Bakersfield, CA has never been known as a tourist destination, let alone a place where motorcycle riders would see as a place to hang out in.
Sash and I, on the other hand, were still able to make it a good two weeks here. We managed to find an afternoon ride out of town, and some places to hang out at. But it’s also where her daughter and grandson lives, and for that matter it’s place we’ve visited many times before.
Often referred to as “Nashville West”, because of its history of producing several successful country music artists, including Merle Haggard and Buck Owens, Bakersfield is just starting to undergo revitalization in downtown and it’s west side.
If you ever decide to spend several days in “Bako”, Sash and I found the block of hotels located near the intersection of Highways 99 and 58, along Camino Del Rio Dr and Marriott Ct, to offer a good blend of quiet, modern amenities, and central localization.
Here’s a recap of what Sash and I were able to do this time around in Bakersfield…
- The most popular ride out is Bakersfield to Kernville along Highway 178, through the southern section of Sequoia National Forest, along the Kern River, with a final destination into Kernville. The 178 winds its way through a canyon, offering up a full assortment of twisties ranging from the easy, wide sweepers, to the more difficult, tight switchbacks. The City of Kernville offers a variety of bars and restaurants nestled inside touristy, mining town feel. We particularly liked hanging out at Kern River Brewing.
- Eureka! Bakersfield offered us the best choice for burgers. Their Fried Egg Jalapeno Burger is my favorite, topped with a fried egg, sunny side up, the yolk breaks, mixes in with the grease and spread, and runs down your arms.
- I always love sitting down for a beer at Lengthwise Brewing, the only craft brewery in town. Their pub in the north-west section of town offers some good food too.
- On the other hand, if you want to experience a great back alley bar in the heart of downtown, go check out Guthrie’s Alley Cat, a dark, divey speakeasy rich with history of old Bakersfield.
- Farmacy Cafe in downtown Bakersfield, located inside the Padre Hotel, offers a great place to set up a laptop and tap into some free Wi-Fi.
- Motorcyclists gather every Wednesday night at Chuy’s on Rosedale Highway for bike night. If you’re there during the warmer months, you can expect to find up to a hundred bikes.
- For a good breakfast, the best eats in town is Donna Kaye’s Cafe. All breakfast plates come with free biscuits and gravy, and just that alone is enough to fill you up.