Discover Tulare County

Come for the Sequoias, but let our bounty surprise you.

When wandering the grocery store aisles, do you stop to think about how all this food is produced and placed with such ease at your fingertips? Chances are that many of the produce, dairy and meat products that you have purchased were grown or raised here.

Located in downtown Visalia, Kaweah Delta Medical Center is a teaching hospital with five medical residencies and is the only trauma center between Fresno and Bakersfield. It offers a comprehensive scope of services including everything from a well-respected Level III NICU to nationally-recognized programs in orthopedics, cardiac surgery, vascular surgery, and cancer care. Kaweah Delta is consistently recognized for overall hospital quality, as well as patient care by national organizations such as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and The Leapfrog Group. 

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 120 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.

Visting the Valley

From the rolling, grassy foothills dotted with mighty oak trees to the fertile valley floor, there is plenty to see and do for every nature lover.

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.

WoodlakeBotanicalGardens.com

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.

SequoiaRiverlands.org

Mooney Grove Park

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. Visit the lagoon, take a look at the historic “End of the Trail” statue or wander around the Tulare County Museum of Farm Labor and Agriculture. The museum features one of the largest Native American basket collections in California.

VisitVisalia.com

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.

SequoiaRiverLands.org

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.

fws.gov/kern/refuges/pixley

Lake Kaweah

Lake Kaweah is located on the Kaweah River near Lemon Cove and the town of 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

Lake Kaweah

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. 

Local Agriculture

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

This Ivanhoe citrus farm surrounded by fragrant groves will really give you a feel for what it’s like to live in an agricultural oasis. Schedule a tour and learn about citrus varieties, irrigation, production, grove maintenance and frost protection. You’ll have an opportunity to pick oranges (season permitting) and peek at a historic World War II observation tower. Large groups and schools are welcome. For smaller groups and individuals, the farm offers a self-guided walking tour. All tours are by reservation only.

McKellarFamilyFarms.com

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. BravoFarms.com

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. NaylorsOrganicFarmStay.com

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. BariOliveOil.com

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.

RosaBrothers.com

International Agri-Center

AgVentures! Learning Center

McKellar Family Farms

Bravo 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.