Its agricultural prosperity and well-maintained downtown make Visalia one of the valley’s convenient stops en route to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks or the Sierra Peaks. Bypassed a century ago by the railroad, the city is 5 miles east of Hwy 99, along Hwy 198. Its downtown has old-town charm and makes for a nice stroll, with plenty of restaurants and shops.
The original Victorian and Arts and Crafts–style homes in Visalia are architectural highlights worth viewing on foot. Maps for many self-guided tours are available via the of the Visalia Convention & Visitor's Bureau.
The main draw in the area is the Kaweah Oak Preserve, about 7 miles east of town. With 324 acres of majestic oak trees, it is a gorgeous setting for easy hikes. From Hwy 198, turn north onto Rd 182; the park is about a half mile along on your left.