Delano is the second largest city in Kern County, California.
Located just 31 miles from Bakersfield, it’s the center for growing table grapes.
The city’s primary industry is agriculture, serving as a hub for farmer organizations and Mexican American political movements.
Named after then-Interior Secretary Columbus Delano, the city was established in 1869 when the railroad coming from San Francisco ended in the area.
It became the headquarters of railroad workers building the line to Bakersfield, California, bringing commercial development to the city.
Today, Delano is a thriving city that’s maintained its small-town vibe with local watering holes, restaurants, and recreational areas.
Here are the best things to do in Delano, California:
Learn Local History at the Delano Heritage Park Museum
Located on South Lexington Street, the Delano Heritage Park Museum is housed in a restored historic building.
The museum features articles, photos, furniture, and other artifacts relating to the city’s history and culture.
Established in 1961, the yellow-colored house was restored through the efforts of the Delano Historical Society.
Inside the museum is a small library where books, records, and even yearbooks of the Delano High School from the 1920s are carefully curated.
Locals also donate personal items and memorabilia related to the city’s history, including police badges, newspaper clippings, photos, and even antique farming equipment.
Visit the Delano Heritage Park Museum to learn more about the city’s humble beginnings.
Practice Your Swing at the Delano Golf Course
Located on South Lexington Street is a public golf course where locals and tourists alike can practice swings.
The Delano Golf Course is a 9-hole course in Kern County Memorial Park, offering scenic views and challenging play for golfers.
It has well-manicured fairways and lush trees that keep the course challenging yet enjoyable for players of all levels.
Beginners and recreational golfers can get tips and tricks from friendly staff.
The driving course is a good warm-up and practice spot before hitting the green.
A well-stocked equipment store also offers a great selection of balls, clubs, and other golfing accessories.
After a round or two, cool off at the Delano Golf Course Clubhouse and get some snacks and drinks.
Try Your Luck at the Aviator Casino
Located on Airport Drive is the Aviator Casino, where you can try your luck with a game of poker.
The casino doesn’t have slot machines, but there are plenty of table games that you can play, such as Blackjack, Spanish 21, and classic Three-Card Poker.
An added attraction to the casino is the assortment of food and drinks you can order while watching or playing a game.
They offer Happy Hour deals on drinks, but patrons keep returning for the garlic fries and chicken wings.
If you're lucky, you can catch a live band or a comedy show.
Test your luck and play a round of poker at the Aviator Casino.
Eat Authentic Mexican Food at Charros Mexican Food
Located on Main Street is Charros Mexican Food, known for its fish tacos.
The restaurant serves authentic Mexican fast food dishes that satisfy your cravings.
Aside from the best-selling fish and shrimp tacos, the carne asada is also a big hit among regulars.
If you’re missing your fast-food go-to’s, they also have charro dogs and bacon-wrapped hotdogs with tomatoes, caramelized onions, and sour cream.
Most of the seating is outdoor, so you can always get a takeaway if you don’t like dining al-fresco.
Drive by Charros Mexican Food for your taco fix.
Go Fishing at Lake Woollomes
Lake Wollomes is a water reservoir located on Wollomes Avenue.
The county-operated park is an equalizing reservoir on the Friant-Kern Canal, delivering water to California’s millions of acres of farmland.
You can take the whole family on a picnic as the park has picnic tables, barbecue grills, and a playground.
Fishing season in the lake is year-round, so bring your gear.
Lake Wollomes is well-stocked with catfish, crappie, and largemouth bass, but you’ll need to secure a county permit before fishing there.
You can buy fishing permits at the park office, and only non-motorized boats are allowed in the lake.
Take out your fishing gear and try to catch a catfish at Lake Welcomes.
Order Chili Verde Pizza at L R's Pizza
Located on High Street are a Delano institution and a favorite among locals and tourists.
L R’s Pizza has served hand-tossed pizzas and chicken wings for over 30 years and is best known for its chili verde pizza.
Other must-tries are the loaded pepperoni pizza and the chorizo pizza.
There’s a salad bar for vegetarians where you can build your salad and top it with the dressing of your choice.
There’s a bar that serves handcrafted cocktails and a pool table to entertain yourself while waiting for your orders.
There’s also a small game room for the kids if your little ones get bored.
Satisfy your pizza cravings at L R’s Pizza.
Enjoy Craft Beers at Cali Brews Sports Bar & Grill
Located on Wollomes Avenue, Cali Brews Sports Bar & Grill boasts a wide selection of craft beers on tap.
Beer lovers will have a great time at this bar, offering 23 taps with 13 ice-cold craft beers.
Pair your beer with the buffalo chicken sandwich or pork belly nachos.
With TV screens scattered throughout the bar, you won’t miss your favorite team’s games even when you’re away on vacation.
Watch out for themed nights like Margarita Mondays and live music on Wednesdays.
Whether it’s NFL, UFC, or NBA, nothing beats cheering for your team or fighter while enjoying a cold glass of beer.
Head to Cali Brews Sports Bar & Grill and enjoy your favorite sport with good beer, food, and atmosphere.
Watch Skaters at Cecil Park
Located on Madison Street, Cecil Park is a public recreational space with playgrounds, plenty of open space, and a skate park.
