Things To Do In Bakersfield CA at the southernmost point of California’s Central Valley, Kern County is home to Bakersfield. It’s a city whose foundations are oil, agriculture, and country music. Modern attractions, such as an art and culture scene fueled by a thriving creative community, are also part of this history. Bakersfield is known as the West Coast’s country music capital because of this and its rich cultural heritage.
A sub-genre of country music popularized by local artists like Buck Owens and Merle Haggard in the 1950s and 60s is the soundtrack for a visit to Bakersfield. For those who want to experience the Bakersfield Sound in its purest form, the Crystal Palace and the Kern County Museum are great places to do so.
As a gateway to the great outdoors, Bakersfield is an ideal location. Kern River Parkway Trail parallels the mighty Kern River as it flows through the city. This paved path connects the city’s other scenic open spaces, making it ideal for taking advantage of the region’s usually sunny weather. Check out our list of the best things to do in Bakersfield music hall for more ideas.
List Of 26 Things To Do In Bakersfield CA Today
1. Hart Memorial Park
Bakersfield’s crowning green space is Hart Memorial Park. Nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, it’s less than a 20-minute drive from downtown Kernville. In addition to the 370 acres of land, there are a variety of ways to spend your time.
The entire park is dotted with picnic tables, playgrounds, and paved walking trails. Both lakes are stocked with rainbow trout as well as bluegill and bass. In addition, mature trees provide plenty of cover for the entire park. Because of these reasons, the park is a popular destination for hikers, picnickers, and anglers here at Los Angeles.
Disc golfers also flock to Hart Memorial Park. There are two disc golf courses in the park, each with its own unique layout. The landscaped lawns near the river serve as the setting for an 18-hole course that is relatively flat. An 18-hole disc golf course known as Shark Tooth Mountain is located in the mountains.
The Kern River County Park includes Hart Memorial Park. The nearby California Area Living Museum (CALM) and Lake Ming are also part of this massive county park. Additionally, it houses a major regional soccer facility at Lake Isabella.
Address: Hart Park, Bakersfield, CA 93308, United States
2. Buck Owen’s Crystal Palace
Music venue and museum all in one: Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace To preserve the Bakersfield Sound, it is one of the city’s most popular tourist destinations.
As far as country music is concerned, the Crystal Palace is perhaps best known for hosting a variety of contemporary and classic performances. It’s common for there to be multiple acts on the bill each week. Attend these well-attended weekly gatherings in your best cowboy garb. The Crystal Palace’s dinner-and-a-show menu includes everything from appetizers to main course entrees.
The Buck Owens Crystal Palace Museum, located right on the property, is also worth a visit in and of itself. At the museum, you’ll find artifacts from the musician’s life and career, as well as information on the growth of country western music in the United States as a whole. The Kern County Museum has a special exhibit on the Bakersfield Sound that provides more information about the phenomenon.
Address: 2800 Buck Owens Blvd, Bakersfield, CA 93308, United States
3. Kern County Museum
The Kern County Museum, located north of downtown, is a popular educational destination for families. Costumed characters and well-preserved artifacts and buildings immerse visitors in Kern County’s storied past.
The museum’s outdoor Pioneer Village, a living history museum spanning 16 acres, contains more than 60 historic structures. For example, a general store and homesteading cabins are both on the list. There are plexiglass windows in some of these buildings that allow visitors to peek inside here at River walk.
An interactive exhibit in the village explains the city’s oil history and shows how black gold fueled Kern County’s growth. On-site is the Lori Brock Children’s Discovery Center, which combines hands-on learning with science education.
The museum’s “Bakersfield Sound” exhibit features a number of notable musicians who grew up in Bakersfield, including Buck Owens. It is possible to learn more about Merle Haggard through the exhibit as well as by visiting his childhood home, which is located on the grounds of the museum at Southern California.
Address: 3801 Chester Ave, Bakersfield, CA 93301, United States
4. Downtown Bakersfield
To get the fullest experience of Downtown Bakersfield’s cultural life, head to downtown. Chester Avenue runs through the middle of this large downtown area, which spans several city blocks to the east and west. Restaurants with hip storefronts and local menus abound in this area. Bakersfield is also a great place to go shopping, whether you’re looking for the most up-to-date fashions or a rare piece of history so it’s a fun thing.
The 18hundred and Locale Farm to Table Eatery are two well-known downtown restaurants for foodies. The Woolworth Diner and the Padre Hotel are two more well-known choices in the area. You can also enjoy an elegant date night or special occasion dinner at the historic Horse in the Alley vintage steakhouse located in an 1890s downtown building.
