25 Best Things to Do in Bakersfield, CA

Bakersfield, CA
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Welcome to the delightful city of Bakersfield, California!

Nestled in the Golden State's southern Central Valley, Bakersfield is a hidden gem offering a quaint mix of urban sophistication and small-town charm.

Each corner of this city has its own story to tell, and I'm thrilled to share some of the best things to do in Bakersfield, California.

So buckle up and get ready to uncover the unique treasures this city holds!

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the following individuals for their invaluable contributions to this article: Joy Crowley, Harold Bell, Rhea Wiley, Esteban Cook, Mary Hand, Susan Wright and Erin Hill.

Hang Your Lock at The Park at River Walk

Calm waters on the Park at Riverwalk
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"I've spent countless hours at The Park at River Walk, and it's an experience that never loses its charm.

Nestled in a sprawling 32-acre area, this park is an oasis in the heart of Bakersfield.

The amphitheater, surrounded by shimmering waters, is a sight to behold, especially during live music performances.

Being an avid cyclist, the dedicated cycling track has been a blessing.

On days when I'm not cycling, I enjoy leisurely strolls along the scenic walkway, soaking in the tranquility of the park.

There's something comforting about the familiar rhythm of my footsteps on the paved trail, the rustling leaves in the gentle breeze, and the soothing sounds of trickling water.

As a foodie, the nearby restaurants add to the charm of the location. There's nothing better than ending a day at the park with a satisfying meal.

And, let's not forget the open-air event stadium. The 4th of July celebrations are a spectacle that I look forward to every year.

The exhilaration of live music bands coupled with spectacular fireworks light up the Bakersfield sky, making this an event to remember.

Mother duck and ducklings walking on the grass in The Park at River Walk
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The Park at River Walk is also notably dog-friendly. I often bring my golden retriever along for a day out.

It's a relief seeing the park well-stocked with doggy bags, ensuring a clean and pleasant environment for all its visitors.

One unique feature I've come to treasure is the 'Locks at Riverwalk.'

On the west side of the park, there's a bridge where people hang locks dated and inscribed with their names.

It's a tradition I've participated in with my family, creating lasting memories at this wonderful park.

In essence, The Park at River Walk is not just another park in the city.

It's a place that has become a part of my life, a sanctuary that offers peace, recreation, and a sense of community.

It's a testament to the city's commitment to providing quality recreation spaces for its residents, making Bakersfield feel like home."

A pond surrounded by rocks in The Park at River Walk
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Take a Trip down Memory Lane at Kern County Museum

Exterior view of Kern County Museum
Richard Thornton / Shutterstock.com

One sunny Sunday, I decided to take a stroll down memory lane and head over to our very own Kern County Museum.

I must confess, I hadn't visited in a good two decades; my last trip was when I was a kid.

But boy, was I in for a surprise! The place feels like a time capsule, with numerous artifacts and displays that beautifully narrate our region's rich history.

From the Native American era to the frontier times and the oil boom, you can experience it all here.

What I particularly loved was the Ronald McDonald house walk, which I attended in collaboration with Texas Roadhouse.

The event was buzzing with energy and fun, filled with Star Wars costume actors and much more.

The effort and detail that went into organizing the event were truly commendable.

One of my favorite spots in the museum is the country music building. It's like stepping into a different era.

Name board of Kern County Museum
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The building is filled with historical outfits and instruments, including a tribute to Merle Haggard and Buck Owens, our very own Bakersfield natives who made it big in the music industry.

I could almost hear the twang of their guitars echoing through the walls!

What's also amazing about the Kern County Museum is how well-maintained it is. Cleanliness is a top priority here, which is always a relief when spending a day out.

But it's not just the indoors that are worth visiting.

The outdoor exhibits add a whole new element to the experience, with various period houses and businesses that were moved here to preserve their historical value.

The museum even showcases fossils of sabertooth tigers found at the nearby tar pits.

Now, isn't that something you don't see every day?

Clock tower at Kern County Museum
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Discover California's Biodiversity at the California Living Museum

Every time I head down to the California Living Museum, or as we locals fondly call it, the CALM Zoo, I am reminded of the remarkable flora and fauna that our state has to offer.

