Located in Kern County, California, Bakersfield is a large US city with diverse opportunities for tourism and travel. Bakersfield is credited with being one of the fastest growing cities in the US, having grown by 400% in the past 40 years, and was recently awarded the “All-America City Award”. The surrounding area is home to the picturesque Sequoia National Forest, and the city itself, as well as the nearby suburbs, are full of quirky destinations, seasonal attractions, and shops. Whether travelling solo, as a couple or a family, there is plenty to experience in the city and the surrounding area. There are many museums available for the curious, such as the Kern County Museum, which paints a “Wild West” picture of the city’s earliest inhabitants. There is also the California Area Living Museum, which is a zoo full of many wild creatures, ranging from black bears, to wolves and bobcats. Rabobank Arena, Theatre & Convention Centre in the central part of the city is where all the major entertainment and sporting events take place, from ice hockey to basketball. There is a large rural presence in the immediate area, with plenty of ranches, farmsteads, and race tracks where visitors can enjoy outdoor activities, such as horse riding, trail running, and the increasingly popular racing events – NASCAR.
The Off-peak season, generally during the first and last months of the year, are ideal times to visit as the weather is a pleasant 17°C on average, and is also when most of the local events take place. Bakersfield is home to plenty of seasonal festivals throughout the year, which of course visitors welcome to take part. During the spring season, from mid-March to mid-June, the city is home to California’s Scottish Games and Clan Gatherings, celebrating the local Scottish heritage. There is also the Kern County Fair during mid to late September.
The ideal times to travel are around the US holiday period when many people typically spend time with family, such as Thanksgiving (late November), the New Year period, and the Spring Break period between March and April.
Bakersfield is a large transport hub in California, and visitors can enjoy easy rail, bus, and highway access. Three motorways cut through the city; State Routes 58, 99, and 178. Amtrak Railway Station can be found in the city centre and there are around 18 bus routes throughout the city operated by Golden Empire transit District. Guided tours, both on foot and by bus, are provided by the Bakersfield Convention and Visitors Bureau, and are the ideal way to experience an introduction to the area courtesy of trained guides.