Tulare County is one of the top agriculture-producing counties in the world, providing more than 83 countries with the staples of a healthy diet. It’s also home to the World Ag Expo. The industrious and hardworking people of this rich agricultural land invite you to experience the “Bread Basket of the World.”
As the heart of the most productive agricultural area in the nation, Tulare County harvests more than 240 different crops and is one of the top dairy producers in the world. Many of our crops are irrigated by snowmelt and waters from the Sierra Nevada.
In early spring, the countryside is vibrant with blossoming fruit trees and wildflowers, while the sweet aroma of orange blossoms fills the air. Our farmers supply markets around the world with fresh produce.
Fall brings bright colors of yellow cornstalks, pumpkin patches and gourd fields. Leaves on the fruit trees and vines turn variations of green, gold, orange and red.
Winter’s cool air helps produce the sweetest oranges in the world. Acres of ripe navel oranges on dark green trees appear to be decorated for the holidays.
Rolling foothills, large cattle ranches and the majestic peaks of the snowcapped Sierra Nevada form a spectacular backdrop.
Fruit stands dot country roads spring through fall, and farmers markets and taste tours are available throughout the Central Valley. The taste of just-picked local produce is deliciously unforgettable.
Tulare County is rich in history. When the county was established in 1852, early settlers found a wild and beautiful land with great potential. The high country provided water, timber and a place to escape the summer heat. The valley floor provided abundant game and rich soil for crops and cattle grazing — all the ingredients to start a new life. Since its beginning, the county has witnessed so much history, including the arrival of the railroad, mining of precious metals, discovery of the giant sequoia trees and the proliferation of irrigation canals – all coming together to create an amazing, countywide history classroom.
Woodlake Botanical Gardens – This 13-acre facility near Bravo Lake in Woodlake features an ”agricultural theme” characteristic of the Central Valley’s farming region and heritage, the first garden of its kind in California. With more than one mile of gardens to explore, visitors can stroll, bike or use a wheelchair.
Be sure to give yourself enough time because you won’t want to miss the citrus, exotic fruits orchard, nut orchard, several annual and perennial crops, a rock garden and roses. The flower garden is open 24/7. The gated part of the garden is open 8 a.m. to noon Wednesdays through Sundays. Admission is free.
Kaweah Oaks Preserve – This 322-acre preserve, off Highway 198 east of Visalia, protects one of the last valley oak riparian forests in California. Visitors can enter a timeless oasis that showcases what this region looked like more than 200 years ago when valley oaks carpeted the Central Valley. Hike a trail past Himalayan blackberries and rare native plant species while being serenaded by dozens of local bird species and other wildlife. Perhaps you’ll spot a gray fox, great horned owl or even a Nuttall’s woodpecker. Four self-guided nature paths allow visitors to explore a simpler time, and experience the sights and sounds that greeted Native Americans and early settlers.
Success Lake and Richard L. Schafer Dam – Located about 8 miles east of Porterville, it is open year-round with 104 total camping and RV sites, many with electric hookups and water. Success Lake also has 1,400 acres of multipur- pose wild land with recreation opportunities such as hunting, horseback riding, day hiking, backpacking and bird watching. The lake is ideal for swimming, fishing, motorized and non-motorized boating, waterskiing and jet skiing. Hunting is allowed in accordance with all state Department of Fish and Wildlife regulations and seasons. For more information and to book a campsite, go to www.recreation.gov.
Mooney Grove Park – As the first county park in California and home to enormous oak trees that Visalia has worked hard to preserve and protect, Mooney Grove Park is the perfect place for a family picnic or game of disc golf. Surround yourself with nature and enjoy walking around the grounds. At the park entrance, visit the historic “End of the Trail” statue, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary. Take a stroll around the lagoon and tour the Tulare County Museum of Farm Labor and Agriculture, which features one of the largest Native American basket collections in California.
Dry Creek Preserve – The first example of an ecologically based aggregate mine reclamation in Tulare County, this fully restored 152-acre nature preserve provides critical habitat for an increasing number of resident and migratory birds, and supports native species such as the great blue heron, the bald eagle and mule deer. When spring arrives, the preserve welcomes visitors with a stunning display of wildflowers. Located just outside of Lemon Cove a short distance off Highway 198, don’t miss a great opportunity to stretch your legs and enjoy the scenery. Open daily from fall into spring, and only on weekends in summer due to fire danger.
