25 Best Things To Do In Bakersfield, CA - Updated 2021

things to do in bakersfield california

Bakersfield is an amazing city to visit in the state of California. This “gateway to Central Valley” is home to the popular music genre that is known as the Bakersfield Sound and many well-known country music artists have been born in this fine city. With a rich history and culture, you’ll find plenty of things to do, places to eat, and spots to relax. If you are looking for a great outdoor city to spend a few days in, then you should check out the top things to do in Bakersfield, CA, to make your stay a memorable one.

Book a few days with the top RV rentals or any of the hotels for a unique stay in the city too!

1. California Living Museum

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Good morning Kern County! We're shouting it from high and low.....we need volunteers for HolidayLights at CALM. To learn...

Posted by CALM on Sunday, November 22, 2020

Check out this place in case you don’t know what to do in Bakersfield. Since 1983, California Living Museum has always been one of the popular zoos in the area. It focuses on the flora and fauna from the local ecosystems. The area is extremely beautiful and relaxing to walk through, and it can be a rewarding visit if you are travelling with children. There are more than 250 species of animals here, some of which are endangered and bred in captivity in order to increase their numbers. Visit the mountain lion and the reptile conservatory as these are the highlights of the zoo.

California Living Museum

Address: 10500 Alfred Harrell Hwy, Bakersfield, CA 93306, United States

Website: California Living Museum

Opening hours: 9am - 4pm (daily)

2. Kern County Museum

Kern County Museum
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Mistoffeles used under CC BY-SA 4.0

If you are a history buff, a trip to Kern County Museum can be a very exciting experience. Although the main focus of this Bakersfield attraction is Kern County’s history, another feature that draws people in is Pioneer Village. This replica of a village is spread across several acres of land and features more than 50 original buildings that were built in the late 1800s. Explore the oil industry’s history in this place; there is a Black Gold Exhibit dedicated to this important fuel that helped shape the history of Bakersfield.

Kern County Museum

Address: 3801 Chester Ave, Bakersfield, CA 93301, United States

Website: Kern County Museum

Opening hours: Wed - Sun: 9am - 4pm (closed on Mon & Tue)

3. Colonel Thomas Baker Memorial

Colonel Thomas Baker Memorial
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Skyman9999 used under CC0

Named after the famous Colonel Baker, Colonel Baker Memorial commemorates the founding of the town of Bakersfield which was originally known as Baker’s Field. Founded in 1944, this place to visit in Bakersfield represents the pride of all the residents of this town. It has a statue of Colonel Thomas Baker himself, seated while holding a letter. Colonel Baker was a pioneer, adventurer, and intelligent man whose life is worth learning about. You can opt for a guided tour of this landmark in order to learn more about its origin.

Colonel Thomas Baker Memorial

Address: 1501 Truxtun Ave, Bakersfield, CA 93301, United States

Website: Colonel Thomas Baker Memorial

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 1:37pm - 4:20pm (closed on Sat & Sun)

4. Buena Vista Museum of Natural History & Science

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Buena Vista Museum of Natural History & Science on Saturday, June 13, 2020

No matter how old you are, natural history museums are fascinating as they allow you to ponder over the existence of the human species and what came before us. Located in the arts district of Bakersfield, this museum aims to educate the public on geology, paleontology, and anthropology. Founded in 1995, this museum has the biggest collection of Miocene fossils gathered from Kern County. In addition, you can also find taxidermy animals, dinosaur skull replicas, and small-town models built with buildings, roadways, and grass.

Buena Vista Museum of Natural History & Science

Address: 2018 Chester Ave, Bakersfield, CA 93301, United States

Website: Buena Vista Museum of Natural History & Science

5. The Bakersfield Sign

Bakersfield Sign
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user nickchapman used under CC BY 2.0

Considered to be one of the most popular landmarks in the surrounding area, the Bakersfield Sign welcomes new tourists and travellers into this lovely town. Constructed originally across an old highway that is no longer there now, this sign was restored into the town again by none other than country music legend Buck Owens. This Bakersfield tourist attraction can be spotted from the Golden State highway with its yellow-coloured sign that spells Bakersfield in bright royal blue.

The Bakersfield Sign

Address: 3032-3000 Sillect Ave, Bakersfield, CA 93308, United States

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

6. Grissom Park

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Filled with well-manicured lawns and play areas for children, Grissom Park is frequented by residents who wish to bring their little ones here to frolic. There is plenty of shade provided by the many trees here where you can relax and have a cosy picnic as you watch over your little ones enjoy themselves. This park has a variety of amenities as well like clean and well-equipped restrooms.

