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Things to Do in Bakersfield, CA

author avatar Written by Aaron Steed

Bakersfield is very popular for its rich country music heritage and agricultural activities, but these are not the only things that make it worth visiting. Whether you’re a local looking for new adventures or a traveler eager to explore, this city offers many experiences that blend history, culture, and natural beauty. From lively entertainment venues to beautiful outdoor escapes, it has something for everyone. So if you’re looking for fun things to do in Bakersfield, CA, this article has got you covered.

Fun Activities To Do in Bakersfield

1- Enjoy A Thrilling Rafting Trip

Rafting is one of the common fun activities to do in Bakersfield. You can visit the Kern River, as it offers thrilling whitewater rafting experiences. Here you will get to experience guided rafting trips, so you can enjoy the beauty of the river and surrounding landscape without any worries. Lake Isabella is another great getaway to Kern River Rafting. People usually go to the lower section as it offers both calm stretches and exciting rapids, which makes it perfect for a fun rafting experience.

Apart from this, you can also explore the Sequoia National Forest, if you like to be in nature. It is home to numerous groves of giant sequoias and has rugged mountains, deep canyons, cascading waterfalls, and pristine alpine lakes, which makes it a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. The best thing is that Sequoia National Forest is easily accessible from Bakersfield, via State Route 155 and State Route 99, so you can easily plan a day trip or weekend getaway with your friends and family.

2- Explore the Kern County Museum

The Kern County Museum is known for its amazing collection of historic structures and buildings. One of them is the Pioneer Village, which showcases the original and replica buildings from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. You can explore schoolhouses, general stores, homes, and blacksmith shops. Another interesting structure is the Oil Workers Camp, which highlights the significance of the oil industry in Kern County’s development.

Along with this, the museum features exhibits and collections that cover various aspects of Kern County’s history. This includes Native American Heritage,  Agricultural Heritage, Cultural Diversity, and Oil Industry. Once you are done with the indoor exhibits, you can also spend time in outdoor spaces, as they feature beautiful gardens and open-air exhibits, which make them perfect for strolls and family picnics.

3- Plan a Wine Tasting Day

If you are looking for fun activities to do in Bakersfield, you can plan a wine-tasting tour. You can start your day with a hearty breakfast at a local cafe or restaurant like the Broken Yolk Cafe or Locale Farm to fuel your day. Then you can tour Pheasant Run Winery to begin your wine tasting. It is very popular for its excellent wines and you can enjoy its varietals, which include Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Zinfandel.

For your next wine-tasting experience, you can head to Ridge Route Winery, which is known for its variety of handcrafted wines and cozy atmosphere. You can taste different options such as Petite Sirah, Syrah, and Sangiovese. The Kitchen at the Grove is perfect for lunch after the tasting. Here you can enjoy farm-to-table cuisine and enjoy it with a glass of local wine.

4- Taste Local Flavors at the Bakersfield Farmers Market

For foodies, the Bakersfield Farmers Market is another great area to enjoy local flavor and experience the lovely agricultural community. Here you can get a huge variety of fresh herbs, vegetables, fresh fruits, and seasonal produce. So you can easily get to see the diversity of agricultural products grown in the Bakersfield area. Along with this, this market is also very popular for its artisanal foods such as baked goods, homemade jams, olive oil, honey, and gourmet treats, which makes it one of the best fun things to do in Bakersfield, CA.

If you shop at this market, you will get the highest-quality food items and support local farmers and artisans while enjoying a true farm-to-table experience. The community makes this place more than a shopping stop. You can meet with locals, connect with them, and celebrate the region’s bounty. Also, the variety changes with the seasons, so you can always expect something fresh and exciting to discover at the Bakersfield Farmers Market.

5- Visit Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace

Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace is the best place for people who want to enjoy and experience a fun night out. It’s not just a general dining spot, it’s a living tribute to the legendary country music artist Buck Owens. Here you won’t only get to eat delicious food items but you can also be a part of live music and special events. Visitors from all over the state come here to enjoy performances by local artists, touring bands, and tribute acts that honor Buck Owens and the Bakersfield Sound.

Speaking of food, the venue offers a full-service restaurant offering classic American cuisine, which includes seafood, steak, and Southern comfort items. Another good thing is that you will find a museum here dedicated to Buck Owens and the history of country music in Bakersfield. In this museum, you can explore photos, memorabilia, artifacts, and awards related to Owens’ career, which would be perfect if you like history and culture. Here you also get access to a dance floor where you can kick up your heels and dance to live music, which makes it a perfect date venue as well.

