Map of Bakersfield California Area | What is Bakersfield Known for?

Scenic Kern River in Sequoia National Forest
Scenic Kern River in Sequoia National Forest

Map of Bakersfield California Area

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The ninth-largest city in California is also its fastest growing. Bakersfield, California, is a significant agriculture and energy production hub, but it has its share of culture too. Known as the birthplace of the Bakersfield sound, a genre of country music, as well as having a thriving art and culture scene, Bakersfield is both a great place to live and an interesting place to visit.

Where is Bakersfield located?

A charter city in south-central California, Bakersfield is the largest city in Kern County, located near the Central Valley and San Juaquin valley regions. Its population is about 350,000, making it the ninth most populous city in California. Bakersfield belongs to the Bakersfield-Delano Metro, with a combined population of just over 800,000 and quickly growing.

What is Bakersfield’s climate?

With a hot desert climate, Bakersfield has dry, sweltering summers and mild winters with cold nights. Summers contain stretches of very hot weather, and for 108 days of the year, the temperature averages above 90°F with 33 additional days above 100°F. Rainfall is low, with most of it occurring during the winter, where snow is very rare.

What is Bakersfield known for?

Bakersfield is a small city, typically known for being a waypoint between L.A. and San Francisco. Although it doesn’t have nearly the cultural clout of those two cities, it’s still a charming place to visit with more than enough to keep you busy. Perhaps its biggest claim to fail is its homegrown music genre: the Bakersfield Sound.

Visit Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace if you’re looking to hear the Bakersfield sound live. Not only does it feature outstanding performances, but it’s also a popular restaurant and contains an extensive collection of guitars, memorabilia, and a small museum honoring one of Bakersfield’s best-known residents.

But there’s more to do in Bakersfield than listen to country music. Let’s take a look at some of the fantastic things this city has to offer, from natural wonders to museums to excellent shopping!

Natural Wonders

Looking for a place to camp, hike, or fish? Kern Canyon has you covered. 

Formed by the Kern River and connecting the Kern River Valley to the San Joaquin Valley, it’s one of California’s best-kept secrets. Driving down the Kern River Canyon during dusk will give you some stunning sunsets. But it’s more than just a beautiful nature stopover, whitewater rafting down its rapids is a popular way to beat the California heat.

Also part of the Kern River County Park is Lake Ming, an artificial lake surrounded by the Greenhorn Mountains. It’s an idyllic place to spend an afternoon. Rent a boat, enjoy some water skiing, or grab a pole and fish for Carp, Bass, Bluegill, and Catfish. You can also catch jet boat races throughout the year.

Near the Kern River is Lake Isabella, another popular camping ground. Drive through the Sequoia National Forest to get to California’s largest reservoir. It’s a beautiful trip for the whole family.

Beach Park is the place to go if you’re looking for some community or team sports. Baseball fields, skate parks, and soccer fields are all open to the public, and you can reserve a picnic table with a BBQ area in advance.

Family Fun

There are a ton of wonderful attractions for the whole family to enjoy in Bakersfield. The California Living Museum is a native zoo housing more than 250 animals and beautiful gardens to relax in containing endangered flora and fauna.

The Buena Vista Museum of Natural History is also an excellent family destination. Enjoy the displays of taxidermied animals, fossilized bones, and a children’s discovery zone. And if you’re looking for local history, check out the Kern County Museum, which includes a 19th-century Pioneer Village that consists of 56 buildings.

If you’re up for some fun in the water, you couldn’t do better than the McMurtrey Aquatic Center full of water slides, water volleyball, floating toys, and divining boards. It also contains an Olympic-sized recreation pool where you’ll see several Olympic athletes training, as well as local high school students.   

Shopping

There’s retail therapy aplenty in Bakersfield. Take a trip to Valley Plaza Mall. Built to show off Southern California’s Spanish influence, it will cater to any shopaholic’s needs. You can also catch a movie in its 16 screen movie theatre.

Is Bakersfield a good place to live?

Bakersfield is the perfect place to raise a family. It’s a safe, affordable city surrounded by natural beauty. Its close proximity to L.A. makes it an ideal choice for people who work there but can’t afford its sky-high housing prices.

Bakersfield’s strong sense of community, healthy job market, miles of bike paths, and outdoor opportunities make it a great place to put down roots. Bakersfield is also a great place to retire.

There are a few downsides, however. Due to increasing wildfires in California, Bakersfield has been subject to air quality problems over the last decade leading to stretches of poor air quality. It also tends to have a high crime rate.

What are Bakersfield’s neighborhoods?

A wide variety of neighborhoods divide Bakersfield. Regions are referred to by direction, while neighborhoods are given individual names.

Central Bakersfield contains the Arts District, Lowell and Oleander Communities, as well as the central business district and the Kern County Museum.

North and Northeast Bakersfield is the center of Bakersfield’s distribution industry, as well as home to Bakersfield College, the California Living Museum, and Lake Ming.

Northwest Bakersfield contains the Kern River, Stockdale Highway, and State Route 99. This is the fastest-growing area of Bakersfield and contains the towns of Fruitvale, Greenacres, and Rosedale, which meet the city limits. It’s a major retail area.

East Bakersfield contains the formerly unincorporated Kern City, which was annexed to Bakersfield as the city grew. Old Town Kern has its own central business district.

Southern Bakersfield is home to the town of Delkern, the Valley Plaza Mall. This area is a mix of residential and industrial, and it is also the location of California State University, Bakersfield.

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Hi and welcome to my travel blog! Based in London, I work in investment banking in a quantitative field and although I am not part of the travel industry, I have a ton of passion for travel. My blog is a reference guide for my fellow travelers with the same passion as me. Hopefully the blog is easy to navigate and my aim is to bring the most relevant and interesting information before you begin your journey!