Downtown shopping can easily fill an entire day. However, the area is best known for its antique shops, which can be found in the local boutiques. Between Chester Avenue and Chester Street, you’ll find a number of antique shops. The 19th Street Antique Mall and the Merry Go Round Antique Mall are two of the best places in the area to find unique items.
Address: Bakersfield, CA USA
5. The Fox Theatre
The Fox Theater in Bakersfield, which opened on Christmas Day of 1930, is a historic venue known for its ornate interior and great acoustics. There were initially no sound films, but they were soon followed by the first “talkies” to hit the big screen. Live music performances now fill the Fox Theater’s stage, making it even more enjoyable to take in the theater’s ornate decor.
As recently as the 1980s, this historic building was on the verge of demolition. It was saved thanks to the efforts of the community, and in 1994, the Fox Theater Foundation was formed and re-imagined.
Address: 2001 H St, Bakersfield, CA 93301, United States
6. The Park at Riverwalk
The Park at Riverwalk, located southwest of downtown, is where the Kern River Parkway Trail meets. A picturesque cobblestone creek circulates the water in these two duck-filled lakes in this charming city park. In addition to the lakes, a scenic stream with footbridge crossings winds through the park’s remaining 32 acres.
All year long, anglers can catch bass, carp, and crappie in the two interconnected lakes. Picnics with the family and leisurely strolls through the park are both popular activities in the park, which comes alive at dusk.
The Dignity Health Amphitheatre, located within the park, is one of the county’s largest outdoor venues and hosts a variety of year-round live music events. Thousands of people regularly flock to see concerts held at this magnificent outdoor venue.
Address: 11298 Stockdale Hwy, Bakersfield, CA 93311, United States
7. Kern River Parkway Trail
All over the city, the Kern River Parkway Trail is a non-motorized path that follows the scenic riverbanks. If you’re looking for an inexpensive and enjoyable way to spend a day, this is an excellent option. Panorama Park, Beach Park, and The Park at Riverwalk are just a few of the nearby parks.
It is a popular route for walkers, joggers, and cyclists alike because of its beautiful scenery. Runoff from the Sierra Nevada Mountains flows into the Kern River. Most of the time, it’s completely dry by the time it gets to the city anyways. It’s still possible to find vegetation close to the trail and a scenic route to follow in this arid environment.
Address: California, USA
8. The California Living Museum
The Kern River County Park, which includes the California Living Museum (CALM), is located just north of downtown, near Hart Memorial Park. A member of the Zoological Association of America, it provides a safe haven for injured and unreleasable native California animals.
CALM’s mission is to educate, inspire, and engage the community with local fauna. CALM protects black bears, bighorn sheep, and a variety of birds.
Additionally, Lake Ming can be found within Kern River County Park and is just a short drive from CALM. The shores of this man-made recreational lake are lined with picnic tables and shade areas, making it ideal for fishing or a picnic. The Kern River Campground is located on lake road and provides flushing toilets and showers for overnight visitors.
Address: 10500 Alfred Harrell Hwy, Bakersfield, CA 93306, United States
9. The Bakersfield Museum of Art
It was founded in 1956, and the Bakersfield Museum of Art (BMoA) has been providing a window into the creative Kern County community for nearly 60 years, since then. Art by Californians from the 20th century is on permanent display. To keep things fresh for visitors, the BMoA changes out its collection frequently and hosts national touring exhibits.
Paintings, sculptures, and photographs are among the most popular mediums on display at the BMoA. The majority of the artwork on display is spread across three galleries, as is the lobby, which is beautifully lit. Tejon Ranch Sculpture Park, the museum’s outdoor area, is a great place to admire the artwork in the sunshine.
Every month of the year, the museum hosts a variety of events. A few of the most popular events include First Fridays Free Admission and Yoga at the Museum. Throughout the week, there are also educational programs for both children and adults.
The Mill Creek Park and Pathway, located next to the Bakersfield Museum of Art, is a great place to take a break during the day. Covered bridges and plenty of green space characterize it. Playgrounds, park benches, and a scenic path that follows a former irrigation canal can all be found in this linear park.
Address: 1930 R St, Bakersfield, CA 93301, United States
10. Panorama Park
Panoramic Park sits atop a bluff overlooking the Kern River on the city’s northern outskirts. Even at sunset, it’s a lovely place to spend any time of the day. There are parking lots at both ends of the park’s hiking trail, which is primarily a linear park. Visitors can complete the park’s two-mile loop by hiking.
