9+ Things to Do in Bakersfield: Hidden Spots

Downtown Bakersfield holds the key to unexpected artistic havens. Discover these clandestine galleries, but what secret do they hide? Dive in...
Date Published
March 8, 2024

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Let's face it, when you think of California hotspots, Bakersfield might not be the first place to pop into your head. But hold on, don't scroll away just yet! What if I told you this under-the-radar gem is bursting with undiscovered art spaces, quirky classes, and hops-filled local breweries waiting for your exploration? That's right, Bakersfield is no mere pit stop—it's a treasure trove of unique attractions and local lingo that whispers (in a delightfully twangy accent) of its rich cultural tapestry.

Intrigued? You should be. From serene nature spots offering tranquility you won't find in the hustle of larger cities to an electric gastronomic scene that rivals the most Instagrammable food festivals, Bakersfield's mix of urban charm and country cool has something for you. Whether you're a family looking for farm-tastic adventures, a culture vulture eager to dive into local events, or a music lover searching for those hidden melody-filled venues, get ready to map out a Bakersfield bucket list that'll tickle your fancy.

So, grab your adventurer's hat (the cowboy kind fits the bill), and let's unearth what truly makes Bakersfield a destination to remember. You're about to discover that this city isn't just about oil fields and country music; it’s a vibrant hub offering a blend of activities as diverse as its community. Exc

Uncover Hidden Art Spaces Downtown

Imagine waltzing into an oasis of creativity nestled right in the heart of Bakersfield. These downtown art spaces aren't just about looking at paintings; they’re the secret hubs where the town’s creative pulse beats the strongest.

Now, listen up! You want to find these hidden art spots? One word for ya: exploration. Downtown is studded with these gems, each with its own unique flair. Within walking distance, you can hop from gallery to gallery. It's like a treasure hunt, where every corner turned reveals a new piece of Bakersfield's soul.

The Bakersfield art galleries are diverse and cater to a wide array of tastes. Whether you appreciate contemporary masterpieces, love the rawness of urban graffiti, or fancy traditional splashes on canvas, these spots have got it all. Here’s what makes them stand out:

  • They're often collaborative spaces, where local artists get to shine and share their work with the community (and with you, of course!).
  • You'll find pieces that tell stories about the region (sometimes in vibrant colors or jaw-dropping black and white).
  • These spots are intimate, allowing you to really connect with the art—no crowds, no rush.

You’re not just looking at art; you're feeling it, breathing it in. Spend a couple of hours here and you'll leave more inspired than you ever thought possible. It's perfect for art-lovers, or anyone who just wants to soak up some local culture.

By the way, it’s not just about the visual art. These spaces often host music, poetry readings, and all sorts of creative events. They're as eclectic as they are electrifying. And the crowd? A beautiful mix of art enthusiasts, curious travelers, and locals just enjoying the creativity of their city.

Before you head out, make sure to check out what's on. Some galleries might have special exhibits or events that you wouldn't want to miss. So, are you ready to get cultured, Bakersfield-style? Dust off that imagination and let’s dive into the art scene downtown.

Attend a Quirky Workshop or Class

Roll up your sleeves and let your curiosity lead the way, because Bakersfield's workshops and classes are like secret recipes for fun waiting to be discovered! You might not know it yet, but this town is a hive of creativity and hands-on learning. So, let's get into what makes Bakersfield's local scene of workshops and classes an absolute must-try.

Imagine spending an afternoon throwing paint around like Jackson Pollock or getting elbow-deep in clay on a potter’s wheel. From candle making to culinary arts, the workshops in Bakersfield cater to all your whims and fancies. It's like the city decided that being bored is simply not on the menu.

Why just take home memories when you could also take home a handcrafted souvenir made by, yup, you guessed it, yours truly! Whether you're rolling solo, on a date, or wrangling a bunch of energized kids, these classes are tailored for all crowd types. They offer a sweet escape for singles looking for a creative outlet, a bonding spree for friends and couples, and an absolute giggle-fest for families.

