Fresno As A ‘Basecamp’ For Stuff, Put To The Test

Downtown Fresno shots by Nick Pisano at the Road Goes On Forever

I have always said that Fresno is a great basecamp for visiting the Sierras, most notably our three nearby National Parks: Yosemite, Kings Canyon, Sequoia. But I had never really known of someone that actually did it – someone not from here anyway.

A dude named Nick Pisano is spending a year traveling (sounds like a sweet gig if you can get it) with his partner and recently spent a couple weeks using Fresno as a basecamp.

This long blog post by Nick documents his use of Fresno as a base for visiting our nearby parks and … Bakersfield 🤷‍♀️ -that is actually a cool part to me, but anyway.

It is a overall good blog post illustrating how a tourist can use Fresno as a basecamp, I want to make that clear. 


He gave us several shots throughout the post. He tried to be nice about it, but definitely didn’t pass up on chance to deal in digs:

“Not a lot going on here”

“I’ve gone out in search of Fresno, as it were, multiple times here and come up relatively empty each time.”

“relatively sleepy”

“The key to enjoying this city is lowering your expectations”

“a kinda bad city next to some very good things”

“I say this with the utmost respect, but there’s just not a terrible lot going on here. In some ways, it’s the least-happening place we’ve been.”

Woah. Pretty rough.

I will give him credit for going to a Fresno Grizzlies game, the Tower District, and bonus points for visiting the Underground Gardens. He seemed to enjoy those, as he should.

He certainly didn’t do all the things though.

In fact, one major mistake: He did not seem to have much (if any) Mexican food – most notably no mention of tacos:

Yep, you KNOW Mike Oz is taking that dude on the taco tour of his life next time.

Speaking of food, going out to eat is a feature for Fresnans. Part of our culture is eating out. When someone visits us, we plan on eating places. It is a “thing to do”. 

You can make fun of that if you like but I think it’s cool. It’s a Fresno feature that is underrated. 

Also, this guy seemed to not be familiar with the concept of a small city. A working class city. A city for living a life.

Not every town is built to give a shit about tourists. Fresno is one of them.

We don’t have a beach. We don’t have Disneyland. There are no longer any cable cars. A Hollywood sign doesn’t loom over the town. We don’t have a Vegas Strip. We have no plan for someone hanging out for two weeks.

What our “sleepy town” has is people working their ass off and living a life.