Grissom Park

Address: 5400 White Ln, Bakersfield, CA 93309, United States

Website: Grissom Park

Opening hours: 5am - 10pm (daily)

7. The Park at River Walk

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

The Park at River Walk is another attractive and well-manicured park with enough space for vehicles, amenities for its guests including picnic tables, shaded areas with barbecue facilities, artificial water features, well-maintained restrooms, and more. There are trees throughout the park that provide plenty of shade so you can relax with a good book or sit with friends. There are lots of walking paths around the park where you can exercise or take a stroll with your partner. There is also a biking trail that runs alongside the beautiful Kern River.

The Park at River Walk

Address: 11298 Stockdale Hwy, Bakersfield, CA 93311, United States

Website: The Park at River Walk

Opening hours: 5am - 10pm (daily)

8. Lori Brock Discovery Center

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Lori Brooks Discovery Centre is a fun-filled adventure for children that combines education and entertainment. It features exciting activities so your little ones can learn and play with one another. With a combined focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) as well as arts, this place guarantees kids a well-rounded learning experience. This place also conducts plenty of fun field trips to interesting places around town as well as a summer camp where kids can make new friends and play.

Lori Brock Discovery Center

Address: 3801 Chester Ave, Bakersfield, CA 93301, United States

Website: Lori Brock Discovery Center

9. Panorama Vista Preserve

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Panorama Vista Preserve on Saturday, November 21, 2020

Considered a hidden gem by the locals, Panorama Vista Preserve is a beautiful place for people who are interested in the great outdoors. With plenty of walking and biking trails as well as historical attractions along the way, this trail runs along Kern River where you can find interesting spots such as Gordon’s Ferry, Kern River Stage Station, and Kern Island Oil Field. Spanning over 936 acres of open land (378 hectares), it is truly an amazing place to spend an early morning with your buddies.

Panorama Vista Preserve

Address: 901 E Roberts Ln, Bakersfield, CA 93308, United States

Website: Panorama Vista Preserve

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

10. Gordon's Ferry Historic Landmark

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

This landmark destination is popular among tourists and locals alike. It is named after an old ferry operated by a man named Major Aneas Gordon that used to cross people over the river in the 1850s. The reason this particular ferry was popular is that the Kern River used to be a raging river that would regularly flood all of Bakersfield before people built a dam to control it. As a result, crossing the river became an impressive feat of might. As you walk through the preserve area, you will come across historical landmarks that are very important to preserve the culture and history of Bakersfield.

Gordon's Ferry Historic Landmark

Address: China Grade Loop, Bakersfield, CA 93308, United States

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

11. Bakersfield Korean War Memorial

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Dedicated to the American soldiers who died during the Korean War, this memorial is an interesting place to visit when you have a free afternoon in Bakersfield. Situated very close to Jastro Park, a stone’s throw away from Truxton Avenue, this memorial has a list of the soldiers’ names carved into black granite shafts and placed upon a pedestal. Admission is free since the memorial is maintained by the government.

Bakersfield Korean War Memorial

Address: 2800-2938 Truxtun Ave, Bakersfield, CA 93301, United States

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

12. Bakersfield Christmas Town

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Bakersfield Christmas Town on Friday, January 1, 2021

This place promises the ultimate holiday experience no matter how old you are. During the Christmas season, this place opens so Santa can meet the kids and grant them their wishes. As you drive through the premises, you will see Santa Claus waving at you and your little one. Let your kids feel the holiday spirit by taking them to Bakersfield Christmas Town.

Bakersfield Christmas Town

Address: 3801 Chester Ave, Bakersfield, CA 93301, United States

Website: Bakersfield Christmas Town

Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 5:30pm - 9pm; Fri - Sat: 5:30pm - 10pm

13. Madison Grove

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Madison Grove is one of the sophisticated parts of Bakersfield. It is a lovely place to simply take a short walk or drive along. There are plenty of malls and shopping complexes here for your convenience, along with lots of restaurants, coffee shops, and eateries frequented by locals. You can also find lots of homestay accommodations here if you do not wish to stay in a typical hotel room.

Madison Grove

Address: Madison Grove, Bakersfield, CA 93312, USA

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

14. Bellvedere Cocktail Lounge

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Situated very close to Bakersfield, Bellvedere Cocktail Lounge is a very popular place frequented by all the coolest people in town. For some things to do at night, you can enjoy live music played by bands, enjoy some delicious cocktails such as the Scooby Snack, or just meet new people and enjoy yourself. In addition, on some nights there is karaoke available too.