And guess what? You don't need to dedicate your whole day. Many of the classes are just a couple of hours long. That means you can sketch, sculpt, and laugh, and still have time to grab a bite at that diner you eyeballed on the way in. These local gems are dotted around town, so when you wrap up, you're just a hop, skip, and a jump from Bakersfield's other quirky treasures.

So, dive into a local workshop that catches your flair, and let those creative juices flow. You’ll walk away with more than a new skill—you’ll pack a piece of Bakersfield with you that is as unique as your own fingerprint. Trust me, it's the kind of storytelling material that will have your friends back home wishing they'd tagged along! 🎨✨

Sip Creativity at Local Breweries

Got a thirst for something more than your average brew? Look no further! Bakersfield's local breweries are concocting more than just beer; they're brewing innovation in a pint glass. Craft beer aficionados, this one's for you!

First up, the vibe at these places? Unmatched. Imagine a chill spot where the bartender might just be the mastermind behind your frothy delight. At these local haunts, you're not just a patron; you're part of the family. But don't take my word for it; drop in, and feel the warm welcome that only Bakersfield breweries can offer.

Now, let's talk about what makes each pint absolutely sing. We're talking about unique blends of hops and barley that'll dance on your palate – flavors you won't find just anywhere. Honey-infused ales, dark and stormy stouts, and even some experimental brews that will push the boundaries of your beer-loving soul. Trust me; your taste buds will thank you.

And let's not forget about the crowd! These breweries are perfect whether you're flying solo, out for a date night, or rounding up the squad for some quality suds. It's a scene that's as fit for the laid-back loners as it is for rowdy groups looking to laugh the night away.

What's nearby, you ask? Each brewery often has its own charm, with some nestled in buzzing hotspots, so there's always something to do before or after your pint. Spend a leisurely afternoon here or make it the start of a night to remember.

Pro tip: Dedicate a good couple of hours here. There's often live music, trivia nights, and, if you're lucky, a food truck serving up the perfect beer-pairing eats right outside.

So, bottoms up, beer lovers! Your next favorite brew awaits in the heart of Bakersfield. And hey, even if you're not a big beer person, you'll find something to love in these creative corners of hoppy goodness. Check them out—your new go-to spot might just be a pour away.

Find Serenity at Secluded Nature Spots

Discover hidden gems where you can embrace the calm and connect with nature just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Bakersfield city life. Ready for a break from the buzz? Secluded nature spots are your go-to retreat! Whether you're a solo adventurer or a family squad, there are slices of paradise peppered around Bakersfield that offer a perfect backdrop for your tranquil escape.

Two spots that locals love, and visitors often miss, include the ethereal Hart Memorial Park and the picturesque Panorama Vista Preserve. Why these places? Well, because they're not just spots; they’re experiences.

Hart Memorial Park is where you'll find yourself lost in the beauty of lush greenery, serenaded by the gentle rustle of leaves and the cheerful chatter of wildlife. Feel the stress melt away as you picnic by the Kern River, or take a leisurely walk under the canopy of ancient trees. You can sink into the pages of your favorite book or just let your thoughts drift with the soft breeze.

And let's not forget about Panorama Vista Preserve. This hidden jewel, with its sprawling acres of restoration area, is a sanctuary for both native flora and fauna. Tread lightly on its walking trails, and you may spot a blend of vibrant wildflowers or a hawk gliding gracefully overhead. It’s a place that whispers—no, sings—the song of untouched California landscapes.

Spend a couple of hours or let the whole day sweep past you; these spots are fit for anyone craving a dose of nature. They're fantastic for families with kiddos who are curious explorers, couples seeking a secluded spot for romance, or even the lone wolf yearning for some soulful solitude.

