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Fresno, California Information

resno is a city in central California, United States, the county seat of Fresno County. As of 2012, the city’s population was 510,365,[citation needed] making it the fifth largest city in California, the largest inland city in California and the 34th largest in the nation. Fresno is in the center of the San Joaquin Valley of Central California, approximately 200 miles (320 km) north of Los Angeles, and 170 miles (270 km) south of the state capital, Sacramento. Metropolitan Fresno has a population of 1,107,416.[citation needed] The name Fresno is the Spanish language word for the ash tree, and an ash leaf is featured on the city’s flag.

Fresno has a total area of 112.3 square miles (291 km2) with 99.69% land covering 112.0 square miles (290 km2), and 0.31% water, 0.4 square miles (1.0 km2).

Fresno’s location, very near the geographical center of California, places the city a comfortable distance from several of the major recreation areas and urban centers in the state. Just 60 mi (97 km) south of Yosemite National Park, it is the nearest major city to the park. Likewise, Sierra National Forest is 40 mi (64 km), Kings Canyon National Park is 60 mi (97 km) and Sequoia National Park is 75 mi (121 km).

Because Fresno sits at the junction of Highways 41 and 99 (41 is Yosemite National Park’s southern access road, and 99 branches east from Interstate 5 to serve the urban centers of the San Joaquin Valley), the city is a major gateway for Yosemite visitors coming from Los Angeles. The city also serves as an entrance into Sierra National Forest via highway 168, and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks via Highway 180.

Fresno has three large public parks, two in the city limits and one in county land to the southwest. Woodward Park, which features the Shinzen Japanese Gardens, numerous picnic areas and several miles of trails, is in North Fresno and is adjacent to the San Joaquin River Parkway. Roeding Park, near Downtown Fresno, is home to the Fresno Chaffee Zoo, and Rotary Storyland and Playland. Kearney Park is the largest of the Fresno region’s park system and is home to historic Kearney Mansion and plays host to the annual Civil War Revisited, the largest reenactment of the Civil War in the west coast of the U.S.

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