Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Tulare County, CA

  • Published 2023/08/13

Tulare County, California, is in the middle of the Golden State.

It has a massive land area of 12,533 square kilometers and is home to over 477,000 residents in its 2021 census.

Tulare County was founded in 1852, with Visalia City as its county seat.

Despite not being as popular as the Los Angeles County, Alameda, and Orange Counties, I still appreciate its unique beauty and charm that draws many people to visit.

One of its charms is the world-famous Sequoia National Park, where the towering Sequoia trees are found.

Also, more attractions are waiting for those who explore Tulare County.

So, find out the best things to do in Tulare County, California, in this post.

**About this article: This article was written by a local contributor based on their own experiences and those around them. While this list showcases some remarkable places, it’s important to note that this is an opinion piece, and there are many other exceptional places to visit that are not featured here.
Our aim is not just to guide you to popular places but to encourage you to venture out and experience the city for yourself.

See the Towering Sequoia Trees at the Sequoia National Park

Welcome sign of Sequoia National Park /

The Sequoia National Park needs no lengthy introduction because of its popularity in the United States and worldwide.

This national park happens to be within Tulare County.

It covers a huge chunk of Tulare County’s eastern portion spanning about 404,000 acres or 1,635 square kilometers.

One of the main reasons I visited this national park is the towering giant Sequoia trees.

Many of these trees are either hundreds or thousands of years old and are still standing firmly and majestically today.

Giant trees at Sequoia National Park

Jeison Jaramillo /

One of the most popular trees in the national park even has its name, the General Sherman Tree, which I saw up close and got photos of.

I went to the Crystal Cave to see magnificent prehistoric rock formations.

I also visited Moro Rock, which gave me a sweeping view of the national park.

I explored the Sequoia National Park further by hiking through the Little Baldy Trail or heading to the Giant Forest Museum.

Lastly, I drove through the famous Tunnel Log to complete my visit.

Trail at Sequoia National Park

William Roggero /

Take The Kids to the ImagineU Children’s Museum

ImagineU Children’s Museum is a fantastic place to bring the kids and let them have fun and learn.

I visited this attraction in Visalia and learned it’s popular among many locals in Tulare County.

During my visit there, I discovered fascinating collaborative, independent, and creative activities and exhibits for kids.

Those who bring kids exploring Tulare County must see this place.

Let the kids enjoy the hands-on exhibits that feature environment, arts, science, history, and other relevant kids’ topics.

Also, they can engage in fun and interactive activities with fellow kids at the ImagineU Children’s Museum.

Discover the Local Flora and Fauna at Kaweah Oaks Preserve

The Kaweah Oaks Preserve in Exeter is a small but abundant nature and wildlife preserve.

It only spans over 344 acres, a mostly forested area home to over 300 animal and plant species, most of which are only found in the area.

The preserve is one of the area’s few remaining valley oak riparian forests, making it an important preserve.

While visiting this preserve, I saw its local flora and fauna up close, which was a magnificent experience.

Some animals I encountered were the great horned owls, willows, Valley Oak, and even bobcats from a distance.

The Kaweah Oaks Preserve is open to everyone year-round, making it an ideal place for another round of outdoor activity.

Spend Time at the Ridge Creek Golf Club-Dinuba & Three Finger Jacks Restaurant

The Ridge Creek Golf Club-Dinuba & Three Finger Jacks Restaurant is a premier leisure destination in Dinuba.

It’s best known for its 18-hole Par 72 golf course in the middle of a gorgeous landscape.

I appreciate this course’s relaxed setting and less difficult fairways.

However, my main intention here is its famous restaurant.

It’s known for its spacious and scenic grill room and bar that serves delicious steaks and other dishes.

Of course, I didn’t hesitate and ordered its signature dishes which I didn’t regret.

The Ridge Creek Golf Club-Dinuba & Three Finger Jacks Restaurant has operated since 2008 and is a favorite place for locals to enjoy a delicious meal after a golf session.

Cast a Line at the Elk Bayou Regional Park

Elk Bayou Regional Park is a small green open space known for its marshy canal.

This place is popular among local anglers because of its abundance of various fish species.

It has a playground, picnic shelters, a ballfield, and a parking area.

Adjacent to the park is the marshy bayou, where I cast my line and spent my day fishing.

The abundance of fishing spots makes this place convenient to fish, despite the number of anglers who frequent the area.

The bayou is home to spotted bass, catfish, crappie, bluegill, and largemouth bass.

Overall, Elk Bayou Regional Park is an excellent place to cast a line and kill time.

Have Some Thrilling Rides at Adventure Park

Those who want an exciting amusement park experience can head to Adventure Park in Visalia.

The attraction features a nostalgic amusement park experience.

It has a mini golf course, bumper boats, bump cars, bowling, go-karts, batting cages, laser tags, batting cages, and an arcade.

Of course, I headed to Visalia and spent my entire day enjoying my favorite childhood rides and games at this amusement park.

It was a fun experience, especially if I brought my family or friends.

On top of that, it has free admission, so there’s no single excuse not to visit this amazing place.

Camp at the Horse Creek Recreation Area

Horse Creek Recreation Area is nestled on Kaweah River’s shores.

It’s one of the most extensive campsites in Tulare County.

As an outdoor enthusiast, I was amazed to discover that it has over 70

single-family campsites to choose from to stay.

However, I was more captivated by its gorgeous view of Kaweah River and Kaweah Lake.

Besides its campsites, this place also features trailer parks and recreational vehicle (RV) sites.

All of these have amenities for a more comfortable stay.

Of course, I seized the chance and enjoyed some of its outdoor recreation, such as boating, fishing, and swimming.

