Take a break from the scenic coastal regions and connect to Southern California‘s Central Valley to discover the alluring town of Bakersfield.
Bakersfield is the ninth largest city in California and has been growing at an overwhelming pace. It has a population of 800,000, and the numbers trend upwards by the year.
This fine city is the home to the popular music genre – the Bakersfield Sound and many famous country music artists were born here.
Bakersfield boasts of nearby natural landmarks, like giant sequoia trees, and there are also several award-winning museums that deserve a look.
Are you planning an exploration of Bakersfield? Here are the best and fun things to do in Bakersfield, CA.
Things to Do in Bakersfield
1. Camp at Bakersfield Weedpatch Camp
We would start with Bakersfield Weedpatch Camp, a historical landmark in California with lots of history.
If you are a lover of history, you would appreciate it here as it is an excellent spot to ponder and reflect on your life experiences because of the tranquility of the place.
Because here it is quiet, it serves as a pleasant spot for someone who is reserved.
Not only that, but Bakersfield Weedpatch Camp can also be a delightful location for morning exercise, and there are lots of small buildings where you can explore.
Turn these buildings to your advantage as they can serve as an excellent spot for camping.
The camp is a good location for children and adults. The entrance is free!
Address: 8701 Sunset Blvd, Bakersfield, CA 93307, United States
2. Visit the Best Kept Secret in California – Kern River Canyon
The next place on our list of things to do in Bakersfield, CA, is Kern River Canyon. It is a beautiful wilderness in Bakersfield where you can take advantage of fishing, camping, hiking, and other similar activities.
The Kern River created the original canyon and linked the Southern San Joaquin Valley with the Kern River Valley.
The area is declared by the locals to be “California’s best-kept secret.” When you visit, you will get to know the reason why it is so.
If you are in the area around sunset, then drive down the Kern River Canyon. It will give you a stunning sunset as the brown hills reflect off the water and make the scenic background even more lovely.
3. Visit Central Park At Mill Creek
Central Park At Mill Creek is a beautiful attraction center in Bakersfield that comprises a lot of fun activities to get engaged in.
There are picnic areas in the park, play areas for kids of all ages, a river, and many more.
You will spot different animals in this location, especially ducks that you can feed because they are friendly and gentle with people.
Also, there are places in the park specifically made for gathering.
Not just that, you can rent some places in this beautiful location for an event.
Some fenced areas demarcate the park from the river to ensure visitors’ safety.
Further, some rock formations are close to the river, making the river easy to access.
Interestingly, many birds in the park can be found in this park, and these birds will at least entertain your dog if you bring them along to the park.
The Mill Creek Park showcases stress-relieving water features and pathways that are good for a walk or early evening stroll with your significant other or might as well walk alone. Either way, it’s really fun.
Address: 500 19th St, Bakersfield, CA 93301, United States
4. Take a trip down memory lane at Kern County Museum
If you want to learn or expand your knowledge about Kern County, you should not miss out on this attraction.
Kern County Museum is a fantastic place that focuses strongly on the history and stories of Kern County. Here, you’d see various artifacts and features covering the area’s development and changes.
One of the spotlights of the museum is Pioneer Village. Set within 16 acres, it houses 56 buildings that showcase what life would have been like at the end of the 19th century.
All the buildings were moved from their initial locations, mapped out to look like an old town, and restored.
There are a lot of buildings which you can take a glimpse inside and study the types of furnishings that were in use at that time.
There are variations in seasons; however, Christmas is a hectic time to visit the museum as the place is well decorated, and special events are put in place for visitors to enjoy.
Address: 3801 Chester Ave, Bakersfield, CA 93301, United States
5. Have fun at The BLVD Bakersfield
What about treating yourself and your friends with healthy meals as a way of showing appreciation? The BLVD Bakersfield is the perfect place to do so.
It is a vibrant venue serving a diverse range of comfort food, cocktails, pub grub, and beers. There is also a games room and a bowling center here.
You can enjoy delicious meals while having fun at the same time in their gaming room. Their food is prepared by their top chefs – well-mannered and well-trained.
