Many people miss the opportunity to experience some fascinating central valley culture while traveling from Los Angeles to the Bay area. One spot that is rich with interesting spots to visit is the little town of Visalia, Ca.
Located about 50 miles south of Fresno, it is a halfway point between the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles in Southern California and San Jose in the Silicon Valley in the Bay area. Easy to access, highway 99 goes right by it and is a quick jaunt by way of highway 198 off of highway 5; Visalia is a nice place to make a rest stop. Travelers may find they want to stay a day or two to get the full experience.
Downtown Visalia Offers Many Delights
Many towns have transformed their downtown areas to quaint “small town” road-stops with sidewalk cafes and specialty boutiques. Visalia counts itself among those types of towns. The area is alive with historically preserved as well as newly renovated buildings.
During the day hours, visitors can stroll the sidewalk, shop in the various boutiques and specialty shops, stop for a relaxing spa treatment, visit an art gallery or craft shop and enjoy a delicious lunch at one of the many restaurants serving an wide array of culinary delights.
The nightlife gets busy with the numerous night clubs and fine dining establishments. Visitors can take in a movie at the Regal Cinema’s 10 Screen Cineplex, a live show at the restored Fox Theater, or a music concert at the Cellar Door.
Other Things to do in Visalia
Families will enjoy an outing to the Adventure Park in Visalia, California. The park sits on seven acres and offers something for everyone. It is "pay as you play" so there is no admission charge to the park. It features laser tag, bumper boats, batting cages, an 18-hole miniature golf course and a go=kart raceway. Inside is a wide array of video and arcade games as well as various foods at the Kritters buffet.
A multitude of possible tours can be found in and around Visalia. Cheese lovers will find the Bravo Farms Cheese Factory fascinating as visitors learn how cheese is made. Learn about orange growing at the Seven Sycamores Ranch or how to grow, harvest and use herbs at the Squaw Valley Herb Gardens. The Ag-Ventures Learning Center offers the opportunity for people of all ages to learn about agriculture through hands-on puzzles, coloring books, and working displays.
Several museums are located in and around Visalia. In nearby Exeter, the small town is known for its beautiful murals throughout the main community. Each mural represents a piece of the culture of the central valley and tells a story of the history of the area.
Visitors may also venture up into the Sierra Mountains and visit the beautiful Sequoia National Park and the Kings Canyon National Park where the giant redwoods grow. During summer months a shuttle runs from downtown Visalia to Sequoia’s Giant Forest area. This is a great way to visit the park for those who do not enjoy driving narrow mountain roads.
Animal lovers will enjoy the wildlife in the parks and another interesting attraction, the Cat Haven. This small park is about an hour drive from downtown Visalia on highway 180. It features numerous species of big cats that are considered endangered in the wild. The program is designed to educate people about these magnificent creatures and to help preserve the wild populations of these wild cats.
Whether visiting for the day on the way to other places or staying for a few days, Visalia offers something for everyone. Quiet and peaceful or noisy and exciting, no one in the family or group will leave unsatisfied.
The copyright of the article “Things to do in Visalia California” is owned by Cheryl Weldon and permission to republish in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.