Kern County Area Attractions and Events
Kern River Outfitters
We have the best guides, the best gear, the best food and the best camp on the Kern River. The Kern is the favorite river for whitewater rafting in Southern California. And we've received a coveted outstanding rating from the U.S. Forest Service for 18 consecutive years and we were recently named one of the Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth by National Geographic Adventure Magazine.
Kern River Tours
Kern River rafting adventures became possible for everyone when Kern River Tours established the first whitewater rafting company on the Kern River in 1974. Since that time we have served thousands of guests, from many areas, who return time again to raft the world-class rapids of the Kern. Our guides are among the most knowledgeable and friendly in the business, having run many different rivers. Their love of whitewater and people can be seen from their mastery of the rapids and the delicious meals they prepare.
Mountain & River Adventures
Mountain & River Adventures (MRA), nestled along the Wild and Scenic Kern River in the Southern Sierras offers some of the best Kern River rafting trips! Located less than an hour from Bakersfield, the Kern River Valley offers many outdoor recreation options. With MRA, you can go white water rafting on the Kern River, mountain biking and climbing in the Sequoia National Forest, lake kayaking on Lake Isabella, and participate in team building courses and wilderness hiking. Join us in quaint, charming Kernville, California and let MRA help you "Adventure, Relax and enjoy in our outdoor playground! Mountain & River Adventures will provide your group with an outdoor adventure memory that will last for a lifetime.
Welcome to Lake Isabella, heart of the Kern River Valley, California's best kept secret. With many activities, including fishing, hiking, camping, windsurfing, skiing, or just relaxing, the lake itself has much to offer. At over 11,000 acres, this man made reservoir is one of the largest in the state. Don't miss one of California's largest Wild West celebrations, Whiskey Flat Days, four days of fun for the entire family. Also, Lake Isabella is home to the Lake Fishing Derby, one of the nation’s largest trout derbies. With the wild and scenic Kern River flowing into and out of Isabella Lake, there are amazing sights and great times to be had by all.
Silver City Ghost Town
During the late 1960's and early 1970's the Dave & Arvilla Mills family began hauling in historic local Kern Valley structures, (many of which were slated for destruction) to the present site in Bodfish. "Represented in this composite town are over twenty historic buildings (most not visible from Lake Isabella Blvd) from the mining camps of Keyesville, Whiskey Flat, old Isabella, Claraville, Hot Springs, Miracle, Southfork and other local frontier settlements" Silver City was closed for over 15 years until it was purchased by the Corlew family in 1990 and re-opened to the public shortly thereafter.
Trail of a 1000 Giants – Sequoia National Forest
The Trail of a Hundred Giants is one of the most popular day hikes in the Kern Valley. Located within the Long Meadow Giant Sequoia Grove, the second most southern grove where giant sequoias are found. The Grove contains 125 giant sequoias over 10 feet in diameter and 143 sequoias under 10 feet in diameter. The largest tree in the grove has a diameter of 20 feet and is 220 feet in height. The grove encompasses 355 acres. It is estimated the age of the trees in the grove are between 500 to 1,500 years old.
Kern River Preserve
The Kern River Preserve is managed by Audubon-California for the preservation of one of California’s finest remaining riparian forests and the wildlife it supports. The Kern River Preserve is managed by Audubon-California for the preservation of one of California's finest remaining riparian forests and the wildlife it supports. The South Fork Kern River is home to California's largest lowland riparian forest. It is one of four "Flagship Projects" of the California Riparian Habitat Joint Venture. The Kern River Preserve, and environs, was one of the first ten sites in the U.S. to receive "Globally Important Bird Area" recognition. 332 bird species have been recorded here. Most significantly, two hundred species nest here including major breeding populations of Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Summer Tanager, and Willow Flycatcher. The preserve is open from dawn to dusk every day of the year including all holidays.
