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Fresno or Visalia from Sequoia Park

Virginia
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58 posts
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Fresno or Visalia from Sequoia Park

We are flying to Fresno and then driving the next morning on 180 to the northern entrance to the Park (near Kings Canyon). Our original plan is to see the sights in Sequoia, spend one night at the Wuksachi Lodge, and then continue out the southern end of the park stopping at the caves and Morro rock and ending up in Visalia. The next day we drive to Yosemite. Now we are wondering if it makes more sense to just backtrack to the northern entrance after our night in the park and go back to Fresno. It would be closer to Yosemite and we would avoid the twisty road from the park to Visalia. We also want to have a nice dinner that evening -- what makes more sense, Fresno or Visalia?

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Visalia
Visalia
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San Diego...
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1. Re: Fresno or Visalia from Sequoia Park

As far as the drive, I'd rather drive through the parks even if I was backtracking, than to drive through the flat agricultural Central Valley. Considering your plan I would enter and leave the parks on the 180. You would be driving the General's Highway twice, once in each direction, but to me that would be preferable to driving on Highway 99 through the flat valley. I don't see any compelling reason to leave the parks on the 198, considering that you next destination is to the north. If you were going to Los Angeles, it would make sense to leave the parks on the 198 and then head south. But since you are going north I would just leave the parks on the 180. If you are interested in big cats, there is a small but good big cat sanctuary on the 180 just outside Kings Canyon National Park, and you will pass by it twice if you use the 180 to enter and leave the park. The guided tour with a docent takes 1 hour. http://cathaven.com for more details. As far as a nice dinner, I can't help you there, but Fresno is a fairly large city and should offer a wide variety of choices.

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Los Angeles
Los Angeles
California
Fresno, CA
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2. Re: Fresno or Visalia from Sequoia Park

If you went out the direction of Visalia, it is 45 min by highway from Fresno. Tell us what kind of food you like, and we can direct you! Do you want upscale or hole in the wall? budget or pricey?

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Visalia
Visalia
California
Virginia
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3. Re: Fresno or Visalia from Sequoia Park

Hi,

As for food, we like upscale places. We are "foodies" so always looking for a special place to eat without worrying about the cost (if its worth it).

So far, sounds like it makes more sense to go back out of the park on 180 to Fresno.

San Diego...
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4. Re: Fresno or Visalia from Sequoia Park

If time is crucial, and you are in the south part of Sequoia (such as Moro Rock), then it would be faster to drive to Visalia and Fresno. That would save time, as the drive from Visalia to Fresno would be on Highway 99, with the normal freeway speed limit (I think 70 mph), so you would get to Fresno in less time. If you drove back through the parks, going north on the General's Highway then west on the 180, a lot of that would be mountain driving which is limited to 45 mph or less, even 15 mph in some of the sections with lots of curves. So which way you take would depend partly on how much time you have left after seeing the sights you are going to see. If you are running late and time is critical, and you are at the middle or south end of Sequoia NP, then it might make more sense to exit on the 198 and go to Visalia then to Fresno, as that may be a little faster. It would be far less scenic, in my opinion, but it would save time.

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Visalia
Visalia
California
Fresno, California
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5. Re: Fresno or Visalia from Sequoia Park

If you are really into good food then you should go to Erna's Elderberry House in Oakhurst. It's on the way to Yosemite, north of Fresno. Very upscale, 4 star restaurant. Reservations would be needed, I think. In the city of Fresno you could try Slates restaurant . Lime Lite is a good local favorite, also The Chef's Table, Max's Bistro or Campagnia. For an upscale bar/lounge try The Standard. Bella Pasta is good for Italian food, but more casual. There are also all the chain restaurants in Fresno - Ruth Chris' Steakhouse, Flemings, etc. Sequoia Brewing Company in Fresno is a more casual place, but has a good beer selection. Also, not upscale, but interesting Basque restaurant in town and unique stuff in the Tower District.

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Oakhurst
Oakhurst
California
Slates
Slates
6 Reviews
Fresno, CA
The Lime Lite
The Lime Lite
71 Reviews
Fresno, CA
Max's Bistro & Bar
Max's Bistro & Bar
174 Reviews
Fresno, CA
Bella Pasta
Bella Pasta
38 Reviews
Fresno, CA
Sequoia Brewing Company
Sequoia Brewing Company
25 Reviews
Fresno, CA
Fresno, CA
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6. Re: Fresno or Visalia from Sequoia Park

Campagnia closed last month or so. If you are in the Visalia area Vintage Press is excellent. Erna's in Oakhurst is excellent. It is a part of Chateaux and Relais. Jackets suggested for dinner type of restaurant. In Fresno there is also Parma in northwest Fresno. Small but very good food. I'm not a fan of chain restaurants. Max's is ok, but not consistant in my book as is Chef table. Last time I was at Chef's table, their molton chocolate cake was subpar to the one we get at trader joe's.

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Visalia
Visalia
California
Oakhurst
Oakhurst
California
Parma
Parma
132 Reviews
Fresno, CA
Fresno, California
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7. Re: Fresno or Visalia from Sequoia Park

Chef's Table really doesn't exist anymore, it was basically combined with The Elbow Room after Chef Malachi left last year.

I'd suggest Cracked Pepper Bistro. Chef Vatche is turning out nice dishes like his version of Eggplant Napolean using goat cheese and a pumpkin seed crust.

http://www.crackedpepperbistro.com/

Also good is Trelio Restaurant in Old Town Clovis. It is a small bistro with a daily changing menu using many local farm products. Co-owner Chris Shackelford used to be the Sommelier at Erna's mentioned above, so Trelio also has a nice wine selection.

http://www.treliorestaurant.com/

For Szechwan it has to be Hunan Restaurant in Fresno. Chef Liu, also an owner, used to be Executive Chef in the 90s at the Grand Hotel Beijing. He migrated to the Bay Area and a few years ago moved to Fresno to open his own restaurant. Some of his old Bay Area regulars still make a 3-4 hour drive for his food. There are 2 menus (one is just "regular" style Chinese), so be sure to ask for the Chef's menu for some real treats. The second link is a Chef's menu to give you some ideas.

http://www.thehunanrestaurant.com/

www.thehunanrestaurant.com/files/33703730.pdf

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Elbow Room
Elbow Room
165 Reviews
Fresno, CA
The Hunan Restaurant
The Hunan Restaurant
72 Reviews
Fresno, CA
Virginia
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58 posts
111 reviews
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8. Re: Fresno or Visalia from Sequoia Park

Thanks for all the suggestions everyone! We will have lots to choose from and will have to go back to Fresno sometime to sample them all. Thanks again!

9. Re: Fresno or Visalia from Sequoia Park

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