This location also has different collections of beers, and you can get them at a very good price.
It is evident that there are lots of fun things you can do here and it is a good place for both kids and adults.
Address: 3200 Buck Owens Blvd Ste 300, Bakersfield, CA 93308, United States
6. Enjoy Some Country Music at Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace
Located in Bakersfield, Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace is a great restaurant and music venue created by local country music star Buck Owens.
This late music legend Buck Owen forever changed country music in the United States by introducing his signature Bakersfield Sound and releasing 21 songs on the top of the Billboard music charts.
Owens was the creator of the Bakersfield sound of country music, and before he passed on in 2006, he ran and regularly performed at the restaurant.
This place is still popular and buzzes as though it was recently opened.
When you enter the restaurant, you cannot avoid noticing the collection of clothing, guitars, and memorabilia that he gathered over the years and used to decorate Crystal Palace.
Till today, there are still live music performances, so be sure to grab your tickets for a show of modern country music. The Country Western Museum is also a small museum concerning its founder. Walk around to see authentic Fender guitars and other memorabilia owned by Buck Owens.
Be sure to include Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace in your bucket list of things to do in Bakersfield, CA.
7. Experience the Park at Riverwalk
When the weather takes a break from its 37 °C, the birds are happily chirping their favorite songs, and the sun is high in the sky, which says that it’s the perfect day to spend time at The Park at Riverwalk.
The Park at Riverwalk is a 32-acre ground that is always sprinkled with locals and visitors enjoying leisure and outdoor recreation.
Walk along the park pathways, which pave their way around Riverside park. Here, you will spot patient fishers on one of two park lakes, waiting to capture yet another bite on the line to conclude which is most active for the day between the carp and rainbow trout.
Summer is a popular time to visit The Park at Riverwalk, thanks to the live music and different festivals hosted at the outdoor Dignity Health Amphitheater.
Address: 11298 Stockdale Hwy, Bakersfield, CA 93311, United States
8. Increase your knowledge at the Buena Vista Museum of Natural History and Science
Are you thinking of what to do with your family while in Bakersfield? The Buena Vista Museum of Natural History is an amazing place to visit with your entire family.
Take a short walk from the Woolworth Diner and get to the brightly-colored museum building. BVM explores natural sciences through fields including anthropology, biology, geology, and paleontology as part of the Bakersfield downtown arts district.
It would be loved by all as many items are on display for your viewing pleasure. Many taxidermized animals are also exhibited in the museum, as well as bones and fossils.
The museum is a multi-story building, spreading over 16,000 square feet and having fascinating collections on each floor. You would see some rare Miocene fossils, as well.
So, satisfy your geology curiosities by seeing ancient rocks and minerals. For lovers of paleontology, there are African, Asian, and North American animal mounts, including the headroom of an elephant, antelope, tiger, and kangaroo – just a few of the modern wildlife.
For the kids, there is an area called Oh! Zone. It is a very interactive discovery center that your children will love.
A visit here is one of the best things to do in Bakersfield, CA!
Address: 2018 Chester Ave, Bakersfield, CA 93301, United States
9. A trip to Sequoia National Forest
While there are skyscrapers in Bakersfield, the nearby Sequoia National Forest has many trees that appear to have contact with the sky.
At the Sequoia National Park, you would trek through more than one million acre fields of the forest, habiting the tallest species of trees in the world.
Travel into the Sierra Nevada Mountains from Bakersfield to find the protected grounds for 38 groves. The best way to truly see the extensive scale of the trees is as you walk at their feet.
Hike through the famous 100 Giants Trail to see gigantic sequoia trees that reach heights of over 220-ft on average and age back to 1,500 years ago.
Try the Pacific Crest Trail section, which starts at Kennedy Meadows and goes over 30 miles long. You can take in the views of the rushing Kern River from the Oak Flat Lookout.
10. Watch A Show at The Fox Theatre
The Fox Theatre is another exciting thing to do in Bakersfield. It is quite an ancient and historic one, with the building having stayed in the late 19020s before the theater was opened in December 1930.