Kern County Museum
The Kern County Museum was founded in 1941 and serves more than 94,000 people each year, including 19,000 school children, from its 16-acre site north of downtown Bakersfield. The museum features 56 historic exhibits, many in relocated structures, an award winning hands-on oil exhibition Black Gold: The Oil Experience and the Lori Brock Children's Discovery Center for youth eight and under. The museum is consistently recognized for providing some of the most outstanding educational programs in the state of California, such as Native American Life, and Frontier Life. In addition, the museum hosts temporary exhibitions and special events in an effort to achieve its mission.
California Living Museum - CALM
California's premier native zoo and garden. Founded in 1980 and opened to the public in 1983, CALM displays and interprets native California animals, plants, fossils, and artifacts to teach a respect for all living things through education, recreation, conservation, and research. The California Living Museum, CALM, is located at 10500 Alfred Harrell Highway, Bakersfield. Open daily: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Wind Wolves Preserve
Wind Wolves Preserve encompasses 97,000 acres and a multitude of wildlife sighting opportunities. The largest non-profit preserve on the West Coast is home to nearly 200 Tule elk, the endangered Bakersfield cactus, and various other animals. The Transverse Ranges, Coast Ranges, Sierra Nevada, western Mojave Desert and San Joaquin Valley all converge in the preserve, making it a unique geological and ecological destination. Wind Wolves Preserve is open to the public on weekends from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. for hiking and picnicking. Camping hours are Friday 2:30 p.m. through Sunday 5:00 p.m. by advanced reservation only.
From Bakersfield: (30 minutes, 33 miles) Take Highway 99 south to Highway 166 west toward Maricopa. Travel 9.5 miles. After you cross over Old River Road, continue 1.8 miles to the access road on left. Look for a large sign indicating "Wind Wolves Preserve." Turn left onto the access road and travel south for 3 miles. Turn right and proceed through the main entrance gate.
Tule Elk State Natural Reserve
The deep trough of the San Joaquin Valley begins south of Redding and stretches 430 miles along I-5 past Bakersfield. At the valley’s south end, 22 miles west of Bakersfield, Tule Elk State Reserve protects a flourishing species of elk that was once hunted nearly to extinction. Though spring and fall are pleasant, the elk are at their most interesting during the hottest days of summer, when temperatures can reach 100 to 115 degrees. However, until the heavy winter rains begin, opportunities to view and photograph the elk are still good. Visitors are encouraged to bring binoculars for better viewing. The park has picnic areas and interpretive exhibits.
Kern National Wildlife Refuge
Kern National Wildlife Refuge lies just south of the original Tulare Lake Bed in the southern San Joaquin Valley of California. This lake covered almost 1/2 million acres during flood years and was home millions of individual fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Although, KNWR is just a remnant habitat, it still supports a surprising number of species. KNWR provides wintering habitat for migrating birds, shorebirds, marsh and waterfowl in the southern San Joaquin Valley. The refuge also provides habitat for upland species. The endangered Buena Vista Lake shrew, San Joaquin kit fox and blunt-nosed leopard lizard make their home here. The refuge is open from from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset, 7 days a week for nature observations except during hunting season. For more information call (661) 725-2767.
Gaslight Melodrama Theatre and Music Hall
We at the Gaslight Melodrama do our best to bring the genre of traditional Melodrama into the 21st Century. While we still encourage you to boo the villain, cheer the hero and ahttp://www our sweetheart and all of our productions and characters are way over the top we try to put the melodramatic spin on a wide variety of show from more traditional westerns to modern adaptations and spoofs of some of the most beloved theater, television, radio, and cinematic pieces known. We've spoofed the Wild West, radio drama, King Arthur, space, fantasy, sports, mystery and more.
All of our shows are followed by a Vaudeville Review, a thematic, comedic and musical romp that features song and dance numbers, jokes, and comedic sketches. We feel it's the perfect end to a great outing to the theatre.