So believe me when I tell you, these nature spots near Bakersfield are just what you need to recharge. Lace-up those shoes, pack a day bag, and let's get back to the wild, shall we? The birds are calling, the paths are clearing, and peace is just a visit away.

Savor Unique Eats at Food Festivals

Imagine diving into a smorgasbord where every turn is a new taste sensation – that's Bakersfield food festivals for you! Come hungry because you've got a lot of ground to cover.

From gooey grilled cheese extravaganzas to fiery chili cook-offs, Bakersfield is a hidden culinary gem that's ready to explode on your taste buds. We're talking about a gastronomic throwdown that showcases not just local flavors but exotic eats as well. These food festivals are perfect for anyone and everyone. Whether you're a foodie family on the prowl for the best tacos in town or a group of friends chasing the nirvana of pastry perfection, there's something to tickle your palate.

So, what makes these festivals so darn great for locals and tourists alike? There's no time for boredom with these festivities! While your mouth is busy negotiating the complexities of artisan sauces, your ears get to feast on live music that's just as diverse as the menu. And let’s be real, it's not just about stuffing your face—although, let's be honest, that's a big part of it. It's about the stories behind each dish, the passion on the plate, and the community vibe that's as warm and inviting as a fresh biscuit from the oven.

If you're planning your itinerary, carve out a few hours – enough to savor, saunter, and sip your way through the flavors of the festival. Bring your stretchy pants and a sense of adventure, because you're about to take your taste buds on a wild ride. And hey, if you're flying solo, these festivals are the perfect place to mingle and crunch into some cool convos with fellow food enthusiasts.

Get ready to mark your calendar, because Bakersfield's food festivals are an unforgettable experience that brings everyone together for the love of great eats and good company.

Delight in Family Farm Adventures

Ever wondered what it’s like to escape the buzz of city life and spend a day among goats, cows, and endless fields of crops? You, my friend, are in for a treat at the family-friendly farms near Bakersfield.

Picture this: a sun-soaked morning, fresh rustic air, and the kind of peace that only comes when you’re crunching through a golden field, apple in hand. These farms are a smashing hit with kiddos and grown-ups alike because they're more than just a place to see. They're an experience, and that's the magic of it. They combine agriculture with entertainment, making for an immersive farm adventure.

Now you might ask, “What exactly makes these farms worth the trip?” Well, have you ever plucked an apple straight from the branch and savored its fresh, crisp taste? Or have you witnessed the sheer joy on a child’s face as they feed baby animals? Maybe you’ve been part of a harvest festival, complete with hay rides and pumpkin patches. If you haven't, hold onto your hay hats – these family farms offer all this and more.

Whether you are solo or herding your own family flock, you'll find that these spots are the perfect blend of education and thrills. Spend a half-day or the whole shebang from barn to barn; just make sure to snag a jar of homemade preserves – they're the toast’s best friend.

Some farms may even let you play farmer for a day - buckle in for some real hands-on fun! And let’s not forget the seasonal festivities. If you time it right, you might stumble upon a merry berry-picking extravaganza or a fall festival brimming with autumnal charm.

Designed for both the young and young at heart, these outings are fab for families, a haven for folks who dig a bit of adrenaline from farm-antics, and an educational wonderland for the curious toddler pondering over pumps and plows. Before you skedaddle back to city life, don’t forget to pop by the farm stand to snag some organically grown souvenirs. It's a fresh way to keep the farm-to-table spirit alive in your own home, long after your boots have kicked the last of the farm dust.

Are you ready for a day of barnyard banter and pastoral pleasure? Trust me, it’s udderly fantastic! 🐮🌾

Immerse in Bakersfield's Cultural Events

Alright, all you culture vultures out there! You're probably itching to know about the cultural event scene in Bakersfield, right? Well, the great news is that Bakersfield's cultural events are diverse, vibrant, and totally cater to all you art lovers, history buffs, and theatric aficionados.

