In the northeastern side of Fresno County, lies the little town of Clovis, California.
Going by the nickname of the ‘Gateway to the Sierras’, Clovis is surrounded by national beauty, from the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Yosemite National Park and Kings Canyon.
With that being the case, it should come as no surprise that the area is a hotspot for outdoor activities, as the many parks and lakes around the city lure people here for a break that often packs in plenty of adventure.
From hiking and trekking, to cycling or jogging, there are plenty of ways to explore the many trails of Clovis, CA, and plenty more ways of simply sitting still and admiring the gorgeous landscape.
If outdoor activities aren’t your thing, fear not, for there are options for indoor entertainment too, including museums and galleries, arcades and racing.
There really is something for everyone here in Clovis, CA.
In this article, we’ll look at the best things you can do on a visit there.
Let’s explore the best things in Clovis:
When you visit the great state of California, you really are spoiled for choice on where to go. There’s a lot of reasons to love Clovis, and here are some great ideas for a vacation there.
Old Town Clovis
In 1891, the old town was founded, and although the downtown area formed in 1912, there are some very visible remnants of the original town.
You can explore it on a guided walking tour, learning more about the history and culture of Clovis, and getting an insight into what it has to offer today.
Among the cafes and restaurants are some great little boutique stores and antique shops, which you can purchase some trinkets from this one-of-a-kind town.
To go beyond the Old Town, venture out on the nearby trails to see local points of interest in nearby nature.
Sierra National Forest
Just west of the famous mountain range is Sierra National Forest. You won’t find more striking and beautiful wilderness around Clovis than right here – it’s an adventurer’s dream!
Around the mountainside you can spot plenty of forest critters and discover beautiful flowers and plants. The area is an excellent place to go on a hike or fishing expedition, with various reservoirs making it perfect for anglers.
Wild Water Park
At the base of the mountains is the popular Wild Water Park, which is the perfect family destination.
As the largest water park in California, this family-owned operation attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year, who come to have a wet ‘n’ wild time on the water slides and wave pools.
Outside the pools are some grassy areas, as well as set-ups for a BBQ or picnic. The fishers in the family can even try their hand at catching some grub in the nearby lakes.
This is the only zoo in the whole of North America that has Southern tent tortoises and Northland green geckos. Among the 125 species here, there are many that are part of a Species Survival Plan to strengthen the dwindling numbers of rare species. This includes the Andean Condor, the Red Wolf and the Malayan Tiger.
Got a need for speed? Then you’ve come to the right place.
Get down to the MB2 Raceway in Clovis to unleash your inner racer. This is a great option for rainy days and can be enjoyed by everyone, from kids to moms and dads, fun-loving couples to a bunch of friends on a wild getaway.
The high-speed go-karts are well-tested and ready to give anyone a thrill, while younger, less experienced drivers can enjoy the fun in a junior kart.
After the race, stop by the restaurant to fuel up on snacks and a well-deserved drink.
Clovis Big Dry Creek Museum
Maybe you’d like to know a little more about Clovis, CA. The best place to start is the museum that is dedicated to the man who the town has been named after.
Clovis M. Cole acquired quite the collection of memorabilia before his death, and this museum pays tribute to his efforts, allowing people to come and look at everything, painting the picture of how this town came to be.
Through photos, articles and artifacts, the story of Clovis is here for you to learn about, and history buffs will also enjoy the Native American artifacts that have been brought here throughout the years.
Dan Rouit Flat Track Motorcycle Museum
Rallying around an indoor track is a lot of fun, but maybe it’s not enough to satisfy you. Real racers with a love for motorcycles should make a stop by the Dan Rouit Flat Track Motorcycle Museum.
This has been set up to preserve some of the best of motorcycle equipment you’ll find anywhere in the United States.
Among the showcase pieces are helmets, leathers and photos of famous racers throughout the years, with the museum charting the history of the sport and recreation.
While it may not be for everyone, this museum does include some quirks, and overall is an engaging and informative stop for anyone with an interest in motorcycles.
Clovis Botanical Garden
A lot of cities have a botanical garden, so you might not be putting this activity at the top of your to do list in a hurry.
However, the Clovis Botanical Garden is a nice way to spend an hour or so in the city. Its grounds stretch over three acres, and encompass hundreds of different types of plants, all of which have the ability to stick the vast extremes of California’s changeable climate.
These gardens are well-maintained, and dedicated to conservation and ecology in the area, aiming to conserve water use, especially in the hot summer.
Local volunteers offer a guided tour service, which enables visitors to learn a little more about the history of Clovis, CA, and the fauna and flora of the area.
AMF Rodeo Lanes
While the great outdoors are there to be explored in the day, when the evening comes, you might want a little fun inside.
A great option is a trip for friends and family to AMF Rodeo lanes – the premier bowling alley in Clovis.
This massive unit has 40 lanes, ensuring you’ll have little problem turning up with large groups, even during busy periods.
Alongside the main attraction, there is an arcade with a vast array of interactive games, plus some billiards tables.
AMF Rodeo is a great spot for all occasions, from birthday parties to family outings. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first time or if you’re a regular bowler, it’s always fun. The on-site sports bar is a great way to finish after a game, no matter what the outcome is.
Forestiere Underground Gardens
Do you want an experience a little bit different from the norm?
The Forestiere Underground Gardens once belonged to an Italian artist and has since become a quirky tourist attraction.
This California State landmark is the legacy of Baldassare Forestiere, a Sicilian immigrant who made it his life’s work to excavate a vast network of grottos and tunnels, turning them into underground gardens for his citrus trees.
Many people like to come here to explore the labyrinth, finding fun in wandering around the courtyards and rooms, which are all inter-connected with a series of elaborate paths.
It is an unusual and interesting feat of architecture that should not be missed if you are in Clovis, CA.
Friday Night Farmer’s Market
Talking of things that can’t be missed, the Farmer’s Market should be top of your list.
Held on a Friday night in the Old Town area, this market showcases the very best in local produce, selling great meats, crops and seasons to foodies and cooking fans.
Alongside the quest for the makings of a great meal, there is live music and plenty of fun activities to keep younger kids entertained.
Dry Creek Trailhead
There are some great parks in Clovis, but this is not one of them.
That being said, the people here treat it as one, making it one of the best areas to go for a walk or picnic. Go exploring the trails and watch out for joggers and cyclists as you take in the sights of Clovis.
Although it is not actually in Clovis town, this is a popular thing to do if you’re in the region. About 30 minutes’ drive outside the town, you’ll find Millerton Lake, which is not only a natural beautiful area, but one that is perfect for the many activities it offers.
Whether you want to fish or simply rest on a boat with a few beers, you can enjoy the sunshine here. Those who want an adrenaline rush can try water-skiing or brave the cool waters for a dip.
Around the lake, there are some good hiking trails, which offer great views of the area.
Fun is Never Far Away in Clovis CA
Whatever floats your boat, you’re sure to find something to fill a day or two in Clovis. If you’re alone or with a special someone, on a family trip or with some friends, make sure to tick a few of the items of this list.
There’s lots of fun to be had in Clovis, both outdoors and inside, making it a perfect stop on any road trip, come rain or shine.