visalia fox theatre

Visalia's Fox Theatre cropped image by wikipedia user Woodhog70

published on July 22, 2022 - 1:32 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

Business publisher Kiplinger recently sent some love down Visalia way with a list of “7 Standout Places to Retire.”

The list relies on metrics including population, cost of living, median home price, value for home price and the number of hospitals within 25 miles to determine the best places for retirees.

Kiplinger made the list by seeking an ideal city in seven out of the nine U.S. Census divisions, making Visalia the only Golden State locale on the list.

“Downtown Visalia has a number of charms, from farm-to-table sidewalk cafés to the farmers market, which offers locally grown produce and artisan goods every Saturday and Wednesday,” according to Kiplinger. “Locals also love Visalia’s annual Taste the Arts Festival, which takes place downtown every October and celebrates the artistic culture and agricultural vitality of the community. Traditional festivities include the annual Waiter’s Race (think running with a loaded tray), culinary tastings and music by the Sequoia Symphony Orchestra.”

While the cities aren’t ranked against each other, Visalia got top billing as the first one presented of the seven. While it had the second-highest cost of living on the list — where the average index of all cities was 100, Visalia came in at 100.7, it received high regards for proximity to Sequoia National Park and California’s coastal cities.

Each city was evaluated for how much home $400,000 could buy. In Visalia, Kiplinger said a homebuyer could get a “Ranch-style home with three bedrooms, three baths and an expansive backyard.”

Bruce Nicotero can attest to Visalia’s appeal as a retiree. After spending 21 years as the general manager of the JoAnn Fabrics distribution center in Visalia, he retired in 2021.

“When I moved here 20 years ago, I didn’t know I would be retiring. I envisioned myself moving to the Pacific Northwest, which is where my family is,” he said. “After living here for all these years and realizing what a great community this is, I bought my retirement home five years ago and I’m here every day.”

Nicotero actually came out of retirement earlier this month to become the new general manager of the Visalia Economic Development Corp.

The other cities on the list include Grand Junction, Colorado; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Fort Wayne, Indiana; Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Scranton, Pennsylvania; and Middletown, Connecticut.


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