Top 10 Things to do in Downtown Bakersfield, CA

Top 10 Things to Do in Downtown Bakersfield, California

A couple of week’s ago Lonnie and I celebrated 19 years of marriage. I think that’s definitely a reason to celebrate. We chose to stay in town and enjoy the city we live in. If you’ve followed me for a while, you know I harp on how great our little downtown is. I love living, working and playing in downtown Bakersfield. We have great restaurants, entertainment, and so many great antique and thrift shops. So whether you are visiting Bakersfield or live here and are just not sure what downtown has to offer, I’ve put together a Top 10 guide of things to do, see, and eat here in sunny downtown Bakersfield.

We can almost see The Padre Hotel from our house. We loving having dinner or just coffee there, but we’ve never stayed there.  So, having a night “away” at the Padre was really such a treat. Stepping in the doors always feels like a breathe of fresh air. This place oozes cool. I’m such a detail person, and The Padre Hotel delivers so much charm and character. It first opened it’s doors in 1928. After being closed for many years, the historic hotel underwent a transformation to become a sophisticated boutique hotel with restaurants, nightlife, wedding venues and conference facilities. The Padre Hotel is a big reason why downtown Bakersfield is a cool place to hang out.

Top 10 Things to Do in Downtown Bakersfield, California

  1. Stay at The Padre Hotel! This goes for out of town guests or if you are local, I highly suggest a staycation with a night here. The bed was probably my favorite thing about the spacious Head Honcho room. It was literally like sleeping on a cloud. The room also has the biggest hotel bathroom I’ve ever seen with a gorgeous walk in shower, and jetted tub that fills from the ceiling and sleek black penny tile everywhere! Also, if you are going to have a night in a hotel, definitely order room service breakfast, nothing says vacay like breakfast in bed.
  2. The best restaurant in Bakersfield is definitely the Belvedere Room at The Padre Hotel. We’ve celebrated a few anniversaries and a couple Valentine’s Days here. It’s elegant atmosphere is a great spot for a romantic dinner. They serve fresh, in season and local ingredients. The menu is always exciting and there are fun modern twists on classics. Every bite I’ve ever had at the Belvedere has been completely delicious. We started our meal with the a beautiful cheese and charcuterie board. It was loaded with unique cheeses, like a lavender and coffee rind cheddar and soft Italian cheeses that had names I’d never heard of. We enjoyed roasted duck, rib eye steak cooked to perfection, mushroom rissoto and the yummiest crispy brussel sprouts I’ve ever had.
  3. If you are looking for a more relaxed meal or just a coffee break, we also love the Farmacy Cafe and Brimstone. Both of these restaurants are also located in the Padre Hotel. The Farmacy has great grab and go options, a full espresso bar and is also just a really great breakfast spot. The Brimstone is one of our favorite date night dinner spots. The serve fantastic appetizers, loaded burgers and decadent desserts. It’s a fun lively, but chill environment.
  4. If you need a sweet treat, De Coeur Bakeshop is just around the corner from the Padre. Yummy French Macarons and the flakiest croissants. Be sure to take a picture with the copper heart on the wall (I made it).
  5. If your sweet treat of choice is ice cream, there’s only one place to go – Dewar’s Ice Cream! Let’s just say huge scoops of ice cream and homemade marshmallow cream, need I say more? They have been making ice cream and candy in downtown Bakersfield for over 100 years. Dewar’s is walking distance from our house, so ya, we are there often.
  6. If you like to thrift and wander through antique malls, well Bakersfield is the city for you. I highly suggest hitting the Five and Dime Anitque Mall in the old Woolworth’s Building. If you have time, definitely stop for a burger at the diner or just a cold soda at the bar. I have a few other favorite antique malls. Mill Creek Antique Mall and Timeless Furnishings are both great spots. You won’t be disappointed with the vintage scene in Bakersfield, and the prices are great!
  7. If you are looking for entertainment The Flics at the historic Fox Theater is one of our favorite things to do. Most Friday nights, starting in the Fall they show the current foreign films. Lonnie and I try to go as much as possible. And a ticket is only $7. And for the best entertainment in town, I highly suggest the Dueling Pianos at the Prospect Lounge in The Padre Hotel every Friday and Saturday night. These guys were soooo talented and Lonnie and I stayed till midnight singing along with all their tunes.
  8. Smitten Cafe is a must while in Bakersfield. If you are looking for a great latte or the best avocado toast in town, Smitten is your spot. My favorite drink on their menu is actually the Matcha Green Tea latte.
  9. For fresh flowers, plants, and unique gifts and cards, House of Flowers is my favorite florist in town. They also offer a lot of fun workshops like wreath making and bouquet arranging classes. Be sure to see if there is a class being offered while you are in town.
  10. If you are in downtown Bakersfield Wednesday through Saturday, The Hen’s Roost is definitely a stop you need to make. It’s a micro farmer’s market with the yummiest vegan food, local produce, homemade nut butters and so much more. You HAVE to order the Thai Street Fries!  You can thank me later.

Top 10 Things to Do in Downtown Bakersfield, California

The Padre Hotel hints at Bakersfield’s country, oil town vibe in a cool, subtle way. Be sure to take in all the details.

Top 10 Things to Do in Downtown Bakersfield, CaliforniaTop 10 Things to Do in Downtown Bakersfield, CaliforniaTop 10 Things to Do in Downtown Bakersfield, California

Even the wallpaper in the hallways hints at the cowtown and oil field city that we are.

Top 10 Things to Do in Downtown Bakersfield, California

We tried to spend as much time in our hotel room as possible. We drove less then a mile from our home, but felt like we where definitely on a getaway. I’m a brand new fan of the staycation.

Top 10 Things to Do in Downtown Bakersfield, CaliforniaTop 10 Things to Do in Downtown Bakersfield, California

Nothing makes you feel like your on vacation like breakfast in bed. The California Burrito and the Lemon Curd Buttermilk Pancakes were so good.

Top 10 Things to Do in Downtown Bakersfield, CaliforniaTop 10 Things to Do in Downtown Bakersfield, CaliforniaTop 10 Things to Do in Downtown Bakersfield, California

Everything is definitely within walking distance, so there is no need to look for parking (which is never hard in downtown Bakersfield anyways). But, I always think you take in more of a city’s vibe when you walk the streets.

Top 10 Things to Do in Downtown Bakersfield, California Top 10 Things to Do in Downtown Bakersfield, California

Friends, come enjoy my city!

I big THANK YOU to The Padre Hotel for helping us celebrate our anniversary in style, Bakersfield Style!

9 thoughts on “Top 10 Things to do in Downtown Bakersfield, CA

    1. Artie Niesen

      Don’t forget to visit Front Porch Music on 19th just north of the Padre. Best local music store in Bakersfield, and Mosrite guitar collection on display. Musical wonders you won’t find anywhere else.

  1. Terri

    Have you ever stopped in Central Park Antique Mall? We’re one corner down from Mill Creek
    We’ve been there since 1993. Please give us a ‘look see’ next time you’re in downtown Bakersfield.
    Beautiful pics in your story by the way.

  2. Leslie

    I originally found your blog on pinterest while researching Maui. I loved your tips on the things you enjoyed there. I started to look through your food and drink section which is also amazing. I decided then to explore your travel page and the first thing I saw was this article about Bakersfield! I was born and I live in Bakersfield, I just thought how crazy it was that you live here too. How in a million years did I click on this blog to read! I never write on anyone’s blog but I just thought how great it is and how incredible it was to find!


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