15 Best Things to Do in Bakersfield, CA For Ultimate Experience

Are you planning a trip to Bakersfield and wondering what the top things to do are while you’re in town? Look no further! Bakersfield is a city full of history, culture, and plenty of things to keep you entertained. From museums and art galleries to outdoor activities and top-notch restaurants, this city has something for everyone. To help plan your trip, I’ve put together a list of the 15 Top Things To Do In Bakersfield. No matter what your interests are, you’re sure to find something that you’ll love.

Things to Do in Bakersfield, CA

1. Hart Memorial Park

The Hart Memorial Park is, of course, one of the top tourist attractions in Bakersfield. This large park is named after John Hart, who spearheaded the effort to create the park in the early 1900s.

This 370-acre park is home to a number of different facilities, including a playground, picnic areas, and golf courses. The playground is a great place for kids to let off some energy, and the picnic areas are perfect for a family barbecue. There are two 18 -hole golf courses where golfers of all skill levels can enjoy a round or two.

The park also contains a number of hiking and biking trails, as well as two lakes where you can go fishing. The lake is stocked with bass fish, bluegill, and rainbow trout.

One of the best things about this park is that it is completely free to enter. This makes it a great place to take the family for a day out. So if you’re looking for something to do on a nice day, I definitely recommend visiting the Hart Memorial Park.

2. Kern County Museum

Are you interested in the history of Kern County? If so, then you should definitely visit the Kern County Museum. This local history museum was founded in 1941 and is dedicated to preserving the history of Kern County.

The outdoor area of the museum is known as Pioneer Village. Pioneer Village is a collection of historic buildings that have been relocated to the museum grounds. These buildings include a one-room schoolhouse, a blacksmith shop, and a jailhouse. Visitors can explore these buildings and learn about what life was like in Kern County in the 1800s and early 1900s.

In addition to the historic buildings, the Kern County Museum also features a variety of exhibits. These include an exhibit on the history of the oil industry in Kern County, an exhibit on the Native American tribes that have lived in Kern County, and an exhibit on the history of agriculture in Kern County.

I had a great time exploring the Kern County Museum and learning about the history of this region. If you are interested in local history, then this is one of the best places to visit in Bakersfield.

3. Kern River Parkway Trail

Do you love spending time outdoors? If yes, you’ll definitely want to check out the Kern River Parkway Trail. This is a non-motorized pedestrian path that runs along the Kern River. The trail is perfect for walking, running, and biking.

The trail stretches for approximately 20 miles. Along the way, you’ll see some beautiful scenery, including the river, trees, and wildflowers. In addition, the park connects several parks and recreational areas, such as The Park at Riverwalk and Beach Park.

The Kern River Parkway Trail is a great place to get some exercise. However, it’s also a great place to relax and enjoy the outdoors. So be sure to add it to your list of top things to do in Bakersfield.

4. Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace

Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace is an attraction in Bakersfield that should not be missed. This country music-themed restaurant, bar, and museum is a great place to learn about the history of country music and enjoy some delicious food.

The Crystal Palace was opened in 1996 by country music legend Buck Owens. The palace is decorated with artifacts from Owens’ career, including stage costumes, musical instruments, and awards. The museum also contains interactive exhibits, such as a karaoke machine, wherein visitors can sing along to some of Owens’ most popular songs.

The Crystal Palace is not only a museum; it is also a working restaurant and bar. The restaurant serves up some of the best southern cooking in California. The menu features items such as fried chicken, biscuits and gravy, and pulled pork sandwiches. The bar serves up a variety of alcoholic beverages, including beer, wine, and cocktails.

In addition to the great food and drinks, the Crystal Palace also hosts live country music performances. The palace has a large stage where Owens himself used to perform. These days, the stage is host to up-and-coming country music artists.

The Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace is one of the best places to visit in Bakersfield. It’s a great place to learn about the history of country music and enjoy some delicious food.

5. Sequoia National Forest

Sequoia National Forest is one of the top tourist attractions in Bakersfield for nature lovers. This forest is home to some of the world’s largest trees, including the General Sherman Tree, which is the largest tree in the world by volume.

The forest is also home to a variety of other plant and animal life. There are more than 1300 species of plants in the forest, as well as countless species of birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.