The beauty of this place is that it's not just a place to see animals, it's a place where you can learn about them, too.

On one of my last trips, I remember being particularly impressed by the reptile house, filled with fascinating creatures from lizards to snakes.

It's not your typical 'behind the glass' experience either, it's more intimate, giving you a real sense of connection with these creatures.

But that's not all, the botanical gardens are equally captivating.

The beautiful burst of colors, the fragrance of the flowers, and the sheer diversity of plant life is nothing short of breathtaking.

One of my favorite things about California Living Museum is its size.

It's small enough to explore and learn about every animal without feeling overwhelmed, but big enough to keep my children entertained.

And speaking of children, they absolutely adore the small kids' area with donkeys, ponies, and an assortment of sheep.

I appreciate how clean and organized everything is – you can tell they really care about their animals and want to provide the best experience for visitors.

There's also an aquatics area with jellyfish, sea horses, clams, and abalone.

It's a small section but beautifully maintained and presented, providing a glimpse into the marine life that calls California home.

As if the animals and plants weren't enough, CALM Zoo also has a charming snack shack, picnic area, playground, and gift shop.

I've found it to be a great place to spend a day with the family, enjoying the outdoors and learning about the diverse Californian ecosystem.

But the real cherry on top is their holiday light show.

It's not just me who thinks it's amazing, it has even won some awards!

Have a Learning-Filled Experience at Buena Vista Museum of Natural History & Science

Street view of the Buena Vista Museum of Natural History
Skyman9999, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

How could I have been living in Bakersfield for over a decade and be oblivious to the hidden treasure that is the Buena Vista Museum of Natural History & Science?

One fine day, I finally decided to break the monotony and step inside this realm of knowledge.

To my absolute delight, my kids were just as thrilled.

They were mesmerized by the hands-on exhibits and artifacts that revolved around the earth sciences like geology, archaeology, and paleontology.

The warmth of the lady at the desk was the cherry on top, her love for the museum clearly reflected in the sparkle in her eyes.

Not to mention, she was a fountain of knowledge!

We found a few interactive models that refused to cooperate, like the quiz tables that were supposed to light up the correct answers.

When the buttons were pressed, not all lights responded.

But hey, kids are just happy playing with buttons and lights, and that's what really mattered.

Buena Vista Museum of Natural History & Science didn't even put a dent in my pocket, admission was free!

Of course, I left a donation as a token of appreciation.

To my surprise, the day ended with an interesting flea market that the museum hosts at the end of every month.

It's a quaint museum, smaller than what you'd expect, but it's rich in local natural history.

The taxidermy displays, gems, and mineral exhibits were particularly impressive, and I noticed the efforts to modernize the museum.

I walked out, having discovered a new retreat for my family, far away from the scorching heat of Bakersfield and brimming with knowledge and excitement.

Go Fishing at Hart Memorial Park

Tranquil water at Hart Memorial Park
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Just picture this: a clear blue sky overhead, the sun warming your skin and the sound of birds chirping in the background.

That's just an ordinary day at Hart Memorial Park. Nestled in our city, this park is nothing short of an oasis.

It's a place where you can escape the hustle and bustle of daily life and get lost in nature's beauty.

I love starting my day with a jog along one of the park's many hiking trails.

The trail next to the sheriff's station is my favorite, it’s a hidden gem that many don’t know about.

A tip from me to you, avoid the other trail unless you fancy ending up on top with nowhere else to go!

But Hart Memorial Park isn't just about its trails. The park is dotted with picnic spots perfect for a family day out.

The kids can run around and play while we adults enjoy a lazy afternoon picnic.

If you're more of an adventure seeker, the park's equestrian trails offer a unique way to explore the park.

A man fishing in a pond at Hart Memorial Park
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Hart Memorial Park also boasts a clean and clear lake, a rarity in most parks. It's my little sanctuary where I love to fish.

It's close to home, so I often find myself there, rod in hand, waiting for that perfect catch.

