Visalia, California


2013 Best Small Towns in America

Contest ends:  September 3, 2013

2 Votes - "Friendliest"
2 Votes - "Best For Food"
1 Votes - "Most Beautiful"


Known as both the Gateway to the Sequoias and the Jewel of the Valley, Visalia lies in the center of the San Joaquin Valley nearby both Sequoia and King’s Canyon National Parks. The location is perfect for every variety of outdoor activities including hiking, biking, golfing, camping, fishing, boating, or skiing.

Visalia boasts something for everyone from the Tulare County Symphony in the Fox Theatre to a Rawhide baseball game at Recreation Park. With 50 murals around town, Visalia embraces local art. The town hosts an annual spoof called Sofa Art, an Arts Market, a “Trash to Fashion” Earth Day fashion show, and exhibits throughout local businesses.

Visitors can take the free trolley down Main Street to some of the highly acclaimed restaurants including Alejandra’s, Figaro’s, Vintage Press, and Jack and Charlie’s. Locals also boast of great produce from farmer’s markets to fruit stands and cheese farms. Visalia’s known for world famous sweet oranges and offers varied agriculturally themed tours.

My heart belongs to Visalia. There are so many great locally owned restaurants there. Everyone knows your name, as they say, and everyone cares about you. On Main Street, the dining decisions are overwhelming. The Vietnamese restaurant on Lincoln Oval was reviewed in THE NEW YORK TIMES! If America is a melting pot, then Visalia has the stove.
Reviewed by georges
on September 17, 2012
This town is so diverse! Armenian to Vietnamese, you name it, they have it. One of my favorite places is Keotip Thai Food Restaurant. As soon as you walk in, they have you seated and even remember what is your favorite dishes and food allergies! They'll customize any dish to suit your needs and tastes. But, they are far from alone in meeting customer's needs. Almost anywhere we go in town does that. The corner cafe on Mineral King is farmers, working class, blue-collar favorite, where the waitresses wear the t-shirts of the local businesses. Open early, they know how to feed you. I sometimes can get 3 meals out of one order. They spoil you there. I could go on an on about my favorites. Brewbakers Pub is a once/week staple as is Colima's for lunch. But don't pass by Lunchbox or Tazzaria for a great lunch, brunch or mid-day treat. Dinner places are too t too numerous to count. My husband and will start off a date night with a walk downtown, then we often head over to Cellar Door, a wonderful wine lounge for some quiet visiting on their plush sofas and chairs. They always have new selections and special wine tastings. After, which, we might choose Fugazzis, which always has a surprise for us and a dipping sauce for bread that is out of this world! Then, there is Cafe 225, Acequia Diner, The Depot, The VP, Vintage Press, Jack & Charlies, to name only a few. Often, it time allows, another walk and then back to Cellar Door for live music, concerts and dancing. The coffee houses are also great and desserts are to die for! Come visit, walk, eat, recreate and enjoy all the life a real small town and agricultural center has to offer!
Reviewed by akleinsteuber
on September 17, 2012
Best food in the nation! We have thousands of farmers and many great restaurants to choose from.
Reviewed by jonnyvr1
on September 17, 2012
I've lived all over the country, in culinary capitols like San Francisco, San Francisco and Washington, DC. Visalia, as my hometown, has a pretty remarkable selection of food. Main Street boasts a diverse selection of cuisines, from Mexican food to California fusion to fine brewpub delights. Some of my Main Street favorites include Alejandra's, Cafe 225, Tazzaria and Brewbakers. But hands down, the most creative, innovative and superior flavors come from the kitchen of Jack and Charlie's just north of downtown on Oak St. Jack and Charlie's is part of a trio of fine restaurants owned by the Vartanians, local experts in flavor. The best part about so many of Visalia's restaurants is that most of the produce on the plates was picked within 50 miles of where it's eaten.
Reviewed by nlw720
on September 17, 2012
Visalia is such a cute and charming town. Love all of the locally grown food. A favorite place to go of my families is Bravo Farms:)! It's a perfect place for kids. It's darling, inviting, and has great cheese. From the petting zoo to the fruit stands it's a capital FUN! My children love the ice cream shop... Oh yeah... and did I mention the cheese?!?
Reviewed by Nikkivr
on September 17, 2012
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