The Central Valley: Places to Explore

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Fresno

Sprawling Fresno, with nearly half a million people, is the center of the richest agricultural county in the United States. Cotton, grapes, and tomatoes are among the major crops; poultry and milk are also important. About 75 ethnic groups, including Armenians, Laotians, and Indians, live here. The city has a relatively vibrant arts scene, several public parks, and many low-price restaurants. The Tower District—with its chic restaurants, coffeehouses, and boutiques—is the trendy spot, though like the rest of Fresno it can look drab on a cloudy day. The Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright and novelist William Saroyan (The Time of Your Life, The Human Comedy) was born here in 1908.

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