Moving to Fresno

Parent Q&A

  • Moving to Fresno

    (1 reply)

    Hello BPN -

    We will be moving to Fresno at the beginning of next year.  Any advice on neighborhoods to look for housing, things to do, restaurants to check out, and childcare (we have a 1 yr old)?

    Thanks!!

    RE: Moving to Fresno ()

    I lived in Fresno for six years, moving back to the Bay Area last January. Here's a quick rundown:

    -- Housing

    You'll be pleasantly surprised by the cost of living and I strongly advise buying rather than renting if possible since the market is still improving there from hitting rock bottom during the recession. Some neighborhoods to consider are Fresno High/Old Fig Garden (some attractive, smaller older homes, and walking distance to good coffee and a few other amenities), Clovis (better school district than Fresno Unified, with neighborhoods ranging from cookie-cutter tract homes to semi-rural), Sunnyside (SE side of town, close to Hwy 180, some mid-century gems) and North Fresno (newer homes, higher population of more educated and well-off residents). I suggest a one-story home because it's hot, hot, hotter than you can imagine for half the year and you may regret upstairs bedrooms. A whole house fan can work wonders. 

    --Things to do

    You'll be within 2 hours of Yosemite, Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks; Sequoia is our favorite. I also recommend the Thurs-Sat night food trucks and beer garden at Gazebo Gardens (a plant nursery), Underground Gardens (look it up - amazing), Christmas Tree Lane in December, Fresno Zoo, Woodward Park, Oso de Oro Park. In the fall you can drive out to Minkler and buy fresh pomegranate juice from a stand on the weekends (best thing you'll ever drink) and go to Hillcrest Farm in Reedley to pick out pumpkins, then your Christmas tree a few months later. In the same direction is Schoolhouse, a decent restaurant in a charming old school, and Cat Haven, where you can see lions, etc. If there are golfers in your family, they'll enjoy a variety of courses. Book Barn is a great used book store in Clovis. Belmont Nursery is great for plants, with a very knowledgeable staff. The organic stone fruit jubilee in June is fun. 

    --Restaurants

    La Kebrada and Country Fare Cafe for Mexican, Zamora for Mexican/Salvadoran), La Reina Michoacan for paletas, Ampersand and J's for ice cream, Pho 76 for Vietnamese, Phoenician Garden and Occasion Bakery for Mediterranean/Armenian, Maroo for sushi/Korean, Annex Kitchen and Max's for "fine" dining, Richard's for old-time steak and prime rib, Cafe Van Ness and Kuppa Joy for coffee, Central Fish for fresh seafood, Doghouse Grill for barbecue, Benaddiction and Batter Up for breakfast, Kogetsu-Do for giant ice cream mochi, Chicken Pie Shop for carb overload. There is Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Sprouts, Total Wine and a host of Armenian, Mexican and Indian groceries. The citrus and stone fruit are wonderful and varied. Fresno State ice cream is very good.

    --Childcare

    There are not a lot of daycare center-type options for infants. You can try KinderCare, which has several independently operated locations. There is also the home daycare route, which we chose out of necessity but loved when Brighton Academy dropped its infant care program in favor of an expanded preschool (of which I've heard good things). I'd be happy to PM you with the name of the provider, though she's east of town and may or may not work with your location. Overall Fresno is very child-friendly since so many people have kids and have them early. 

    Message me if you want to chat.