Introduction to Visalia, California
The City of Visalia is part of Tulare County, California, located in the San Joaquin Valley, approximately 220 miles south of San Francisco and 185 miles north of Los Angeles. It is also the oldest town between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Visalia was founded in 1852 and incorporated in 1874. A city charter was enacted in 1923 and later amended in 1974. Visalia was named after the ancestral home (Visalia, Kentucky) of one of its earliest settlers, Nathaniel Vise. At one time a creekside settlement, Visalia has evolved into a thriving community which is able to maintain a small town feel with large city amenities. Historically, Visalia has based its economy mostly upon agriculture and related industries. In recent years, however, the city has diversified its economic base to include many other types of industrial enterprises.
Located to the northeast of Visalia is Sequoia National Park, housing groves of Giant Sequoia trees including the most massive on earth, the "General Sherman". Nearby cities include Fresno (approximately 44 miles to the northwest) and Bakersfield (approximately 75 miles to the south).
Things to do in Visalia
Visalia houses 23 parks encompassing over 220 acres of land. The city is also home to a number of cultural and recreational sites, including the following:
- The Central California Chinese Cultural Center: Documenting the history of 19th century Chinese immigrants.
- Mooney Grove Park: One of the largest valley oak woodlands in California.
- Tulare County Mooney Grove Museum: Largest museum in the county, located at Mooney Grove Park.
- Tule River Historical Society Museum
- Lake Kaweah Marina: Boating and fishing are available at nearby Kaweah Lake.
- Horse Creek Campground
- KOA Campground of Visalia
- Lemoncove Campground
- Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks
- Sierra Lakes Campground
- Plaza Park
Visalia is home to the Visalia Oaks, a Minor League baseball team which is the single-A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies. Professional sports teams located in nearby cities are as follows:
- Minor League Baseball (MiLB):
- Fresno Grizzlies (Pacific Coast League): AAA affiliate of the San Francisco Giants
- Bakersfield Blaze (California League): Single-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers
- East Coast Hockey League (ECHL):
- Fresno Falcons
- Bakersfield Condors
Nearby Fresno is also home to the Cal State/Fresno Bulldogs (National Collegiate Athletic Association)