Bellvedere Cocktail Lounge

Address: 3090 Brundage Ln, Bakersfield, CA 93304, United States

Opening hours: 10am - 2am (daily)

15. Rosemary's Family Creamery

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Happy New Year! We are open today from 11am-10pm! Family packs still available for $25. Call us @ 395-0555 for more information

Posted by Rosemary's family creamery on Friday, January 1, 2021

Who doesn’t love ice-cream? Rosemary’s Family Creamery prepares homemade ice-cream that is healthy and delicious. In addition, you can also opt for their special sundaes with several scoops of ice-cream, and drizzle it with chocolate sauce, nuts, and more. Not in the mood for ice-cream? This place also serves sandwiches and soups.

Rosemary's Family Creamery

Address: 2733 F St, Bakersfield, CA 93301, United States

Website: Rosemary’s Family Creamery

Opening hours: 11am - 10pm (daily)

16. Bakersfield Museum of Art

2011 Bakersfield Museum of Art Sign
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Skyman9999 used under CC0

Bakersfield Museum of Art is located in Central Park at the corner of R Street and 19th Street. Founded in 1956, the museum was mostly funded by the Walter Osborn family in memory of their daughter, Marion Osborn Cunningham. There is a great selection of sculptures, paintings and other art all set within beautiful indoor galleries as well as in the tranquil gardens. The gift shop is lovely with good prices for custom-made items. A great local art museum, well managed and kept updated by great staff and curators. Through their various exhibits, the Bakersfield Museum of Art hopes to engage and inspire each and every one of its visitors. They do all they can to keep art in Bakersfield fresh and interesting!

Bakersfield Museum of Art

Address: 1930 R St, Bakersfield, CA 93301

Website: Bakersfield Museum of Art

17. Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace

Buck Owens Crystal Palace Front
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Skyman9999 used under CC0

This is a great place to have brunch and to view country music history. Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace is a music hall and museum dedicated to preserving Buck Owens’ legacy and country-western music. Owen’s was the creator of the Bakersfield sound of country music. In 2006 he ran and regularly performed at the restaurant before he passed away. The collections within this museum are divided among three thematic areas: Guitars, Suits, and Memorabilia. It is just as popular today as when it first opened. Enjoy your evening with excellent food, awesome music and friendly service. So, if you have a little country in you, even if you don’t, this is a must visit!

Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace

Address: 2800 Buck Owens Blvd, Bakersfield, California

Website: Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace

18. Murray Family Farms

Murray Family Farms
Source: Photo by Flickr user Jennifer Smith used under CC BY-ND 2.0

The Murray Family Farm offers a delightful mix of fun and a true family working farm that has been operating for a quarter of a century and has acquired a tremendous local following over the years. This farm is a great stop to pick or buy fresh produce. Here you can get ‘on the farm’ experience as you pick the best of the current seasons fruits and vegetables. This organic vegetable and fruit farm has been growing strawberries, stone fruit, blackberries, citrus, apples, asparagus, artichokes, melons, tomatoes and pumpkins for the last 24 years. Another fun part is, the kids can get close and personal with the petting zoo animals!

The Murray Family Farm

Address: Big Red Barn, 6700 General Beale Road, Bakersfield, California

Website: The Murray Family Farm

19. The Fox Theater

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Bobak Ha'Eri used under CC BY 3.0

Fox Theater is a historic theater that started in the late 1920s and the theater finally opened in December 1930. The Fox is the main venue for the city’s performing arts and it hosts many special events such as ballets, dance recitals, and pop musicians’ performances. The place also can be rented for meetings, parties, weddings, and much more. The theater is particularly famous for its exquisite acoustics and its intimate setting. After 47 years, the Fox closed in 1977 and restoration began in 1994. The Fox is truly a place where dreams come true!

Fox Theater

Address: 2001 H Street, Bakersfield, California

Website: Fox Theater

20. Rabobank Arena, Theater & Convention Center

The Rabobank Arena, Theater & Convention Center was originally built in 1962, the largest event facility in Bakersfield and was one of the first structures to be built in the modern style in Bakersfield. The complex is made up of meeting, event and breakout spaces. Later in 1998, the center was further expanded to include a 10,000 seat sports arena. The theater next door has 3,000 seats, each offering excellent views of the stage. Other than that, it’s a beautiful theater with adequate lighting down the aisles, well-kept comfy seats, and friendly staff.

The Rabobank Arena, Theater & Convention Center

Address: 1001 Truxtun Avenue, Bakersfield, California

Website: The Rabobank Arena, Theater & Convention Center

21. Kern County Raceway Park

Aerial Photo of Kern County Raceway
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Rickybassman used under CC BY-SA 4.0

The best racetrack and a very good place to take your family if you want to have a good time! Kern County Raceway Park is a 0.5 mile (0.80 km) oval race car track that opened to the public on 2013 as a replacement for the Mesa Marin Raceway. There are also 18 concession stands in the park. The track holds 5,000 seats for fans and can also increase its size to hold 17,000 seats for the various events it puts on year round. Visit here and you will be blown away by how awesome this establishment is!

