The Top 10 Things To Do And See In Bakersfield, CA

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Brendan Scully

110 miles north of Los Angeles is Bakersfield, California. This “gateway to Central Valley” is rich with culture – whether it’s music, agriculture, recreational activities or sports. Here’s a guide on the top things to do in Bakersfield to make your stay a memorable one.

Murray Family Farms

Murray Family Farms is a working farm with a commercialised side, and is a popular staple of Bakersfield. Seeing the “Big Red Farm” is a must, settled on 43 acres of farmland. A giant tractor takes visitors throughout the acreage, which provides a scenic tour of the surrounding crops and landscape. Guests can also take advantage of a interactive animal zone and farmer’s kitchen, serving up delicious treats such as roasted corn and breakfast pies.

Kern County Museum

Go back in time with a visit to the Kern County Museum. Since 1941, the museum has showcased a combination of Native American, mining, agriculture and railroad exhibits, all related to the history and development of Bakersfield and Kern County itself. Come here for an interactive tour of a pioneer village, 50 historic structures and exhibits spread out over 16 acres. Educational programs and group tours are also encouraged.

Watch a Game at Sam Lynn Ballpark

Play ball! A visit to Bakersfield isn’t complete without a trip to Sam Lynn Ballpark. Come here for an affordable night full of fun to cheer on the Bakersfield Blaze, a minor league Class A team under the Seattle Mariners. The park is also the oldest in the Class-A Advanced California League.

The Fox Theater

The historic Fox Theater is a hub for artistic performances in Bakersfield, and hosts a variety of events year round. Threatened with demolition many times since its opening in 1930, the theater was finally saved in 1994 by the specially-formed Fox Theater Foundation, a non-profit group who still manage the theater to this day. The venue is used to house concerts for musicians and theatric performances on a local and international level, and can also be utilized by anyone in the area for corporate and private events.

Buena Vista Museum of Natural History

Located on Chester Avenue is the Buena Vista Museum of Natural History. This non-profit museum is known to house the largest collection of fossils from the Miocene era (14-15 million years ago), that are said to be some of the rarest and oldest collections in the world. The museum also offers seasonal camps for children and hosts lectures on science topics such as geology and archaeology.

Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace

Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace is named for Buck Owens, the legendary Country Music Hall of Fame musician who called Bakersfield his home until his death in 2006. The palace is used primarily as a venue for country music, but also as a Buck Owens museum, nightclub and restaurant. Buck’s is a special venue that can only be found in Bakersfield, celebrating the life of one of its most popular legendary residents.

Mechanics Bank Arena

A trip to the Mechanics Bank Arena is a must during your visit at Bakersfield. What’s impressive about the place is that it’s used for so many different kinds of events – music concerts, monster truck exhibitions, comedy shows, sports – you name it! Come here with your family for a Disney on Ice performance or come out to support the local hockey team, the Bakersfield Condors.

The Bakersfield Museum of Art

Part of the American Alliance of Museums, Bakersfield Museum of Art is a long-standing part of the Bakersfield community. The museum has a variety of exhibitions, ranging from idealism paintings to expression through objects, sculptures and textiles. The museum also hosts a number of special events each year. One to check out during your visit to Bakersfield is “First Wednesday” (held, surprisingly, on the first Wednesday of every month), where an artist visits the museum and presents a lecture on a certain art related topic.

California Living Museum

California Living Museum (CALM) is Bakersfield’s zoo, founded in 1983. Originally started to educate the public on plants and animals native to California, the zoo has expanded into a 14 acre exhibit and a rehabilitation center for injured and orphaned wild animals. CALM is also known for providing educational programs to thousands of school children all across Kern County.

Lake Ming

10 miles northeast of Bakersfield is Lake Ming, a manmade lake extremely popular for local motorboats, waterskiing and sailboats. The recreation area includes shorelines, picnic tables and barbecue grills as an option for families or parties to meet up on a sunny day at the lake.

Brendan Scully is a recent college graduate from Boston, MA. Check out his travels throughout the USA and abroad here.

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