Bakersfield is known as “The Country Music Capital of the West Coast,” home to famous country musicians Buck Owens and Merle Haggard. In the 1950s, these two musicians created the Bakersfield Sound, a musical style derived from the music of Dust Bowl migrants. This medium-sized city in California’s San Joaquin Valley has a rich history and a thriving cultural scene that give visitors plenty to do and see.

Catch a show at the Crystal Palace, which was created by Buck Owens in 1996 as a high-class venue for country music. Not only a performance space, the Crystal Palace also houses a nightclub, bar and restaurant. Trace the career of the legendary singer at the Buck Owens Museum.

Bakersfield is close to several natural destinations. Sequoia National Forest is just a short drive up Kern River Canyon. Hike, bike or rock climb along the mountain’s peaks and trails. During warmer months, go fly-fishing or whitewater rafting. In winter, enjoy the snow on the well-maintained skiing and snowshoeing paths.

Downtown Bakersfield features a budding arts district. This historical area is now the backdrop for public murals and sculptures and has dozens of galleries and art shops. Also in arts district is the Buena Vista Museum of Natural History, which focuses on anthropology, geology and paleontology. View its extensive collection of fossils and taxidermy animals. Not far from the museum is the Fox Theater, a performing arts destination in the city since 1930. Enjoy a variety of shows, ranging from ballet recitals to popular musicians on tour, in this historic art deco building. Learn about the history of the area at the Kern County Museum, about 30 minutes’ walk south of Buena Vista Museum.

Fly to Meadows Field Airport to reach Bakersfield or drive from Los Angeles, which is a 2-hour drive south. Whether you are an art aficionado, a fan of country-western music or simply want to enjoy the California wilderness, Bakersfield is worth a stop.

Known for

Dining, Family-friendly and Cafés

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Where to stay in Bakersfield

Rosedale
Image for Rosedale
Trover photo by Terry Fletcher

Rosedale

Rosedale is a welcoming neighbourhood.

Downtown
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Downtown

Downtown is a welcoming neighbourhood.

Oleander - Sunset
Image for Oleander - Sunset
Trover photo by Perla Davis

Oleander - Sunset

Oleander - Sunset is a welcoming neighbourhood.

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Top hotels in Bakersfield

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Image for La Quinta Inn by Wyndham Bakersfield South
La Quinta Inn by Wyndham Bakersfield South
2.5 out of 5
3232 Riverside Dr, Bakersfield
£57/night
24 Jul-25 Jul
3.5/5Good! (1,568 reviews)

"The room was clean and the staff were nice. The cleaning woman was very thorough. We’ll be back."…"

Reviewed on 20 Jul 2019

La Quinta Inn by Wyndham Bakersfield South
Image for Hotel Rosedale
Hotel Rosedale
3 out of 5
2400 Camino Del Rio Court, Bakersfield
£53/night
4 Aug-5 Aug
3.5/5Good! (3,421 reviews)

"This property used to be grand. It needs a lot of updates. Front desk staff was good. Breakfast was ok. Not enough staff for the crowd to keep food stocked."…"

Reviewed on 18 Jul 2019

Hotel Rosedale
Image for Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Bakersfield, CA
Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Bakersfield, CA
2 out of 5
2310 Wible Rd, Bakersfield
£88/night
12 Aug-13 Aug
4.3/5Excellent! (751 reviews)

"It's a perfect budget hotel. Plus the solar panels on the roof and EV charging stations make it better and more worthwhile than any Hilton or Marriott."…"

Reviewed on 16 Jul 2019

Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Bakersfield, CA

Top activities in Bakersfield

Operation City Quest of Bakersfield, CA
Image for Operation City Quest of Bakersfield, CA

Operation City Quest of Bakersfield, CA

£8

Using your smartphone, you'll be given nearly 150 objects to find during your scavenger hunt. You'll then wander throughout the downtown area searching for the items. Once you've found the object, you'll send a photo in to score points.

Six Flags Magic Mountain One-Day General Admission
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Six Flags Magic Mountain One-Day General Admission

£48

Six Flags Magic Mountain is known as the “Thrill Capital of the World,” the 260-acre theme park features 19 world-class roller coasters and over 100 rides, games and attractions for the entire family.

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