Bakersfield, California, is a hidden gem in the Golden State that often gets overlooked in favor of its more famous neighbors like Los Angeles or San Francisco. However, this city offers plenty, with a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and thrilling attractions. In this guide, we’ll explore fantastic things to do in Bakersfield, California, ensuring you have an unforgettable visit.
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30 Things to Do in Bakersfield, California
1. Kern County Museum
Start your Bakersfield adventure by immersing yourself in its rich history at the Kern County Museum. Wander through 16 acres of exhibits, including historic buildings, artifacts, and even a working farm. Take the chance to experience life as it was in the late 19th century.
2. Crystal Palace and Museum
Country music enthusiasts should head to the Crystal Palace, a renowned venue co-owned by the legendary Buck Owens. Enjoy live music, great food, and a fascinating museum showcasing memorabilia from the Bakersfield Sound era.
3. Bakersfield’s Basque Cuisine
Experience the unique flavors of Bakersfield by dining at one of its famous Basque restaurants. Savor hearty dishes like oxtail stew, garlic soup, and pickled tongue in a warm and communal atmosphere.
4. Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace
Dive deeper into Bakersfield’s music scene at the Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace. Enjoy live country music performances, and remember to check out the museum dedicated to the Bakersfield Sound.
5. Kern River Parkway
Nature lovers will appreciate the Kern River Parkway, a scenic area perfect for hiking, biking, and picnicking. The Kern River offers fishing opportunities, and the parkway’s lush surroundings provide a peaceful escape from the city.
6. Rabobank Arena, Theater, and Convention Center
Catch a concert, sports event, or Broadway show at the Rabobank Arena, Theater, and Convention Center. Check the schedule for exciting events happening during your visit.
7. Wind Wolves Preserve
For a true outdoor adventure, visit the Wind Wolves Preserve, California’s largest nonprofit preserve. Explore hiking trails, go wildlife watching, and take in the breathtaking views of the San Joaquin Valley.
8. Sam Lynn Ballpark
Baseball fans should attend a game at the Sam Lynn Ballpark, home to the Bakersfield Blaze. Cheer for the local team and soak up the fun atmosphere of minor league baseball.
9. California Living Museum (CALM)
Discover California’s diverse wildlife at CALM. This zoo and botanical garden houses animals and plants native to the Golden State, making it an educational and entertaining experience for all ages.
10. Fox Theater
Admire the stunning architecture of the Fox Theater, a historic venue that hosts a variety of performances, from concerts to Broadway shows. Check the schedule for upcoming events.
11. Buena Vista Museum of Natural History
Unearth the prehistoric past of the Central Valley at the Buena Vista Museum of Natural History. Fascinating exhibits feature fossils, minerals, and ancient artifacts.
12. Bakersfield’s Craft Beer Scene
End your day by exploring Bakersfield’s thriving craft beer scene. Visit local breweries like Temblor Brewing Company and Lengthwise Brewing Company to sample some unique brews.
13. Art in the Park at Mill Creek
If you’re an art enthusiast, attend Art in the Park at Mill Creek. This annual event showcases local artists and their creations against the beautiful backdrop of Mill Creek Park. You can explore a variety of artistic styles and even purchase unique pieces to take home as souvenirs.
14. Murray Family Farms
For a fun-filled day with the family, head to Murray Family Farms. This sprawling agricultural wonderland offers seasonal fruit picking, a petting zoo, hayrides, and a corn maze. It’s an excellent place to learn about farming while having a blast.
15. The BLVD
The BLVD is Bakersfield’s vibrant downtown district, packed with restaurants, boutiques, and entertainment options. Stroll along the wide sidewalks, shop for unique gifts, and indulge in delicious cuisine from local eateries.
16. Bakersfield Speedway
If you’re a dirt track racing fan, be sure to catch an event at the Bakersfield Speedway. Feel the adrenaline as you watch powerful sprint cars and other race cars tear up the track in exciting competitions.
17. Samson Tours
Explore the rich agricultural heritage of Bakersfield with a guided tour from Samson Tours. Discover how the region’s crops are grown, harvested, and processed while gaining insight into the area’s farming history.
18. Kern County Raceway Park
Motorsports enthusiasts will enjoy visiting the Kern County Raceway Park. Witness thrilling races on the high-banked half-mile track, including stock car, sprint car, and modified events.
19. Lake Ming
If water activities are your thing, Lake Ming is the place to be. Spend a day fishing, boating, water skiing, or picnicking by the lake. It’s a serene oasis where you can relax and unwind.
20. Artisan Cheese Gallery
Cheese lovers won’t want to miss a visit to the Artisan Cheese Gallery. Indulge in gourmet cheeses, charcuterie boards, and a selection of fine wines. It’s a delightful spot for a sophisticated tasting experience.
21. Bakersfield Sound Historic Walk of Fame
Bakersfield is known for its contributions to country music, and you can explore this history through the Bakersfield Sound Historic Walk of Fame. Stroll through downtown to see stars commemorating legendary artists like Buck Owens and Merle Haggard.
22. Bakersfield Escape Room
Challenge your problem-solving skills at the Bakersfield Escape Room. Work with your group to solve puzzles and riddles to escape within a set time limit. It’s a fantastic activity for friends and family to enjoy together.
23. Bakersfield College Memorial Stadium
If you’re in town during football season, catch a game at the Bakersfield College Memorial Stadium. Join the local crowd and experience the excitement of college football firsthand.
24. Rush Air Sports Trampoline Park
Kids and adults can have a blast at Rush Air Sports Trampoline Park. Bounce, flip, and jump to your heart’s content on various trampolines and attractions. It’s an excellent way to burn off energy and have fun.
25. California Aqueduct Bikeway
For cycling enthusiasts, the California Aqueduct Bikeway offers a scenic route along the aqueduct. Enjoy peaceful rides through picturesque landscapes and view the waterway and surrounding farmland.
26. Wine Tasting in Bakersfield
Bakersfield is located near several renowned California wine regions. Consider taking a short drive to explore the wineries and vineyards of the Central Valley, where you can savor exquisite local wines.
27. The Fox Theater Foundation’s Ghost Tours
If you’re a fan of the supernatural, embark on a spooky adventure with The Fox Theater Foundation‘s Ghost Tours. Learn about the theater’s history and the mysterious occurrences over the years.
28. Bakersfield Condors Hockey
Catch a fast-paced hockey game featuring the Bakersfield Condors at the Mechanics Bank Arena. The exciting atmosphere and skillful plays make for a thrilling evening of sports entertainment.
29. Panorama Park
Panorama Park is a beautiful green space offering walking paths, playgrounds, and scenic views of Bakersfield. It’s an ideal spot for a stroll, a family picnic, or simply unwinding amidst nature.
30. California Area Living Museum (CALM Zoo Lights)
If you visit Bakersfield during the holiday season, don’t miss CALM Zoo Lights. This festive event transforms the California Area Living Museum into a winter wonderland with dazzling light displays, holiday-themed activities, and visits from Santa Claus.
Bakersfield, California, has many activities to cater to various interests and preferences. Whether you’re an art lover, an adrenaline junkie, a nature enthusiast, or foodie, you’ll find plenty of things to do in Bakersfield, California, to make your visit memorable. So, plan your trip and immerse yourself in this vibrant city’s diverse attractions and experiences.