The lake's peaceful atmosphere is occasionally interrupted by the sound of gunfire from the firing range located on the property.

It's a unique touch that adds a dash of excitement to the tranquility.

Whether you want to go swimming, fishing, or simply enjoy a leisurely walk, the park offers something for everyone.

And if you're lucky, you might even spot some of the park's furry residents like raccoons, skunks, and peacocks.

Peacock at Hart Memorial Park
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Exercise at Madison Grove Park

Whenever I need a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life, I find myself gravitating toward Madison Grove, a breath of fresh air nestled in the heart of my city.

This 12-acre park has it all!

A typical day at Madison Grove starts with a leisurely stroll down the walking paths, enveloping me in the calm of nature.

A soft breeze rustles the leaves overhead, and the chirping of birds adds a melodious tune to my mornings.

I often spot fellow residents enjoying their own routines, from jogging to walking their dogs.

Next, it's time to head to the sports courts and fields.

I've spent countless afternoons with my friends, playing an intense match of tennis or casually tossing a frisbee.

The fields are always well-maintained, making every game a pleasure to play.

My kids, on the other hand, always make a beeline for the playground.

Brimming with a variety of engaging equipment, it has something to keep children of all ages entertained.

They fondly christened it the "Rocketship Park" because of the large rocketship they can play on.

The recent addition of a splash pad and rock wall only added to their excitement.

In the summertime, the waterpark is a huge hit.

Open from noon to 4 pm, the spray park offers a perfect way to cool off.

While it's a bit too hot for me when it reaches 110 degrees, the kids never seem to mind.

Finally, we wrap up our day under the shaded picnic shelter.

It's a lovely spot to relax and enjoy a well-deserved meal after a day full of fun and activities.

Madison Grove is not just a park; it's a sanctuary of laughter, fun, and memories shared with friends and family.

Whether you're a sports enthusiast, a nature lover, or a parent looking for a safe playground for your kids, Madison Grove has something for everyone.

Every visit is an adventure waiting to happen, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Have a Picnic at Lake Ming

The waters of Lake Ming
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Ah, Lake Ming!

This gem, nestled within Kern River County Park has been a favorite escape for my family and me.

Despite living nearby, every visit feels like a mini-vacation.

The south side picnic areas are a dream - plenty of shade for those hot summer afternoons.

Do remember to bring a hat if you're heading to the north side though; shade can be scarce there.

And, of course, always keep an eye on the weather.

Lake Ming itself is a sight to behold.

Crystal blue waters, meticulously maintained surroundings, and beautiful shady areas make it a delight.

My family has built countless memories here, and we look forward to each visit.

If you ask us, there's no place quite like Lake Ming.

Feel the Thrill at Kern County Raceway Park

Bird's eye view of Kern County Raceway Park
Rickybassman, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

I had the privilege of spending a Saturday night at Kern County Raceway Park, a bustling hub of speed, thrills, and family fun.

This place, with its massive 5,000-seat stadium, is a local treasure, offering adrenaline-packed races that keep your eyes glued to the track.

Upon entering, I was greeted by the friendly staff that seemed to be everywhere, ensuring all visitor needs are met.

The facilities speak volumes about the management's commitment to providing a stellar experience - clean and well-maintained.

Even the restrooms were a pleasant surprise!

But what really stole the show was the racing experience.

The roaring engines, the cheering crowd, and the fast-paced action made my heart race in a way no movie theater ever could.

Moreover, the ticket prices were surprisingly affordable - great value for such an electrifying experience!

The VIP suites, 21 in total, provided an excellent view of the racecourse.

And when the hunger pangs struck, the concession building had plenty to offer from snacks to drinks.

Ample parking space meant that I had no worries about finding a spot for my car.

However, a slight issue did crop up.

Kern County Raceway Park, like any outdoor arena, struggles a bit with bugs.

Thankfully, I had come prepared with insect repellant, but a more robust bug treatment by the management would greatly enhance the visitor experience.

Sample Wines at Tlo Wines Tasting Room

There's nothing quite like a Friday night at the Tlo Wines Tasting Room.

