"Bakersfield~The Heart of the Golden State"" Top 5 Page for this destination Bakersfield by Yaqui

Bakersfield Travel Guide: 141 reviews and 458 photos

Francisco Garces 1738-1781

Bakersfield was first settled in 1858 by a handful of families seeking home sites rather than gold. A man who owned much of this valley named, "Colonel Thomas Baker", who would then invite these weary travelers to spend the night due to his hospitality. Soon people started calling it "Colonel Baker's field." As settlers kept moving in, Colonel Baker laid out the town in 1869, and within two years the city had a telegraph office, stores, a newspaper, boarding houses, one doctor, a wagon shop, a harness shop, attorney office, a saloon, and fifty school pupils. The Bakersfield Centennial Garden and Convention Center rests now rest on part of the original Colonel Baker's field as well as the Centennial Plaza community park.

The City of Bakersfield is the heart of San Joaquin Valley, this city is so overlook as far as tourism and the importance it has for the whole state of California. Lots of agriculture, which by the way is one of most significate growers for the "whole world" because of the rich San Joaquin soil. Culture is so important due to the high number of ethic influences here that makes this city "rich with heritage". Black Gold (Oil) plays a big part, since it provides more oil from here than any other state other than Alaska. And if you want to see an old fashion rodeo with cowboys and cowgirls, you need to make a trip here during the yearly "Fair". To me it still retains much of that "cowtown" feel to it, which makes this place special!

Although, Bakersfield has a special place in my Mom's heart because it is where a many Okies transplanted here because of the dust bowl during the 30's. As you drive in or out on the Highway 58, the view is not at its best. Many low income families live here and it's the very industrialized side of Bakersfield because of all the industry here that revolves around agriculture. So keep that in mind, their are more scenic places within the downtown areas.

The Sign That Has Welcomed So Many;-)

This famed 130 foot sign built in 1949 once graced the entrance of Bakersfield on 1101 Union Avenue once called Highway 99. It was originally a 130 foot long, 30 ton tunnel bridge that gave safe access to the other side of the highway to the Bakersfield Inn built in 1949.

Buck Owens famous local and country western entertainer of the show Hee-Haw if any of you remember that show because I do and had to watch it growing up because of my Okie Mom. Buck Owens often said, he knew he was home when he saw that sign after being on the road for so long. It was damaged in a fire in 1960 and was going to be demolished. So, Buck rescued it from destruction and had it beautifully restored and reinstalled on Buck Owens Boulevard in 1999 next to his famed Crystal Palace just off the new 99 freeway.

We'll Miss You Buck!



I came here looking for something
I couldn?t find anywhere else
Hey, I?m not trying to be nobody
Just want a chance to be myself

I?ve done a thousand miles of thumbin?
I?ve worn blisters on my heels
Trying to find me something better
On the streets of bakersfield

You don?t know me but you don?t like me
You say you care less how I feel
But how many of you that sit and judge me
Have ever walked the streets of bakersfield?

Spent some time in san francisco
Spent a night there in the can
They threw this drunk man in my jail cell
Took fifteen dollars from that man
Left him my watch and my old house key
Don?t want folks thinkin? that I?d steal
Then I thanked him as I was leaving, and
I headed for the streets of bakersfield

You don?t know me but you don?t like me
You say you care less how I feel
But how many of you that sit and judge me
Have ever walked the streets of bakersfield?

You don?t know me but you don?t like me
You say you care less how I feel
But how many of you that sit and judge me
Have ever walked the streets of bakersfield?

How many of you that sit and judge me
Have ever walked the streets of bakersfield?

~Dwight Yoakam & our very own Buck Owens~

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:A nice city to visit, with much to offer.
  • Cons:Watch the speed, they drive really fast here.
  • In a nutshell:I think anyone will enjoy a visit here;-)
  • Intro Updated Jan 22, 2016
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Reviews (99)

Comments (41)

  • ADAMYAMEY's Profile Photo
    Jan 18, 2016 at 6:14 AM

    I spent a night in Bakersfield in 1994, but was unaware of its interesting history. Thanks for posting this.

  • Regina1965's Profile Photo
    Feb 20, 2013 at 6:07 PM

    One of your best pages, Dee. A tribute to the Chinese and much much more. Enjoyed reading your tips.

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Feb 7, 2013 at 1:02 AM

    Dee, Something went wrong with the site when I was reading, so will return another time to read the rest. So many good restaurants you found here, that is great, and so far, for an industrial city, you have find quite a few points of interest.

    • balhannah's Profile Photo
      Feb 18, 2013 at 11:11 PM

      A wet day, just what I needed to finish this excellent page. I think I would be kept busy for a few days seeing all the sights you have written about.

    • Yaqui's Profile Photo
      Feb 20, 2013 at 7:18 AM

      Thank you so much Dee for stopping by! It is a neat city to explore. You never know what you may find here:)

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Jan 8, 2012 at 9:04 AM

    Hi, Dee! Thanks for your splendid story here! Your travel pages are all superb! ><><><><

  • Maria250's Profile Photo
    Aug 18, 2011 at 7:09 AM

    And would like to eat at Johnny Rocket's. Wonderful restaurant tips.

  • MD2nd's Profile Photo
    Feb 23, 2011 at 6:23 AM

    Wonderful page!! Great restaurant tips, yes, also great American old fashion food! Thank you for spending time on my Bad Meinberg page.

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Aug 21, 2010 at 11:47 AM

    You cerntainly found a lot of markers to commemorate the famed ones of this area. Very nice comments and the murals are great. I even heard of Godey before when I lived in St. Louis, where we just spent 7 a week to revisit.

  • ranger49's Profile Photo
    Jun 18, 2010 at 9:29 AM

    Just having a nose around Bakersfield - there is a possibility that one of my US relatives may move there with her job. I bet old Colonel Baker would have a surprise to see how it has grown!

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Apr 5, 2010 at 4:02 AM

    I wonder if Dwight Yoakam really WALKED the streets of Bakersfield, or just drove. A recent report from the organization "Transportation for America" ranked Bakersfield as the worst city in California for pedestrian injury and death from automobiles.

  • JLBG's Profile Photo
    Dec 3, 2009 at 9:50 PM

    I did not know that Bakersfield had such an historical interest. I drove across Bakersfield but that was on the way to Death Valley and there was no time for a visit. Excellent updates, especially the portable jail and big shoe!


“~Happy Trails, Keep the Faith and Keep Dreaming!~”

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