Located directly on the Kern River and just below Sequoia National Forest, Bakersfield is a southern California city with lots of diversity. Visitors can go whitewater rafting in the morning and be cheering on a race car in the evening. If you’re planning to cruise through the national parks of southern California like Sequoia, Redwoods, or Yosemite, we recommend spending a few days in Bakersfield on your way. Fly into Meadows Field Airport for less driving time.
As mentioned, the city of Bakersfield offers plenty of diversity. For visitors with kids or those looking to feel like a kid again, head over to the locally-owned Flight Fit N Fun. This indoor athletic entertainment facility features wall-to-wall trampolines, a foam pit, a climbing area, dodgeball courts, and more. Just make sure you’ve had at least two cups of coffee if this is your morning activity!
If you’re looking for something quieter, rent a bike and cruise along the beautiful Kern River Parkway, a 30-mile paved bike path that winds through town to the Kern River Canyon in the east.
Afternoon: Cheer On or Sing Along
While ice hockey may not be the first thing you think about southern California, it’s still one of America’s most popular sports. Lucky for travelers, Bakersfield has their own professional team in the American Hockey League known as the Condors. If you’re there during hockey season, which is typically October through March, try to get tickets to a game.
If it’s not hockey season, take a look at Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace for live music and food. Walk their museum’s boardwalks, which are lined with memorabilia from the careers of great country music stars like Buck Owens.
Morning: Bring Out the Outdoor Adventurer in You
Once you’ve gotten a lay of the land, it’s time for some outdoor adventure! One of the best things about Bakersfield is that the Kern River runs through the city, making rafting very accessible and very popular. Spend the morning on the exciting river with Rivers End Rafting.
If your group wants an activity with a little less adrenaline, head out on a hike instead. You’ll have lots of choices to suite your interests and abilities.
Afternoon: Sit Back and Relax
After all that fun in the sun, it’s time to replenish your body with some good food in town. As it may be your final night in Bakersfield before heading deeper into the mountains, we recommend having a night out on the town. Take it easy with a show at the classic Fox Theater or get tickets to the Auto Club Famoso Raceway to watch fast vintage cars race.