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Visalia is the official "gateway" and the city closest to Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks, but it's still 40 minutes to the park entrance. Much closer is the small town of Three Rivers, which, until recently, had a few mediocre restaurants, coffee shops, and motels for visitors. That's changing with the opening of the Shoshone Inn, which has added 60 more hotel rooms in Visalia, in addition to its two restaurants.