Avenal is a city in Kings County, California, United States. Avenal is located 35 miles (56 km) southwest of Hanford, at an elevation of 807 feet (246 m). It is part of the Hanford–Corcoran Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA Code 25260), which encompasses all of Kings County. In area, it is the largest city in Kings County. The Zip Code for this community is 93204, and telephone numbers use the sequence (559) 386-XXXX. The population was 15,505 in the 2010 census, which includes inmates at the Avenal State Prison, the first prison actively solicited by a community in the state of California. Many of the remaining residents largely either work at the prison or in the agriculture industry. The prison provides approximately 1,000 jobs to residents.
The city's motto is "Oasis in the Sun".
The City of Avenal was named by Spanish soldiers and explorers. "Avena" means oats or oatfield in Spanish. This area was covered with wild oats, "waist high," that looked like golden silk and covered the Kettleman Plains.