Bakersfield Music & Stars Theatre Restaurant
The perfect group experience of gourmet dining and live theatre in one venue. Converted from a historic bank building in 1999, the Stars Theatre Restaurant has become a favorite stop on the itineraries of groups throughout Southern California. Award-winning dining combined with outstanding Broadway musicals and comedies make Stars an unforgettable group experience. While typical production schedules are Thursday through Sunday, arrangements can be made for any day of the week to accommodate your group.
Buck Owens' Crystal Palace
The Bakersfield Sound is alive and well at Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace. The all-in-one restaurant, museum and music venue focuses on the rich history and sounds of country music and the legacy of Buck Owens. Throughout the year the Palace is home to concerts by music legends as well as today’s hottest artists.
At the Crystal Palace you can stroll through the museum’s boardwalks lined with windows filled with memorabilia from the careers of great country music stars and shop for music, gifts and souvenirs at the County Store.
Known as “The West’s Fastest 1/3 Mile High Banked Clay Oval”, the speedway is home to races each weekend from March to October. The track draws fans and racers from across the Western United States for IMCA modifieds, hobby stocks, American stocks, and mini stocks races. The track is a popular stop for racers between Las Vegas and many California racetracks.
Buttonwillow Raceway Park
Located roughly 30 miles northwest of Bakersfield, the road course track is owned and operated by the California Sports Car Club. Buttonwillow is the flagship track of Cal Club and is also the location of the Club's administrative offices. Racing events are held throughout the year.
Auto Club of Southern California Raceway
The famous drag-strip is located north of Bakersfield and is home to the annual March Meet. The strip was originally built in World War II as an auxiliary training base for the nearby Army Air Corps training base. It was in the 1950's that the Bakersfield Smokers, an aspiring group of drag racing pioneers purchased the strip and made the necessary adjustments to allow for drag racing. The raceway hosted the first ever March Meet in 1959 and it helped establish the fledgling National Hot Rod Association's (NHRA) legitimacy.
Today the Famoso Raceway still hosts the March Meet drawing over 30,000 spectators during its annual three day run. The track also hosts the wildly popular California Hot Rod Reunion in October. For fans of fast vintage cars and drag racing, a visit to the strip during the March Meet or Hot Rod Reunion is a must!
Robobank Theatre & Convention Center
Sports, Theatre, Music and Entertainment. The premier athletic facility in Bakersfield, the Rabobank Arena is designed to accommodate almost any type of athletic event. The arena seats 10,000 spectators in tiered upper and lower bowls and has 26 private suites, 8 locker rooms and a four-sided video board. The venue is connected via indoor corridor to the Rabobank Convention Center, allowing for additional practice space or staging area. The arena is home to the Bakersfield Condors professional hockey team, Bakersfield Jam basketball team, Cal State University Bakersfield Men's D-I basketball team, and the California State High School Wrestling Championships.
Murray Family Farms
We welcome you to Murray Family Farms! "RIPE is our word that distinguishes our fruit and vegetables from all the others. Growing our own allows us to pick fruit RIPE daily and additionally offer U-Pick opportunities to our many happy visitors. We grow our fruits and vegetables for premium flavor and quality. Compare ours to your corporate chain stores and you will discover why we are Just RIPE for you. Enjoy a day in the country by visiting our farm located at the main crossroads of Central California. Discover the secret to our garden-fresh flavor. Relax to the panoramic view with a backdrop of the Southern Sierra and Tehachapi mountain ranges overlooking the great San Joaquin Valley. Shop our indoor air-conditioned Farm's Market for ripe, home grown fruits and veggies, charming jams, jellies, specialty canned goods, tender chewy beef jerky, dried fruits and nuts. Soon you will be able to shop the Murray Family Farm's Big Red Barn with thousands of square feet of fresh & ripe produce! Seasonal fresh fruits and veggies are available in sequence year round due to the hundreds of varieties that we grow. Tree fruit such as peaches, plums, nectarines, and apricots are picked ripe daily and placed directly from the tree to our store. Bring a friend, bring the entire family, or just bring yourself to pick fruit, vegetables, and berries on the farm. Seasonal favorites include strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, peaches, plums and nectarines. Teach your young ones where food comes from or remind the elderly just how flavorful fresh food still can be. See, touch, and taste sweet ripe produce. U-Pick is available year round from hundreds of different fruit and vegetable varieties.