The air is buzzing with excitement and conversation as patrons lean back in their chairs, wine glasses in hand.

You see, this isn't just any winery.

It's a place where the local community gathers to unwind, celebrate, and share stories over delectable wines.

It's not uncommon to find yourself sharing a table with new friends, their laughter punctuating the chill evening air.

The wine here, oh it's nothing short of divine.

I remember the first time I tasted their Muscat Canelli.

It was on a rather chilly evening, shared with friends who, like me, were smitten by the intense flavors.

We couldn't help ourselves and ended up having not one but two bottles.

Adding to the charm is the excellent customer service.

The hosts are warm, welcoming, and always eager to share their knowledge about the wines.

They have a knack for creating a sense of belonging, making you feel like you're not just a customer but part of the Tlo family.

What I appreciate the most about Tlo Wines Tasting Room is not just the delectable wine and the welcoming environment but also its contribution to a developing area of downtown Bakersfield.

It's a shining gem, a beacon of community spirit and local enterprise, making us proud to call this city home.

And then, there are the surprise gestures that make your day - like the time the owner personally brought out cake for her birthday celebration, sharing her special day with everyone in the room.

It's these little things that make Tlo Wines Tasting Room not just a winery, but a place that feels like home.

Can't wait for the weather to get warmer so we can make more memories at this treasured local spot.

Take in the Views at Panorama Park

Sunset at Panorama Park
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Who doesn't love a spontaneous stroll in the park on a beautiful day?

One of my favorite pastimes is exploring the panoramic beauty of Panorama Park.

The vast landscapes it offers are breathtaking, and they're even more so when the sun is shining brilliantly.

The park is an engaging spectacle with squirrels darting around, creating an atmosphere of light-hearted fun.

Panorama Park is not just about natural beauty; it's also a wonderful hub of community spirit.

It's always brimming with friendly faces, enjoying the serene ambiance.

And, if you're up for a little adventure, descend to the bottom.

Yes, there are homeless folks there, but they're mostly harmless.

Just remember to exercise caution, especially if you're alone.

And if you're a fan of heartwarming surprises, you'll love what I saw the other day.

Baby squirrels!

Yes, these adorable creatures make their presence known, and it's quite a sight to behold.

Catch Performances at the Bakersfield Fox Theater

Front view of Fox Theater
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Every city possesses its own collection of hidden gems and in my hometown, the historic Bakersfield Fox Theater definitely stands out among the rest.

Nestled in the heart of downtown, this ornate theater, which first opened back in 1930, has been a cultural epicenter for decades.

Hosting a medley of talented comedians, musicians and dancers, it truly offers something for everyone.

I've been lucky enough to witness a few live music concerts at this wonderful venue. The first thing that grabs your attention is the stunning architecture.

The grandeur of the building, coupled with the plush red velvet curtains and glittering chandeliers, transports you back to an era of old-world charm.

Not to mention, it’s been restored to maintain its original elegance, making it a visually beautiful sight to behold.

But it's not just about the aesthetics. Bakersfield Fox Theater boasts incredible acoustics that make any performance sound phenomenal.

Whether you're seated in the upper balcony, like I was during one concert, or closer to the action, the sound quality is simply breathtaking.

Added to this, the seating is comfortable and there's not a bad seat in the house - always a bonus when you're set for a long night of entertainment.

Ticket counter at  Fox Theater
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The theater isn't just about the performances. A night out here is an experience in itself.

The staff are friendly and professional, and they make a point to give each guest a memorable experience.

A while back, I had the chance to see the Kenny Metcalf Elton John Experience.

The show was an absolute delight, and the staff made sure everything was perfect right from the start till the end.

For families, the Fox Theater is also a safe and fun choice for a night out. I've attended a wonderful dance recital here where my granddaughter performed.

The feeling of nostalgia you get from this place is something you just can't replicate elsewhere.

A young woman taking picture in front of  Fox Theater
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Let Your Fido Run Free at Mesa Marin Dog Park

You know, there's nothing quite like a sunny afternoon spent at Mesa Marin Dog Park.

It's always a chilled-out environment with often no aggressive animals and the most courteous set of visitors you'll ever meet.

