Visalia, California

Visalia is among the most engaging of tourist locations in the state of California, nestled in the green expanse of the San Joaquin Valley. Visalia is known to attract family visitors from the surrounding metropolitan areas and many international tourists owing to its exotic landscape that is carved by the Sierra California mountain range.

A small town that is known for its flourishing businesses and a robust agricultural industry, Visalia is located in the vicinity of America's biggest metropolitans like San Francisco and Los Angeles. Visalia's landscape is a visitor's delight offering plenty of options to explore nature in its unadulterated form, either on foot or by navigating through its smooth waters.

The hillier parts of Visalia, like Venice Hills, are more concentrated along the eastern parts of the city and are frequented by families as a part of their daytrips and hiking expeditions. The city is dissected by many streams among which the St. John's River is the biggest waterbody. Other rivers that are ideal for boating and cruising include the Mill Creek and Packwood Creek.

Visalia's climate can be best described as being mildly Mediterranean though it has a semi-arid aura to it. Rainfall is rather limited in this region, but the climate is generally cool with pleasant winds present for most part of the year.

Welcome to the city of Visalia, where you will be able to make just about anything happen. The city also has a bustling nightlife, various places to eat, places to see and can also offer you a great shopping experience. People of any age or any profession will surely find the city exciting and vivacious to their own liking.

Visalia History

Visalia is among the oldest, permanent settlements among the inland locations of Central California. Visalia is believed to have first inhabited by the Yokuts tribes and the Mono Native Americans, i.e. before the Europeans arrived and the city started taking a more organized and well-documented form. Visalia is believed to be first settled around 1852. It is also the largest and among the more historically-significant county seats of Tulare County. The first written records of the city date back to 1722.

It is interesting to note that in 1850, during the time of statehood being awarded to California, Tulare County had not been established. At that time, Tulare County was a part of a much larger county - the County of Mariposa. The pioneers of Tulare County arrived in 1852 and it is due to their efforts that the foundation for Tulare County and later, Visalia was laid. Tulare County was established in 1852 itself and Visalia was made the county seat. Visalia is also famous for being home to Nathaniel Vises. He is one of the county’s most noted historians and his ancestral home is located in Visalia.

Like many American cities, the early commercial growth of Visalia is mainly attributed to the Gold Rush period. In Visalia, this was more evident along the Kern River region. This period also brought in many miners who later become an integral part of the city’s early settlers. Visalia also owes its commercial success during the latter half of the nineteenth century due to the introduction of the telegraph in 1860.

There is some confusion regarding the status of the city’s dwellers during the American Civil War. It is largely believed that most of them were undecided about which side to take and eventually some altercations broke out among the city folks themselves. This view is sometimes challenged in documented condemnation of a pro-South newspaper and the setting-up of many military garrisons among which Camp Babbitt was built to limit the support to the southern states. However, the Civil War years helped in the gradual rise of Visalia as a location of military and strategic importance and this helped the city’s gradual progress.

Other notable moments that helped to shape the present status of Visalia include the second incorporate of the city in 1874. This officially gave Visalia the status of a city along with a City Council and administrative assistance in the form of a Mayor and a President. The commercial growth of Visalia got another boost during 1904 when the Visalia Electric Railroad was integrated. Visalia’s rise to significance is also underlined by it being chosen as the host city for the notable “Amgen Tour of California” for the 2009 and 2010 seasons.

About Visalia, California

The city of Visalia is divided into small neighborhoods or communities. Some of the popular travel locations around the city are also grouped as a part of the City of Visalia. The areas that constitute the geographical expanse of Visalia are: North Visalia, Eastside, Southwest Visalia, Mooney and Westside.

Visalia is well connected to the neighboring city of California. The California State Route 99 is the main connecting highway that connects the city to Fresno and Bakersfield. Other, major connecting roadways include California State Route 198, Sequoia Freeway and California State Route 63.

