A centre of oil and agriculture in California Bakersfield has the dry heat for sun bathing and optimal crop growing. Home to Bakersfield Sound- an electric guitar-driven subgenre of country music- and the world’s largest ice cream plant, there’s a lot of interesting sites to see in this city.
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Before visiting any town or city make sure you know the basics. General details and important information.
- Emergency Services: 911
- Language: English
- Currency: American Dollars
- Country Code: US
- Travel Visa: ESTA required (Click here for more info)
- Population: 383,600
Researching various official sources, we perceive the risk to holiday makers and travellers are as follows;
Top travel advice and interesting tip bits of information from experienced travellers.
- Kern County lets it be widely known the the Kern River is both an attraction and a risk to visitors. People are known to underestimate the river's current and drown. Many parks and camp sites run along the river, as well as there being in-river activities ran by various businesses throughout the state. If you want to go in the river, do so in a controlled environment (like a kayaking tour ran by locals). If you are doing activities nearby the river, watch out for slippy areas and be advised of water conditions before going. Hikers have also been known to cool their feet or wade into shallower parts of the river- be warned that calm waters can be deceptively cold and hide currents that can easily overwhelm even strong swimmers.
- Like most cities in California, Bakersfield has issues with its air quality. The government is aware and working on improving this. Factors like increased traffic, oil production, winemaking, and the dairy industry all contribute to the bad air in the region. Also the dust from dry soil can further agitate those experiencing issues. It is advised to ensure you hotel uses air conditioning and- if you suffer from respiratory issues- that you carry the necessary equipment to relieve poor breathing (eg. an inhaler) should you need it.
For the Emergency services just dial 911 from any phone, for not so serious situations please dial 311.
Hospitals in Bakersfield
Mercy Hospital Downtown: (661) 843-1758
Adventist Health Bakersfield: (661) 395-3000
Memorial Hospital: (661) 578-5025
Visitors Information Centre: (866) 425-7353
Bakersfield has a close by airport and a train station, connecting it to the rest of California. It has both an inner-city bus service for urban transport and an outer-city bus service to connect the rest of Korn County with its main city.
Meadows Field Airport: (661) 391-1800
Bakersfield Amtrak Train Station: Amtrak
What’s the weather like?
Bakersfield is a city in California with a desert climate, surrounded by mountains on two sides. Therefore, it will be hot and dry most of the time. It does not rain often; there may be some in January and February.
The average summer temperature is 29°C whilst the average winter temperature is 9 °C.
For the most reasonable weather visit in late spring and summer.
Dress and plan accordingly.
What’s a safety top tip?
Bakersfield’s desert climate means that it will be both brutally hot and dry, especially in the summer months. Don’t spend too long out in the sun, seek shade and keep re-applying your sun cream. It is also advised to drink at least one litre of water per day, preferably two. It is very easy to get sunstroke in this kind of weather as you will dehydrate faster.
If you plan on spending the day outside: bring lots of water and snacks! Also, wearing loose, covering clothes rather than shorts and t-shirts is more effective in keeping you cool.
How dangerous is Bakersfield?
You are more likely to be a victim of property crime than violent crime in Bakersfield. Property crime includes: burglary, theft and motor vehicle theft. However, all overall crime rates are higher in Bakersfield when compared to the US average. So caution on all fronts is advised.
Be aware of your surroundings. Don’t flash your cash or your valuables around; keep everything either securely on you or in the safe of your hotel room. Try to stay in busy, populated areas and remain in a group when possible.
Annual events allow a city come together for some amazing experiences. If visiting at this time, make sure you have your accommodation booked and are always aware of your surroundings when travelling around.
This three-day festival features celebrates the local shared heritage and culture of the ethnically Basque Bakersfield residents. This festival offers food, music, dance, and handball games. There is an annual picnic and traditional dress. Learn something new by being involved in activities like the klika (drumming parade), pelotaris (a traditional hand and racket sport) and trying your hand at mus (a card game). Sponsored by the Kern County Basque Club, there is fun for all the family and plenty to eat too.
