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Where to Stay in Fresno
Fresno is a vast, sprawling city laid out in a grid pattern with a few major highways running to the northwest, north, northeast, west and southeast of the city’s center. While it has its distinct neighborhoods, many have no hotels at all; the vast majority of accommodations in the city are located along the busiest thoroughfares. The exceptions to this rule include Downtown Fresno, which has a handful of nice hotels scattered around its grid, and the immediate vicinity of Fresno Yosemite International Airport (FAT).
On the city’s West Side, numerous hotels line the Pearl Harbor Survivors Memorial Highway, or Route 99, and North Weber Avenue, which runs parallel to the highway for about a mile west of Downtown. If you’re looking for cheap hotel deals in Fresno, you’ll find the greatest concentration of budget hotels and motels there. In central Fresno, about two dozen hotels are located on or within a few blocks of the Yosemite Freeway, or Route 41, which runs north to south through the center of the city. The last major collection of hotels is located along a roughly ten-mile stretch of West Shaw Boulevard, a major east-west thoroughfare located about five miles north of Downtown.
Fresno Hotel Tips
Fresno’s lodging selection predominantly consists of national chain hotels. In the budget category, you’ll see familiar names such as Super 8, Econo Lodge and Motel 6, and mid-range options include La Quinta Inn & Suites, Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, Springhill Suites and Best Western. Some of the more luxurious national brands like Four Points by Sheraton and Hilton Garden Inn are in the area, too.
One upside to the abundance of chain hotels is that the average room rates in Fresno are very reasonable. But if you’re looking for unique accommodations that are independently operated by locals and that feel more personal, don’t fret. Fresno has them, you just need to look a bit harder to find them.
Fresno Hotel Recommendations
If Fresno’s ubiquitous chain hotels aren’t fulfilling your vacation vision, look into the Garden Inn & Suites. This independent hotel is charmingly designed in Spanish Colonial décor and landscaped with more than fifty varieties of fruit trees and flowers. Fresh fruit is harvested from the garden grounds each morning for the continental breakfast buffet. In addition to standard rooms, suites are available with one, two or three bedrooms, and some rooms include Jacuzzi tubs and leather furniture.
Another local option is the distinctive San Joaquin Hotel, a family-owned boutique property with one and two-bedroom suites, some of them themed, and generously sized standard rooms. The hotel’s landscaped courtyard features a large pool, a spa tub and a cabana, and interesting art pieces are installed throughout the grounds. Other amenities include a modern fitness center and complimentary continental breakfast.
If you prefer something more familiar, the Four Points by Sheraton may be your best bet. Located just off the Yosemite Freeway by the Manchester Shopping Center, a major Fresno mall, the Four Points has an AAA Three-Diamond rating. Its amenities include an outdoor pool and whirlpool, a fitness center, an on-site restaurant and bar, and free in-room wireless Internet access.
Fresno is easy to navigate, but it’s essentially impossible to get around without a car. Though there is a bus transit system, its routes and schedules are impractical for tourism, and taxis are hard to come by in the city.
Several national car rental companies operate lots at the airport, so consider making a reservation with one of them after booking your flight to Fresno. A few other car rental agencies are located just north of Downtown and on North Blackstone Avenue just north of Shaw Avenue.
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