Fresno underrated and overlooked California destination
Fresno, California has to be one of the more underrated destinations for most travelers, but it actually has quite a few very positive things going for it. The area is blessed with the same winter time higher than average temperatures the rest of the state is known for and is dependably warmer than Northern California. This might be a slight drawback during the summer peak where triple digit temperatures are the norm. For those who don't mind a bit of heat even the hotter than average summer season has it's benefits. Not least of the draws for this area are pricing well below other areas such as the Bay Area or LA, or anything along the west coast. Drive a mere 30 miles from Fresno to the coast and find cooler temperatures along with hotel and motels with prices two or three times higher. The budget thrifty traveler might do very well to overnight in Fresno and then make the trek to the coast for day trips.
While exploring The Fresno area you will find Bakersfield, a smaller sized rambling city replete with shopping and services as well as great areas to explore. Scenic drives abound with twisty and lightly traveled roads ready to explore. Camping and state land is easy to find and great for an off-season family trip.
On my last visit I found that the Bakersfield Mall movie theatre had $6 movies for any showing before 6pm. That's less than half price for what you'll find in LA or San Francisco, where I live.
Heck, for a family of four on movie night it's almost worth the drive! Fresno is situated along the I5 and there are only a few routes to get from the 101 over to the 5, so check your map and find a route that makes sense.