Fresno, CA has all the traditional museums that you would expect to find in California. However, Fresno is also home to many different types of museums based on various historical eras. With so many galleries and exhibits, you will have a difficult time choosing which one to visit first. We will highlight some of our favorites, but we encourage you to do your own research as well.

African-American Historical & Cultural Museum of the San Joaquin Valley

The AAHCM opened in June of 1993. The mission of the museum is to show the lives of African-Americans throughout history. It features rotating exhibits and displays, as well as permanent collections. The AAHCM has something for visitors of all ages. Youwill learn the dramatic impact African-American citizens have had on our culture and society during your visit to this informative museum.

Fresno Art Museum

The Fresno Art Museum is the only modern art museum between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The museum collects and exhibits valuable objects related to art and history. They feature a broad range of contemporary art exhibitions, as well as works by local artists, and artists on a national and international level. The museum’s collection shows special significance to modern Mexican art, as well as Mexican art that dates to Pre-Columbian times.

Fresno Historical Society

Founders of this museum began this collection and preservation of history in 1919. The focus was the life of pioneer families in the area before the California Gold Rush. The Fresno Historical Society felt that the pioneer’s everyday life, as well as the changes that the Gold Rush brought to the area, and the addition of the railroad to Central Californiawere worthy of a museum. Thanks to the Fresno Historical Society, we have extensive exhibits and collections that help us experience what life was like during this period in history, and how it affected the state of California as we know it today.

The Kearney Mansion Museum

This historic mansion is located on 225 acres of Kearney Park. The park features picnic areas and playgrounds for children. The mansion exhibits 50% of its original furnishings. This includes European wallpaper and Art Nouveau light fixtures. The artifacts collections include:

  • Costumes
  • Art
  • History
  • Textiles
  • Archives

There are also a variety of educational programs which include (but are not limited to):

  • Gala events
  • Guided tours
  • Classes
  • Lectures
  • Work-shops
  • Research

Other venues include historic houses, archaeology, arts, and military museums. There are museums like the Discovery Center to expand the minds and imaginations of children and even more facilities that are dedicated to science and natural history. Fresno also has several botanical gardens, including the Forestiere Underground Gardens and the lovely Duncan Water Gardens. The Fresno Chaffee Zoo is a world class zoo which is continually expanding, and perfect for any animal lover. Whether your interest is early American history, modern art, or the wonders of nature, you will find it in the city of Fresno.