About 55,000 people call Hanford, Calif., home, but the town is filled with enough history to accommodate a city of millions. Downtown is a must-see thanks to the Hanford Civic Auditorium (1924), the Kings County Courthouse (1896), the Hanford Fox Theatre (1929) and a 1920s ice cream parlor named Superior Dairy Products Co. There's also the China Alley Historic District from 1882, as well as a 1922 building now used as the Temple Theater. This history gives visitors a glimpse of the past, as Hanford's slow pace of life exemplifies the way things used to be.
It's not everyone's cup of tea, but with amenities such as pull-chain toilets, pedestal sinks and clawfoot bathtubs, the Irwin Street Inn (522 N. Irwin St.;  583-8000) gives visitors an authentic Victorian experience with a modern twist. Guests check in at the main house, built in the 1890s, which is also the location of its dining room. The bed-and-breakfast also features an outdoor area often used for weddings.
The staff at Toshiko Japanese Cuisine (258 N. 12th Ave.;  772-4774, www.toshikojc.com. No item more than $21) serves dishes such as miso soup, sashimi and shrimp tempura while suggesting local hot spots to visit after dinner. But if it's a classic Hanford eatery you want, head to La Fiesta Restaurant Bar (106 N. Green St.;  583- 8775, www.lafiestarestaurantbar.com. No item more than $15.95.) for a menu inspired by the flavors of Colima and Michoacan, Mexico.