A Local's Guide to Bakersfield, CA

A Local’s Guide to Bakersfield, CA

Last Updated on August 4, 2023

Embarking on the ultimate guide to Bakersfield, CA, is an adventure in itself. Nestled in California’s Central Valley, Bakersfield offers an eclectic mix of rich history, diverse culture, delectable cuisine, and exciting recreational activities. 

From witnessing the grandeur of the Sierra Nevada and Tehachapi mountain ranges to immersing yourself in the city’s vibrant nightlife, every turn in Bakersfield provides an opportunity to discover something new and enticing.

Whether you’re planning a trip or considering a more permanent move, navigating through this guide to Bakersfield, CA, is a must. Exploring new locations, embracing different cultures, and setting up a home in a fresh environment can be a thrilling experience. However, relocating can also present unique challenges, especially when it comes to moving belongings and settling in. 

That’s where services like Fit Movers Bakersfield, CA come into play. As experienced professionals, they ensure a smooth transition by handling your possessions with utmost care, giving you more time and peace of mind to enjoy the adventure. So, whether you’re planning a visit or making a move, let this guide to Bakersfield, CA, be your companion.

History of Bakersfield

Our guide to Bakersfield, CA, wouldn’t be complete without a quick dive into its history. Bakersfield was once known as “The Golden Empire” due to its involvement in oil production and agriculture during the early 1900s. This rich history paints the backdrop for the city we see today, a city steeped in culture, innovation, and growth.

Unique Geography and Climate

Located at the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley, Bakersfield is surrounded by breathtaking landscapes, including the Sierra Nevada and Tehachapi mountain ranges. With over 270 days of sunshine per year, this guide to Bakersfield, CA, is going to involve plenty of outdoor activities!

Getting to Bakersfield

Whether you’re flying in or driving, Bakersfield is easily accessible. You might ask, “What’s the best way to get here?” Well, that would depend on where you’re coming from. If you’re arriving by air, Meadows Field Airport is the city’s main airport, serving flights from several major cities. For those driving, Bakersfield is conveniently located off the I-5 and Highway 99, making it a straightforward road trip from many Californian cities.

Navigating Through Bakersfield

Once you’re in Bakersfield, getting around is a breeze. This guide to Bakersfield, CA, recommends exploring the city using its public transportation system, the GET Bus, which covers most major attractions in the city.

Top Neighborhoods to Explore

Any good guide to Bakersfield, CA, will tell you that it’s essential to get to know the city’s neighborhoods. Downtown Bakersfield is an excellent place to start, with a mix of historic buildings and modern establishments. Don’t miss out on the Arts District, brimming with galleries, theaters, and charming cafes. For a more residential feel, take a stroll through the Oleander-Sunset area, known for its beautiful early-20th-century homes.

Famous Landmarks in Bakersfield

In this guide to Bakersfield, CA, we’ll uncover some of its most iconic landmarks. Start with the Padre Hotel, a local icon with its distinct architecture. Next, take a trip to the historic Fox Theater, renowned for its marquee tower and Art Deco detailing. For a dose of nature, head over to the Panorama Bluffs, offering panoramic views of the city and the Kern River oil field.

Outdoor Activities in Bakersfield

This guide to Bakersfield, CA, wouldn’t be complete without discussing its outdoor attractions. With over 270 days of sunshine a year, Bakersfield is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. Visit the Kern River Parkway Trail for a bike ride or hike, or check out Lake Ming for fishing and boating.

Must-Visit Museums and Galleries

Bakersfield is also home to some excellent museums and galleries. For those who love arts and culture, a guide to Bakersfield, CA, would highly recommend a visit to the Bakersfield Museum of Art, featuring four galleries filled with a variety of art pieces. History buffs should not miss the Kern County Museum, where you can learn about the city’s past and see vintage artifacts.

Cuisine of Bakersfield: What to Eat

This guide to Bakersfield, CA, will not leave you hungry! Bakersfield is a food lover’s paradise, thanks to its agricultural abundance and diverse population. You can’t leave without trying the city’s Basque cuisine, a unique blend of Spanish and French cooking styles brought over by Basque shepherds in the early 20th century.

Shopping in Bakersfield

As this guide to Bakersfield, CA, suggests, shopping is an integral part of the city’s experience. Whether you’re on the lookout for high-end fashion, unique local boutiques, or sprawling shopping centers, Bakersfield has something for every shopper. 

Visit The Marketplace for a variety of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options, or head to the Antique Row, a shopping district renowned for its antique and vintage collectibles.

Nightlife in Bakersfield

When the sun goes down, the city comes alive, and this guide to Bakersfield, CA, has you covered for the best spots to experience the nightlife. From lively pubs and late-night restaurants to jazz clubs and country music bars, there’s something for everyone. 

Visit the famous Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace for a night of music, dancing, and dining. If you’re into craft beer, try one of Bakersfield’s local breweries, like the Lengthwise Brewing Company.

Events and Festivals

No guide to Bakersfield, CA, is complete without mentioning the events and festivals that this vibrant city hosts throughout the year. Get a taste of the local culture at the annual Kern County Basque Festival. 

Enjoy traditional music, dancing, and, of course, the unforgettable food. Alternatively, gear up for some fast-paced action at the March Meet, a nostalgic drag racing event at the Famoso Raceway.

Local Tips for Visiting Bakersfield

Our guide to Bakersfield, CA, wouldn’t be complete without a few local tips. For one, don’t forget to pack for the weather. Bakersfield enjoys a sunny climate, so a hat and sunscreen are essential. While exploring, don’t hesitate to strike up a conversation with locals. 

They’re friendly and proud of their city and will likely provide insights you won’t find in any guide.


Our guide to Bakersfield, CA, has hopefully shown you the charm and allure of this vibrant city. Whether it’s your first visit or your fiftieth, there’s always something new to discover in Bakersfield. So pack your bags and start planning your trip. Bakersfield awaits!

About Maria Kennedy

Maria Kennedy is the managing editor at Travel for Food Hub. Maria is on a full-tilt mission to share local food and travel inspiration. When she is not writing about food and travel, startups or social media, she is enjoying her time with her boys in sunny Spain.

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