Visalia is a city in the San Joaquin Valley of southern California, and serves as the county seat of Tulare County. It sits at the base of the Sierra Nevada mountains and is known as a good place to live, especially for outdoor enthusiasts! Visalia is known for its close proximity to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks and it’s about a two hour drive to Pismo Beach. Sometimes called the “Gateway to the Sequoias,” Visalia is often used as a home base for park visitors.
In 1874, Visalia was officially incorporated and its city charter was granted. Since that time, explorers and settlers have been moving to Visalia. Even today, it’s loved for its sparse suburban feel, education, and many parks.
Where is Visalia?
The central Californian city of Visalia is in Tulare County, located right in the middle of California’s agricultural San Joaquin Valley as part of the Visalia-Porterville metro area and the larger Bakersfield, CA metro. Nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Visalia is just over 40 miles to the south of Fresno, and west of Sequoia National Park and National Forest. Visalia to Fresno is just over 43 miles, while Visalia to San Francisco is about 230 miles, or 3.5 hours. A trip to Los Angeles is about 191 miles away, or three hours away. Yosemite is a short drive away from Visalia; depending on the route you take, it’s 104 miles, or about a two hour drive.
Visalia has good, affordable public transportation. Visitors and residents are served by the Visalia Transit, which utilizes 13 bus routes to serve Exeter, Farmersville, Goshen, Tulare, and Visalia, or the V-LINE, which runs Visalia to Fresno. Park visitors may use the Sequoia Shuttle during the parks season, which runs from May to September.
Visalia Population & Demographics
Visalia’s population was 141,561 as of the 2020 Census, making it the 41st-most populous city in California and the 196th-most populous city in the United States.
A few famous names call Visalia home, including actor Kevin Costner, baseball player DJ Lemahieu, Kevin Downes, and founding member of the Doobie Brothers, Tom Johnston.
Demographics of Visalia, California
|Black or African American (NH)||3,680||2.6%|
|Native American (NH)||1,415||1.0%|
|Pacific Islander (NH)||141||0.1%|
|Hispanic or Latino||73,470||51.9%|
The 2020 Census states the population growth rate for Visalia from 2020 to 2021 was 1%. There are 43,867 family households and Visalia’s median household income is $66.668, which is below the median income of $78,672 for the state of California. About 14.6% of the population lives below the poverty line.
Compared to the national average of 94% Visalia is below the national average for high school completion, with 84% of the population age 25-29 becoming high school graduates. 22.5% of Visalia residents age 25-29 have achieved a Bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to the national average of 49%.
Some other noteworthy Visalia demographics include:
- 32.5 is the median age
- The average travel time to work from Visalia is 20.9 minutes
- The foreign-born population in Visalia is 12.7%
- 4,201 Visalia residents are veterans
Based on FBI crime statistics, the total crime rate per 100,000 people is 2,676 compared to 2,581 for the state of California, or 2,346 for the country. The violent crime rate is 555 per 100,000 people, which is 7.5% lower than the state average, while the property crime rate is 2,267 per 100,000 people. This rate is 6% higher than the state average. Although crime exists, there are safe places to live in Visalia.
The Visalia Police Department serves the people of Visalia and has 216 officers or 1 officer per 1,000 residents.
The Cost of Living in Visalia, California
The cost of living in Visalia–as part of the Bakersfield metro–is 102.3, while the U.S. average is 100. According to the Economic Policy Institute, a family of four would need to earn $77,471 per year to afford to live in the Visalia-Porterville metro area.
|Cost of Living||Visalia||California||USA|
|Median Home Cost||$365,000||$761,700||$402,983|
Typical Visalia Living Expenses:
- Average Monthly Visalia Utilities: $328
- Milk (Regular, 1 Gallon): $3.00
- Loaf of White Bread: $2.75
- Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant: $31.50
- Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course: $60
- Gasoline (1 Gallon): $6.14
The median price of Visalia homes for sale is $375,000, 7.5% lower than the national median of $403,367. Home appreciation in Visalia has been 9.8% year over year. According to RentCafe, the average rent in Visalia $1,691 for a 937-square-foot apartment, which is more than the United States average of $1,681.
Visalia Neighborhoods | Where to Live in Visalia CA
The most expensive Visalia neighborhood is Rayo and Redbanks on the northeast side of the city. The most affordable neighborhoods include Mooney East and Sierra Point on the south-central side.
If you plan to move to Visalia, you will find neighborhoods and subdivisions that can fit all tastes and budgets. Here’s a quick look at a couple of popular Visalia neighborhoods.