The park is located right next to Panoramic Drive, where there is plenty of parking. For the best views, bring some binoculars or a zoom lens so you can get up close and personal. Bakersfield’s oil fields can be seen from the riparian corridor that follows the Kern River.
Panorama Vista Preserve’s trails extend beyond Panoramic Park and across the Kern River on the other side. This natural area is being restored to its former glory thanks to the efforts of the community and massive replanting efforts. Hiking, biking, and horseback riding are now popular low-impact trail activities.
Address: Bakersfield, CA 93305, United States
11. The Sequoia National Forest
Bakersfield is surrounded by some of the world’s most beautiful natural landscapes. Sequoia National Forest and the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains are just a short drive away from the Kern River Canyon, which begins just north of the downtown area.
There are at least 30 groves of giant sequoia trees in this magnificent national park, as well as wild and scenic rivers and canyons carved by glaciers. Traveling through the forest on foot or horseback is common, as is camping, whitewater rafting, and kayaking. There are also numerous cabins scattered throughout the forest for overnight stays.
Along with the thousands of miles of hiking trails, maintained roads, and gravel paths that line this lush natural space, the country-spanning Pacific Crest Trail meanders through the national forest on its way north to Sequoia National Park.
The Homeland Wilderness, which covers 95,000 acres, is one of six designated wilderness areas in the forest. Sequoia National Forest, with its high elevations of up to 12,000 feet, offers a variety of winter activities for the better part of the year.
Address: California, United States
12. Panorama Park
Located on a bluff overlooking the Kern River on the city’s northern edge, Panoramic Park is a popular destination for visitors. Even at sunset, it’s a lovely place to spend any time of the day. An asphalt hiking trail connects two parks with parking lots on either end of a linear park. A two-mile hike will take visitors around the entire park.
The park is located right next to Panoramic Drive, where there is plenty of parking. Make sure to bring binoculars or a zoom lens to get a closer look at the canyon’s awe-inspiring scenery. Visitors to Bakersfield can also see the vast oil fields that the city is built on as they walk along the Kern River’s riparian corridor.
Address: 901 Panorama Dr, Bakersfield, CA 93305, United States
13. Buena Vista Museum of Natural History & Science
A short walk from the Fox Theater in Bakersfield, California, is the Buena Vista Museum of Natural History & Science. A large collection of oceanic fossils from the nearby Sharktooth Hill can be found here, in addition to other finds from all over Kern County and beyond.
Among the exhibits in this downtown museum are skeletons, taxidermic animals, and a wealth of information on a wide range of scientific fields. Shark Tooth Hill is also a paleo dig site that the museum hosts.
Address: 2018 Chester Ave, Bakersfield, CA 93301, United States
14. Rabobank Arena, Theater & Convention Center
Bakersfield’s Rabobank Arena is the city’s most popular venue for big concerts and shows. In terms of events and performances, it’s the city’s most important venue. Concerts, Broadway shows, and other sporting events, such as monster truck rallies and Disney on Ice, are all held in this versatile venue.
The American Hockey League’s Bakersfield Condors also call the arena home. Throughout the winter, there are always a lot of people in attendance for these exciting ice hockey games.
Address: 1001 Truxtun Ave, Bakersfield, CA 93301, United States
15. Central Park at Mill Creek
The only park within walking distance of downtown is Central Park at Mill Creek. Between 24th Street and Truxton Avenue, it has a mostly linear design that follows a former irrigation canal. A once bustling industrial corridor has been transformed into a beautiful walking path lined with trees and benches thanks to a series of renovations.
At the north end of the park, a green space separates the walkway from the rest of the park. Photographers flock to this spot to capture the picturesque Mill Creek Bridge, as well as water features and an entire raft of ducks taking advantage of the aquatic setting. There are playgrounds, restrooms, and plenty of trees for shade in this park area.
Address: 500 19th St, Bakersfield, CA 93301, United States
16. Murray Family Farms
Big Red Barn at Murray Family Farms has a wide variety of kid-friendly attractions. On State Route 58, a 20-minute drive from town, you’ll find this tourist-friendly, fully operational farm. Visitors can participate in farm activities such as u-pick harvesting and animal encounters.
In addition, Murray Family Farms hosts a number of entertaining activities. The year begins with a special citrus U-pick event in January, and ends with Christmas on the Farm in December. More than a few events are held throughout the year, including an Easter on the Farm and October Fun Fest, as well as the annual Cherryfest in May.
