Bakersfield, California, is a thriving medium-sized city located at the southern end of the Central Valley. It’s a transportation hub between the San Joaquin Valley, Los Angeles, and the Southern Sierra Nevada Mountains. Bakersfield offers an endless
array of outdoor activities including rock climbing, mountain biking, hiking, river rafting, skiing, and much more. The city has a diverse economy that encompasses oil production, agriculture, aerospace, mining, manufacturing, and food processing,
to name a few. If you are planning to move to Bakersfield, you have a lot to look forward to.
The Fox Theater of Bakersfield is a community treasure with excellent acoustics, and its Skouras interior is in beautiful condition. It is an elegant, historical building and one of the last built in the Gilded Age of cinema. Today, the theater puts on live shows with top-name musicians, comedians, ballet, and more. Considered to be one of the top attractions in Bakersfield, the Fox Theater is operated by a nonprofit organization to enhance the quality of life in Kern County and become the premier cultural center in the region. There are several restaurants located near the theater as well as plenty of parking. (Photo Credit: http://thebakersfieldfox.com/)
Kern County Museum
The Kern County Museum provides education and entertainment for people of all ages through interpretive experiences about the history of Kern County. The region was a major player in the early days of California, and the museum brings that history to life with artifacts in 56 historical buildings located on 16 acres of landscaped gardens. Visitors can learn about Native Americans, early settlers, the railroad, the first oil derricks, the Gold Rush, and more. The museum also includes the Lori Brock Discovery Center for children, where they can act on their own stage, learn science, build things, and enjoy the outdoor playground. There are also seasonal special events. You can shop or sell your wares in the Artisan Market, where you will find musicians, dancers, and other live entertainment as well as food stalls and homemade gifts.
Murray Family Farms
Murray Family Farms are exactly that: a place to go for fresh, organic fruits and veggies as well as gifts, desserts, and even prepacked lunch boxes. They offer a huge variety of fruits for a very low price if you pick them yourself. Apples, persimmons, strawberries, oranges, and pomegranates are just some of the fruits that have ripened on the tree for a burst of flavor. You will also find family entertainment at Murray Family Farms with games and activities such as roasting marshmallows on a bonfire or a petting zoo. There is a bakery with fresh meat and fruit pies among other things. For visitors and locals alike, this is a great place to spend a few hours and get some fresh produce as well.
Buena Vista Museum of Natural History & Science
The Buena Vista Museum of Natural History & Science was created to promote education in the fields of biology, geology, paleontology, anthropology, and archeology. Kern County is home to the largest collection of Miocene fossils in the world, most of which were found on Shark Tooth Hill north of Bakersfield. The museum has a hands-on interactive center that has been designed for children and contains a life-sized Native American Lifeways exhibit built by the Native American Preservation Council of Kern County. There is a Rock Art Gallery, Fossils Gallery, a mineral room, and an exhibit on the changing water situation in California. Activities for children include summer camps that focus on kitchen science, dinosaurs, CSI forensic techniques, Shark Week, and more.
River’s End Rafting
River’s End Rafting is a company that specializes in outdoor adventure. Whether you want to pan for gold or go kayaking or white water rafting, River’s End Rafting has what you need to enjoy all of the outdoor activities that Bakersfield has to offer. River’s End Rafting offers adventure for every level of participant. The staff will give lessons and do what it takes to make sure your family has a great time. The company is family owned and operated, and the staff always puts safety first. Guides are assigned to every group, and they are well trained and have a lot of experience. If you just want to watch, you can enjoy the wine and olive tasting at the nearby Rio Bravo Ranch, where you will also be able to take in spectacular views of the mountains and valleys.
Bakersfield Museum of Art
The Bakersfield Museum of Art was established 60 years ago and boasts outstanding art exhibits as well as educational opportunities for the residents of Bakersfield and the surrounding areas. It provides a broad spectrum of creative visual arts through exhibitions, preservation, and educational programs for the community. You can participate in yoga at the museum, attend an Italian street painting festival, or be selected to produce public art in Bakersfield. The Bakersfield Museum of Art offers programs for children like the one that asks a group of children from 7 to 12 years old to curate the current collection to give it a fresh look.
The Gaslight Melodrama Theatre & Music Hall
The Gaslight Melodrama Theatre & Music Hall is committed to bringing family-oriented live entertainment to Bakersfield. Melodrama always gets the audience involved to cheer on the hero and boo the villain. Along with all the drama and comedy is the Moosehead Lounge, where you will find excellent sandwiches, soups, salads, and barbecued pork. You can enjoy it all with a glass of local wine or cold beer or soda. The theater puts on special shows for the holiday season, children’s theater workshops, fantastic puppet shows, and magic shows. If you enjoy participating in theater productions, then you may be interested in auditioning to become part of the cast.
24th Street Café
Considered a happy place for hungry people, the 24th Street Café has been serving tasty food since 1950 when it was Cy’s Coffee Shop. The food is reasonably priced, so it is a place that you will want to visit often. Its breakfast is so famous that it’s served all day. You can order eggs with pork chops, chicken, steak, trout, and ground sirloin hamburger. Some of the specials that are served on specific days of the week include Texas chili with corn bread, Cajun chicken pasta, and fresh mountain trout. If you are a vegetarian, you can still find a tasty, satisfying meal. The 24th Street Café has been awarded The Best in Bakersfield by the readers of the Bakersfield Californian for nine years.
California Living Museum
The California Living Museum aims to display and interpret the native plants, animals, artifacts, and fossils of California. It teaches respect for all living things through recreation, education, research, and conservation. Along with displaying a long list of native animals including raccoons, several kinds of foxes, beavers, rattlesnakes, coyotes, bears, mountain lions, and roadrunners, the California Living Museum also offers plenty of activities. The Condor Challenge features a climbing tower; obstacle courses with nets, poles, and an incomplete bridge; and much more. The California Living Museum is a wonderful place for children of all ages. There are snacks at the gift shop, and picnickers are welcome at any of the picnic tables placed around the grounds. During the summer, it is recommended to visit in the morning when the weather is cooler and the animals are more active. There are several indoor exhibitions if the weather is cool during the winter.
Wool Growers have been voted the most popular Basque restaurant for the past 20 years in an area where there are many Basque restaurants. It has a comfortable, homey atmosphere that is suitable for the whole family. This spot is popular with locals and is considered the best restaurant to take out-of-town guests. There is a long list of celebrities from Ronald Regan to Fergie who have enjoyed a relaxing meal at Wool Growers. Whether you are having lunch or dinner, you will enjoy the flavors of Southern France and Northern Spain. Famous for its culinary traditions, Wool Growers brings this joy of cooking to California. Meals are always house dishes and are different each day of the week. The restaurant also offers a wide selection of sandwiches on fresh bread. It has a gluten-free menu and a special menu for children.