Bakersfield is a city in Kern County in the San Joaquin Valley of California.


Bakersfield is one of the fastest growing larger cities in the United States. Bakersfield has a population of approximately 323,000 and a metropolitan area of approximately a half million. Bakersfield is famous for being the home of country music singers Buck Owens and Merle Haggard, and has the nickname "the country music capital of the West Coast." Bakersfield has also produced its share of American football players such as Joey Porter, Frank Gifford, and David Carr. Bakersfield is a very conservative, religious city compared to most of the state.


 Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Daily highs (°F) 56 63 69 75 84 91 97 96 90 79 66 57
Nightly lows (°F) 39 42 47 50 58 64 71 69 64 55 45 39
Precipitation (in) 1.2 1.2 1.2 0.5 0.2 0.1 -77.8 0.0 0.1 0.3 0.6 1.0

   Data from NOAA (1981-2010)

Get in

By car

Bakersfield is located at the juncture of California State Routes 99 and 58, about 25 miles north of The Grapevine at the juncture of CA-99 and Interstate 5.

By air

Commercial air service

Meadows Field (IATA: BFL) is Bakersfield's primary commercial airport, which is about 10 miles north of Downtown. Currently, the airport is used by two carriers: American Eagle and United Express. There is frequent service to San Francisco and Phoenix. There is twice daily service to Houston and once daily service to Denver.

Meadows Field is also an international airport, although there are currently no international carriers. However, the airport is capable of handling international private planes, both arriving and departing.

Rental car facilities are located at the airport. In addition, there are several other methods of travel from the airport. Taxis are available outside the terminal. The city's bus system does not provide regular service to the airport's domestic terminal, although service is provided to the downtown transit center when requested in advance.

Private air service

Private aircraft that are traveling to Bakersfield can land either at Meadows Field, or Bakersfield Municipal Airport (in South Bakersfield). In addition, there are a variety of other general aviation airports in the region. These include: Delano Municipal Airport, Kern Valley Airport, Lost Hills Airport, Minner Field (Shafter), Taft Airport, Tehachapi Municipal Airport, and Wasco Airport.

Alternate airports

A primary alternative is Los Angeles International Airport (IATA: LAX) (120 miles in Los Angeles). Airport Bus of Bakersfield provides round trip bus service between the airport and their terminal near the intersection of F St. and Golden State Ave. Other nearby airports are Bob Hope Airport (78 miles, in Burbank), and Fresno Yosemite International Airport (110 miles, in Fresno).

By train

Amtrak also serves Bakersfield, with a nice main terminal downtown. Bakersfield is the southern terminus of Amtrak's San Joaquin route, which travels north through the Central Valley to either Sacramento or the Bay Area. Bakersfield is also served by a number of Amtrak bus routes, which connect San Joaquin passengers to many southern California cities, as well as Las Vegas, Nevada.

By taxi

Bakersfield Taxicabs 80-100 taxicabs serving the greater Bakersfield area 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. The rate for taxicab service in Bakersfield is $3.00 + $2.75 per mile. To order a taxicab in Bakersfield call +1 661-374-2227.

Get around

Bakersfield is a car-based city with poor mass transit options, so driving your own car or renting one is probably wise. The Golden Empire Transit (GET) bus system is fairly limited (especially in the Rosedale area), and taxis are expensive and uncommon.



This city will never be a premier tourist destination, but there are things to do. Ethnic food and culture festivals - including Scottish, Indian, Basque, and Greek - occur in the spring and summer.


Large shopping centers and strip malls are abundant. Small, locally owned antique shops are found in the Downtown and Old Town areas.


There are numerous chain restaurants throughout the city and in its shopping centers, but there are also plenty of delicious local places to sample. Good Basque food is easy to find. Bakersfield has what is most likely the largest single cluster of Basque restaurants in California. --try Maitia's, Noriega's, Benji's, Narducci's, The Pyrenees or Woolgrowers. Italian food fans might enjoy Joseph's, Rosa's, Luigi's, or Uricchio's. There are several Thai restaurants that have opened in the last couple of years, while Japanese and Indian cuisines are popular as well.


Bakersfield's bar and club scene is primarily centered in the downtown area around the intersection of 19th St & Eye st.


Stay safe

Bakersfield is a relatively safe city with a murder rate that has been on the decline since 2005. However, property theft and drug activity have seen a sharp increase within the city and there are certain parts of the city that are dangerous even during the daytime. Dr. Martin Luther King Drive (formerly named Lakeview Ave, and turns into Cottonwood Rd), Union Ave, parts of East Bakersfield and areas surrounding the Kern County fairgrounds and South High School are plagued by gang violence and can be very dangerous. The Bakersfield suburb of Oildale (which shares its borders with Bakersfield at the Kern River) has a bad reputation for racism and poverty. However, attitudes towards minorities have improved significantly over the years in Oildale, and the town is relatively safe (although not a tourist attraction).

Go next

Routes through Bakersfield

Sacramento / Emeryville Wasco  N  S  END
Santa Margarita Buttonwillow  W  E  Keene Barstow
Fresno McFarland  N  S  The Grapevine Los Angeles via
END  W  E  Inyokern Death Valley N.P.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, March 12, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.