Bakersfield is full of historical sites, buildings, and houses. Many of the city’s most interesting landmarks were built in its earliest days as a frontier town. As you explore Bakersfield and its nearby towns, you’ll find many places where history comes to life.
There are museums dedicated to regional history, house museums that give visitors access to homes from different eras, and walking tours that take you through various areas while explaining their significance. The following historical tours are among the best ways to learn about Bakersfield’s past.
Bakersfield Museum of Art
The Bakersfield Museum of Art is one of the best places to begin your tour of Bakersfield. This museum has been open since 1939, making it one of the longest-running fine arts institutions in the state. The museum is home to a permanent collection of over 3,000 pieces of art, including American and California paintings, sculptures, and photographs.
The BMA’s focus on American art makes it a great place to learn about the history of the region. The museum also hosts special exhibitions that feature art from around the world. This broad range of materials makes the BMA a great stop for anyone who is interested in art, no matter their specific area of interest.
The Fox Theatre
The Fox Theatre is also a great place to learn about Bakersfield’s local history. The theatre was once home to the Bakersfield Californians, a minor league baseball team. There are also photos of the city in the early 20th century, when Bakersfield was a thriving agricultural center.
Over the years, many well-known actors, directors, and producers have performed at the Fox Theatre in downtown Bakersfield. You can learn about the theatre’s history when you take a Bakersfield theatre tour. You can also stop by the Fox Theatre’s box office to talk to the staff, who can tell you more about the theatre’s shows and events.
Kern River Tour of Discovery
The Kern River is one of the most important natural resources in Bakersfield. It’s a major source of water for the city and a great place for recreation. The Kern River Tour of Discovery is a boat tour that allows you to explore the river and get a closer look at the wildlife that calls it home.
The tour takes place on a large pontoon boat. There’s room for plenty of people, and you can get up close to the water while you’re on board. The tour lasts about two hours, and you’ll pass by areas that are good for fishing, white water rafting, and swimming.
Spanish-Colonial Downtown Walking Tour
The Spanish-Colonial Downtown Walking Tour takes you to some of the oldest parts of Bakersfield, including a building that dates back to the Gold Rush. This tour begins at the Arts Council Bakersfield, which is a great place to start your tour of the city’s museums. The Arts Council Bakersfield offers rotating exhibitions that feature art from different genres and time periods. There are also smaller exhibits that are dedicated to specific artists or topics. You can also see art from throughout the history of Bakersfield at the Kern County Museum.
Bakersfield Korean War Memorial
The Bakersfield Korean War Memorial stands as a memorial to the thousands of men and women from Bakersfield who served in the Korean War. With the memorial’s focus on peace and reconciliation, it stands as an important reminder of the importance of these values today. Bakersfield’s Korean War Memorial is a great way to learn about the city’s Korean War history.
The memorial itself is beautifully designed and displays a detailed timeline of the war, along with photos of local soldiers. If you want to learn more about the war’s impact on Bakersfield, you can also visit the Korean War Veterans Memorial Park. Here, you can visit a number of monuments, including a Korean War veterans’ memorial.
St. Mary’s Ruins and the Shorb Mansion
St. Mary’s Church was a major part of Bakersfield’s early history. The church was built in 1876 and was one of the largest buildings in the city for many years. It was also one of the few buildings in Bakersfield that survived the Great Fire of 1910. However, decades of disuse eventually led to the church’s destruction. The church’s ruins are now a historical landmark that’s open to the public.
The Shorb Mansion is another important historical landmark in Bakersfield. It was built in 1874 as a residence for William B. Shorb, one of the city’s earliest and most powerful merchants. The mansion is now operated as a museum, and it features period furniture, art, and other items.
Visiting Bakersfield and the surrounding area, you’ll find that history comes to life at every turn. This is the result of the area’s long human history and the fact that it was once home to many Native American tribes. Today, Bakersfield and its nearby towns are a mix of modern shops, restaurants, hotels, and historical places that preserve important chapters from the past. These best historical tours in Bakersfield are great places to start your exploration of the region.
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