This venue is regarded as the best venue for entertainment in Bakersfield and is full of vintage charm, capped with velvet curtains and matching architecture.
Fox Theatre is particularly popular for its superb acoustics and its privy setting. Plenty of top names have performed here in time last, including The Pretenders and Carlos Mencia.
Amongst the programs you can enjoy are comedy, movies, music and much more. So, do well to add it to your list of things to do in Bakersfield, CA.
11. Take the kids to Bakersfield Camelot Park
Bakersfield Camelot Park is a beautiful and fun environment for all ages. This amazing location has various fun activities, including different playgrounds, a baseball court, pools, and more.
The baseball field is a good spot for adults to practice their skills, and you can also take swimming lessons in this fantastic Bakersfield location.
Bakersfield Camelot Park always has a crowd, so it is the ideal location for you to socialize. For kids, there’s an area where they can go car racing, not just them; adults can also car race here.
You would see some sitting areas here, and there are some places where you can picnic and barbecue in this location too.
The Park is a good place for your child’s birthday party. You’d certainly be amazed at how it will be done.
Address: 1251 Oak St, Bakersfield, CA 93304, United States
12. Go for a swim at McMurtey Aquatic Center
Are you looking for a place to relax because of excess heat, or are you at a loose end? Then, head down to the McMurtey Aquatic Center. It is another exciting thing to do in Bakersfield.
Here, you will find a recreation pool and an Olympic-sized pool for competitions (if you love swimming, this is for you).
The recreation pool has plenty of features for the whole family, including diving boards, a water volleyball area, water slides, and interactive floating toys.
If you are in luck, you could see some of the several Olympic athletes who train at this facility and the local high school.
Address: 1325 Q St Suite 200, Bakersfield, CA 93301, United States
13. Hangout at Golden West Casino
Another thing to do in Bakersfield is the Golden West Casino – a lovely venue that offers dining and gambling, including Texas, Hold’em, Poker, Blackjack, and Baccarat.
Aside from gambling, you can do other fun things in this fun location.
Golden West Casino has a restaurant where you can eat a delicious delicacy at a fair price. A good combination is that you can fill your stomach with some beers while playing your game.
They also have diverse collections of beers, which means you are open to different options. As a pulse, their waitresses here are helpful and friendly.
Some staff will assist you with your games by giving a detailed explanation of all you need to know. Golden West Casino is one of the best things to do in Bakersfield, CA.
Address: 1001 S Union Ave, Bakersfield, CA 93307, United States
14. Go to a shop at Valley Plaza MallTake a trip to Valley Plaza Mall if you need some retail therapy in Bakersfield. The mall is big and famous and should be able to satisfy even the biggest needs of a shopaholic!
Opened in 1967, the mall has shops that take care of every need, from clothing to camping and school books to computer games.
When the mall was first built, it showed off the Spanish influence on Southern California and that it did in a modern manner.
If you just need a break to sit down after a long day shopping, you can try out the movie theater (boasting 16 screens) or easily pick a drink and something to eat in one of the many restaurants on-site.
Valley Plaza Mall is undoubtedly worth a try.
15. Must-visit: Bakersfield Beale Park
Bakersfield Beale Park is a family park that offers horseshoe pits, ball fields, a Greek theater, and a large flock of wild parakeets.
This park is a fun place for everyone and there is always something to do for every visitor in this location, making it one of the most attractive and visited fun attraction centers in Bakersfield.
The park is not just beautiful, it is also well kept.
There is a large grassy area where kids of all age categories can do all kinds of fun activities. You will also find a water fountain where kids love to play and some sitting areas sprinkled around.
Besides, the sitting area is a great spot for adults to sit and look out for their kids.
The Park has several connection trails where you can easily take a walk if you want some private time.
Bakersfield Beale Park is truly a lovely place that is worth a checkout
Address: 500 Oleander Ave, Bakersfield, CA 93304, United States
16. Meet the animals at California Living Museum
California Living Museum, also called C.A.L.M for short, is the premier native zoo in California. The zoo houses over 250 non-releasable animals.
