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Fresno - Chowchilla in April

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Cleveland, Ohio
posts: 11
Fresno - Chowchilla in April

My family is planning an April trip to visit a loved one in Chowchilla (a guest of the state).

We will be arriving from South Carolina, Ohio, L.A. (an Ohioan living in L.A.), and Phoenix.

From my research so far, it looks like Fresno might be the nearest city that those of us in the East/Midwest could fly into.

Fresno also looks like it might be a more interesting place to stay than Chowchilla.

We are planning a stay of 3-5 days, we would like to be within an hour (if possible) of Chowchilla, and we would like a comfortable place to stay, but at a moderate price.

Also, it would be nice if there was something pleasant to do nearby - to balance out the purpose of our trip.

I hoped to find a state/national park with cabin rentals in the area, but it looks like there are none within an hour or so of Chowchilla.

Should I continue to research Fresno, or is there another location that would better match our criteria?

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
posts: 43,944
reviews: 80
1. Re: Fresno - Chowchilla in April

How about Yosemite? It is more than an hour to Yosemite Valley but it would be a fabulous day trip.

posts: 10,878
reviews: 11
2. Re: Fresno - Chowchilla in April

While you could fly into Fresno you could instead stay in Merced - the Gateway to Yosemite. It's closer to Chowchilla than Fresno is and due to it's proximity to Yosemite there is decent lodging.

You could also stay in Mariposa. Mariposa to Chowchilla is 1 hour. Then it's only a little over an hour to Yosemite from there.

Edited: 1:30 pm, February 06, 2013
Cleveland, Ohio
posts: 11
3. Re: Fresno - Chowchilla in April

Thanks! I look forward to researching these options.

Fresno, California
posts: 1,099
4. Re: Fresno - Chowchilla in April

Fresno probably is the closest airport to use for that group. There are a couple of 19-seat aircraft flights per day at Merced (a little closer to Chowchilla) but that limits connection opportunities to bring everyone to the area.

You can choose from the various national parks to visit: Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia. There are also other activities in the area such as several small wine trails, white water rafting, etc.

The small Yosemite gateway communities like Mariposa, Oakhurst, Coarsegold, etc would be right at a one hour drive to the Chowchilla facility. The drive to Chowchilla from them would be on 2 lane roads in the foothills so how many times you want to make the drive to Chowchilla on those roads might be a consideration. But those towns would then be about a one to one-and-a-half hour drive the other direction to Yosemite Valley.

The John Muir Inn in the Grant Grove section of Kings Canyon National Park would allow you to stay in the park there. But that would be about a one hour and 45 minute drive to Chowchilla, a long drive if done more than once.

If you choose to stay in Fresno that would give a wider array of hotel, restaurant and evening activity choices than the other towns. As a base for day trips, Fresno to Chowchilla is about 45 minutes; Yosemite Valley would be about a two hour one-way drive; Fresno to the Grant Grove area of Kings Canyon is a little over one hour drive. Central to all of those but it really depends upon the preference of the group.

Cleveland, Ohio
posts: 11
5. Re: Fresno - Chowchilla in April

Thank you so much for the information, FresnoFacts.

We plan on driving to the facility in the morning and back in the afternoon (visiting hours are 9am-3pm) for two consecutive days, so the commute is a consideration.

As none of us have visited central California, this information will help a great deal. Thanks, again.

Edited: 2:29 pm, February 06, 2013
posts: 1
6. Re: Fresno - Chowchilla in April

You can fly into Fresno and stay in Chowchilla

To save the commute in the morning and night, Chowchilla is the ideal place to stay. Chowchilla has moderately priced motels, some a selection of restaurants (depending on your preferred cuisine), and a great place to relax.

Saving the drive each morning and afternoon will allow you time to venture out to Yosemite (about 1 1/2 hours drive), visit local wineries, see half million year old fossils, take a farm tour, shop in Chowchila, Madera (14 miles south), Merced (26 miles north,) or Fresno (40 miles south), or drive to Monterey for great seafood or Santa Cruz for the Boardwalk.

You can contact the local chambers of commerce to check out lodging, dining, and directions to national parks, local venues and area attractions.

Cleveland, Ohio
posts: 11
7. Re: Fresno - Chowchilla in April

Thanks, ChowGal!

I'm going to contact the Chowchilla CoC today.

Visalia, CA
posts: 1,374
reviews: 40
8. Re: Fresno - Chowchilla in April

I think you would probably be happier staying in Fresno as there is more to do than in Chowchilla. Also if you are going to the women's prison it is only about 25-30 miles from Fresno depending on where you stay.

If you stay in Fresno there are several hotels off 41 & Herndon including Rodeway Inn, Homewood Suites, Comfort Suites, Hampton Inn. There are a lot of shopping & dining options near these hotels. On 99 & Herndon there is a Holiday Inn Express. This is right on 99 & a little quicker for your commute. Some things you can do in Fresno include the Roeding Park Zoo, Forestirre Underground Gardens, & the Japanese Garden at Woodward Park. Fresno & Madera both have wineries you can visit (google Madera wine trail or Fresno wineries for maps). You are also relatively close to Yosemite & Sequoia Nat'l parks & about 2.5 hours from the central coast.

Cleveland, Ohio
posts: 11
9. Re: Fresno - Chowchilla in April

Thanks, GDude, We will be visiting at Valley State, but it is located across the street from the women's prison. It looks like a relatively short drive from Fresno.

I've had good experiences with Holiday Inn Express, nice to know there is one convenient to our commute

I appreciate the tips!

Edited: 2:42 pm, February 11, 2013
10. Re: Fresno - Chowchilla in April

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