Since it’s 10 miles from the Sequoia National Park, Horse Creek Recreation Area is also an ideal base point.

Stroll Through Tulare Downtown

Aerial view of Tulare Downtown

Matt Gush /

Tulare Downtown’s streets are filled with locally owned shops, restaurants, art galleries, breweries, cafes, and other establishments, which drew me to visit first.

At the same time, downtown is home to restored historic buildings and structures.

Strolling downtown lets me get acquainted with Tulare County locals’ regular life.

Tulare Downtown is a worthwhile place to visit because of the activities and events throughout the

It’s where the Fiesta de Mayo happens, as the Mad Scientist Night, Crow Fest, Jack-o-Lantern Jubilee, Wild West Wagon Ride, Downtown Wine Walk, and the Tulare Christmas Parade.

So, after arriving in Tulare County, don’t hesitate to head to Tulare Downtown.

Watch Games at the Valley Strong Ballpark

Valley Strong Ballpark is the official home stadium of the Visalia Rawhide.

This home team of Visalia competes in Minor League Baseball and is affiliated with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

This stadium has witnessed generations of Visalia locals who grew up watching baseball games since 1946.

So, I spent one afternoon there watching the Rawhides play in front of over 3,000 fans.

The overall experience was superb.

I appreciate the Visalia locals’ passion for their team, and I can’t help but cheer for them during the game.

With that in mind, there’s no better way to immerse with locals than a baseball game at the Valley Strong Ballpark.

Go on a Shopping Spree at the Tulare Outlets

Tulare Outlets is the most extensive outlet complex in the city of Tulare.

It’s home to dozens of apparel, houseware, jewelry, and footwear brands that set up their outlet stores.

It’s not to mention that it has many restaurants and casual eateries.

Since I love retail therapy, I grabbed the chance to shop at this place in the heart of Tulare City.

I had a fantastic time browsing shop after shop, which offered huge discounts that enticed me to buy.

I can’t help but appreciate the affordable prices offered at the Tulare Outlets, and I ended up on a shopping spree.

Roam Inside the International Agri-Center

The International Agri-Center in Tulare is a massive place where everything about agriculture and its innovations is found.

This massive place has operated since 1976 as a non-profit corporation that empowers California’s agricultural industry.

Out of curiosity, I joined one of its free guided tours.

The tour brought me to some of its most fascinating places, including the livestock and equestrian complex, learning center, and museum.

Besides the tour, the International Agri-Center hosts various major events.

These events include the California Antique Farm Equipment Show I plan to attend.

Enjoy Birdwatching at the Pixley National Wildlife Refuge

The Pixley National Wildlife Refuge, situated in Earlimart, is a premier birdwatching destination in the county.

I drove 35 miles south of Tulare to reach this wildlife refuge, and it’s worth the distance.

The entire wildlife refuge spans over 6,939 acres, comprising uplands, wetlands, and a natural trail to explore.

One of the best reasons to visit this wildlife refuge is its birdwatching opportunity, which I greatly enjoyed.

Some of the most common bird species I spotted with my binoculars were sandhill cranes and wintering birds.

Besides birdwatching, everyone can enjoy hiking, cycling, and nature photography.

It also has a volunteer for ranger-led programs, which I’m interested in signing up for.

Look no further for excellent birdwatching and outdoor activities, and head to the Pixley National Wildlife Refuge.

Witness the Tulare County Fair

One of the most exciting annual events in the county is the Tulare County Fair.

This county fair happens every September and gathers over a thousand spectators, farmers, and ranchers who celebrate their bounty.

My experience at this county fair was nothing short of fun.

I enjoyed watching the fair, which features plenty of livestock and agricultural products displayed by exhibitors.

Of course, a county fair will only be complete if it has a carnival, food, and music, which this one has all of them.

I enjoyed rides, watching concerts, and eating delicious food, making the Tulare County Fair a must-attend event.

Place Your Bet at the Eagle Mountain Casino

The Eagle Mountain Casino is a wonderful place for entertainment and leisure.

This charming local casino is situated in Porterville.

This casino is called the “People’s Casino” because of its welcoming atmosphere and lively entertainment.

I was amazed to learn that it has over a thousand slot machines, tables, and other casino games that guarantee a fun experience.

Besides the usual casino entertainment and setting, I also appreciate its other sections that didn’t require me to wager.

The Eagle Mountain Casino sections include its lounge, restaurant, and events venue, which is always busy with live performances.

Have Fun at Lake Success

The waters of Lake Success

Hank Shiffman /

Lake Success is a popular outdoor destination situated in Porterville.

The lake spans over 10 square kilometers and was constructed in 1961 as part of the Success Dam.

Today, the lake offers everyone all sorts of water and outdoor activities that I tested myself.

Of course, I enjoyed waterskiing, boating, fishing, and swimming.

Conveniently, it has numerous marinas, launch ramps, and beaches to set up a picnic.

Those who don’t fancy getting wet can still enjoy visiting the lake by hiking or cycling along its shores.

Meanwhile, those who want to stay longer at the lake can camp at the nearby Tule Campground and Tule Recreation Area near Porterville.

Besides outdoor activities, I also explored and saw the wildlife at the nearby Kincade Cove Wildlife Management Area near Lake Success.

Final Thoughts

Those planning to visit California must not skip exploring Tulare County.

It has plenty of attractions, including its national parks and massive lakes, worth seeing and experiencing.

Also, it has hidden gems that are worthy of discovering.

I enjoyed wandering throughout Tulare County, from sightseeing to hiking and wildlife viewing.

So, start planning a travel adventure with friends or family with this list of Tulare County, California’s most exciting things to do.

© All rights reserved.