Visalia is a part of America's biggest and most well-preserved areas of natural habitats, i.e. the Sequoia Region. As a result, the city is renowned for its natural charm and a country culture that arises from its prosperous farmland communities.

Visalia is home to many national parks and boasts of abundant plant species. The natural habitats thrive in a pleasing, pollution-free climate that is dotted by hillsides, creeks and daunting mountain ranges. The most common of the native flora here includes several species of Cedar, Oak, Salvia, Mahogany, California Fuchsia and Deer Grass.

Visalia also has an energetic cultural scene and is renowned to host many cultural activities wherein the city's vibrant agricultural history is easily visible. Visitors to the city like to explore the local festivals that are hosted by friendly communities here, and the numerous art galleries. Visalia has a musical heritage too, which is best represented by the Tulare County Symphony that is hosted at the legendary Fox Theatre.

Family visitors can look forward to taking children to the historic displays in the museums apart from exploring the downtown area using the unique, free trolley system. For children, the Imagine U Museum is a worthy visit. Other popular activities in Visalia include hiking trips along the hilly trails and bird-watching tours. Visalia also attracts nature enthusiasts who are found here clicking some of the rare, wild flowers.

Those enthralled by culturally-stimulating activities can head towards the Creative Center, the College of the Sequoias Performing Arts Theatre apart from the Visalia Convention Center. Even taking a stroll in Visalia can be creatively stimulating owing to the numerous arts and crafts markets, poetry sessions and concerts that are hosted with regularity. Art and craft classes are held at Sierra Forge which includes short courses in blacksmithing and glassblowing.

Visalia is famous across the world for its characteristic offerings like the sweet oranges that are found aplenty in the farmer's markets. These local markets are within a walking distance from most parts of the city. Other attractions include friendly camping sites, like the Sequoia High Sierra Camp, that combines wilderness with great outdoor amenities.

About Tulare County, California

Sometimes referred to as the "Gateway to Sequoias", Visalia is counted among the fastest-growing cities of California. It is located in the Tulare County. This county is a part of the Central Valley region of the state of California, located just south to Fresno. The major source of income for the residents of Visalia is agricultural produce in the form of oranges and milk. Other farm produces that add substantially to the county’s annual revenue include grapes and some other cattle-based commodities.

Nearly 99% of Tulare County is comprised of landmass among which there are large expanses of forest cover. Many of these forested locations have turned into major tourist attractions. The most famous among these is the Sequoia National Park - a part of the larger Kings Canyon National Park, located in northeast part of the county, adjacent to Fresno County. This area is bordered by Mount Whitney. Sequoia National Park is a part of the Sierra Nevada wilderness area and is among the most historic of national parks in the USA, being established in the 1890. It was the second national park to be established in the history of USA after the Yellowstone National Park.

Some other, popular forested areas that render Tulare County its enviable evergreen expanse include the Pixley National Wildlife Refuge, Mineral King Game Refuge and the Kings River Nature Preserve. A few designated recreational areas have been set-up in Tulare County, like the Lake Kaweah Recreation Area and the Horse Creek Recreation Area.

Tulare County got its name from its famous Tulare Lake that was once among the largest freshwater lakes in the western part of the Great Lakes of the United States. Apart from Visalia, some other cities have now been incorporated into Tulare County and have emerged as popular vacationing destinations. This includes Dinuba, Farmersville, Tulare and Woodlake.

Tulare County has a well-connected public transportation system. The backbone of the commuting system is formed by the Tulare County Transit. This is essentially a countywide bus service. It links the Tulare County to all the important, nearby towns and cities. Recent additions in this expanding transit system include connectivity to Delano in the nearby, Kern County.

Just like Visalia, other cities of Tulare County, like Tulare and Porterville, too have an efficient, local bus service. Among these the Orange Belt Stages and Greyhound bus services are the easiest to board and they provide both inter-city and long-distance travel service.