Kern County Museum

Nestled away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Bakersfield, the Kern County Museum is a must-see hidden gem for history buffs and families alike. As California’s largest showcase of regional history and artifacts, the Kern County Museum brings the Old West to life through its indoor exhibits and sprawling outdoor living history exhibits. Inside, you’ll find intriguing displays detailing Native American life, the California Gold Rush era, and the development of Bakersfield from its early oil boom days to present times. Outdoors, you can take a step back in time at authentic structures from the 1880s including a one-room schoolhouse, dentist’s office, blacksmith shop, and more. Kids will love the interactive displays like the hands-on science discovery center. Special events and seasonal activities like Civil War reenactments and haunted houses make the Kern County Museum a constantly evolving attraction.

The museum is open Wednesday-Sunday from 10am to 5pm and located at 3801 Chester Ave, Bakersfield, CA 93301. Call (661) 868-8400 to learn more.

Buena Vista Aquatic Recreation Area

When the Bakersfield heat becomes unbearable, escape to the refreshing waters of Buena Vista Aquatic Recreation Area. Located just 20 minutes southwest of downtown Bakersfield, Buena Vista is a scenic hidden oasis perfect for swimming, watersports, sunbathing, picnicking, and more. The main attraction at Buena Vista is the glistening 24-acre freshwater lake, which stays cool and pristine thanks to its constant flow of spring water from underground aquifers. You’ll find visitors lounging on the sand beach, playing beach volleyball, kayaking, paddleboarding, and of course, swimming in the lake’s clear waters on hot days. Buena Vista Aquatic Recreation Area has picnic areas, BBQ grills, snack bars, and equipment rentals so you can make a full day out of your visit. Buena Vista is open daily from 8am to 7pm during summer months.

You’ll find this hidden oasis at 500 S Lake Buena Vista Rd, Bakersfield, CA 93307. Call (661) 562-3279 for more details.

Bakersfield Museum of Art

Though small in size, the Bakersfield Museum of Art packs a powerful punch thanks to its impressive permanent collection and visiting exhibitions that rotate every 2 to 3 months. The museum specializes in contemporary California regional art with a focus on the San Joaquin Valley. In addition to displaying artwork from established California painters, sculptors, and photographers, the Bakersfield Museum of Art is dedicated to exhibiting new and emerging artists. Mediums range from paintings, drawings, and sculptures to ceramics, textiles, and mixed media work. Exhibitions educate visitors on varied topics such as the history of still life art, the legacy of landscape paintings in California, and retrospectives of influential regional artists. The Bakersfield Museum of Art is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10am to 4pm.

You’ll find this hidden art gem located downtown at 1930 R St, Bakersfield, CA 93301. Contact them at (661) 323-7219.

Stiern Duck Farm

For a bit of quirky fun the whole family will love, be sure to visit the Stiern Duck Farm located in the charming town of Edison, just 15 minutes northwest of Bakersfield. The duck farm started out small in 1984 as owners Mike and Sandy Stiern’s pet project but has since grown into a community icon known for its whimsical duck races. Visitors can watch ducks waddle around the farm’s pond, hug baby ducklings in the nursery barn during hatching season, and even “adopt” a duck to enter into the farm’s wacky races. Duck races take place every Saturday at 3pm sharp during spring and summer. Grab a spot in the viewing bleachers to watch numbered ducks plunge down the raceway canal cheered on by eager fans. In addition to duck races, the farm has yard games like corn hole toss and Jenga for all-ages fun. Don’t miss the quirky gift shop filled with duck-themed knick-knacks that make for one-of-a-kind souvenirs. The Stiern Duck Farm is open on Saturdays from 10am to 5pm and Sundays 12pm to 5pm.

You’ll find this hidden gem at 10301 Edison Rd, Bakersfield, CA 93307. Call (661) 829-1072 to learn more.

