Travel News and Wild Fire Updates Available Here. Note that park closure is in effect 9/12/2021.

WINTER ACTIVITIES IN VISALIA AND THE NATIONAL PARKS

For those of us yearning for a holiday season filled with good cheer and merry making, we have these suggestions to help welcome the holiday season and make it a time to remember. From dining and shopping, to hiking and exploring, a visit to Visalia this holiday season will evoke the holidays of your childhood with simple pleasures, gathering with our nearest and dearest, and finding joy in a brisk winter day outdoors.

From Sequoia National Park to boutique shopping, these ideas are perfect for a winter holiday whether you’re traveling solo, with just the two of you, or with your family. Planning is simple and carefree. Book your stay now for a holiday you will always remember!

A Stroll along Main Street in Downtown Visalia looking at the windows all decorated for the Holidays will put you in the holiday spirit. The joy of sipping a hot cocoa while peeking in at the decorated windows will boost your holiday mood. Pop into the boutiques to find the perfect gift for those on your list. You may even run into a “Secret Santa” who might present you with a special gift. Downtown has lots of great restaurants for a fun holiday celebrate or time spent with special someone. For an elegant night out, consider the Vintage Press Restaurant for that memorable holiday meal. Looking for a more casual spot? The patio at Pita Kabob is charming with its twinkle lights and delicious Mediterranean food. During the holidays, Main Street is renamed “Candy Cane Lane” with swags of garland stretched across the street and twinkle lights filling the sidewalk trees. The holiday spirit is alive in downtown!

The Vintage Press
Pita Kabob
Letter and Grain

The holidays will be evident all around Visalia. Here are a few places that evoke that holiday feeling and bring back memories from your childhood. And making us feel like children is what the holidays are all about!

Visalia Mall
The classic visit with Santa at the Mall will be anything but traditional this year. While this might not be the year for a photo of the kids on Santa's lap, the Visalia Mall is helping to preserve this time-honored tradition and social distant photos will still be available. The Visalia Mall will have the North Pole, holiday decorations, hot chocolate and more that will excite children in anticipation of the upcoming holiday. You can even have a story read by Mrs. Clause! They will be delighted when they visit knowing that Santa will still hear their secret wish.

The Woodlands
A new tradition is starting in Visalia at The Woodlands bringing lots of cheer this holiday season. Open every day, guest can enjoy a skate rink, shopping, food, music, lots of photo opportunities and more. This venue is all outdoors.

Hillcrest Tree Farm
Not far from Visalia is Hillcrest Tree Farm where you can select and cut down your own Christmas tree. But that is not all you can do. Families come to enjoy fun holiday activities including train rides on the live-steam narrow gauge railroad, that chugs along through the trees. Families also enjoy the children’s play areas, the trails and picnic areas.

Book your tickets in advance for the popular Pajama Nights, the only time of year you can ride the railroad at night. Put on your coziest PJs for the train ride and watch the glow from the fire in the engine as it builds up the steam to power the train. And you-know-who just may stop by to say hello-ho-ho!

DOWNTOWN VISALIA
VISALIA MALL
CHRISTMAS AT THE WOODLANDS

Viewing holiday lights is an annual tradition for most families. Looking at the decorations and the twinkling lights while sipping hot cocoa makes the holidays come to life. Here are a few suggestions of where to see some spectacular light displays in and around Visalia this holiday season.

This winter, celebrate the holidays with a new tradition - one that gets you outdoors and exploring wildlife. As birds and other animals migrate, many find their home in and around Visalia in the winter. 

Visalia has many opportunities to explore the outdoors from the nearby national parks to local conservation lands - ranches, farms, scenic vistas, cultural sites, wildlife habitat and waterways - in the Kings, Kaweah, Tule and Kern River watersheds. Managed by a local non-profit, these lands are opened for public use and offers an opportunity to volunteer, hike and discover these beautiful places. Most Friday and Saturday, Sequoia Riverlands Trust hosts events at several of their locations from volunteer days to discovery days. If you’d like to help, contact them and make a reservation to be there. Their docents will teach you about the local area. You can make a difference by helping preserve the land for future generations or simply hike among some of the most beautiful areas in the southern sierra.

SEQUOIA RIVERLANDS TRUST

The sequoia trees in winter are one the most beautiful sights to see! Did you know that the General Grant Tree in Kings Canyon National Park is a living shrine to the men and women of the Armed Services? It is also considered the nation’s Christmas tree. On the second Sunday of each December, rangers from the National Park Service hold a ceremonial wreath laying at the base of the tree while visitors gather around. Touching and significant, the ceremony at once reminds us of the freedoms we enjoy and the holiday spirit that fills us all. 

There are other winter activities in the parks that make a visit to the parks in winter one of the best trips ever. Rangers in the parks often host snowshoeing walks in winter when snow levels allow. The beauty of the cinnamon colored bark of the giant sequoias against the brilliant white of the snow is unforgettable. And as you walk through the forest you have an experience like no other. 

If you are looking for a guide that can help your family explore the parks in winter, including a private snowshoeing tour, make arrangements with Sequoia Parks Conservancy or Sequoia Guides. These expert guides know the park and can help you have a unique and memorable experience.

WINTER IN THE NATIONAL PARKS


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©2021 Visalia Convention & Visitors Bureau
P.O. Box 2734 Visalia, CA 93279
112 E Main St, Visalia, CA 93291
(800) 524-0303 : (559) 334-0141
Visitor Center Hours
Memorial Day to Labor Day Mon-Sat 8-5
Labor Day to Memorial Day (Winter) Mon-Fri 8-5