Covering approximately 112 miles in the center of the San Joaquin Valley, Fresno was once little more than a railway station for the Central Pacific Railroad. Today, it is the economic hub of Fresno County, and home to nearly a million people. In fact, it is the fifth most populated city in California.
Geographically, Fresno is close to the center of the State. Los Angeles is approximately 220 miles south of the city, with San Francisco lying around 185 miles to the north west. You also have a choice of National Parks nearby with Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia all located less than 75 miles away. Agriculturally-minded individuals are drawn to the county farms that surround the area and produce an array of organic foods, from plump tomatoes and peaches to sweet almonds and pistachios.
If you are considering relocating, Fresno’s bustling metropolitan area, diverse job market and colorful cultural scene are undoubtedly appealing, but what is it really like to live and work in this magnetic metropolis?
Cost of living in Fresno
Affordability is a big pull for many people relocating to the area. The cost of living in Fresno is reasonable, especially compared to big cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco. Monthly rent and utilities for a small studio for two in a regular area should cost just under $1000 a month, while a basic lunchtime menu including a drink in the business district will set you back around $11. If you are looking to purchase a property, the median home value is around $229k and predicted to rise around 4% in the next 12 months.
Getting around Fresno and beyond
Although there is a public bus service available across Fresno, the majority of residents own and use a car day to day. However, the streets are largely wide making cycling and walking popular alternative ways to get around. On average, most peoples’ commute to work is around 20 minutes.
If you need to travel further afield, Greyhound has a bus terminal downtown and Amtrak run a regular schedule. The nearest airport is Fresno Yosemite International.
Good public schools
One of the best things about the public school system in Fresno is that the student to teacher ratio is just 20:1, meaning that kids in the area get the education and attention that they need and deserve. Some of the best schools in the area include Granite Ridge Intermediate, Fort Washington Elementary and James S. Fugman Elementary. That said, most of the public schools have great test scores and reputations.
Activities for all the family
Year-round sunshine and lots of recreational activities and events means that there are plenty of opportunities for fun for the whole family. There are more than 40 parks, many with offering areas for barbecuing and athletic facilities. There is the notable Cinco de Mayo festival, and Fresno Greek Fest which celebrates the local Greek community. One of the most popular family attractions in the area is the Metalmark Climbing and Fitness Center that features a 48-foot high wall. If you fancy something of a slower pace, the Fresno Chaffee Zoo is one of the most unique destinations on the West Coast.
Diversity in Fresno
Although the population of Fresno is largely Hispanic, the culture is diverse with plenty of Hmong, Armenian, Black, and White residents making the area rich in different traditions. With these cultures comes a range of amazing foods and restaurants including Chinese, Thai, Indian, Cuban and of course, Mexican! Don’t forget there is also plenty of fresh produce thanks to the surrounding farms, so if you enjoy cooking, Fresno is a great place to grab ingredients.
For more information on the unique benefits of living and working in Fresno, please do not hesitate to speak to one of our knowledgeable and experienced realtors.