Nestled in the heart of California’s Central Valley, Bakersfield offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Known as the “Country Music Capital of the West,” this vibrant city has a lot to offer to both residents and visitors alike. Whether you’re a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, or a foodie, Bakersfield has something for everyone. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the top things to do in Bakersfield, California.
- Visit the Kern County Museum:
Start your Bakersfield adventure with a visit to the Kern County Museum, a fascinating historical complex spread over 16 acres. Immerse yourself in the rich history of the region as you explore numerous exhibits, including a pioneer village, oil industry artifacts, and a notable collection of antique vehicles. Don’t miss the chance to step inside an authentic 19th-century train and discover the Black Gold exhibit, which tells the story of Bakersfield’s oil boom.
- Explore the Buena Vista Museum of Natural History:
For nature enthusiasts, the Buena Vista Museum of Natural History is a must-visit attraction. This remarkable museum showcases a vast collection of fossils, minerals, and Native American artifacts, highlighting the region’s unique natural history. Take a journey through time as you learn about the prehistoric animals that once roamed the area and marvel at the impressive displays of mammoths, saber-toothed cats, and other extinct creatures.
- Discover the Bakersfield Museum of Art:
Art lovers will find delight in the Bakersfield Museum of Art, a cultural gem featuring an impressive collection of contemporary and modern art. Explore the diverse range of exhibits, including paintings, sculptures, and photography from both local and international artists. The museum also hosts regular events, workshops, and lectures, making it a hub of artistic expression and creativity.
- Enjoy Outdoor Recreation at the Kern River:
Escape the city’s hustle and bustle by venturing to the picturesque Kern River. Offering ample opportunities for outdoor activities, including hiking, fishing, kayaking, and camping, the Kern River is a paradise for nature enthusiasts. Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the riverbank, go birdwatching, or simply relax and take in the serene beauty of the surrounding landscape.
- Taste the Local Flavors at the Bakersfield Farmers Market:
For a true taste of Bakersfield, head to the Bakersfield Farmers Market. Held every Saturday, this vibrant market is a haven for food lovers, showcasing a wide variety of fresh produce, artisanal goods, and delectable treats. Browse the stalls, chat with local farmers, and savor the flavors of the region. Don’t forget to pick up some locally grown fruits and vegetables to enjoy later.
- Experience the Crystal Palace and Museum:
Immerse yourself in Bakersfield’s rich country music heritage at the Crystal Palace and Museum. Established by the legendary Buck Owens, this iconic venue hosts live country music performances and features a museum dedicated to preserving the legacy of Bakersfield’s music scene. Enjoy live music, dance the night away, and explore the exhibits showcasing memorabilia from country music stars.
- Explore the California Living Museum:
Known as CALM, the California Living Museum is a wildlife sanctuary and zoo that provides a unique opportunity to observe native California animals up close. Take a leisurely stroll through the park and encounter species such as bears, mountain lions, eagles, and more. The park also features a botanical garden, picnic areas, and interactive exhibits for an educational and enjoyable experience.
- Attend a Live Performance at the Fox Theater:
Step back in time and experience the grandeur of the Fox Theater, a beautifully restored Art Deco venue. Catch a live performance ranging from concerts and musicals to comedy shows and film screenings. The theater’s stunning architecture and rich history create a magical atmosphere that enhances any entertainment experience.
- Discover History at the Kern County Basque Club:
Learn about the rich Basque heritage in Bakersfield by visiting the Kern County Basque Club. Explore the Basque Cultural Center, which houses an impressive collection of artifacts, photographs, and historical exhibits. Immerse yourself in Basque culture through traditional music, dance performances, and authentic cuisine at one of the Basque restaurants in the area.
- Take a Day Trip to Sequoia National Forest:
Just a short drive from Bakersfield lies the breathtaking Sequoia National Forest, home to the iconic giant sequoia trees. Spend a day exploring the awe-inspiring natural beauty of the forest, hike scenic trails, and marvel at some of the world’s largest trees, including the General Sherman Tree, the largest known living single-stem tree on Earth.
- Experience Local Flavors on the Kern County Ale Trail:
For beer enthusiasts, embarking on the Kern County Ale Trail is a must. Discover the vibrant craft beer scene in Bakersfield by visiting local breweries and taprooms. Sample a wide range of artisanal brews, from hoppy IPAs to rich stouts, and learn about the brewing process from passionate beer aficionados.
- Enjoy Family Fun at Murray Family Farms:
Perfect for a family outing, Murray Family Farms offers a wide array of activities and experiences. Pick your own seasonal fruits, embark on a tractor-drawn wagon ride, explore a corn maze, and indulge in delicious homemade treats. With numerous attractions and events throughout the year, it’s a fantastic destination for creating lasting memories.
- Visit the Bakersfield Speedway:
If you’re a fan of motorsports, head to the Bakersfield Speedway for an exhilarating experience. Watch thrilling races featuring a variety of car classes, including stock cars, sprint cars, and modifieds. The speedway also hosts special events, demolition derbies, and monster truck shows, providing entertainment for all ages.
Bakersfield, California, offers a wide range of activities and attractions that cater to diverse interests. Whether you’re exploring the city’s rich history at the Kern County Museum, immersing yourself in art at the Bakersfield Museum of Art, or enjoying outdoor adventures along the Kern River, you’re bound to find something that captivates you. So pack your bags, hit the road, and let Bakersfield’s unique charm enchant you as you embark on a memorable Californian experience.