There are a variety of ways to enjoy the beauty of Sequoia National Forest. Visitors can go hiking, camping, fishing, picnicking, horseback riding, and more. The forest features more than 850 miles of trails that wind through the towering trees and offer stunning views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Just be sure to wear proper clothing and footwear, as the forest can get quite cold in the winter and hot in the summer.

6. Valley Plaza Mall

After spending some time in nature, you may be ready for a little retail therapy. If so, you’ll want to head to Valley Plaza Mall, one of the top places to visit in Bakersfield.

Valley Plaza Mall is the largest shopping mall in Bakersfield, with more than 150 stores. The mall features a variety of retailers, including department stores, clothing stores, shoe stores, and jewelry stores. And if you get hungry while shopping, there are plenty of places to grab a bite to eat, including fast-food restaurants, cafes, and ice cream shops.

In addition to the great shopping and restaurants, Valley Plaza Mall also features a movie theater and a bowling alley. So whether you’re looking to do some serious shopping or just want to have some fun, be sure to add this mall to your list of top things to do in Bakersfield.

7. Downtown Bakersfield

Downtown Bakersfield is the perfect place to experience the city’s rich culture and history. This vibrant district is home to a number of businesses, shops, restaurants, and bars. It is also the site of many important historical landmarks.

One of the most notable landmarks in Downtown Bakersfield is the Rabobank Arena. This large arena is the perfect place to catch a live concert or sporting event. The arena is also home to the Bakersfield Condors, a minor league ice hockey team.

If you’re looking for something to eat, Downtown Bakersfield is home to a number of excellent restaurants. For a quick bite, I recommend the Padre Hotel Restaurant. This restaurant is located inside the historic Padre Hotel and serves some delicious American cuisine. If you’re in the mood for something more casual, there are plenty of fast food options to choose from.

Downtown Bakersfield is also home to a number of excellent shopping opportunities. The boutique shops on 19th Street are a great place to find unique gifts and souvenirs. For a more traditional shopping experience, I recommend the Valley Plaza Mall. This large mall is home to a variety of stores, including department stores, clothing stores, and jewelry stores.

8. The Park at Riverwalk

A visit to Bakersfield would not be complete without a walk (or run) through The Park at Riverwalk. This 32-acre park is located along the Kern River in the heart of downtown Bakersfield. The park is a great place to get some exercise, relax in the sun, or have a picnic lunch.

The highlights of the park are the two duck-laden lakes. The lakes are home to a variety of birds, including ducks, geese, and herons. Visitors to the park can feed the birds, which is a fun activity for kids and adults alike. In addition to the birds, fishing is also allowed in the lakes (catch and release only).

The park also features a number of walking and biking trails, as well as a playground and a basketball court. So if you are looking for the best things to do in Bakersfield, The Park at Riverwalk should definitely be on your list.

9. Bakersfield Museum of Art

Are you a fan of the arts? If so, you’ll want to add the Bakersfield Museum of Art to your list of places to visit in Bakersfield. This top-rated museum is home to a large collection of artworks, including paintings, sculptures, and photographs.

The Bakersfield Museum of Art was founded in 1956. The museum features a collection of works by local artists for nearly 60 years. The museum’s collection includes paintings, sculptures, photographs, and other works of art. In addition to the permanent collection, the museum also features rotating exhibitions of local, national, and international artists.

For me, the highlight of the museum was the outdoor Tejon Ranch Sculpture Park. This sculpture park is home to a number of large outdoor sculptures. This makes it the perfect place to take a break from the indoors and enjoy some fresh air.

10. California Living Museum 

I continue my list of the top things to do in Bakersfield with the California Living Museum. The California Living Museum, also known as CALM, is a zoo and botanical garden all in one. This top Bakersfield attraction is home to over 80 species of animals, as well as many different types of plants.

CALM is more than just a zoo; it is also a rescue facility. The zoo takes in animals that have been abandoned, injured, or orphaned. The zoo then cares for these animals and provides them with a permanent home. Some of the animals at CALM include bobcats, bighorn sheep, black bears, and a variety of birds.

In addition to the animals, CALM also has a beautiful botanical garden. The garden contains over 1,500 different species of plants. Visitors can stroll through the gardens and enjoy the sights and smells of the different flowers and trees.

CALM also has a number of educational programs. These programs are designed to teach children about the animals and plants that live at the zoo. This makes it one of the best places to visit in Bakersfield if you have kids.

