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Visiting California's Central Valley

Those deciding to visit California’s Central Valley during the fall and winter seasons may look forward to Halloween and holiday events, plus outdoor recreation in some of California’s most famed national parks. Autumn travelers, don’t miss October events like the 2012 Sacramento Horror Film Festival in Sacramento, the 2012 October Fun Fest in Bakersfield, and the Big Fresno Fair in Fresno. Sequoia National Park’s autumn season lasts from mid-September through November, and features activities like hiking, visits to the Giant Forest Museum, and tours of the Crystal Cave. Winter visitors, check out Badger Pass Ski Area at Yosemite National Park, and holiday events throughout Cali Valley.

For a screaming good time this Halloween season, check out the 2012 Sacramento Horror Film Festival in mid-October. Held at the Historic Colonial Theatre, the SHFF is an award-winning event established in 2007, and features games, live entertainment, and costume contests, along with horror genre film screenings.

If you’re ready to enjoy fall in Central Valley’s outdoor splendor, head to Sequoia National Park – less than an hour’s drive from cities like Tulare, Exeter, Porterville, and Dinuba. A must-see during your time in Sequoia National Park is Crystal Cave – found off of Generals Highway, the cave features four different tours: the Historic Candlelight Tour, the Discovery Tour, the Wild Cave Tour, and the Junior Caver Tour. Grab a ticket at the Foothills or Lodgepole visitor center, and enjoy your fall among the Sequoias.

For more fun in California’s national playgrounds, enjoy a winter visit to the famed Yosemite National Park. Easily reached by cities like Manteca, Modesto, Turlock, and Merced – dubbed the Gateway to Yosemite – Yosemite features wintery recreation from December through March. Fans of downhill and cross-country skiing need to head down Glacier Point Road to the 90-acre historic Badger Pass Ski Area. This scenic ski park features 10 total runs, and more than 84 miles of trails for Nordic skiing and snowshoeing. Defrost at the historic Badger Pass Day Lodge, featuring the Snowflake Room and stunning views of the ski area.

Fall and winter festivals are rampant throughout Central Valley. Don’t miss the 2012 October Fun Fest – held in October at Murray's Family Farm, this is the perfect family fun activity for visitors to Bakersfield. Fresno hosts the Big Fresno Fair in early October at the Fresno Fairgrounds, followed by the 23rd Annual Civil War Revisited event in late October.  Come the holiday season, don't miss Fresno's Candy Cane Tree Lane. Other holiday events include PJ Party Christmas Eve at the Sacramento Zoo, A Rock & Opera Christmas at the Veterans' Memorial Center Theatre in Davis, and Christmas & Candlelight Tours at Sutter's Fort State Historic Park.

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39 Best Western Hotels
in California's Central Valley

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