Nestled in the heart of California's agricultural San Joaquin Valley, Visalia is often referred to as Gateway to the Sequoias and The Jewel of the Valley. Though the city certainly does have its fair share of natural attractions and picturesque views, it is also rapidly making a name for itself as a cultural and economic hub of Central California. In fact, in 2007, Visalia was named the 3rd fastest growing city in the state and the 19th fastest growing city in the United States.
Visalia's prime location in the middle of California makes it an easily accessible destination for both air and ground travelers. Visalia Municipal Airport serves three daily flights to California's Ontario International Airport, from which guests have access to non-stop flights to 30 cities throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. Visalia is also located just 45 miles outside of the Fresno Yosemite International Airport, where eight carriers offer 42 daily departures. By car, guests find Visalia is within a 3.5-hour drive from major business centers such as Sacramento, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Visalia's convenient location has made it a premier meetings destination. The city is home to a wealth of first-class convention and meeting facilities that provide 140,000 square feet of meeting space city wide. In fact, the regions largest convention center, Visalia Convention Center, is in the heart of downtown offering 114,000 square feet of space. Additionally, Visalia is now home to the first full-service Marriott hotel in the California Central Valley. Located adjacent to the convention center, the Visalia Marriott has 195 rooms and an additional 10,000 square feet of meeting and event space. Another meetings property, the Holiday Inn Hotel & Conference Center, has 256 rooms and more than 22,000 square feet of meeting space.
The options for successful meeting locations in Visalia extend beyond the traditional. Host an event at the historic Visalia Fox Theatre, a city treasure that can seat over 1,200 people. Or, treat guests to a relaxing afternoon at the nearby Historic Seven Sycamores Ranch in Ivanhoe, perfect for corporate picnics, receptions and more. For a truly memorable group experience, plan a team building trip to the nearby Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Home to the famed giant sequoia trees, some of which are the largest in the world, the parks ranger-led walks and scenic bus tours are sure to inspire and engage attendees.
Visalia's economy and identity is built upon its agricultural strength. Located in the single most productive agricultural areas in the country, Visalia produces more than 250 different crops, notably grapes, olives, cotton and citrus. Higher learning also holds a strong presence in the area, as Visalia is home to the College of the Sequoias and San Joaquin Valley College, as well as branches for Chapman University and Fresno Pacific University.