Visalia ) is a Central California city situated in the heart of California’s agricultural San Joaquin Valley, approximately 230 mi southeast of San Francisco and 190 mi north of Los Angeles.Visalia is the 44th largest city in the state of California and the 201 largest in the United States. Often referred to as the Gateway to the Sequoias and nicknamed The Jewel of the Valley, Visalia has an estimated population of 125,921 and spans over 28.6 sqmi in Central California. Its inhabitants are known as "Visalians". In 2007, Visalia was named the 3rd fastest growing city in California and 19th fastest growing city in the U.S.Settled in 1852, Visalia is the oldest permanent inland settlement between Stockton and Los Angeles. As the county seat and largest city of Tulare County, Visalia serves as the economic center to the region known as the Sequoia Valley, one of the most productive single agricultural areas in the United States. Visalia lies within miles of the tallest mountain range in the contiguous United States, the Sierra Nevada (U.S.) (see Mount Whitney, which is located in Tulare and Inyo counties), and is the closest major city to Sequoia National Park, home to some of the largest living things on Earth, the Giant Sequoia trees. It is known as "Where The Valley Meets The Giants."