Open Road adventure
Open Road adventure
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The small town of Earlimart sits towards the southern end of California’s fertile Central Valley Region, not too far from the much larger city of Bakersfield. The valley is the center of American agricultural, with the vast majority of fruits and vegetables available at supermarkets coming from farms in the area. Earlimart’s unusual name has a rather interesting origin story too. Farmers changed the name of their community of Alila in 1910 to Earlimart after the species of melon that they were growing ripened earlier than other varieties and were thus “early to market."
When you book an RV in Earlimart, you'll find that the town is surrounded by farmland. Its central location puts it just a few hours' drive from the mountains and the coast. And when you rent an RV here, the campgrounds and attractions won’t be full of tourists, which is a rarity in California.
When you get motorhome rental in Earlimart, one of the things you must do is visit Sequoia National Park. The centerpiece of the park is Grant Grove, a stand of massive Sequoia trees on the park’s western end; its General Sherman tree is thought to be the largest single-trunk tree in the world by volume and is a whopping 36 feet wide and 275 feet tall. Beyond the park’s magnificent trees, there are also a plethora of camping and hiking opportunities.
Kings Canyon National Park is adjacent to Sequoia so you can easily visit both. Kings Canyon sees far fewer visitors thanks to its less developed infrastructure, so this would a great place for those who prefer to stay far from the crowds.
When you get an RV rental in Earlimart, you don’t need to travel all the way to the Sierra Nevada to have a good time outside though. The Pixley National Wildlife Refuge is just a short drive away and is the perfect day trip for birdwatchers, particularly those wanting to spot sandhill cranes. The hiking trail through the refuge is only a mile and a half long, so if you intend to stay for an extended period of time, it’d be a good idea to bring something to sit on while you watch for wildlife.
Although Earlimart is on a major transportation corridor in the Central Valley, it doesn’t see too many tourists and therefore only has a few RV parks nearby. Sun and Fun RV Park in Tulare is only a little way up Route 99 and offers full hookups for your camper rental in Earlimart, and also offers amenities that include a swimming pool, playground, laundry facilities, and showers.
Another choice for camping when you get a travel trailer rental in Earlimart is the Deer Creek RV Park outside of Porterville. Sites there have full hookups, laundry facilities, a dump station, and showers. It’s fairly close to Sequoia National Park if you’re thinking about making day trips there. Friends RV Park is just down the road from Deer Creek and also has nearly the same amenities.
Should none of those options work out or you just need a place to stay for a couple of nights, you might try camping in the parking lot of the Delano Walmart. It’s just a short distance to the south of Earlimart, but you’ll need to get the manager’s permission before settling down for the night.
As was noted before, Earlimart is a farming community, and most of the land surrounded it is devoted to it, so you’ll near to look a little harder to find worthwhile attractions. However, one of the area’s gems, Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park, isn’t too far away. The park is dedicated to the all African-American community that was formed here in the early 1900s. While it didn’t ultimately succeed, the message of African American empowerment is strong and gives a fascinating look at their efforts to survive in pre-Civil Rights era California.
Another good place to learn some of the Central Valley’s history is the Tulare Historical Museum just up Route 99 from Earlimart. The museum complex isn’t big, but it covers some of the area’s most famous residents and also displays works from contemporary artists. One of the best parts of taking a road trip with an RV rental is the chance to see some of these smaller museums that really do a deep dive into the history of regions that we don’t hear much about anywhere else.
If you’re hoping to do any shopping, you’ll need to drive a little way. Tulare has several outlets stores that sell discount clothing, and Portersville has a variety of interesting souvenir and antique shops. Both have a larger selection of restaurants compared to Earlimart and will be your only option if you want fine dining and any kind of international cuisine.