia National Forest are located east of Fresno and provide access to campsites, hiking trails, ponds, streams, rivers, and whitewater rapids for a variety of outdoor activities.

  • Forestiere Underground Gardens is a historic site that dates back to 1906 and features a subterranean complex of gardens, grottos, and courtyards with citrus trees and stone archways. It is a California Registered Historical Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Sites.

  • Woodward Park spans 300 acres. It features a dog park, five miles of scenic trails, several playgrounds, and the famed Shinzen Japanese Garden.

  • The San Joaquin River is a popular spot for fly fishing and is teeming with several fish species, including salmon and rainbow, brook, brown, and steelhead trout. There are also several camping facilities along the river.

  • Fresno Chaffee Zoo is a family-friendly attraction encompassing 39 acres with sea lions, elephants, giraffes, kangaroos, and many other animals from around the world. Highlights include the butterfly gardenchildren’s play areareptile house, and stingray touch pool.

  • The Fresno Art Museum harbors a vast collection of Mesoamerican Andean textiles, ceramics, and artifacts. It also hosts rotating exhibits and events featuring the paintings, photographs, and illustrations of California artists. Other highlights include the annual Trashique fashion show and the Ruth Asawa metal sculpture in the museum lobby.

  • Fresno has a number of historic buildings, including the Fresno Water Tower, an American Romanesque-style structure built in 1894, and the Meux Home Museum, a Victorian-style mansion built in 1888.

  • The Saroyan Theatre is a historic live performance venue that seats 2,351 and presents a diverse range of plays, concerts, ballet recitals, community events, and more.

  • Storyland Fresno is an amusement park with a pond, splash pad, fun rides, and colorful outdoor sculptures.

  • Selland Arena is a 7,200-seat venue that hosts concerts, ice shows, cheerleading competitions, and sports and rodeo events. It is a part of the Fresno Convention & Entertainment Center.

  • Chukchansi Park, previously called the Grizzlies Stadium, is a baseball stadium that can accommodate up to 10,650 spectators and hosts sports events, concerts, and music festivals.

  • The Brewery District is located along Fulton Street and features some of the finest craft breweries, cocktail, and taco shops lounges in central California.

Festivals and Events

Fresno hosts several festivals and community events that draw hundreds of visitors throughout the year:

  • The Big Fresno Fair dates back to 1884 and takes place at the 165-acre Fresno County Fairgrounds. As the largest annual event in the area, it features live entertainment, fun carnival rides, art exhibits, and stalls selling snacks, treats, and arts and crafts.

  • The Annual Downtown Fresno Christmas Parade is a tradition that dates back to the 1920s and features Christmas-themed floats, dancers, and carolers.

  • The Fresno Christmas Tree Lane is a 100-year tradition in which the homes and trees along North Van Ness Boulevard are decorated with lights and elaborate Christmas decorations.

  • The Fresno Film Festival is a three-day event that celebrates the art of filmmaking at The Tower Theatre for the Performing Arts.

  • Fresno Greek Fest is an annual three-day festival featuring a Greek market, live music, dance performances, wine tasting, and inflatable slides.

  • The Rogue Festival is an annual six-day event featuring theater, music, dance, slam poetry, performance art, and more. The festival takes place at different theaters, galleries, and venues across the city.

  • Ani-Me Con is the largest anime and gaming convention in the central San Joaquin Valley with more than 125 vendors, artists, and voice actors as well as cosplay contests and video game tournaments.


The housing market is quite diverse, offering everything from modest bungalows to estate-style properties. Single-family homes are the most common dwelling type, followed by townhomes and condos that range from smaller, low-maintenance residential units to spacious luxury properties. Buyers will find sprawling equestrian and farm properties just outside of the city. Fresno also has several apartment complexes with modern features and shared amenities.

As for architectural styles, Fresno offers a number of Victorian-style homes built in the late 1800s to early 1900s in addition to Craftsman-style homes that date back to the early 1900s. The market also includes homes with Mediterranean, Modern, and Contemporary design.

Neighborhoods and Developments

  • Woodward Park is located in northeast Fresno. It is an affluent and sought-after neighborhood known for a park and lake of the same name. It offers upscale homes and access to reputable schools.

  • The Tower District is a historic neighborhood known for distinctive Art Deco architecture in central Fresno. It brings residents close to trendy restaurants and the city’s vibrant nightlife scene.

  • The Bluffsis an affluent community with apartment buildings and spacious single-family homes.

  • Fig Garden is a desirable neighborhood located in northwest Fresno. It features peaceful, tree-lined streets and Mid-Century Modern homes on spacious lots.

  • Sunnyside is a neighborhood offering Ranch and Mid-Century Modern homes in southeast Fresno.

  • Old Fig Garden is an upscale neighborhood with historic homes and mature landscaping. Located in central Fresno, it is prized for its proximity to world-class shopping and dining options.

  • Van Ness Extension is a desirable area offering custom-built homes on large lots with mature landscaping in the central section of Fresno.

  • Hoover is a vibrant neighborhood located within close proximity to California State University, Fresno.

  • Bullard offers larger properties in the northwestern section of Fresno.

Notable residents

Fresno has had its fair share of high-profile residents, including the artist Maynard Dixon, astronaut Barbara Morgan, and Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist William Saroyan. The city was also home to actors Christopher Gorham, Chris Colfer, Miranda Rae Mayo, and Kevin Federline.


There are several real estate and infrastructure projects in the pipeline, including:

  • The District offers an exclusive selection of 18 one-bedroom apartments with in-unit dryers, washers, security panels, and garages just steps from shops and restaurants in the desirable Tower District area.

  • The Link at Blackstone is a mixed-use development with over 10,000 square feet of commercial space. It features a medical and dental clinic, a 2,000-square-foot senior center, an elegantly appointed clubhouse, and modern business center. It offers one to three-bedroom units offering views of the city skyline.

  • The Monarch at Chinatown is an apartment community that will offer nine floor plans, including studios and residential units with up to three bedrooms offering stunning views of downtown Fresno. Located near shops, restaurants, bakeries, and public transportation, The Monarch will feature a clubhouse, outdoor activity deck, and solar panels.

  • Sarah’s Court is an upcoming residentila development that will feature 120 residential units, mostly studios, in the Fancher Creek area of Southeast Fresno.

  • Caltrans has approved a $140 million project that will make interchange improvements to Highway 99 in the southern section of the city.


If you’re ready to find a new home in Fresno and the surrounding areas, Sherri and Jack DuBeau would be happy to help. You can reach us at 559.694.1063 or send us an email here to get started. You can also fill out our contact form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

As a full-service real estate team, we bring fun to serious and formal transactions.  Sherri is a broker associate with a a Military Relocation Professional Certificate. Aside from residential real estate, our team also specializes in specialize in retail, agricultural, and commercial sales. With over six years of experience, our team provides concierge-style service to buyers and sellers in the area.

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One cannot be trustworthy without being transparent, Jack and Sherri are open books. They don’t look at the transaction as just closing a sale; it is ensuring the client is happy with their experience. They look to have friendships with their clients for a lifetime!

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