Central California Tour D’ Art


Take a Self-Guided Public Art Tour in These National Park Destinations


A Love Your Parks Tour story by Lisa D. Smith and Nancy J. Reid, assigned by contemporary figurative artist Victoria Chick


Public art not only celebrates the arts and employs artists, but it also interprets the stories of a region, creates a dialogue, and provides a sense of place. In turn, this kind of beautification boosts community pride as well as economic value.

It’s exciting to see a steady growth of public art programs in historic downtown districts, rural communities, and contemporary cities, parks, and public spaces. It’s free for the viewer, and whether on foot, behind the wheel, or pedaling a bicycle, it can be a fun treasure hunt and a unique way to explore a place, especially during these unusual times of trying to maintain social distance. It’s also a way to balance out a visit to a national park destination that can get packed with crowds during the summer season.

A 4-5 hour drive from Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, Central California’s farm and ranch communities make for an ideal summer public art adventure while visiting some of our country’s most iconic parks and forests. 

The eastern gateway destination of Pinnacles National Park, Hollister boasts a charming historic downtown district surrounded by award-winning wineries, picturesque rolling hills, golf courses, sprawling ranches, organic orchards, and farmlands. It’s authentic Central California countryside with a downtown hub made up of specialty shops, galleries and boutiques, and farm-to-table restaurants.

One of the best ways to explore Hollister’s downtown district is to take one of the Self-Guided Walking Tours that focus on the city’s art, architecture, and geology. Through murals, sculptures, terrazzo and architectural design features, the public art pieces add a vibrant atmosphere to the downtown whilst portraying the stories of the history, nature, people and commerce of Hollister and San Benito County. From a totem pole in a community garden to the artistically etched canopy roof at the Superior Court building, a mural in a tunnel to a painted utility box, there are over 20 colorful stops to visit on the self-guided public art walking tour of downtown Hollister. Not to mention the fascinating architecture with historic styles ranging from Victorian to Frank Lloyd Wright. More: http://www.discoversanbenitocounty.com/hollister-public-art-walking-tour/

Home to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, the Giant Sequoia National Monument and Sequoia National Forest, Tulare County is known as California’s Sequoia Country, and makes for a fabulous destination offering a variety of outdoor activities, an eclectic selection of shopping and dining opportunities in the park gateway communities of Three Rivers, Exeter, Visalia, Porterville, Tulare, Lindsay, Woodlake, and Dinuba.  Main public art destinations include Visalia’s Downtown Mural Trail and sculpture series, Porterville’s Centennial Plaza Park and downtown murals, Tulare’s downtown mural series, Exeter’s Downtown Mural Tour of over 30 large murals and new wildlife sculptures, Three Rivers’ 1st Saturday studio and gallery tour (currently postponed), and Lindsay’s downtown mural series. More: www.DiscoverTheSequoias.com

To view and follow all of our public art experiences on the Love Your Parks Tour, check out our Public Art Across America interactive map.


No Feedback Received