Adventurers with Autism have more choices when traveling to Visalia, California

Visit Visalia offers list of Certified Autism Centers™ for travelers

Adventurers with autism and their families have choices when traveling to Visalia, California that include hotels and other businesses that have been designated as Certified Autism Centers™ (CACs) by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). Now with a total of five hotels and multiple family-friendly attractions trained and certified, visitors with autism can choose from a selection of tourism businesses that have completed the specialized training to better understand, welcome and communicate with guests who have autism or sensory needs.

Visit Visalia is the first destination marketing organization in California to achieve the CAC designation, taking the lead with local partner hospitality businesses to invest in this specialized training. Local hospitality partner businesses that have completed the autism sensitivity training and awareness include five lodging partners: the Comfort Suites Visalia Hotel, Hampton Inn Visalia, Visalia Marriott at the Convention Center, Visalia Wyndham Hotel and the Lamp Liter Inn.

Family-friendly attractions that are also CACs include some of the most popular businesses like Imagine U Children’s Museum, Visalia Adventure Park, and the Tulare County Museum.

“We are so excited for travelers to have the ability to choose just the right hotel and attractions for their family from our growing list of Certified Autism Centers™,” said Suzanne Bianco, tourism marketing director of Visit Visalia.

Visalia’s Hidden Disability Sunflower Program Continues to Grow

Visit Visalia implemented the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Program to help travelers with special needs obtain additional support they may require while traveling here. Developed and launched in the United Kingdom, the program is now a recognized icon that travelers with accessibility needs can utilize to discreetly be identified as having a disability. Visit Visalia offers the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower lanyards and bracelets complimentary to those that request them when traveling to the city. Local businesses, like restaurants and attractions, that display a sunflower in their front window have completed specialized training offered by Visit Visalia and can better serve people with hidden disabilities like autism.

Autism-Friendly California Road Trip

Visalia worked with some of California’s top attractions that are leaders in accessible travel, to create an autism-friendly road trip that spans California. We have partnered with attractions that are Certified Autism Centers™ to create an exciting road trip with a route that includes stops at Sesame Place® San Diego, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Santa Barbara Zoo, GRAMMY Museum® and Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Concord. The Autism-Friendly California Road Trip is highlighted in the annual 2022 Visit California Road Trips Guide that launched July 15, 2022.

Accessibility in Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

A video series created by the nearby Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks highlights accessibility features in the parks. As well, an accessibility guide details how visitors of all ability can explore these amazing parks, home to the giant sequoia trees, must-sees on California trip.

Travelers who have a sensory disability like autism are encouraged to use the tools on the Visit Visalia website to plan a trip to the city.  A complete list of CACs, Visit Visalia Hidden Disabilities Sunflower program participants, links to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks accessibility video series and visitors guide, and much more are available at:

Visalia is known for having the famous Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks in its backyard, but natural charm, welcoming locals and abundance of experiences are why this Central California city is much more than a gateway to the great outdoors. Along with great outdoor experiences, Visalia’s local food scene, from thriving food truck culture to fine dining, offers foodie lovers even more to explore. We look forward to greeting all travelers.

For more information or to book your stay, go to

Posted on: 03/08/2022

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