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Popular Destination in Southern California

SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY &
SOUTHERN SIERRA NEVADA

Cities

Once an arm of a vast inland sea 500 miles long and approximately 40 miles wide, the San Joaquin Valley now makes up the southern half of the Central Valley, which runs north-south down the middle of the state. The valley draws its name from the San Joaquin River, which flows from the Sierra Nevada above Fresno into the great Sacramento River delta and eventually out to sea through San Francisco Bay. The verdant region is surrounded by some of the state's largest mountain ranges: the Sierra Nevada to the east, the Tehachapis to the south, and the Diablo and Temblor coastal ranges to the west. The Spanish names Diablo ("devil") and Temblor ("earthquake") both refer to the presence of the devastating San
Andreas Fault that is their geological mother. Much to the delight of its residents, this lush and rural valley remains low-key. The tourist industry hasn't infiltrated the area the way it has
other parts of the state, and the valley is predominantly known as one of the world's most productive farming regions. Its fertility is greatly due to the ancient sediments laid down here, where the former mud can be thousands of feet thick. Meanwhile, deep sedimentary rock produces natural gas and oil—which explains the grasshopper-like oil pumps that line the
roadsides surrounding Bakersfield. Valley towns such as Visalia and Bakersfield prosper, growing cotton, grapes, almonds, pistachios, roses, and a wide array of other crops. Because
a cruise-control journey down Interstate 5 (the fastest way by far to traverse the state by automobile) misses much of the San Joaquin Valley's agricultural history, Highway 99, which runs north to south further inland, justifiably attracts travelers with more time on their hands. It is along this route that the valley that gained wrenching fame in John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath becomes more accessible. Amidst the plight of Depression-era workers, Steinbeck also saw a place where blossoming groves spread like "fragrant pink and white waters in a shallow sea" and the land "quickens with produce" each spring. Though Steinbeck's ob-servations still hold true, this is also a route that will satisfy any visitor's love for turn- of-the-century architecture, old family-run restaurants—and one of the valley's popular pastimes, antiquing. Many of the valley towns boast some of the state's finest civic architecture from the late 1800s and early 1900s, as well as grand old Victorian and Craftsman houses. Farther inland from Highway 99, a side trip into the Sierra Nevada to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks highlights the famous "big trees" of the Giant Forest Village area as well as the immense, glacier-carved canyon of the Kings River at Cedar Grove. Back-country day hi-king, backpacking, and horse-packing opportunities abound in these gateways to the wilder-ness. The area, because of its high crest of "four-teener" peaks (those 14,000 or more feet high, culminating in Mount Whitney at 14,494 feet), was a favorite of early explorers Joseph LeConte and John Muir. Muir called the Sierra Nevada "the range of light," and on a clear day its snowy crest is a gleaming beacon visible not only from mountain parks and roads but from the SanJoaquin Valley itself.

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Shopping Mall : Travel guaranteed lowest hotel rate - the cheapest hotels rates, motel, resort, car rental, vacation rentals, cheap air fare airline ticket, travel and cruise.

Travel Category: Hotels, Hotel Reservation, Travel, Last Minute Travel, Car Rental, Airline Ticket, Vacation Package, Cruise, Vacation Rentals

Site Description: Discount Travel Reservation offers online discount travel reservation and last minute travel for hotel, motel, and resorts, air travel, car rental , cruise, vacation rental. Compare guaranteed lowest hotel rates from Marriott, Hilton, Best Western, Radisson, Hyatt, Sheraton, Westin Hotels, Travelodge, Motel 6, and more from Las Vegas, New York City, Paris, London, New Orleans, Orlando, San Francisco, and other cities.

Travel Topics: discount hotels, hotel discount, hotel discounts, discount hotel, hotel reservations, hotel reservation, hotels, motels, cruise, discount car rental, car rental, car rentals, discount rental car, rental cars, last minute travel, vacation rentals