Pixley Wildlife Refuge – As home to more than a dozen species of mammals and reptiles, and habitat for waterfowl and grassland bird species, this refuge is the perfect place to watch nature come alive. Take a relaxing walk along the 1.5-mile trail, lined with interpretive stations, or observe the sandhill cranes roosting in the wetlands from September to January, where more than 6,000 have been spotted at one time.
Lake Kaweah is located on the Kaweah River near Lemon Cove and Three Rivers. At normal levels, it has a surface area of 3 square miles. It is in the foothills below Sequoia National Park and the Sierra Nevada range. High mountains provide a beautiful background for fishing and boating at this popular recreation area, located on the main southern route into Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. For more information and camping reservations, visit Recreation.gov.
Woodlake Botanical Gardens
Kaweah Oaks Preserve
Mooney Grove Park
Dry Creek Preserve
Fun Facts: In 1878, respected Porterville educator Anna Mills reached the top of 14,505-foot Mount Whitney, earning her the distinction of being the first woman to summit the tallest mountain in the Continental U.S. This feat was achieved despite the challenge of having an impaired leg.
She went on to become a founding member of the Visalia-based Mount Whitney Club, whose ranks were joined by conservationist John Muir. A 12,064-foot peak just south of Mount Whitney is named Mount Anna Mills in her honor.
International Agri-Center – Known for the annual World Ag Expo and California Antique Farm Equipment Show, the 260-acre Tulare facility is also home to the AgVentures! Learning Center, Harvest Festival, equestrian events and other special activities. Designed to promote California’s agriculture industry, it has 2.6 million square feet of indoor and outdoor exhibit space. For information, visit InternationalAgriCenter.com.
AgVentures! Learning Center – Located at Tulare’s International Agri-Center, this is a place where ag becomes more than just fields and farmers — it’s you and me and the food we eat (and the clothes we wear). The center features multiple ag-related displays with interactive, hands-on activities for all ages. For information, call (559) 688-1030 or visit IacAgVentures.org.
McKellar Family Farms – McKellar Family Farms provides visitors with an interactive wagon ride experience on the 100-acre citrus farm. See, touch, taste and smell some of California’s juiciest gems. Tours available with 24-hour advance reservation.
Bravo Farms – Taste the Valley the way the locals do. Bravo Farms started as a small gas station and café in Traver and, over the years, grew into a mini-Knott’s Berry Farm, according to the L.A. Times. Watch professionals make hand-crafted cheese and proceed through the tour to taste for yourself. Purchase goodies at The Shoppe and indulge in an ice cream treat. Call ahead for the cheese-making schedule.
Naylor Family Organic Farm – The organic farm and farm stay in Dinuba add to the agricultural ambience of the Central Valley. This unique getaway and “farm to fork” experience is patterned after European-style farm stays where guests are invited into the host’s home. Two spacious bedrooms with private baths are open to guests, and breakfast is prepared and served by the Naylors each morning. They have opened their farm to tours and direct sales of their tree-ripened organic peaches and nectarines, as well as other stone fruit in season.
Bari Olive Oil – A family-owned farm and mill near Dinuba, Bari has been producing award-winning olive oils from locally grown olives for 75 years. Visit the on-site tasting room, which also offers olive oil soaps, books and craft crates. Learn about the history, production and uses of olive oil on a tour of the mill.
Rosa Brothers Milk Company – This family-owned creamery in Tulare started in 2012 as a means of processing milk from their own dairy. Tours are by reservation only, geared toward kids and adults, and run seasonally from early spring to late fall. Cost is $5 per person, with free admission for kids 2 and under. Visitors can see the milk-bottling and ice cream-making process, and have the chance to purchase the freshest milk and ice cream in the Valley, as well as other local treats.
Naturally Nuts In Visalia offers freshly roasted nuts , dried fruit, gift baskets, sugar-free chocolates, olives, soups, local honey, olive oil, handmade caramel pecan logs, handmade nut butters and even their own handmade granola. Looking for an easy way to return home with some of the most tantalizing tastes of Tulare County? This stop is a must.
AgVentures! Learning Center
McKellar Family Farms
Naylor Family Organic Farm
Bari Olive Oil
Rosa Brothers Milk Company
Fun Facts: The famous and still successful D.E. Walker Visalia Stock Saddle was designed by Mexican immigrant Juan Martorell, who moved his shop to Visalia in 1869. To learn more, visit the display at the Tulare County Museum at Mooney Grove Park.