Whether you're solo, rolling with the family, or dragging along your enthusiastic squad, there's something arty and edgy happening around town. Bakersfield is a hub for fascinating cultural experiences that dive deep into the local heritage, and celebrate the arts in ways you never thought possible.

Picture spending an afternoon surrounded by passionate artists, or an evening at a play that's so gripping, you forget to check your phone (yeah, it's that good!). Baseball caps off to the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra – they're the maestros you'll want to see live, and the kind of talent that makes you realize your high school recorder skills never stood a chance.

Hey, and you've got kids, right? Well, the interactive history museums here will have them learning without even realizing they've just traded screen time for time travel. We're talking about lively festivals that aren't just about looking and listening – you gotta move, shake, and maybe craft something you'll want to Instagram later.

So, how much time should you allocate to these cultural escapes? Clear your schedule, because you'll want to stick around. We're talking at least half a day to get the full experience without rushing. Trust me, your inner culture critic will thank you.

Whether it's a street art walk, a hands-on workshop that gets your creative juices flowing, or that obscure indie film fest that you'll talk about for weeks, Bakersfield's cultural events are always ready to surprise. And who knows? You might end up with a new hobby, a die-hard interest in local history, or simply some killer pics and stories to share.

Catch the Melody at Hidden Music Venues

Imagine strolling down the vibrant streets of Bakersfield, every corner alive with the sound of music. Got that in mind? Good. Now, let's talk about where to find the beats that set those streets buzzing. You, my friend, are in for a treat because Bakersfield’s live music venues are an eclectic mix of the hidden and the happening!

First off, let’s dive into some cool little spots you might not find unless you're really looking. These venues aren't your run-of-the-mill, tourist-trap kind of places. Nope. We’re talking about intimate settings where you'll rub elbows with locals who know where the real music plays. The type of places where you can feel each chord strummed and every beat hit close to your heart.

You may find yourself in a cozy, dimly lit room, the walls drenched in music history and every performance like a secret only you’re privy to. These joints are pure gold for fans of all music genres—but have an extra special something for country, jazz, and indie lovers. Whether you're solo, with your pals, or dragging the fam along, there's a spot that'll make your heart sing.

Plan to spend an evening (or, let’s be real—a night into the wee hours of the morning) at spots like these. It's where memories are made. Pop in early to snag a good seat—you’re going to want to see the musicians up close.

And hey, if you get hungry, most venues have you covered. We’re talking good, wholesome food that pairs perfectly with the night’s soundtrack. You think you know what a grilled cheese is until you've had one at a music joint in Bakersfield. Trust me.

So, ready to catch the melody at some foot-stomping, hand-clapping, hidden music venues? The music’s calling, and it’s time to answer. Bring your enthusiasm, your applause, and maybe your dance moves—who knows, you might just be the life of the party!

Engage in Under-the-Radar Recreational Activities

You know what's unexpectedly awesome? Bakersfield's under-the-radar recreational activities. And I'm not just saying that! Did you know you can swing from the treetops or pamper your inner speed demon here? Yep, Bakersfield's got a cheeky side and it's all about having a blast.

First up, let's talk about the aerial adventure parks. Picture this: you're Tarzan or Jane, zipping through the air, hopping from platform to platform. If you're down to defy gravity and get an adrenaline rush, this is your jam. Hart Park, just a short drive from downtown, offers a vast playground where you can roll like a tumbleweed through epic scenery.

Got a need for speed? Go-kart racing is massive here. Whether you're a lone wolf or you've got a wolf pack, there's a kart with your name on it. Perfect for families, competitive friends, or even a quirky date, it’ll have you giggling like a kid on Christmas morning.

And for something truly offbeat, Bakersfield has disc golf courses that'll test your frisbee skills and provide loads of laughs. Easy to learn but tricky to master, this hybrid sport is a total win for an outing with pals or bonding with family.

So here's the scoop:

  • Aerial Adventure Parks: Bring out your inner acrobat.
  • Go-kart Racing: Got speed? Bakersfield's got the track.
  • Disc Golf: Slinging discs like a boss.