I like to call them my dog park family.

My family and I found this gem one summer afternoon and ever since, it has been our go-to spot for weekend relaxation.

The park gets a good crowd, especially on weekends, adding life and fun to the ambiance.

The sight is always amusing, with kids playing around and birthday parties in full swing.

I'd say it's as much a people park as it is a dog park.

Not to forget, my fur baby loves it here.

The vast expanse allows him to run around, explore, and socialize with other dogs.

It's an absolute delight to see him frolic in the water and make new friends every time we visit.

Plus, the park ensures the ready availability of water and bags, making it hassle-free for us pet parents.

On a leisurely day, we even join other families at Spray Park, which is a big hit with my kiddo.

Just watching her and our pet have a blast is the therapy I never knew I needed.

Get Inspired at Bakersfield Museum of Art

Entrance of Bakersfield Museum of Art
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You know the feeling when you stumble upon a gem in your own backyard, and you can't help but think, 'How did I miss this all along?'

That's exactly how I felt the first time I visited the Bakersfield Museum of Art.

Tuesday evenings, I've found, are the best times to visit.

The museum is less crowded, and you can take your sweet time appreciating the exhibits - all displayed meticulously by Californian artists of varied styles and hues.

Last year, during their annual Pride-themed Art After Dark event, I had an absolute blast. The museum was buzzing with energy and camaraderie.

The crowd was vibrant, the art was provocative, and the atmosphere was electric with pride.

It was a celebration of local culture and identity that deeply moved me.

Front view of Bakersfield Museum of Art
Richard Thornton / Shutterstock.com

The museum is not just about exhibitions. They also run education programs and kids' classes.

I enrolled my niece in one of their summer programs last year, and she absolutely loved it.

The staff there are knowledgeable and passionate - it's evident they truly care about nurturing the next generation of artists.

Yes, the Bakersfield Museum of Art may not be the Broad or MOMA, but it has a charm of its own.

It's a sanctum for us art lovers and a testament to the wealth of talent in our locality.

If you haven't visited it yet, I highly recommend you do.

You'll be pleasantly surprised, and who knows, you might even walk away feeling a little more connected to this wonderful community we call home.

Close up of the tall yellow building at Bakersfield Museum of Art
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Go Foraging at Panorama Vista Preserve

Stunning view of the Panorama Vista Preserve
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If your idea of a perfect day involves a walk amidst nature and some adventure, then I have the perfect place for you.

The Panorama Vista Preserve, nestling on the outskirts of my hometown, is a natural paradise that you wouldn't want to miss.

When I need a break from the monotony of life, I usually take a stroll down the trails of this preserve.

The preserve, abundant with elderberry bushes, wild rosehips, and Gooding's willow, is a forager's dream.

But remember to tread lightly, for there are also a few inedible gourds lurking amongst the brambles.

The trails are always maintained, and the signposts dotting the paths provide valuable information about the local flora and fauna.

One thing that truly brings this place to life is the diversity of the native plants and animals.

The tranquillity here offers a serene environment, perfect for teaching kids about nature.

Three trees lined up one after another at Panorama Vista Preserve
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I particularly enjoy the shade of the towering trees and the sight of the Bakersfield Cactus in full bloom.

It's always exciting to see the young plantings grow and mature with each visit.

In the heart of the conservative city of Bakersfield, the Panorama Vista Preserve is a peaceful oasis.

Whether you are a nature enthusiast, a forager, or just someone who wants to escape the bustling city life, this preserve has something to offer everyone.

Just watch out for the Cowboys!

Name board of Panorama Vista Preserve with greenery in the background
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Collect Shark Teeth at Sharktooth Hill

You wouldn't believe the thrill of hunting for fossils until you've tried it at Sharktooth Hill.

It's one of those unique experiences that's equal parts of adventure and education.

Remember, it's like fishing; sometimes you get the big catch, and sometimes you don't.

I've heard people call it a sham, but in my experience, that's because they are coming in unprepared.

It's not about randomly picking a spot and hoping for the best.