By non-releasable, they mean that the animals have some form of a disability, so thrusting them back into the wild would have negative effects(s) on the animal’s health. On the other hand, the environment is very safe, and you’d see them thriving in a new life.
Don’t leave the park without checking out the Cats of California exhibition includes a bobcat, ringtail cats, mountain lion, and others. You would also see animals native to the region, like coatis and coyotes.
Aside from the animals here in the zoo, there are also some beautiful gardens where you can relax that are home to many endangered flora and fauna species.
Have a ride on the Central California Children’s Railroad for a beautiful trip around the California Living Museum. This vintage red locomotive speeds along the tracks with the native California plants passing your railcar window.
Address: 10500 Alfred Harrell Hwy, Bakersfield, CA 93306, United States
17. Go to Flight Adventure Park Bakersfield
Do you know that exercising and having fun is a great way to live a healthy lifestyle? A visit to Flight Adventure Park Bakersfield can help you achieve that.
This amazing location boasts lots of fun and exercise activities to do.
There is an indoor play area where kids can have a fun time and places where adults can have a super-duper day.
You will find plenty of sitting areas where you can sit to watch over your kids.
Join other kids and adults to get rid of the fear of height by trying out a rock-climbing formation in this location.
You need not worry about falling, because a rope will be attached to the belt you are wearing. Ensure you visit; these activities and more are available for a fair price.
Address: 3200 Buck Owens Blvd #100, Bakersfield, CA 93308, United States
18. Cheer on The Blaze at Sam Lynn Ballpark
Next on our cgecklist of fun things to do in Bakersfield, CA, is Sam Lynn Ballpark. For seven decades now, the Blaze Franchise has been in the business of playing baseball in Bakersfield in different forms.
They are a high-A class team that plies their trade in the California League with Sam Lynn Ballpark as their home stadium.
When the Sam Lynn Ballpark first opened in 1941, it hosted minor league baseball games for MLB teams like the San Francisco Giants, Cincinnati Reds, Detroit Tigers, and others.
Afterward, the stands were full as fans came en masse to see the Blaze, a Cincinnati Reds affiliate team that recently moved to the East Coast.
The stadium has been renovated and has a rather unusual situation.
It is the only park in professional baseball where the batter faces in a westerly direction, meaning that the player will face the setting sun when trying to bat. This situation has often forced the Blazers to start their games at a later time.
As a sports enthusiast, you can always go to see a match. But, even if you are not, you can go for a time out, as something will capture your interest.
Address: 4009 Chester Ave, Bakersfield, CA 93301, United States
19. Kern River County Park
Do you love swimming or would you like to visit a beautiful and cool place? Then, you can visit Kern River County Park in Bakersfield.
This amazing location has lots of fun things to do. You will see a man-made pool, a river, and different trees. Besides, you can cool off by swimming in the river and can also go fishing with your fishing tools.
After swimming, you can enjoy the shade under a tree close to the shore or stay in the sitting areas. The park allows all kinds of animals, and you will also spot some here.
Kern River County Park is very safe for all ages. There are nice facilities, with the bathrooms mostly neat and easy to use.
However, kids have no specially designed playground, but there are some spots in the park where they can safely have fun.
You will surely come back to Kern River County Park in Bakersfield for more.
Address: Bakersfield, CA 93308, United States
20. Check out Rabobank Theater and Convention CenterRabobank Theater and Convention Center is the largest event facility in Bakersfield. It has amazing features, and there is no way we are leaving it out of our list.
This massive complex covers an area of more than 70,000 square feet and consists of meeting, event, and breakout spaces.
Currently known as Mechanics Bank Arena, Theater, and Convention Center, one good indication that something is going on is the fountains shooting water in front of this large multi-purpose center.
You’ll find everything from Bakersfield Condors hockey games to Disney on Ice. There is also an exhibition hall used to host regular events, making the center a popular site among various attractions.
