Clovis City Guide: Explore ‘The Gateway to the Sierras’

Just a few miles north of downtown Fresno tucked at the base of the western slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains lies Clovis, CA. This vibrant little city is full of a variety of activities and attractions, from the restaurants, cafes, and shops in Old Town Clovis, to endless recreational opportunities in the nearby High Sierra.

Whether you’re planning a backpacking adventure in the Sierras, a day trip to Old Town Clovis, or are just looking for fun, free entertainment near you, check out these things to do in Clovis.

Only in Clovis

Some things can only be found in Clovis. This local landmarks and community events will give you a special appreciation for the city, whether you’re just visiting or you’ve lived here your whole life.

Old Town Clovis Farmer’s Market

Get a taste of some of the freshest locally-grown produce in the Central Valley at the Old Town Clovis Farmer’s Market. You can find fruits and vegetables, fresh-baked bread and pies, and other items year-round on Saturday mornings on Pollasky Avenue in downtown Clovis.

Between May and September, check out the Friday Night Farmer’s Market. In addition to shopping for locally grown produce, you can also take advantage of a variety of dining options, live music, and family-friendly entertainment.

Clovis Rodeo

For more than 100 years, the Clovis Rodeo has served as a celebration of local farming and ranching culture. Held over five days every April, the Clovis Rodeo is one of the most unique, fun things to do in Clovis. If you’ve never been to a rodeo, this is undoubtedly the one to see. The Clovis Rodeo is a major stop for cowboys and cowgirls in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and is known for bringing some of the best bucking stock in rodeo. Add live entertainment and great food, and you’ve got an event that’s not to be missed!

Glorious Junk Days

The saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” couldn’t be more true than at Glorious Junk Days, a celebration of all things antique, vintage, and DIY. Since its inception in 2012, Glorious Junk Days has become one of Old Town Clovis’ signature events. Stroll up and down Pollasky Avenue and explore a variety of antiques, collectibles, repurposed furniture, and other handcrafted wares.

Forestiere Underground Gardens

One of the most unique attractions in California’s Central Valley is a short car ride away in Fresno. Construction of Forestiere Underground Gardens began in the early 1900s when Sicilian immigrant and citrus grower Baldassare Forestiere started excavating a series of interconnected underground rooms, courtyards, grottoes, and passageways modeled after ancient catacombs. Some parts of the gardens are as much as 25 feet underground, keeping it a cool 10 to 30 degrees below aboveground temperatures.

Visit Clovis Museums

If you’re looking for fun things to do with kids in Clovis, try checking out these museums where you can learn about local history, landscape, and culture.

Clovis-Big Dry Creek Museum

Learn about the history of the Clovis area at the Clovis-Big Dry Creek Museum. Photographs, memorabilia, and other artifacts that once belonged to Clovis M. Cole, the man from whom the city is named, are on display. Some of these items include indigenous artifacts, antiques, newspaper articles, and photographs from more than 300 families from the Clovis area.

Dan Rouit Flat Track Motorcycle Museum

If you have even the slightest interest in motorcycles, the Dan Rouit Flat Track Motorcycle Museum is worth a visit. The museum chronicles the history of motorcycle racing in the United States, with an impressive private collection of vintage motorcycles and tons of motorcycle racing memorabilia, including helmets, leathers, posters, and photographs. Hours are limited, so visitors are encouraged to call ahead.

Clovis Botanical Garden

Established in 2002, the Clovis Botanical Garden encompasses three acres and has a collection of native plant species hardy enough to withstand Clovis’ unique climate. The garden puts a special emphasis on sustainability and water conservation. Explore the grounds yourself, or take a volunteer-led guided tour. You’ll get a more thorough explanation of the history of the region, as well as the unique plant and animal species native to the Clovis area.

Explore the Outdoors

Did you know that Clovis has more than 13 miles of paved pedestrian walkways? That, and its proximity to one of the most stunning, rugged mountain ranges in the world, make Clovis the perfect place to explore the outdoors.

Sierra Bicentennial Park

The Sierra Bicentennial Park in downtown Clovis has a playground, picnic areas, basketball courts, and tons of green space. Practice your swing at the recently renovated Clovis Batting Range, or catch a local game at one of the park’s baseball fields if you’re lucky!

Dry Creek Trailhead

The Dry Creek Trailhead serves as a hub for the 5-mile multi-use trail that runs from the intersection of Shepherd and Sunnyside all the way to Minnewawa. You’ll pass by Cottonwood Park and Dry Creek Park, plus three rest stop areas where you can rest and refuel. Once you’ve reached the end of the Dry Creek Trail, you have the option of linking up with the Clovis Old Town Trail.

Sierra Heritage Scenic Byway

In a city nicknamed “The Gateway to Sierras,” visiting this iconic mountain range is a part of the local lifestyle. With three national parks and eight national forests within the confines of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, there are always reasons to revisit and explore something new, no matter the season.

The Sierra Heritage Scenic Byway is the perfect way to explore the Sierras. The route starts in Fresno and runs through Clovis via CA-168, quickly gaining elevation as you climb higher and higher into the mountains. The scenic byway passes through the Edison Lakes, a series of lakes created for a hydroelectric power initiative in the early 1900s.

Huntington Lake

Huntington Lake is a great basecamp for your adventures in the High Sierra. Swim, kayak, fish, or waterski in the summer, or head to China Peak Mountain Resort in the winter. The ski resort boasts more than 1,300 acres of terrain and an average snowfall of 300 inches. From Huntington Lake, head into the Sierras, where you can hike sections of the John Muir Trail or the Pacific Crest Trail.

Millerton Lake State Recreation Area

Millerton Lake is a great summertime spot for swimming, boating, and fishing. There is also a multitude of hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails where you can explore live oak forests and the river canyon. On Saturdays and Sundays in January and February, you can take a guided boat tour to try to spot nesting bald eagles. Tours sell out every year, so reservations are recommended.

Get Going in the Gateway

Personal Express Insurance has called the Central Valley home since 1984. With a local office on Herndon Avenue, we’re as much a part of the Clovis community as our customers. We follow strict underwriting guidelines and utilize a localized approach to secure the best rates possible. That’s the Local Advantage.

For a free insurance quote or to learn how you can find more affordable homeowners, renters, or auto insurance coverage, call 1-800-499-3612 or meet with your local Homegrown Pro.

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*The information provided in this blog is designed to give helpful advice on the topic discussed. It is not intended to provide legal or any other type of advice and is not meant to be a thorough discussion of every issue that a person should consider or may encounter. Personal Express Insurance is a brand utilized by the following insurance underwriting companies: Integon National Insurance Company and National General Premier Insurance Company. All policies will be underwritten by these two underwriting companies.

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