While just about everyone in the Central Valley knows that Hanford is the place to go for delicious ice cream at Superior Dairy, there are plenty of additional reasons to make a stop in and around downtown Hanford. In the last few years, Hanford has seen an increase in new small businesses, especially along their Main Street area. From coffee and tea shops to boutiques and specialty item stores, visitors can easily make a day of exploring what Hanford has to offer.

Much of this new growth is thanks to the nonprofit organization Main Street Hanford, which works closely with businesses to revitalize and promote downtown Hanford as a shopping, dining, and touring destination.

“We are very proud of our historic buildings, small boutique shops, beautiful Civic Park, the Carnegie Museum, the historic Fox Theatre, our fabulous carousel, and of course, Superior Dairy,” said Shelly Johnson, executive director of Main Street Hanford. “Using our ‘Four-Point Approach,’ we are able to provide a large number of activities (more than 26 events each year!), inviting visitors and locals to enjoy, shop, and discover downtown Hanford.”

For those who would like to learn more, Main Street Hanford recently launched an app through “distrx,” which focuses on shopping, dining, events, and activities in the downtown area. Because of this new app and the recent momentum behind downtown’s growth, Main Street Hanford is encouraged and excited for current businesses to thrive while new businesses come to town.

“Downtowns thrive on entrepreneurship, and downtown Hanford is no exception,” said Shelly. “We have seen a large number of new businesses open within the last two years…we are actively recruiting new businesses and work with potential business owners to assist them in any way that we can.”
If you’re wondering where to start on your next Hanford visit, consider stopping in at some of theses hidden Hanford gems.

One Eleven Coffee Shop. A modern and comfortable vibe welcomes guests to this trendy new coffee shop in downtown Hanford. One Eleven is a project of a Koinonia Church as a way to contribute to the ongoing revitalization of downtown. One Eleven’s coffee is primarily sourced form Lanna Coffee Co., a roaster in Fresno that works closely with impoverished farmers in the mountains of Thailand. This means every cup of coffee helps people half way across the world. For more information, visit oneeleven.coffee.

Hanford Carousel. As an iconic Hanford gem, this 1939 Allan Herschell Carousel has been a local and visitor favorite since the late ‘70s. It’s one of approximately 200 surviving and currently operating classic wooden carousels from the art deco time period. Operated by the Hanford Chamber of Commerce, visitors can typically ride the carousel on Saturdays and Sundays between 12 and 4 p.m. at the cost of just $1 per ride. For more information, call 582-0483.

Porches Garden Shop. A welcoming oasis in the midst of the Central Valley heat, this quaint garden shop features luscious plants, succulents, home décor, artisan gifts, antiques, and unique objects from near and far. As your peruse the shop, you’ll find beautiful designs for the interior and exterior of your home. For more information, call 530-3921.

Lush Wine & Beer Bar. If you’re looking for a refreshing drink after a day of exploring Hanford, stop in at Lush Wine & Beer Bar right next to the Hanford Fox Theatre. With more than 100 wines by the bottle, wines by the glass, and rotating beer taps, this spot has a little something for everyone. The bar also hosts live entertainment every Saturday, featuring local artists and musicians. For more information, visit lushfinewines.com.

Divine Creations Floral. This lovely new storefront is more than just a flower shop. While their artists create beautiful and unique floral arrangements for every occasion, they are also the perfect setting for intimate events and gatherings. For more information, call 587-5511.

L.T. Sue Tea Room. With more than 100 different loose-leaf teas to choose from, L.T. Sue Tea Room provides the finest quality teas from around the world, right here in the San Joaquin Valley. Located in Hanford’s historic China Alley, guests can relax and enjoy a cup in their tearoom or take loose-leaf tea home to enjoy later. The shop also provides small culinary bites with specials that change daily. For more information, visit ltsue.com.

The Soaking Tub. This quaint shop in downtown Hanford sells quality handmade products including skin care, clothing, gifts, and home décor. They also offer a fragrance bar where guests can customize their own fragrance combinations. Keep an eye out for specialty classes to learn how to make a variety of their skin care products, like bath bombs, sugar scrubs, body butters, and soaps. For more information, call 410-8416.

Thursday Night Marketplace. Everything Thursday night during the spring and summer season, 3,000 people head to downtown for Main Street Hanford’s Thursday Night Marketplace. This family-friendly farmers market features more than 100 vendors, live music, a wine and beer garden, and plenty of activities for the kids. For more information, visit mainstreethanford.com

Sweet Palette Bakery. Cakes, cupcakes, cookies, caramel apples, pies, pastries, oh my! Sweet Palette Bakery can make just about anything sweet you can imagine. Stop by their bakery to indulge in a few treats from their counter, or order in a specialty dessert for your next event or gathering. You won’t regret it! For more information, call 530-3001. n