The next-door theater has 3,000 seats, each offering excellent views of the stage.
21. Explore Lori Brock Discovery Center
If you want to stay away from the busy city, make your way to Lori Brock Discovery Center. This center is a beautiful quiet place that is safe and friendly for all ages.
The environment is great, and although there is no playground in this location, there are areas where kids and adults can have an awesome time.
You will see different trails that are good for biking, walking, and jogging. Not just that, you can as well explore the building here with permission.
Lori Brock Discovery Center has friendly staff who always have a nice indoor play area where the kids can have a delightful playdate.
In addition, you can rent to gain full access to the kitchen at a tangible price, including the kids’ play areas and some places at the museum.
You’d would definitely have an enjoyable, fun experience here.
Address: 3801 Chester Ave, Bakersfield, CA 93301, United States
22. Check out the Bakersfield Museum of Art
Can you say you visited this city without a trip to the Bakersfield Museum of Art? Absolutely no!
The Bakersfield Museum of Art is a stunning museum with something for everyone to enjoy regardless of age.
You would love the great selection of sculptures, paintings, and other art all set within astounding indoor galleries and quiet gardens.
There is a permanent exhibition that features several items of Californian art as well as a slice of some international pieces.
The museum has revolving galleries and the changing exhibits feature a great variety of pieces such that even if you have been before you should be able to pick out something new, different, and exciting on a future trip.
Be sure to include the Bakersfield Museum of Art in your bucket list of things to do in Bakersfield, CA.
Address: 1930 R St, Bakersfield, CA 93301, United States
23. Kern County Raceway ParkKern County Raceway Park is a great location for spot enthusiasts, especially car racers.
The park boasts of a large open ground created especially for racing. However, different competitions go on in this place, and you can visit to watch a tournament.
The park is a stadium with over 4,000-seat capacity, 21 VIP suites, big4ff5 parking, and a concession building.
The field here is really large, and the sitting area is comfortable. You will love the tournament and can even bet on your favorite racer if you wish.
Besides, the car race is most especially for adults, as most participants are adults.
If you have an appetite, there are areas where you can get delicious meals at a reasonable price in this location.
You are sure to find Kern County Raceway Park entertaining.
Address: 13500 Raceway Blvd Interstate 5 and, Enos Ln, Bakersfield, CA 93311, United States
24. Take to the water at Lake Ming
If you like the open water but have some difficulties getting to the sea then a trip to the manmade Lake Ming should be up on your sleeves of things to do in Bakersfield, CA.
The Kern River County Park Dam built on the Kern River was what gave birth to the artificial Lake Ming. This managed lake creates the perfect setting for boating and swimming without having to deal with the rough rapids, thereby offering the residents of Bakersfield yet another place to go to enjoy water sports.
Lake Ming might just satisfy your needs as it has other features that blend smoothly, thereby delivering a catchy, relaxing, and engaging topography.
To the east of the lake is the Greenhorn Mountains, surrounded by rolling hills; this makes it an idyllic place to spend a few hours.
The main function of the lake is motor boating and waterskiing, although sailboats are also permitted. If you have a thing about fishing, the lake teems with Bass, Carp, Bluegill, and Catfish.
Various jet boat races are held throughout the year, and as you can guess, they attract many keen supporters.
25. Relish the waters at Hart Park
If you want to enjoy outdoor recreation in Bakersfield, you should consider visiting Hart Park. Since its completion in 1936, it has been regarded as one of the oldest parks in Kern County and one of the most popular parks for water and on-land fun.
Hart Park is a class apart from your usual neighborhood playground, with this large park covering 370 acres along the Kern River.
Located 10 miles from downtown Bakersfield, it is also part of the larger Kern River County Park.
There is a lake, Hart Park lake, which offers a great day out on the water. You can rent boats close by and canoeing through the canals or stay on the lakeshores to catch trout, bass, and carp.
The asphalt trails looping around Hart Park are for sightseeing hikes to landmarks like the Hart Memorial Park Adobe, or you can go this route galloping on horseback.
