Porterville offers an old-town charm and pioneering spirit to residents as well as serving as the gateway to Sequoia National Forest and the Great Western Divide Highway. The community's charming downtown area offers a number of attractions such as unique boutique style retailers, antique stores, restaurants, a multicultural art center and beautiful historic downtown murals.
Main Street is also home to numerous special events, such as the popular Iris Festival held each April and the Veterans Day/Homecoming Parade that has been held on Veterans Day for more than 90 years. The Iris Festival is held in late April and draws more than 20,000 to the city. The festival is a celebration of Porterville's official city flower, the purple iris. The city is also home to the world's largest distributor of re-blooming iris, Sutton's Iris Garden. Many other events and activities are offered throughout the community year-round, including a community-supported country fair and various cultural offerings, not to mention, California's longest-running community theater – Barn Theater featuring live dramatic performances.
Surrounding Porterville are the communities of Springville, Terra Bella, and Ducor. Springville offers a nice stop on the way into Sequoia National Forest. Off of Highway 190, on the Tule River Indian Reservation, is Eagle Mountain Casino, a popular spot in the foothills. Also, Success Lake is just a 10-minute drive east of downtown Porterville.
When much of the Valley is shrouded in fog during the winter months, Porterville basks in the sunshine because it sits at about 500 feet in elevation. Golfers can take in the sun at the city golf course in town, or at River Island Country Club above Success Lake, one of the premier golf courses in the Central Valley.
The foothills and mountains are a big backyard for Porterville and the other communities of Southeastern Tulare County. And what a backyard! The Sierra Nevada, perhaps the most magnificent and one of the most famous mountain ranges in the world. Ringed by foothills on three sides with the San Joaquin Valley to the west, the community of Porterville has long and strong ties to the Southern Sierra communities to the east.
Porterville is the gateway into Sequoia National Forest and the Sequoia National Monument with its magnificent giant sequoias, creeks, rivers, a lake, forests with the biggest trees in the world, world-class rock climbing, places to camp and hike, hunt and fish, and lots more.