- Green Acres is a neighborhood of single-family-sized homes in Northwest Visalia. Homes are fairly limited in this neighborhood and prices range anywhere from $425,000 to 2.8 million.
- Beverly Glen is a neighborhood that sits within a mini oak woodland with older, well-established residences. Homes range from $280,000 to over $600,000 and a variety of homes can be found in the surrounding area.
Visalia Weather & Climate
Visalia has a semi-arid climate and receives just enough annual precipitation to stay out of the desert climate classification. April through October in Visalia is warm with high temperatures of 74–94°, while November through March can be rainy with high temperatures around 54–67°. Visalia averages 10.93 inches of precipitation a year.
Visalia temperatures frequently exceed 100° to 105°. If you are moving to Visalia, be prepared with sunscreen and sunglasses!
Things to Do in Visalia CA
You can’t talk about things to do in Visalia without mentioning the amazing parks and stunning natural beauty. Shopping in Visalia is popular at the Sequoia Mall and the highly rated Visalia Mall.
Family friendly and full of adventures to be had, you’ll find food, a water park, an arcade, a laser maze, batting cages, and more.
5600 W Cypress Ave, Visalia, CA 93277 (559) 635-7275
Perry Championship Disc Golf Course
An 18-hole disc golf course with beautiful scenery. Perfect for some Visalia family fun and active entertainment!
27000 S Mooney Blvd, Visalia, CA 93277 559-624-7227
Sequoia National Park Hiking Trails
Breathe in the fresh air and enjoy some sightseeing with trails that range from kid-friendly short and paved to an all-day expert hike!
Sequoia National Park, CA (559) 565-3341
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Additional Attractions in Visalia
If you want even more things to do, Visalia’s Event Calendar is hosted by Visalia Parks and Recreation and Visit Visalia!
As one of the agricultural hubs for all of central California, you can enjoy fresh meals along with scenic views. There is no shortage of places to eat in Visalia, here are some of the best:
Brewbakers Brewing Company and Restaurant
A local spot with pub food and brews. You’ll find numerous salads, sandwiches, personal sized pizzas and burgers. You’ll also find savory entrees, such as a tri-tip dinner or chicken alfredo.
219 E Main St, Visalia, CA 93291 559-627-2739
Classic American dishes with a creative twist, there is steak, sirloin, fish, soups, and salads, as well as vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. Don’t forget to ask the sommelier about your wine options!
216 N Willis St, Visalia, CA 93291 559-733-3033
Scrumptious Italian American food with vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free dishes. You’ll find savory appetizers, a variety of pastas and pizzas, salads, signature entrees, and a variety of options from the steakhouse.
127 W Main St, Visalia, CA 93291 559-625-0496
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Jobs in Visalia CA
Many people living in Visalia are employed by Tulare County, the Kaweah Delta Medical Center, and Visalia Unified School District. According to Payscale, the average salary in Visalia is $65,000/yr and $18.05/hr.
The unemployment rate in Visalia CA is 4.50%, which is lower than the U.S. average of 6.0%. Job growth in Visalia was 2.49% from 2019 to 2020, and some of the highest-paying jobs in Visalia, CA are within the medical field.
If you’d like to work for the city of Visalia, check out the job board on the City of Visalia Careers page or Indeed job board.
Visalia and the surrounding communities are served by the Visalia Unified School District, and schools in Visalia are highly rated. Some of the top-ranked schools include University Preparatory High School, Oak Grove Elementary School, and Hurley Elementary School.
Visalia is home to the College of the Sequoias (COS) community college, as well as branch campuses for Fresno State, Chapman University, and Fresno Pacific University. Visalia also has two private institutions: San Joaquin Valley College (SJVC) and the University of Phoenix.
The Visalia Public Library first opened in 1904 and has proudly served the area for over 115 years!
Visalia Statistics and More Information
- County: Tulare County
- Visalia Area: 37.94 mi²
- Visalia, CA ZIP Code: 93277-93279, 93290-93292
- Visalia Area Code(s): 559
- Visalia Elevation: 331′
- Visalia Time Zone: Pacific Standard Time (PST)
- Closest Airport to Visalia: The nearest airport to Visalia is the Visalia Municipal Airport (VIS) and Fresno (FAT)
Find more things to do with this map of Visalia!
Now you’re ready to call yourself a Visalia local! As you prepare for your move to Visalia, reach out to Mentors Moving and Storage. We’re founded on the principles of hard work and superior customer service, and serve the metro areas of Phoenix, Bakersfield, Santa Rosa, and beyond!