FROM THE DESK OF: Aiza
I hold a special place in my heart for Central California (in particular, the city of Visalia). From LA, I love the drive through the Angeles Mountains, the views of grape vines, the nut trees, the dairies and more. A trip up to Central Valley, California and any other agriculture regions in the state always reminds me of the hard, grinding work of farmworkers. I truly value the contributions farmworkers make to put food on my table.
What else do I love about the area? The food. First, the food grown and harvested in the area provides an incredible economic source to the state.Per House Committee On Natural Resources: “California’s Central Valley is the state’s agriculture hub, producing over 360 products.”
Beyond the financial impact, throughout the area you will find some of the freshest, tastiest fruits, vegetables and meats. For a self-proclaimed foodie like myself, the Central California area is pleasant, affordable surprise.
Right off Highway 99 in Traver, exit and stop at Bravo Farms. Bravo Farms offers a huge variety of nuts, cheeses, olives and other random gifts. Whenever I’m up in the area, I stop at Bravo Farms for a tri-tip sandwich, serious mac and cheese and interesting flavors of cheeses and nuts. During my most recent trip, I bought a bag of Raspberry Honey Almonds!
Every time I’m up in the Visalia area, I must have a meal at Fugazzis right in downtown. Honestly, I’m not a fan of salads. However, I always make a point to order a salad when I’m in any agricultural area. Close proximity to nearby vegetables results in meals made up of fresh lettuce and tomatoes and fruit. Fugazzis offers simple but delicious salads (and the table bread is pretty good too!). This place does not disappoint.
I always visit Tazzaria during my visits to Visalia. Tazzaria is a cute coffee shop also located in downtown Visalia. The coffee and pastries are pretty good and the overall ambiance of this restaurant is quite charming. When you are here, you get a feel of the Visalia vibe. Instead of Starbucks, I stop in here for a local snack and coffee treat.
WHERE TO STAY:
The recently renovated Marriott in downtown Visalia is a great place to stay overnight, especially if you looking for a nice hotel near Sequoia National Park. The hotel is just a couple blocks from the downtown Visalia’s local restaurants and bars. I must say the rooms are clean and spacious. In particular I found myself really impressed with my room’s sectional couch and something similar to a dining table. Basically the room layout is perfect for working or just relaxing. I definitely will stay here again and again.
*From Visalia you can catch a round trip shuttle to Sequoia for $15.