The Sequoia Shuttle whisks its passengers from Visalia to Sequoia National Park, a 400,000-acre nature preserve that houses General Sherman, the largest tree in the world. During rides, an informational video prepares riders for the natural wonders ahead, ensuring that the trees’ height doesn’t intimidate insecure basketball stars. Once in the park, visitors choose from three free in-park routes, which provide easy access to campgrounds, parking lots, and landmarks such as the Crescent Meadow and the Giant Forest Museum. The Sequoia Shuttle cuts down on the exhaust fumes and noise pollution that private vehicles inject into the park atmosphere, preserving a peaceful environment where critters can roam and trees can nurse their woodpecker-induced concussions.
When the owners of Crawdaddy's decided to put a little bit of New Orleans' distinctive flair right in the heart of Visalia, they knew it would take more than great cuisine. What makes New Orleans so unforgettable is that it caters to all the senses and makes the smallest outing a special event. To fill that tall order, they took residence in a spacious facility that could be an exciting venue for music, parties, libations, food, and sporting events, all in one electric, lively place.
The second-floor dining room welcomes guests with a menu of fresh seafood such as blackened catfish and bayou butter prawns. A fully stocked bar wets whistles, and balcony seating offers couples a romantic setting under the stars—all 50 of them. Meanwhile, more than a dozen flat-screen TVs light up the crowd in the first floor's sports bar, where a mixologist whips up creative cocktails and TVs whip up the big game. In the dining area of the first floor, Keith and the Crawdads treat diners to lively tunes during the evening, and on the second level the nightclub sends crowds into fits of dance spasms as late-night DJs spin everything from hip-hop to disco six days a week.
As the Advanced-A minor-league affiliate for the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Visalia Rawhide caters to baseball buffs with professional bat-cracking action and advance screenings of future big-league stars. This year the team celebrates 65 years of play at the recently renovated Recreation Park, an intimate stadium of spherical slinging where fans sit so close to the field that they can call pitches and notice subtle interventions from celestial outfielders. When the players’ endless running, throwing, and sunflower noshing inspires spectators' stomachs to hunger, the park’s three concession stands offer satiation with a bevy of ballpark eats.
Located on a 7-acre plot of land, Visalia Adventure Park carves out ample space for all ages to have fun. Outdoors, the park features a bumper boat pool with a waterfall, an 18-hole miniature golf course, and go-kart tracks for both the family and speedsters. If it's raining or that fire in the clouds becomes too hot, visitors can migrate indoors for arcade playing, laser tagging, and mini bowling.
At The Aviator Casino, folks can gamble like a cowboy and eat like a king. Players sidle up to a variety of gaming options including Pure Blackjack, Pai Gow Poker, 3-card Poker, Texas Hold 'Em, and Pure Spanish Blackjack—a version of the game where the gambler's blackjack always beats the dealer's—or divine the sweet, fickle whims of Lady Luck during rounds of Mexican Poker or Deep Stack Texas Hold 'Em. Famished card sharks can head over to the The Aviator Casino Bar & Grill. There, diners sample a veritable smorgasbord of international cuisine, including full-pound Angus beef burgers, 13-ounce rib eye steaks, lasagna, burritos, and teriyaki chicken. The casino is conveniently located 500 yards from the runway, so pilots and passengers can get off their jets and belly right up to the tables. GEGA #'s: 2125, 3252, 3944, 3154, 3060.