The northern part of the park has an open field where you can play frisbee or soccer and mini slides for the kids.
The southern part of the park has plenty of trees and picnic sheds where you can enjoy snacks after playing.
However, the main attraction of Cecil Park is the skating park, where you can watch high-flying local skaters do impossible tricks.
If you’re adventurous, you can ask one of the skaters to teach you some basics.
Get a Pastrami Burger at Elmer’s Drive-In
Located on Cecil Avenue, Elmer’s Drive-In is a local burger joint serving classic American diner favorites since the 50s.
Patrons rave about their Pastrami Burger, a homemade beef brisket served in a toasted bun.
The spicy chicken sandwich is also a hit, but if you’re not too hungry, the Baby Burger is the one to get.
Other favorites include fried burritos, Texas cheeseburger, and chili cheese fries.
If you’re not a big fan of meat, there’s also the fish sandwich and the 21-piece shrimp dinner.
Elmer’s Drive-In is in a parking lot with limited seating, so it’s best to call in your order and pick it up for dinner.
Try Menudo at Jenny’s Café
Jenny’s Café is a family-owned restaurant that has served authentic Mexican food since 1976.
It’s famous for its Menudo, a traditional “caldo” or soup favorite in Mexico.
Menudo is made with beef tripe or the cow’s stomach stewed in a red chili pepper-based broth.
The fajitas are a must-try too.
However, the Goto Carnitas Burrito served with rice and black beans is the complete meal you’re looking for after a tiring day of roaming around the city.
Early risers shouldn’t miss the Breakfast Burrito as it’s loaded with bacon and melted cheese and served with fresh homemade salsa.
Check out Jenny’s Café for homestyle Mexican cooking.
Go Birdwatching at the Kern National Wildlife Refuge
Located on 10811 Corcoran Road in Delano, California, is the Kern National Wildlife Refuge.
Just a 24-minute drive from Delano, the 11,249-acre protected area was once part of the largest freshwater wetland in the country.
It serves as home to thousands of migratory birds during the winter months.
Waterfowls and other species of water birds seek refuge in the area.
Waterfowl hunting is allowed on Wednesdays and Saturdays from mid-October through January.
Other recreational activities at the Kern National Wildlife Refuge include wildlife viewing, hiking, and driving.
Other Things to Do Nearby
Learn Local History at the Kern County Museum
The Kern County Museum is 30 minutes outside Delano, located on Chester Avenue in Bakersfield, California.
The museum was established in 1941 to showcase the history and culture of the county.
The first move to build the museum happened in 1929 when the Bakersfield Lion’s Club encouraged the citizens of Kern County to donate historical items to the Chamber of Commerce.
The complex’s centerpiece is the Pioneer Village, a 16-acre section featuring a collection of over 50 historical buildings arranged to depict an actual town showcasing the county’s rich heritage.
The Black Gold exhibit features the county’s oil industry.
Here, you will learn how oil is formed under the sea, discovered, mined, and processed into products.
If you want to know more about the region’s beginnings, visit the Kern County Museum.
Enjoy the Gilded Age Theater Experience at the Historic Fox Theater
Located on H Street in Downtown Bakersfield, the Historic Fox Theater is a performing arts and events center hosting notable artists.
It opened on Christmas Day in 1930, showing the sci-fi film Imagine.
Renowned theater architect S. Charles Lee designed the theater using the Spanish Colonial Revival style in exterior and interior architecture.
After the 1952 earthquake, the theater was remodeled to an Art Deco theme, and a newer screen was installed.
The theater was scheduled to be demolished in 1994 after falling into disrepair, but efforts from the “Save the Fox” Foundation helped save and restore the historic site.
Today, you can catch live performances, foreign films, and local productions in the theater.
Experience Gilded Age theater at the Historic Fox Theater, located 33 minutes from Delano.
Appreciate the Sculptures at the Bakersfield Museum of Art
Just 32 minutes from Delano is the Bakersfield Museum of Art, located on the corner of 19th St. and R St., Bakersfield.
It showcases works of regional artists and traveling exhibits from different parts of the world.
The museum was founded in 1961 in honor of Marion Osborn Cunningham, a well-known pastel artist and printmaker who died in the late 1940s.
The Bakersfield Museum of Art is a 17,400-square-foot complex with two extensive and smaller galleries and several gardens containing sculptures and other artworks.
Trained docents lead group tours; they will be happy to discuss art history and fundamentals with you.
You can prearrange an art project with your tour booking.
The art project will depend on the theme of the current exhibit.
Catch Live Country Music Performances at Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace
Located on Buck Owens Boulevard in Bakersfield is Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace.
After a 31-minute drive from Delano, you will find the music hall constructed by musician Buck Owens in 1996.
Its design followed the Western Revival style, resembling a 19th-century American Old West building.
It’s a favorite venue for country western music performances, but acts from other genres also perform here.
Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace also houses the Buck Owens Museum, which contains Buck’s items from his musical career, including photos, instruments, and costumes.
Delano has gone far from its humble beginnings as a farming town.
Today, the vibrant city is home to thriving artists, well-loved local restaurants, and historical sites that maintain its small-town charm.
On your next adventure, consider trying the best things to do in Delano, California.