It's about doing your research, understanding what you're looking for, and most importantly, knowing where to look.

My father used to take me to Sharktooth Hill when I was a kid.

He was a geologist, and he knew all the hot collecting spots.

He instilled in me a love for the earth's history, hidden in its rocks and fossils.

His passion was infectious, and I've been prospecting here for over two decades now.

If you're interested in shark teeth, I'd advise joining a local gem and fossil club or visiting a gem show.

They are a great place to start, especially for kids.

The shows can be fun for all ages, and people have already done all the hard work for you.

You get to keep the excitement without the hard work of digging in the desert!

Watch a Concert at Mechanics Bank Arena

Exterior of the Rabobank Arena
Bobak Ha'Eri, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It was like walking directly into a beating heart when I walked into Mechanics Bank Arena, pulsating with energy, music, and laughter.

The biggest stars on the planet have graced this stage, leaving imprints of their performances that still vibrate off the walls.

From legendary boxing matches to uproarious comedy shows featuring Jerry Seinfeld, I have been part of it all.

It feels like a ritual, really.

It was a sweltering night in Bakersfield when the iconic Ice Cube and Cypress Hill lit up the stage.

I was right there on the floor, the bass reverberating through my body.

The seats were a little close together, but that just added to the camaraderie.

Yet, next time, I plan to book higher seats for a better stage view.

Food options at the Mechanics Bank Arena are an experience in itself - you can literally smell the deliciousness in the air.

Though I didn't indulge that night, the aroma was enough to make my stomach rumble in anticipation of my next visit.

And then, there was the night when the classic tunes of Matchbox Twenty filled the air.

I had scored a front-row seat off-center stage, and that proximity to the band was just exhilarating.

The stage was so close, I could almost touch it - a music lover's dream!

This Arena is not just for mega-stars.

Sometimes, it's about the homegrown magic of local talent, like the time I went to watch Toto and Journey.

Their performance was a testament to the versatility of the venue.

Whether it's an international superstar or a local gem, the Arena handles it all with the same charm and grandeur.

Mechanics Bank Arena is truly the pulsating heart of Bakersfield, beating in rhythm with the city itself.

Here, in this monument of entertainment, we live, laugh, and love.

I can't wait to experience my next heart-thumping evening there.

Take Snaps and Enjoy a Meal at Buck Owens' Crystal Palace

Pastel buildings at Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace
Richard Thornton / Shutterstock.com

Living right around the corner from it, I assure you there's no place like Buck Owens' Crystal Palace.

The minute you walk in, you're greeted by the alluring aroma of good old home-cooked meals that are sure to leave your mouth watering.

Not only is it a restaurant, it's also an amazing place to catch live music, check out Buck's personal collection of country music memorabilia, and even catch sight of a Cadillac behind the bar.

One thing that I enjoy about the Buck Owens' Crystal Palace is the diversity of the crowd.

You see, it's not just for old-timers or country music fans but rather draws an all-ages crowd.

I remember taking my teenage kids there to see Charlie Crockett and much to my surprise, they had a fantastic time.

Front view of Buck Owens' Crystal Palace
Skyman9999, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

And the seating? There's truly not a bad seat in the house, every spot offering an intimate experience with the performers.

Then there's the food! On my last visit, I indulged in a heavenly chicken fried steak sandwich that was so generously sized it practically covered my whole plate.

And the fries? Simply divine! And if you have room for dessert, they serve a chocolate cake that's just as delicious as it sounds.

The Crystal Palace isn't just a place to grab a meal or see a concert, it's a Bakersfield icon.

From the famous Bakersfield sign to Buck's own music memorabilia on display, it's a place that tells a story and offers an experience that you don't want to miss.

Closeup of an building at Buck Owens' Crystal Palace
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Unleash Imagination at Lori Brock Discovery Center

When it comes to finding educational and engaging activities for kids in our community, the Lori Brock Discovery Center stands out as a gem.

I vividly remember my first time exploring this vibrant learning hub, a place that weaves fun and education seamlessly into one.

Upon entering, a delightful surprise awaits in the children's area.

