Explore Bakersfield with ’s Travel Guides to find the best hotels, flights, holiday packages and more!
Located in the heart of California, Bakersfield is a city founded on agriculture and oil, with a history stretching back to 1860. The city gained fame in the late 1950s and early 1960s for the ‘Bakersfield Sound’ that began to emerge from the city’s music scene – an electric guitar-driven sub-genre of country music typified by the musician Merle Haggard. From history museums and family-friendly farms where you can pick your own fruit, to nature trails and live music, there’s plenty to see and do in Bakersfield.
With a hire car at your disposal, you’ll also be able to venture beyond Bakersfield to other hot spots in California such as Los Angeles (a two-hour drive) where you can experience a slice of Hollywood glamour at Universal Studios, stroll along the iconic Venice Beach and the Hollywood Walk of Fame and splash the cash on Rodeo Drive just like Julia Roberts did in ‘Pretty Woman.’
Fly into Meadows Field Airport and from there it’s just a 10-minute drive into the centre of Bakersfield.
With a hire car you can easily venture beyond Bakersfield and into the surrounding area to places such as the city of Delano (35 minutes’ drive), founded as a railroad town in 1869 or Wasco (half an hour’s drive), where the annual Festival or Roses commemorates the fact that 55% of all roses grown in the US are farmed in and around Wasco. Buttonwillow is also a 40-minute drive, home to Southern California’s best raceway track, where you can watch motorbikes and cars burn rubber at high speed as they compete for glory.
Choose from a wide selection of hire car providers in Bakersfield to suit every budget and requirement, from National and Hertz to Avis.
The California Living Museum is a popular draw, featuring a whole host of fascinating flora and fauna native to the state of California, many of which are now endangered species. If you’re keen to learn a little more about the history of the area, then the Kern County Museum can tell you all you need to know, from the history of the oil industry that changed the fortunes of the state, through to artefacts from the history of Bakersfield Sound. For a guaranteed good night out, look no further than Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace – a live music venue with plenty of dancing late into the night.
With the keys to your own hire car, you’ll also be able to venture beyond Bakersfield to nearby Santa Barbara (a two and a half-hour drive), a coastal city with a picturesque historic pier and a host of Mediterranean-style white buildings with red-tiled roofs that reflect the city’s colonial Spanish roots. The idyllic beaches are also a particular highlight, lined with palm trees and golden sand stretching out into the Pacific Ocean.
Driving in Bakersfield, like much of America, is largely straightforward, with wide lanes and simple road layouts. Cars drive on the right-hand side of the road and you can overtake on both sides. You can also perform a U-turn at the end of most junctions – it will be marked if you are not allowed to do so. Most American cars are automatic, so remember to request a stick shift if you would prefer one.
Feeling inspired to start exploring Bakersfield and other parts of the US? Check out this city guide and use the Expedia search tool to help you find the best car hire, flight and hotel deals and research the best attractions and activities.
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