Visalia has a unique role in the creation of the National Park Service. 100 years ago, on July 14, 1915, a group of influential men met at the Palace Hotel in downtown Visalia before embarking on a trek across the Sierra to see first hand the state of the area. Local businessmen Ben Maddox and George Stewart (who was key in helping to get Sequoia designated as a National Park in 1890) were members of the party that also included the director of the National Geographic Society, the president of the American Museum of Natural History, the chief geographer of the US Geological Survey, and E.O. McCormick, vice president of the Southern Pacific Railroad. This group was led by Stephen Mather who was asked by the Department of the Interior to help the federal government organize the growing number of National Parks.
These men, inspired by their journey, were instrumental in the creation of the National Park Service, which President Wilson authorized on August 25, 1916. Stephen Mather was once again at the Palace Hotel when he heard the news. He later became the first director of the National Park Service.
Take a walking tour of downtown Visalia to see the still-standing Palace Hotel and other historic sights.
Mather Mountain Party Historic Tour
Historical Walking Tour
Summer is here and there are plenty of indoor and outdoor options around town. The Visalia Rawhide home games offer fun theme night events such as “Thursty Thursdays ” and “Firework Fridays. ” Martina McBride will be live at the beautiful Fox Theater and weekly free movie events are offered for the entire family. Get out and enjoy the sunshine!
Visalia BUZZ-July 2015
Summer is starting and there is plenty to do! Kings Canyon National Park is offering FREE admission on Saturday June, 20th for the re-dedication of the General Grant tree in honor of our Armed Forces. All Summer long Visalia Parks and Recreation are hosting FREE “Dive in Movies” at the Mt.Whitney pool on Saturdays. If you would rather picnic with the family at dusk, then try their “Movies in the Park” series on Friday nights at Riverway Sports Park (this is also a FREE event.)
Visalia BUZZ -June 2015
It’s May in Visalia and we’re celebrating!The Cinco de Mayo parade in downtown Visalia will start the month off, followed by the 85th Birthday of our beautiful historic Fox Theater. The Downtown Expo on May 15th will feature live music and food demonstrations by some of Visalia’s best restaurants followed by a downtown car show Saturday May 16th on Main St. Don’t forget to get out and enjoy the beautiful May weather in Visalia! The Sequoia Shuttle starts on Thursday, May 21st with a special one-day rate of $5.00 for a round trip. May 2015 BUZZ
So what do all 3 of these have in common? They are all great places to explore in the Springtime in the Central Valley. Although we didn’t have much of a winter, spring has definitely sprung (in fact, we might be charging into Summer!) This warm weather makes us want to be outdoors, whether it is at a Visalia Rawhide game at Rec Park munching on popcorn and peanuts, or taking advantage of a “Fee Free” day at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, or simply hanging out with friends on Main Street having a coffee at an outdoor cafe. We are living the California Dream! Looking for more ideas to kick-start your springtime? Check out the Buzz, with lots of great suggestions.
Visalia Buzz-April 2015
Here in the Valley, we are desperate for rain and snow to recharge our water supply. But, there is an upside to this lack of “winter weather.” Many parts of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are now accessible due to lack of snow. The National Park Service has made winter travel to the parks even better by offering “Fee Free” days! The next one is February 14-16. So take advantage of this or one of the many other activities throughout Visalia. Take a look at our most recent “Visalia Buzz” for more suggestions.
Visalia Buzz-January 2015
So the holidays are here! Seems just like yesterday, we complained about the Christmas decorations in Costco and yet here we are! Where did the time go?! Take time to savor the season, whether its running in the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day, taking the family to see the Christmas Tree Lighting in the Oval Park, getting decked out for the Christmas Tree Auction or trekking to the Nation’s Christmas Tree. There are lots of things to do in and around Visalia to get you in the holiday mood.
Visalia Buzz-December 2014
The days are getting shorter and there is definitely a nip in the air! At last! It is a great time to be outdoors whether it is for a hike in the mountains or for a walk downtown. We hope you took advantage of the Free Entrance day to Sequoia National Park on Veterans Day. More importantly, we hope you took the time to thank a Veteran.
Visalia Buzz-November 2014
Summer is coming to a close but we aren’t ready to curl up on the sofa yet! There is a lot to do around Visalia this month: Downtown Visalia Sidewalk Sale – 3 days of shopping and family fun – the Visalia Home Expo, the South Valley’s largest Fall Home Expo, and the annual Visalia Waiters Race.
Also, in concert, is Lucy Hale from Pretty Little Liars. She has “gone Country” and is performing at Visalia Adventure Park.
Check out this month’s Visalia Buzz for more information.
Visalia September Buzz 2014
What’s on your bucket list for the rest of summer? If doing something outside is on your list, we have lots to do!
With Movies in the Park, National Model Aviation Day and the Museums at Mooney’s Grove park, there are plenty of fun and FREE things to do this month!
Plus don’t miss Peter Frampton, Buddy Guy and special guest Randy Bachman performing at the Oval Park.
Check out this month’s Visalia Buzz for more details!
Visalia Buzz-August 2014