Bakersfield Breakfast House

No trip to Bakersfield is complete without indulging in comfort food classics at the beloved Breakfast House. Though the name suggests it’s only open for the early risers out there, this charming hidden gem tucked away off Rosedale Highway serves its hearty homestyle meals all day long. The Breakfast House has remained a local favorite for over 20 years thanks to its friendly service and menu packed with breakfast favorites like fluffy pancakes, hearty omelets, and eggs cooked to order alongside classic diner fare like juicy burgers, crispy fries, and patty melts. Don’t skip dessert – their mile-high meringue pies are legendary. The Breakfast House opens daily at 6am, making it the perfect spot for an early breakfast or lunch before exploring Bakersfield’s attractions.

You’ll find this local legend located at 9880 Rosedale Hwy, Bakersfield, CA 93312. Give them a ring at (661) 589-8514 to learn more.

Murray Family Farms

Murray Family Farms offers seasonal fun for the whole family just 10 minutes south of downtown Bakersfield. Founded in 1999, this sprawling farm now spans over 700 acres across 2 locations, each providing unique agritourism experiences. At the main farm on General Beale Road, families flock for spring events like egg hunts at Easter and the Sunflower Maze in May and June when thousands of cheerful sunflowers are in bloom. Summer brings fruit picking adventures – load up on strawberries, blackberries, peaches, plums, and nectarines at the Pick Your Own fields. When fall rolls around, Murray Family Farms transforms into a giant pumpkin patch. Kids will love scampering through the corn maze and picking out the perfect pumpkin for carving. Holiday cheer rings in November with the nighttime Enchanted Christmas Light Experience. Murray Family Farms also has a second location in Arvin, open May through October, with more fruit picking fields, tractor rides, gem mining and additional seasonal activities. Learn more about Murray Family Farms’ events and hours by calling 661-330-0100.

Bakersfield Obon Festival

For a taste of Japanese culture and cuisine, mark your calendar for the annual Bakersfield Obon Festival each August. Held at the Kern County Fairgrounds, this Buddhist tradition honors ancestors through food, dance, drums, and community togetherness. The festival rebranded in 2015 after 90+ years of history in Bakersfield as the “Buddhist Temple Street Fair.” Though the name has changed, Obon keeps traditions alive including the mesmerizing Bon Odori dancing which welcomes viewers to join in. In addition to performances on the main stage, you’ll find cultural exhibits and cooking demos along with food booths peddling Japanese street snacks like yakitori chicken skewers, udon noodles, and matcha ice cream. The Bakersfield Obon Festival takes place in mid-August every year. Check for exact dates.

The Padre Hotel

Steps from Bakersfield’s historic Fox Theater and vibrant downtown dining scene sits the stately Padre Hotel, a hidden gem offering luxurious accommodations and exhilarating history since 1928. As the city’s first skyscraper at eight stories tall, The Padre Hotel made headlines as an engineering feat of its time. In 2018, the iconic hotel reopened after a stunning $20 million renovation ready to usher in a new era of luxury while paying homage to its history. Today, guests can stay in modern accommodations or opt for a history package to sleep in one of the preserved historic rooms. Even if you’re just passing through downtown Bakersfield, popinto the Padre Hotel to take in the stately architecture and soak up old Hollywood vibes – stars like Nat King Cole once filled the hotel’s famed second-floor ballroom. Enjoy craft cocktails and delicious farm-to-table fare at the on-site restaurant and rooftop lounge before browsing the lobby retail shops.

The Padre Hotel is located at 1702 18th St, Bakersfield, CA 93301 in the heart of downtown. Call (661) 427-4900 to book your stay or dining reservation.

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With endless hidden gems waiting to be uncovered in Bakersfield, let Bakersfield Party Bus Company handle your group transportation needs to maximize your time exploring. Our charter buses and limo buses are perfect for birthdays, corporate outings, weddings, and any special event that calls for convenient transportation across Bakersfield for your guests. Contact us at 661-829-1742 to request a quote and start planning your party bus adventure today!