Kern County Raceway Park

Address: 13500 Raceway Boulevard Interstate 5 and Enos Lane, Bakersfield, California

Website: Kern County Raceway Park

22. Kern River Parkway Trail

Kern River Parkway
Source: Photo by Flickr user Julie Jordan Scott used under CC BY 2.0

The Kern River Parkway is a beautiful wilderness that runs along the Kern River from the mouth of the Kern Canyon as far as Interstate 5 where you can take advantage of camping, hiking, fishing and other similar activities. The actual canyon itself was formed by the Kern River and it connects the Southern San Joaquin Valley with the Kern River Valley. There are several trails through the park. The trail to the north is a horseback riding trail, the trail to the south is a jogging or walking trail, but it can also be used by visitors with non-motorized forms of transportation. There is also a bike path called the Kern River Parkway Trail. The bike trail is a great place to get some peace and serenity as well as exercise. A great way to spend the day!

The Kern River Parkway

Address: 6000 Truxtun Ave, Bakersfield, CA 93309

Website: The Kern River Parkway

23. Wool Growers Restaurant

Wool Growers Restaurant
Source: Photo by Flickr user Egan Snow used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Among a handful of the most loved restaurants in Bakersfield and the South San Joaquin Valley, Wool Growers Restaurant is a Basque favorite of generations of locals. Wool Growers is a popular family-owned Basque restaurant that has been around since 1954, located in a part of Bakersfield known as the Basque Block. The restaurant’s ambiance and character give you the feeling of being at home with a large family gathering. Wool Growers is also the place where you might bump into former President Reagan or any number of celebrities. Wool Growers has earned its place in the hearts of everyone who’s ever visited by consistently deserving delicious food with outstanding service. A truly unique dining experience!

Wool Growers Restaurant

Address: 620 East Nineteenth Street, Bakersfield, CA

Website: Wool Growers Restaurant

24. Camelot Park

Go Karting
Source: Pixabay

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Located on Oak Street, Camelot Park Bakersfield is a family entertainment center filled with attractions and events for children of all ages where you can enjoy Mini Golf, Go Karts, Kiddie Rides, Batting Cages, Bumper Boats, and a huge Video Game Arcade such as Big Bass Wheel, Deal or No Deal, Haunted Hotel, Spin N Win, a variety of food, snack bar and more! They have affordable prices and good service. With tons of entertainment to choose from for your entire family, Camelot Park is the ideal location for birthday parties, family group events, or just an afternoon of fun!

Camelot Park

Address: 1251 Oak Street, Bakersfield, CA

Website: Camelot Park

25. Luigi's Restaurant and Delicatessen

Rigatoni Pasta
Source: Pixabay

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

This is an unassuming little restaurant with some of the best Italian food you’ll find. This restaurant and Italian grocery store have been around since 1910 and on its walls you can see the restaurant’s, and the city’s history in faded, vintage photos of characters that passed through, famous sport figures and buildings that do not exist anymore. This is an iconic Bakersfield place. This place has been around for so long and the quality has never changed. Always good dining with a great selection, fresh ingredients and the service is terrific. There is a special every day, so if you want Baby Back Ribs with Pasta Rigatoni, you will have to come on a Friday. Wednesday is the most popular with a heavenly lasagna that is only available on Wednesday. You need to arrive early for parking and a good table!

Luigi's Restaurant

Address: 725 E 19th St, Bakersfield, CA

Website: Luigi’s Restaurant

Want to explore more of Bakersfield?

Rich history and culture – whether it’s artsy museums, live music, agriculture, exciting recreational activities or sports and more - await you in the city. You can also satisfy your cravings among the Indian restaurants and Mexican restaurants in the area. Nestled in the southern Central Valley of California, Bakersfield makes for a perfect weekend trip or a week-long stay. Just when you thought you’ve seen all of Bakersfield, there’s still more to explore!

Frequently asked questions about things to do in Bakersfield, CA

1. What are the top attractions to visit in Bakersfield?

If you’re planning a visit to Bakersfield, here are some of its top attractions: Rabobank Arena, Theater & Convention Center, Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace, Bakersfield Museum of Art, and Bakersfield Christmas Town.

2. What are the best outdoor activities in Bakersfield?

Hiking the Panorama Vista Preserve, having a picnic at The Park at River Walk, snapping a few photos at the Bakersfield Sign, and meeting the animals at California Living Museum are some of the best outdoor activities in Bakersfield.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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