It's perfectly tailored for the little ones to immerse in a myriad of roles as they don police officer, firefighter, doctor, and nurse costumes.

Witnessing their innocent eyes light up with curiosity and excitement is an unforgettable sight.

Lori Brock Discovery Center holds a special place in my heart for the joy and education it provides to children.

The array of activities available is impressive and keeps the kids engaged.

Make a Splash at the McMurtrey Aquatic Center

The waters of McMurtrey Aquatic Center
Skyman9999, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

"There's no place like home," you've heard the saying, right?

Well, there's no place like the McMurtrey Aquatic Center on a scorching Bakersfield summer day.

Empty Fridays aside, it's the buzzing neighborhood pool where the fun never stops.

When I walk in, the friendly atmosphere wraps around me like a warm towel.

The pools, always scrubbed to a shimmering blue, invite me in for a dip.

Armed with my swim gear and the comfort of lifeguards on duty, I dive into the collective joy of public swimming.

But what if you're bringing the kiddos along, you ask?

Ah, the center has got you covered.

The shallow end is decorated with all kinds of fun water items.

There's enough to keep your little ones (and yes, the grown-ups, too) entertained.

And for those who love an adrenaline rush, there are water slides.

The lines may move slowly, but trust me, the anticipation only adds to the excitement.

And according to my kids, the wait is well worth it.

Don't worry about safety - the center offers life jackets and even swim diapers for a nominal charge.

As for rules, they are enforced strictly.

No roughhousing is allowed, and the lifeguards won't hesitate to blow the whistle on rule breakers.

They even check bags to ensure only water and fruit are brought in from home.

So, whether you're just looking to beat the heat or seeking a fun-filled day, make your way to the McMurtrey Aquatic Center.

Just remember to get there early - the line can get long, and public swim hours are from 1 to 3:30 pm.

See you there!

Take Pictures Under the Bakersfield Sign

Close view of the Bakersfield Sign
Richard Thornton / Shutterstock.com

There's a certain charm that you'll only find right here in Bakersfield, especially when you're taking a leisurely drive down Buck Owens Boulevard.

There's one sight that never fails to make my heart flutter - the iconic Bakersfield Sign. No matter how many times I pass by it, the allure never fades away.

The sign is easy to find, standing tall and proud, beckoning visitors and locals alike.

And if you're in the neighborhood, do pay a visit to the Palace, a local favorite that's just a stone's throw away.

While the summer heat in Bakersfield can be quite grueling, the sight of the sign as the sun sets, casting a golden glow on its bold letters, is something I wouldn't trade for the world.

Daytime view of the Bakersfield Sign
nickchapman, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Another hidden gem that I can't help but mention is Casa Tequila, a place that serves the best Mexican cuisine in the city.

Living here might not be everyone's cup of tea, but it's these little quirks and characteristics that make it a place I call home.

The job opportunities are decent, and where else would you find a city where even the simplest places to stop by, like the Bakersfield Sign, have a charm of their own?

Catch a Game at the Ballgame at Sam Lynn Ballpark

Take me out to the ballgame!

If you're ever in Bakersfield and looking for a relaxed, old-time atmosphere, I would highly recommend checking out a Blaze game at Sam Lynn Ballpark.

Now, don't be fooled by the rustic exterior and the realization that the stadium could use a fresh coat of paint - that's all part of the charm.

From the moment I stepped into the ballpark, I was transported back to a simpler time.

The Blaze, our local minor league team, were playing their hearts out on the field.

I was surrounded by fellow baseball enthusiasts, not nearly as many as one would think in a city of 400,000 people, but that just contributed to the intimate atmosphere.

It felt like a community get-together where everyone was there just for the love of the game.

The restrooms, despite the exterior of the ballpark, were surprisingly clean and well-maintained.

I particularly appreciated the fact that they offered a variety of snacks at reasonable prices.

The hot dogs were a hit, and nothing beats enjoying one while watching the game.

As I strolled around, I remember coming across two almond trees.

They looked slightly worse for wear, indicating that life had been a little rough on them.

However, they added this sense of character to the field, almost akin to the aged beauty of the stadium itself.