Easy freeway access makes this the perfect place to take a break from the travel. Paved to the property, the General Beale Road exit at Highway 58 makes it as easy for Busses, RVs, and Trucks to park as it is for cars. Our main phone number is (661) 330-0100.
Second Location: Our Farmer’s Market Outlet Store, features the same varieties of our 'Grown RIPE Here' fruits & veggies. It is located at Copus Road, on the East side of I-5, open everyday; Mon-Fri: 9:00am – 6:00pm, Saturday: 8:00am – 6:00pm, and Sunday: 9:00am – 6:00pm.
Souza Family Vineyard
Bob and Patty Souza became transplants from the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles in 1990, leaving the business world as insurance brokers to find a simpler life. They settled in Cummings Valley, a beautiful agricultural area in Tehachapi, California, which is called "The Land of Four Seasons", as it has an altitude of 4000 feet. At the summit of the Tehachapi Mountains, this community is considered one of the best kept secrets in California. The ranch and gardens have hosted many charitable events, including "Cowboy Poetry" gatherings, barn dances, bar-b-ques and weddings.
Whiskey Flat Days in Kernville—February
One of the most popular Festivals in Southern California. A short 3 hour drive from Los Angeles to the Lake Isabella recreation area and the quaint town of Kernville (50 miles east of Bakersfield on Hwy 178). Whiskey Flat is a leap back to the good ol' Wild West days when the area was settled by gold miners, cattle ranchers and trappers. Join us when Kernville reverts to its old name "Whiskey Flat" for four nostalgic days of fun for the entire family.
The National Street Rod Association—April
Even though you may not be in your street rod everyone is welcome to attend the event. Bring the whole family for a day at the Kern County Fairgrounds.
Scottish Gathering and Games—April
The Kern County Scottish Society was established in July 1971. The Society was formed to promote Scottish heritage and cultural traditions in Kern County, and gather for social functions. Some of these traditions include Highland Games, Highland and Scottish Country Dancing, genealogy, piping and drumming, tartans, Highland dress, and Gaelic, the native language of the Highlands and Islands. The 2010 Scottish Gathering & and Games will be held at the Kern County Fair Grounds April 10.
Bakersfield Jazz Festival—May
It's a pleasure to introduce you to this exciting Annual event each year. With the support of students, faculty, administration and ardent jazz fans in the community, the jazz program at CSUB has grown and flourished. It has been a real pleasure to bring the Jazz Coffeehouse series, our Jazz Jam concerts and Jazz Ensemble concerts to such enthusiastic audiences. Feel free to checkout the latest festival information and updates at your convenience on our website.
Tehachapi Mountain Festival—August
Tehachapi Mountain Festival® has been providing quality family entertainment for the community for 46 years. Traditionally held on the third weekend in August, it is the largest family event within the community and includes fun for the entire family. The Festival includes an arts and crafts show, food, entertainment, carnival, 1-mile walk and 5K & 10K run, Mountain Festival Parade, car show, PRCA rodeo, pet parade, Gem & Mineral show, Quilt Show, VFW dinner and dance, pancake breakfast, Spillikins corner and much more. An estimated 30,000 to 50,000 attend, with the attendance growing each year. Get out of the heat and join us for some good family fun.
