Food and Fun on the Streets of Bakersfield
Bakersfield is full of surprises. It offers urban amenities and a homey feel. California’s ninth-largest city has many entertainment and food options. All year sunshine means outdoor activities like hiking, river rafting and fishing are all in season.
Bakersfield’s street food scene has been the center of national attention. Guy Fieri’s Diners and Drive-Ins, Dives Show featured seven local restaurants. A Punjabi Dhaba Indian food truck was featured in The New York Times. Nuestro Mexico Mexican restaurant was praised by Thrillist.com for having the best tacos anywhere in California. Bakersfield’s many famous Basque restaurants continue to attract visitors, as they have for decades.
The city’s Brewery trail It was so popular when it was launched in early 2021, that it was recently expanded to include all of the county’s breweries. Twelve local breweries are now part of the Bakersfield Kern County Brewery Trail, giving you more chances to win.
Mother Nature’s annual almond blossom extravaganza explodes in a few weeks. The CentralValley is blanketed in pink and white almond blossoms, in a display that some claim rivals Japan’s cherry blossoms. Bakersfield is the place where it all begins, as it is the hottest.
The city’s selfie trailCheck out the only shoe-shaped building with shoe laces in America. It measures 30 feet in length and 20 feet high. You can bike or walk more than 30 miles along the Kern River Parkway Trail. There are rabbits, roadrunners and other wildlife that is protected from development. There are many hiking options available, including the Panorama Bluffs Walking Trail overlooking the Kern River and Hart Park covering 370 acres where you might spot wandering peacocks.
Enjoy dinner and a show at Buck Owens Crystal Palace, country music’s most famous music venue. There, the Buckmobile, Buck’s Pontiac convertible, can be seen mounted on a wall behind it. Legend has it that he got it from Elvis during a poker game.
Jazz lovers will enjoy the Bakersfield Jazz Workshop every Tuesday night at the Petroleum Club. You can also find other types of music at the Bakersfield Music Hall of Fame and Historic Fox Theater as well as concerts at Mechanics Bank Arena.
It is impossible to make a stop at Col. Baker’s Field without taking a bite of Bakersfield home. Bakersfield’s bread is Pyrenees French bread. Since 1944, the sourdough bread has been baked in brick ovens using the exact same Old World techniques and recipes. Bakersfield’s favourite candy is Dewar’s Chews. They have been made the same way for over 100 years and have been featured in many articles and on Food Network. Rio Bravo Ranch’s award winning olive oil has won gold and silver medals at several competitions. La Rosa Fruit Bars and Ice Cream offers refreshing treats you won’t find anywhere else in Bakersfield. They are made daily with fresh natural fruit and come in 26 flavors. And My Husband’s Nuts is a specialty in candied California almonds, straight from the farmer’s wife.
Winter is a busy season for the area’s fruit packing plants, so make sure to grab some freshly picked citrus while you are in Bakersfield. California Fruit Depot is the state’s smallest packing facility and packs Valencia and navel oranges. You might even be able to see oranges being packed during your visit. Murray Family Farms offers entertainment on the farm, a country store, bakery, and a petting area. You can also pick your own fruit at its Big Red Barn.
Plan your Bakersfield visit at VisitBakersfield.com.
The author of 5 books, 3 of which are New York Times bestsellers. I’ve been published in more than 100 newspapers and magazines and am a frequent commentator on NPR.