6- Enjoy a Performance at the Fox Theater

If you enjoy live performances, the Fox Theatre would be perfect for exploring Bakersfield. Originally built in 1930, the theatre is known for stunning Art Deco architecture that takes you to the old era of glamour and elegance. It’s not just a general place for performances but rather a piece of history and a cultural hub for the community.

The grand interior with its ornate details and luxurious ambiance makes it a perfect place to create a memorable setting for any event. From the moment you enter the lobby adorned with vintage decor to take your seat in the plush auditorium, the Fox Theater offers a unique and immersive experience.

Beyond the aesthetics, this place has a major role in supporting local and touring artists by allowing them to perform various shows. So whether you’re a music enthusiast, a theater aficionado, or simply looking for a memorable night out, you can rest assured that you will have a great experience here.

7- Hike at Wind Wolves Preserve

Wind Wolves Preserve spans over 93,000 acres and is managed by The Wildlands Conservancy, which makes it one of the largest nonprofit-owned nature preserves on the West Coast. Visitors from all over the country come here to explore the network of well-maintained hiking trails that wind through serene landscapes, including grasslands, oak woodlands, rolling hills, and riparian corridors along the San Emigdio Creek. Whether you’re a skilled hiker or just a regular enthusiast, these trails offer opportunities for hikers of all skill levels.

If you want to get the best experience here, visit in early spring or fall as you will get to see various lush green fields and wildflowers. Another great thing about this preserve is that it is home to wildlife, including California condors tule, golden eagles, elk, coyotes, and a beautiful range of bird species. So you can encounter wildlife along the trails, which will make your hiking experience more immersive and thrilling.

8- Take a Historic Downtown Walking Tour

The rich history of Bakersfield makes it the perfect city for antiquarians. The best way to immerse yourself and get the best experience is by taking a historic downtown walking tour. The best thing is that everything is led by knowledgeable guides or historians, so you won’t miss any interesting stories or significant landmarks. This tour includes trips to historic buildings from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Here you will get to see various architectural styles, including Art Deco, Victorian, Spanish Colonial Revival, and more.

Many points of interest played significant roles in Bakersfield’s development and cultural heritage, like the art galleries, performance venues, and theaters such as the Fox Theatre. So you will get to explore all of them. Along the way, you’ll hear local stories, legends, and anecdotes that add depth and character to the tour. These stories often highlight key figures, events, and milestones in Bakersfield’s past.

9- Boating at Hart Park Lake

If you love water sports, boating at Hart Park Lake can be the perfect option for you. It is a man-made spot within William M. Hart Park and the good thing is that it is surrounded by beautiful scenery, including walking paths, lush greenery, and picnic areas. At this lake, you have the option to rent various types of boats such as kayaks, rowboats, and pedal boats, which makes it a perfect summer activity. These rentals are typically available on holidays and weekends, so you can also plan a family vacation trip here.

Another great thing is that it is home to a variety of wildlife. You will get to see geese, ducks, and other waterfowl, so you will feel much closer to nature while getting a great boating experience. The authorities have established various safety measures and guidelines, which means if you use non-motorized boats, you will have to wear life jackets. You can easily get all this information and equipment from the equipment rental facility.

10- Visit the California Living Museum (CALM)

You can visit the California Living Museum (CALM) if you want to explore California’s diverse wildlife and natural habitats. The CALM zoo in Bakersfield California is home to a range of native California wildlife. So if you come here, you can find birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals. The exhibits always showcase animals such as grizzly bears, black bears, coyotes, bobcats, turtles, and more. In this museum, natural habitats are also established to replicate California’s diverse ecosystems. So you can get a glimpse into various environments and see where the resident wildlife species thrive.

You will also find various gift shops that offer nature-themed goodies like books, merchandise, and souvenirs. So you can get something as a memory of your time here. For people with kids, CALM Zoo in Bakersfield California has built a Children’s Discovery Center where your kids can engage in hands-on activities and explore interactive exhibits, which can help them foster a love for nature and wildlife.

There are some fun things to do in Bakersfield, CA. This city is not just a dot on the map, and if you plan your itinerary properly, you can get life-long experiences. You can start by assessing your fun preferences and prioritizing those spots that match them. Apart from this, you should know every city has its pros and cons. So it’s best to look for “Living in Bakersfield, CA: Pros and Cons” to plan everything properly.

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