11. McMurtrey Aquatic Center

Do you need a break from the heat? If so, then head on over to the McMurtrey Aquatic Center. This center is one of the best places to visit in Bakersfield if you’re looking to escape the summer heat.

The McMurtrey Aquatic Center is a state-of-the-art swimming facility that features two Olympic-sized pools, a water slide, and a lazy river. The pools are heated, so you can enjoy a swim even during the cooler months. There is also a shallow pool for small children. And if you get hungry after your workout, you can grab a bite to eat at the snack bar.

The center is open year-round, but it is especially popular in the summertime. During the summer months, the center offers a variety of swimming classes, including lessons for adults and children.

All in all, visiting the McMurtrey Aquatic Center is one of the best things to do in Bakersfield, especially if you’re looking for a place to cool off. So whether you’re a local or a tourist, make sure to add this top-rated attraction to your list.

12. The Fox Theater

If you are looking for a top-notch theater experience, you need to visit The Fox Theater.This historic theater was built in 1930 and has been lovingly restored to its former glory. The theater is now used for a variety of events, such as concerts, movies, and stage productions.

The Fox Theater is a beautiful building, inside and out. The exterior of the theater is adorned with Art Deco-style architecture, while the interior is decorated with lavish Baroque details. The theater has a capacity of 1,543 people and is one of the largest theaters in California.

I suggest checking the theater’s website to see what events are happening during your stay in Bakersfield. I was lucky enough to catch a showing of the classic film “The Wizard of Oz” while I was in town.  

Overall, it’s definitely worth checking out this place if you are looking for fun things to do in Bakersfield with your friends or family. The theater is a beautiful piece of architecture and is sure to provide you with a memorable experience.

13. Murray Family Farms

Murray Family Farms is one of Bakersfield’s attractions for families interested in agriculture. This working farm offers tours, educational programs, and a variety of other activities for visitors.

The farm is home to a variety of crops, including tomatoes, strawberries, blackberries, stone fruit, citrus, asparagus, apples, artichokes, pumpkins, melons, etc. You can, therefore, take a tour of the farm to see how the crops are grown and learn about the history of the farm.

In addition to the tours and educational programs, Murray Family Farms also offers a variety of other activities, such as hayrides, corn mazes, and pumpkin picking. The farm also has a petting zoo, where visitors can meet and interact with a variety of animals.

So the next time you’re looking for things to do in Bakersfield with kids, be sure to check out Murray Family Farms. It’s a great place for those interested in learning about agriculture or just wanting to have some fun on a working farm.

14. Sam Lynn Ballpark

For a taste of minor league baseball, head to Sam Lynn Ballpark, home of the Bakersfield Blaze. This old-fashioned ballpark was built in 1941 and is one of the oldest ballparks in minor league baseball. It has a capacity of 3,500 people and features a unique “in the round” design.

Despite its age, Sam Lynn Ballpark is still a top spot for baseball fans in Bakersfield. The Blaze offer up a great game-day experience, complete with concession stand favorites like hot dogs and peanuts. There are also a few bars located inside the ballpark, serving up beer, wine, and cocktails.

One of the most unique features of Sam Lynn Ballpark is its orientation. This is the only ballpark in the world that is oriented west to east instead of north to south. This unique feature allows fans to enjoy views of the sunset while watching a game. And it’s no wonder that the Blaze have some of the best attendance numbers in minor league baseball.

15. Salt 7even Float Center

After a long day of exploring top tourist attractions in Bakersfield, you just need to relax. And there’s no better place to do that than at Salt 7even Float Center. This float center offers a unique experience that is perfect for weary travelers.

At Salt 7even, visitors float in sensory deprivation tanks filled with Epsom salt water. The high concentration of salt allows you to float effortlessly on the surface of the water. The water is also heated to skin temperature, so you feel like you’re floating in the air.

The float tank is enclosed and dark, which allows you to relax completely. Many people report feeling like they are in a state of complete bliss after a session. Some of the health benefits of floating include reduced stress, improved sleep, and relief from pain.

I found the experience to be incredibly relaxing and therapeutic. Therefore, I highly recommend it to anyone looking to unwind and relax.

In summary

Bakersfield may not be the first city that comes to mind when you think of California, but it is definitely worth a visit. The city has a lot to offer, from country music museums to towering forests. So whether you’re looking for a fun night out or a nature-filled adventure, you’ll find it here. Finally, I hope that this list of top things to do in Bakersfield has helped you plan your trip. Safe travels!