Experience over 100 different brews from an estimated 60 breweries from across United States and Canada, plus 25 Central Coast wineries with over 70 different wines to choose from! As you walk through the Bakersfield Village Fest, you will now experience five (5) different stages of live entertainment, and 17 of Bakersfield's and the nation's hottest bands performing throughout the 16 acres of the Kern County Museum grounds! In addition, we have expanded LaCantinaVille once again, and moved our newest addition, the Bakersfield Village Sports Tent, to a larger area so you can watch your favorite sports event while enjoying your favorite food and beverage! As always, unlimited food samples will be provided from 30 of Bakersfield's most popular restaurants, and includes your choice of 15 beer or wine samples from your favorite brewery and/or winery!
Big KahunaVille will be better than ever, and will continue to feature GILLIGAN’S KonTiki Lounge! Also, live entertainment will be provided by the News Brothers and other favorite bands from Bakersfield. Our ever popular VinoVillage will serve up some of Bakersfield’s finest tunes, and feature several of Central California's finest wineries!
Kern County Fair Grounds
Pacific Coast Jackpot o' Gold—March
Plan to attend this CJLA sanctioned double show for Market Steer, Market Swine, Market Lamb, Market Goat and Breeding Heifer. For information contact the Kern County Fair Livestock Department at 661-833-4934.
2008 Antiques, Collectibles & Old West Show & Sale!—April
Our thanks to all the vendors and public that attended the 2009 Antiques, Collectibles & Old West Show & Sale! We had so much fun we're doing it again in 2010!
The Great Kern County Fair—September
The Kern County Fairgrounds was established at its current site in the early 1950’s to showcase the county’s largest annual event. The 168-acre site is beautifully landscaped, filled with trees guaranteed to shade on the hottest day. The fairgrounds are just minutes from downtown Bakersfield and convenient to several hotels.
PRCA Rodeo at the Kern County Fair—October
Kern County rodeo fans will see some of the top cowboys and cowgirls in the country when the big PRCA Rodeo comes to the Kern County Fair.
From barrel racing to bull-riding, the event promises two evenings of non-stop excitement. Presented by Coors, the PRCA Rodeo begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Kern County Fair Grandstand on both nights. Tickets for the event are available at all Vallitix locations. They will also be available at 4 p.m. at the Kern County Fair Grandstand on each day of the rodeo.
Kern County Fair Ground—Calendar of Events
Check the Kern County Fair Grounds Calendar for additional event information. The fair grounds are host to weekly Swap Meets, annual Auto and Gun Shows, Livestock Sales, Rodeos and more.
California Hot Rod Reunion—October
Located at the Auto Club Famoso Raceway, the California Hot Rod Reunion presented by Automobile Club of Southern California, features hundreds of street rods, customs, and muscle cars as well as the Reunion Swap Meet, Manufacturers Midway, and lots of celebrities.
Highway 99 Cruise ‘n’ Show—October
Great fun for the entire family. 100s of show cars and trucks on display. For information and event location, contact Art Carlock at 661-321-3110.
Via Arte Italian Street Painting Festival—October
This event takes place at The Marketplace in southwest Bakersfield. Enjoy beautiful chalk drawings in this lovely street festival. Hundreds of artists participate in this enjoyable event that is a treat for all families and is free to all. Join us for entertainment, food, music and more.
Junior League Wine Fest – November
Come enjoy wine from several of California's best-loved wineries and food from local Bakersfield restaurants. Activities include silent and live auctions, a cigar bar, a sports lounge and an opportunity drawing.
Holiday Lights @ CALM – November & December
Holiday Lights @ CALM returns every year in Bakersfield from Nov. 29 through Dec. 30, exciting families with more than two million lights in dazzling night time displays. New to visitors will be battling pirate ships in a tranquil pond, a synchronized symphony of multi-colored tree lights and music, plus the traditional family-friendly displays of resplendent animals and Kern County landscapes. It is all in the great outdoors at CALM, home to 250 injured or abandoned animals native to California. Proceeds from Holiday Lights benefit the non-profit CALM Foundation, providing funding for developing new and exciting animal exhibits at CALM.