Address: 6700 General Beale Rd, Bakersfield, CA 93307, United States
17. Gaslight Melodrama Theatre
One of the best things to do in Bakersfield is to see a play at the Gaslight Musical Theatre. It’s hard to imagine a better way to unwind than to eat and drink your way through the show. The concession stand offers everything from freshly baked cookies to nachos to beer and wine.
In addition, the theater offers an eight-week educational program for children in which they learn to dance, drama, improvisation, singing, and the proper application of theatrical makeup.
Address: 12748 Jomani Dr, Bakersfield, CA 93312, United States
18. Camelot Park
As a family-friendly amusement park, Camelot Park has plenty to offer the kid in all of us. This includes a large video game arcade as well as a variety of food and drink options.
Address: 1251 Oak St, Bakersfield, CA 93304, United States
19. McMurtrey Aquatic Center
The McMurtrey Aquatic Center is the place to be on a hot summer day in Bakersfield. A wide variety of water-based activities are available at the McMurtrey Aquatic Center. There is also a picnic area and a snack bar at the aquatic center.
Address: 1325 Q St Suite 200, Bakersfield, CA 93301, United States
20. Valley Plaza Mall
You can shop at Valley Plaza Mall, which includes Forever 21, Target, Macy’s, Vans, Sephora, Apple, and Express as well as a slew of other retailers. Afterward, you can enjoy a meal at one of the mall’s many restaurants or a movie at the complex’s movie theater.
Address: 2701 Ming Ave, Bakersfield, CA 93304, United States
21. Sam Lynn Ballpark
From May to July, a professional baseball team called the Bakersfield Train Robbers plays in the Pecos League and at the park. During the summer months, the ballpark also hosts a number of fun events.
For this reason, make sure to visit the ballpark’s official website and social media accounts during your visit to Bakersfield.
Address: 4009 Chester Ave, Bakersfield, CA 93301, United States
22. Puzzle Effect
Escape rooms are a great way to spend time with friends, have a date night, celebrate a birthday, or build a team. To begin, you’ll be given a brief synopsis of the story; next, you’ll need to locate the clues, after which you can simply leave the room.
Address: 3616 Coffee Rd C, Bakersfield, CA 93308, United States
23. Wool Growers
Wool Growers, a popular Basque family restaurant in Bakersfield’s Basque Block, has been in business since 1954. Traditional Basque cuisine is served in a warm and welcoming atmosphere at this restaurant, which features old-fashioned flowery wallpaper and plastic tablecloths.
Address: 620 E 19th St, Bakersfield, CA 93305, United States
24. 24th Street Cafe
No one can resist the charm of a retro-style diner. There are leatherette booths, Formica tables, large Coca-Cola signs on the wall, and friendly waitresses running around with big menus at the 24th Street Café.
Since 1987, this neighborhood favorite has been serving up classics like juicy burgers, hearty soups, and huge breakfasts topped with delicious biscuits and pancakes at a reasonable price.
Address: 1415 24th St, Bakersfield, CA 93301, United States
25. The Links at Riverlakes Ranch
The Links at Riverlakes Ranch, a public golf course in Bakersfield, is located on Riverlakes Drive. Ronald Fream drew inspiration from Scottish golf courses when designing the layout. Almond orchards and cotton and vegetable fields once covered the 6,800-yard course, which was completed in 1999.
Address: 5201 Riverlakes Dr, Bakersfield, CA 93312, United States
26. Salt 7even Float Center
If you’re looking for a way to relax and unwind from the stresses of everyday life, a salt float at Salt 7even is the ideal solution. Salt 7even is a place where stressed-out people can come and spend an hour floating weightlessly in a tank of Epsom Salt solution. You’ll be able to effortlessly float on top of the temperature-controlled bath if your concentration is strong enough.
Address: 1713 20th St, Bakersfield, CA 93301, United States
FAQs Things To Do In Bakersfield CA
What is Bakersfield well-known for?
Bakersfield, California, is known as the “country music capital of the West Coast” because it is the hometown of country music stars Merle Haggard and Buck Owens. Many Dust Bowl refugees settled in the area, resulting in a high population density.
What is there to do in Bakersfield?
Bakersfield is the birthplace of the Bakersfield Sound, a popular country music genre, and many well-known artists have been born here. The city is also home to a number of award-winning museums.
Is Bakersfield a poisonous place to live?
Yawn. For the second time in as many years, Forbes.com has named Bakersfield one of the nation’s “most toxic cities,” urging residents to flee.
What’s the significance of the name?
Baker decided to name the town Bakersfield after his alfalfa field after looking over his property. A well-known field in the area because Baker allowed travelers to feed their horses there.