Address: Hart Park, Bakersfield, CA 93308, United States
26. Enjoy the great outdoors At Beach Park
Another lovely thing to do in Bakersfield is visiting Beach Park. The park is a great place, especially if you have a large group of people or a team looking for something to do.
Beach Park boasts unique lovable features including a baseball field that is fenced off and comes complete with bleachers.
You would also see a skate park there. So, if you would love to skateboard or do rollerblading, this is your spot.
For soccer lovers, there is a soccer field with flood lights.
You can book a picnic table in the park ahead of your arrival. Pick a table with a barbeque area or if you wish, go for one of the park’s famous pizzas.
27. Panorama Vista Preserve
Located near Bakersfield, the Panorama Bluffs is the go-to nature spot for any nature enthusiast who wishes to go hiking.
The trails are partnered with scenic overlooks. However, at the base of the bluffs is the Panorama Vista Preserve with nearly 1,000 acres designated as protected grounds.
The oil boom in this region has significant adverse effects on the landscape within the Panorama Vista Preserve. But, while these grounds got people lots of riches through black gold, nature was at the losing end.
Luckily, diligent conservation efforts put in since 1998 have been returning the preserve to its original grandeur. People are well encouraged to visit thanks to its revegetation efforts.
Visitors can encounter wildlife such as bobcats, coyotes, and jackrabbits while enjoying bird watching along the banks of the Kern River.
Address: 901 E Roberts Ln, Bakersfield, CA 93308, United States
28. Enjoy Lake Isabella
Lake Isabella is a large reservoir and even one of the largest in California. So for water enthusiasts, this should be high up on your list of things to do in Bakersfield, CA.
The lake is the dividing point between the Upper Kern River and Lower Kern River. It was created by the U.S Army Corps when they dammed the Kern River in 1953. business owners who look to promote their wares.
Currently, the lake is used for fishing, camping, windsurfing, hiking, and hanging out with groups of friends.
Getting to the park would see you drive through the Sequoia National Forest, making for a beautiful trip for the whole family.
29. Play games at Puzzle Effect – Bakersfield
One good way of improving your level of critical thinking is by playing games. Therefore, you are strongly encouraged to visit Puzzle Effect – Bakersfield to do so.
This location has lots of games for your pleasure which are challenging, but they will help you speed up your reasoning.
Before entering the puzzle room, the staff will explain everything you need to know and how you can play the game.
You will have the opportunity to get a clue in the escape room which might help you win the game.
Note, however that there’s a countdown, so you have to be quick while playing to boost your chances of winning.
You will certainly come back to Puzzle Effect – Bakersfield for more.
Address: 3616 Coffee Rd C, Bakersfield, CA 93308, United States
30. Get Muddy At Murray Family Farms
The next place we would be looking at is Murray Family Farms, a popular and local favorite location in Bakersfield.
At the Murray Family Farm, there is always something for the whole family. Here, visitors can get an ‘on the farm’ experience.
You would be able to pick the best of the current season’s fruits and vegetables at the farm like cherries, apples, peaches, and nectarines. There is also an organic shop that sells the product if you do not wish to pick it yourself.
Murray Family Farm transfers more than seven generational farming traditions and is open to the public to see and learn the secrets behind their long-running success.
The farm also allows a tour where you can see workers’ demonstrations as they go about their everyday work. So get on the back of a tractor for a guided tour around the farmlands and be open to listening to its sustainability practices and how they strive to achieve organic produce.
Hundreds of different crops are grown on the farm, making them operate all year. There is also a maze, episodic live entertainment, and an area where children can pet the farm animals.
On this note, we call it a wrap on our list of things to do in Bakersfield.
Plan a Trip to Bakersfield
Interestingly, Bakersfield is a beautiful and perfect city that attracts tourists. But, as you’ve seen, it is certainly a nice place to explore with every member of your family.
Do include your loved ones in your plans to visit Bakersfield. You can as well explore the city on your own. Either way, it is amazing and a lot of fun.
Have a safe trip!