It was a great day out, and I would highly recommend Sam Lynn Ballpark for any baseball enthusiasts or anyone just looking for a chill day of sports.

Step back in Time at the Weedpatch Camp

Library and Post office at Weedpatch Camp
Bobak Ha'Eri, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Oh, the stories I could tell you about the Weedpatch Camp! You see, I live in a house with a history that could fill a book.

My father-in-law, Luther A Tate, got this house from the Sunset Labor Camp at Weedpatch, California.

Around the 1970s, he decided to uproot the entire house and move it to its current location, where it now sits proudly at the intersection of Ralph Street and Florence.

This old house has seen more than its fair share of history.

After all, it's not every day that you find yourself living at one of the filming locations of the 1940 film "The Grapes of Wrath."

Yes, you heard it right. This very camp was the setting for the famous dance scene in the movie.

Community hall in Weedpatch Camp
Bobak Ha'Eri, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

There's nothing quite like waking up in the morning to the sight of the Farmworkers' Wheat Patch Camp sign at the entrance.

It's an iconic reminder of the roots of Weedpatch Camp, its role in history, and the resilience of those who came before us.

I vividly remember the time when I met the Joad family.

Even though they were about to leave, their warmth and stories about the camp left a lasting impression on me.

Living in Weedpatch Camp, where each day is a step into the past and a nod to the perseverance of the human spirit, is an experience I wouldn't trade for anything.

Practice Photography at Central Park at Mill Creek

Signage of Central Park at Mill Creek
Richard Thornton / Shutterstock.com

It was one of those typical afternoons when the cloudless blue sky stretched across the horizon as if painted on a canvas, giving the perfect opportunity for an impromptu stroll.

I found myself wandering to one of my favorite spots in the city, Central Park at Mill Creek.

The park, tucked away amidst the city's hustle and bustle, is a serene sanctuary that always brings me peace of mind.

Immediately, the rhythmic sound of water flowing along the canal soothes my senses.

It's amazing how this park, with its simplistic beauty, attracts photography enthusiasts, bloggers, artists, and people like me who simply enjoy the tranquillity.

The covered bridge is my favorite spot, and it's easy to see why it's a popular backdrop for photography sessions.

There's always a flurry of activity around the park, no matter the season.

I've spent countless hours watching the ducks swimming around in the pond, the toddlers laughing in the playground, and the families enjoying picnics under the shade of the trees.

It's also not uncommon to run into fellow residents and strike up interesting conversations.

There's a certain kind of magic that lies in the simplicity of Central Park at Mill Creek.

Whether I'm there to unwind after a long day, practice my photography, or simply take a peaceful stroll, I always leave feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

The park is a testament to the beauty of nature amidst the cityscape, and a place I'm proud to call my local haven.

Go Rollerblading at Beach Park

Ever tried rollerblading in paradise?

Well, Beach Park just might be the closest thing to it! Nestled beautifully on the Kern River, the park offers a variety of recreational activities.

My weekend mornings are usually spent biking through the serene trails of the park.

The peaceful ambiance of the park makes it a perfect spot to enjoy a quiet bike ride.

Interestingly, the park also boasts a splendid, graffiti-free skate park, which is always well-kept.

The skate park is the real gem of Beach Park.

Even my twin boys, who are still beginners in skating, love to scoot around the park.

It's not as slick as other skate parks we've visited, which makes it a safer option for my little daredevils.

They always have a blast trying out different drop-ins, and it's great that the park isn't too crowded most of the time.

It's mainly frequented by teens and older crowds, so it's advisable to visit during quieter hours to avoid too much cross traffic.

Final Thoughts

Living in Bakersfield, California is never dull with the plethora of activities and attractions spread around the city.

Whether you're an outdoor enthusiast, a history buff, or an art lover, there's always something to keep you busy.

Feeling the adrenaline at Kern County Raceway Park, appreciating the beauty of nature at The Park at River Walk, or gaining knowledge at The Bakersfield Museum of Art, each day is filled with excitement and learning.

Here's to more explorations and discoveries in this vibrant city!

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