Held at Famoso Raceway, the March Meet is an independent drag race that has been running since 1959. The famous dragstrip is located around ten miles north of Bakersfield. See different exciting races between a big range of cars, classic and modern. One of the most popular events is the nostalgia drag race, which has to be seen to be believed.
Via Arte Italian Street Painting Festival
Modelled after the Italian tradition of I Madonnari, the Bakersfield Museum of Art’s Annual Via Arté Italian Street Painting Festival celebrates a shared love of the arts in the community since 1998. This Bakersfield tradition allows artists to make their creative mark on the asphalt canvas of the market place parking lot, transforming it into its very own outdoor gallery for the city to enjoy. Whether you’re a group or a single artist, you’re welcome to make your little part of Bakersfield your own.
Where should I eat?
Its hot out in California so you bet ice cream is gonna be on the menu! Here, you can get made-to-order liquid nitrogen ice cream. According to the Creamistry, the best way to serve ice cream is with liquid nitrogen and it’s the only way to do it! The fast freezing process provides extravagantly rich and creamy frozen desserts to satisfy both healthy options and indulgent ones. There is no exclusion here either – fear not vegan or lactose intolerant individuals, there are many dairy-free and organic menu items. There are lots of fruity non-dairy sorbets and all natural, vegan coconut or cashew bases to choose from!
La Costa Mariscos Mexican Cuisine
Get authentic Mexican food served fresh every day at La Costa Mariscos Mexican Cuisine. Choose from steak, pork or seafood in traditional Mexican dishes served in a relaxed and friendly location. This restaurant knows what the people want as it boasts a great range of dishes (including a breakfast and children’s menu) and, most importantly, serving big portions at moderate prices. You can order heaps of food for all the family or cartons of their delicious condiments to jazz up your day-to-day meals.
What should I do?
Locally owned and operated, Flight Fit N Fun Bakersfield is an indoor athletic entertainment facility that is dedicated to providing adventure, excitement and challenges to all their guests. Exercise doesn’t have to be boring gym workouts, here you can use the 17,000 square feet of wall to wall trampolines, dodgeball courts, a battle beam, a foam pit and three slam dunk basketball hoops to get your blood pumping. You can also put yourself and your friends to the test with their ninja warrior course. They even accommodate any non-participating guests with free Wi-Fi, a lounge and lots of big screen televisions but you would be crazy not to get involved!
This activity centre has everything you need to have a ball on a Californian river: Whitewater Rafting, Hard Shell Kayaking, Gold Panning, Inflatable Kayaks, and Kayak Lessons. Located in the outskirts of Bakersfield, they are the closest outfitter to the Los Angeles area. River’s End Rafting is a family-owned local business with years of experience teaching a huge range of groups how to have fun on the river. This especially means that they have the know-how to keep visitors safe whilst also keeping the excitement levels high. Each activity has its own rating to tell you how fast the waters will be and the difficulty level, helping you make informed decisions so your ability is challenged enough to have a good time (but not too challenged!).
What museums are there?
Set up in memory of deceased artist Marion Osborn Cunningham, The Bakersfield Museum of Art collects and displays the work of Californian artists from the 20th century to the present. This museum seeks to present a comprehensive survey of art produced in and about California, celebrating and providing a platform for local artists. There are prints, paintings, photography and a sculpture garden. The sculpture garden was opened in 1961 and is a focal point for the community; it can be used as an events space for film screenings, concerts, art classes, and yoga. With exhibitions changing seasonally, there is a lot to see here.
California Living Museum (CALM Zoo)
Founded in 1980 and opened to visitors in 1983, CALM displays native Californian animals and plants with the intention of greater education, conservation and research to benefit the environment. This institution is the most extensive wildlife rehabilitation centre in the Southern San Joaquin Valley, with its 14 park-like acres that house injured animals and those who cannot survive in their own native environment. There’s a lot to do here with the various indoor and outdoor exhibits, including seeing black bears, birds of prey, an indoor reptile house, and a children’s petting zoo with household animals. There are also other more daring activities like the Condor Challenge, a ropes course and climbing tower towards the back of the park.