Whether you’re seven or seventy, there's some serious fun waiting to be unearthed in Bakersfield. And trust me, whether you're super sporty or just kinda competitive, you’ll leave with stories to tell and maybe just a little more swagger. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your game face, and let’s play!

Embark on a Culinary Journey Off the Beaten Path

Buckle up, food aficionados! It's time to venture into Bakersfield's culinary scene, where every bite's an adventure and your taste buds get to go on a safari. You're about to discover hidden gems that locals whisper about and savvy travelers rave on their blogs.

Begin your gustatory quest in the quaint corner cafes that serve up more than just strong coffee—think pastries with a twist you didn't see coming. Food trucks? Oh, we've got those, serving up fusion dishes that'll have you questioning everything you thought you knew about tacos. Dive into family-owned eateries where every dish has a story and the secret ingredient is always "love."

Now, if your stomach's growling for international flare, Bakersfield's got you. Imagine scoops of rich, creamy gelato that transport you straight to Italy, or take a delectable detour through Asia with flavors that pack a punch. And don’t even get me started on the local delis, where the sandwiches are so loaded, you'll need both hands and possibly a fork.

This journey isn't just about filling your plate; it's an expedition for your soul. Savor each dish and you’ll notice that it's not just good, it's "close-your-eyes-and-dance-in-your-seat" good.

Here's a hot tip: chatter up the chefs and owners. They're the map to this culinary treasure hunt and might just slip you the knowledge of a secret menu item. So, grab your most adventurous pals or take a solo trek—this is the kind of journey that's perfect for anyone who lives to eat rather than eats to live.

Oh, and clear your schedule—once you dive into this epicurean wonderland, a quick bite could easily turn into an hours-long flavor fest. Come with an empty stomach and leave with a full heart (and maybe a doggy bag).

Connect with Community through Sports and Fitness

Imagine burning calories while you laugh and bond with your fellow fitness fanatics. That's exactly what you're in for with Bakersfield fitness classes and sports leagues. Imagine the thrill of the game, the pat on the back from a teammate, and the collective cheer when your team scores. It's the kind of vibe that says, "We're in this together, let's make those muscles remember this day!"

With Bakersfield sports leagues, you're not just getting fit, you're becoming part of a community. Whether you're the competitive type who lives for the scoreboard or you’re there to have fun and make friends, there's a place for you. From basketball and soccer to softball and volleyball, pick your passion and dive in. You'll find teams for all ages and skill levels, so don't even worry about being the next LeBron James or Misty May-Treanor; just show up and play your heart out.

Now, let's talk fitness classes. These aren't your run-of-the-mill, stare-at-the-wall-while-you-lift kind of classes. Nope. These are the “high-five the person next to you because you survived the spin instructor's 'fun little surprise hill climb'” kind of classes. With everything from yoga to high-intensity interval training, you're sure to find something that gets you moving and grooving to your rhythm.

So, here's the thing, you might spend an hour or two with your new friends, but the energy you'll bring home? That'll fuel you for days. Plus, it's a brilliant way to soak in the local culture – nothing says Bakersfield like a community that sweats and smiles together. Whether you're going solo or bringing your squad, joining these classes and leagues is a game-changer. And it’s something that’s good not just for your body, but for that heart of yours too!

Oh, and if you're wondering where to find these gems, it’s simple – a quick search or visit to local community centers will lead you to a sea of options. Lace-up those sneakers, grab your water bottle, and let’s get moving, shall we?

Traverse the Trails Less Traveled

Picture this: You're lacing up your favorite pair of trail shoes, sunblock applied, and taking that first breath of fresh air as you step onto a path that weaves through the golden landscape. It's not your typical tourist trail; it's the best kind of secret—a Bakersfield hiking trail.

