Three scenic drives worth the trip this summer

Visit Visalia is gearing up for an influx of visitors as Covid restrictions are lifted and California opens back up. Anticipating increased summertime travel, Visit Visalia is ready with travel tips and suggestions, and offering their top picks for three scenic drives that will have visitors exploring the local foothills and the national parks in Visalia’s backyard for a classic summer road trip.


Road Trip #1: Drive the General’s Highway in Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park

Sequoia and Kings Canyon are two of the most unique in the park system! They are adjacent parks that are linked by the General’s Highway which makes for a perfect day drive that spans from the Ash Mountain gate in Sequoia National Park to the Big Stump gate in Kings Canyon. These nearby national parks are filled with scenic vistas and majestic sequoia trees that appear around each turn as you drive through the parks. For travelers who want to see these amazing parks but don’t have time for a deep exploration, a road trip through the parks is a great solution. And only one entry fee is required.


Road Trip #2: Yokohl Valley to Balch Park and Springville

Skirting the southwestern edge of Sequoia National Park (though not accessible), the trip through Yokohl Valley is along the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. This route winds past orange groves, cattle ranches and rolling hills dotted with barns and pastures providing a relaxing drive and lots of photo ops.

Road Trip #3: Kings Canyon Scenic Byway

California’s scenic byways offer some of the most dramatic views in the state. The Kings Canyon Scenic Byway is no exception. It begins just north of Visalia, along highway 180 that winds into the national park and ends fittingly at Road’s End deep inside the canyon. Along the way, it climbs in elevation to where the majestic giant sequoia trees grow before heading down into the canyon, one of the deepest in north America, following the roaring Kings River.

These three drives let visitors explore the scenic views around Visalia and the Sierra Nevada mountains for a fun summer getaway. The itineraries with details are available on the Visit Visalia website along with other suggestions and travel information. As California lifts Covid restrictions and families finally head out on their summertime vacation, Visit Visalia is ready with tips, information and travel deals to maximize their holiday. Currently, travelers can receive a free $50 gas card or an annual pass to Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks when they book their stay in Visalia. But this limited offer* is set to expire June 30 so travelers need to make their travel plans soon.

Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks do not require reservations to visit this summer unlike nearby Yosemite National Park. Park entry fee is $35 per car and is good for 7 consecutive days.

Visalia is known for having the famous Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks in its backyard, but natural charm, welcoming locals and abundance of experiences are why this Central California city is much more than a gateway to the great outdoors. Along with great outdoor experiences, Visalia’s local food scene, from thriving food truck culture to fine dining, offers foodie lovers even more to explore. We look forward to greeting travelers this summer.

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