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Visalia, located just off historic Highway 99, less than 200 miles from Los Angeles or San Francisco, is perhaps best known to travelers as the gateway to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, just 38 miles to the east. Now a comfortable and convenient stop from which to tour the Parks, Visalia is the oldest town between Los Angeles and San Francisco. The county seat of Tulare County since 1853, it was already a transportation and trading hub during Gold Rush days.

For More Information

Visalia Tourism
Visalia Chamber of Commerce
720 W. Mineral King
Visalia, CA 93291
Tel: (559) 734-5876 x 15
Fax: (559) 734-7479
Email: tourism@visaliachamber.org
www.visaliatourism.com

Prospectors passed through on their way to gold fields and many returned to settle. In 1858, Visalia became a timetable stop on the Overland Stage between St. Louis and San Francisco. In the 1870s, as open ranges evolved into fenced farms and ranches, Visalia boomed as a supply center for dairies and growers. The city’s roots in the range are well expressed in the famous horse and rider statue, “End of the Trail.” Created for the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco, this 18-foot symbol of the American West was acquired by Visalia in 1920 and moved to Mooney Grove Park where it stands today.

Daniel Zumwalt, (a pioneer ancestor of Admiral Elmo Zumwalt), started the first commercial dairy in 1889 on his ranch between Visalia and Tulare, and Tulare County today is still America’s dairy capital, with more than 300 dairies and 350,000 milking cows, and another 450,000 in reserve.

While agriculture remains the leading activity in Visalia, the city known as the “Jewel of the Valley” offers more than seed and sod. Visalia is home to more than 100 restaurants, 30 antique shops and malls, the College of the Sequoias and its cultural programs, and the Tulare County Symphony, which makes it home in the restored Fox Theatre.

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