These trails are where magic happens. Every bend is a new adventure, each summit a personal victory, and you'll swear the birds are cheering you on. Whether you're in it for the workout, the Instagram-worthy views, or just to find a moment of peace away from the hustle and bustle, these hiking spots are where Bakersfield's heart beats strongest.

The Panorama Vista Preserve, tucked away, is a local treasure. It lives up to its name with sweeping views that will have you snapping photos so often you'll barely make progress on the trail! It's ideal if you’re looking to squeeze in a quick hike that won’t take up your whole day—yet will fill up your soul.

Here's the inside scoop: if you're cool with four-legged friends, this is also a pooch paradise. So, grab that leash, and maybe you'll meet some fluffy locals!

Now, if you're after something a bit more rugged, Hart Park’s network of trails awaits. With miles to explore, it might just become your personal fitness challenge. These treks are perfect for energetic explorers or families with tireless kids ready to conquer nature. Oh, and don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for the vibrant wildflowers after some good ol' Bakersfield rain.

Get ready to embrace the dusty path, and remember: bring plenty of water, keep the sun at your back, and take only memories (oh, and maybe a few hundred pictures). Whether you're a solitary wanderer or a team trailblazer, these paths are calling your name. Happy hiking!


Q: Things to do in Bakersfield with family?

A: You've got options! Visit the California Living Museum, roll out to Camelot Park, or explore the Bakersfield Museum of Art.

Q: Things to do in Bakersfield for adults?

A: Check out local breweries, catch a show at Fox Theater, or hit the links at one of Bakersfield's golf courses.

Q: Things to do in Bakersfield for couples?

A: Cozy up for a picnic at Hart Park, sample wines at a local vineyard, or enjoy a romantic dinner downtown.

Q: Things to do in Bakersfield today?

A: Swing by a farmers market, hike the Kern River Parkway, or snag tickets to an event at Mechanics Bank Arena.

Q: Free things to do in Bakersfield?

A: Hit the trails at Panorama Bluffs, visit the Bakersfield Museum of Natural History, or catch some live music at a local park.

Q: Things to do in Bakersfield this weekend?

A: Join a festival, see the Bakersfield Speedway races, or sample the best eats at the Bakersfield Food Truck Festival.

Q: Is Bakersfield worth a visit?

A: Absolutely, with a mix of outdoor fun, cultural experiences, and a taste of California's Central Valley, it's a must-visit.

Q: What is the city of Bakersfield known for?

A: Bakersfield is famous for its country music scene, oil fields, and being a hub of agriculture in California.

A: It's got year-round events, unique historic sites, and it's a haven for country music fans—what's not to love?

Q: Why is Bakersfield so cheap?

A: Compared to other California cities, Bakersfield has a lower cost of living, making it a more affordable option.

Final Words

Alright, let's wrap this up. We've dived into some of Bakersfield's best-kept secrets, from the underground art scenes to the serenity of nature spots tucked away from the bustle. You've learned about the quirky workshops where you can unleash your inner artist, the local breweries that pour creativity into every glass, and food festivals where every bite is a revelation.

But that's not all. We've explored family farms that promise joy for all ages, cultural events that dazzle, hidden music venues that capture the soul, and oh-so-much more. Bakersfield's culinary scene? Unparalleled. And for the active souls, those lesser-known trails and community sports? They're your ticket to feeling alive.

So, next time you think there's nothing new under the sun in Bakersfield, remember this journey of discovery. There's always something fresh and exciting around every corner, making it the perfect playground for adventurers like you. And that's what makes all the difference in the world. Remember, no matter where you roam in this city, you're bound to stumble upon some truly epic things to do in Bakersfield.

Meet the Author
Aria Ohlsson
Aria Ohlsson, the Instagram storyteller extraordinaire, takes you on adventures through her enchanting narratives. An avid hiker, she scales peaks and weaves tales of mountaintop triumphs. When she's not conquering trails, you'll find her immersed in classic novels, finding inspiration for her next tale.
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