Best hotels in Bakersfield
Bakersfield IntroductionHosting everything from glitzy arena shows by global superstars to friendly jam sessions in the last of the surviving honky-tonks, Bakersfield is, and always has been, synonymous with music. The Bakersfield Sound was born in the honky-tonk bars frequented by Dust Bowl migrants, who first introduced hard-edged Southern blues to California in the 1940s; the stripped-back style of guitar-playing was championed by the Rolling Stones and later immortalized by the biggest country stars of the day. Nowadays, music still plays a vital part in the life of this major Californian city, and its melodic heritage continues to draw visitors from far and wide.
Hotels in BakersfieldFrom full-service business hotels to friendly downtown inns, Bakersfield hotels never stint on the warmth of their welcome or the quality of their facilities. You’ll find a variety of services and amenities to make your stay go with a swing, such as fitness centers, indoor or outdoor pools, well-equipped meeting spaces, and high-speed Internet. Best-value Bakersfield hotel deals even include free breakfasts, WiFi access, and complimentary shuttles to transportation hubs and downtown locations. Cheap Bakersfield hotels provide comfortable lodgings without making you fork out for unwanted frills, while authentic roadside motels lend a retro feel to a freewheeling California road trip.
Where to stayIf you’re in town for a conference or exhibition around the Civic Center, hotels in Bakersfield downtown provide a convenient base to reach all your meetings and let your hair down at the end of the working day. You’ll be close enough to catch a concert or hockey game at the Rabobank Arena, or just kick back with the locals in a friendly bar. If you’ve come to see one of the horse shows and rodeos at the Kern County Fairgrounds, look a little further south of the center; in this area, you’ll also find yourself conveniently close to the mammoth Valley Plaza shopping mall.
Things to seeThe famous Bakersfield Sound is still live and kickin’ at Buck Owens Crystal Palace, a museum and music venue dedicated to the memory of the musician who settled in Bakersfield in 1951 before his recording career took off. Owens himself conceived the Crystal Palace as a venue for showcasing the Bakersfield Sound, supervising every detail of the construction personally and sparing no expense. The venue finally opened in 1996 and immediately became a major city landmark—thanks in no small part to its kitsch references to American Old West architecture both inside and out. Another must-see architectural icon is the Fox Theater, which opened on a prominent downtown corner in 1930 and continues to promote a lively program of ballet, movies, and concerts. After the show, head for a cocktail and a dance in the atmospheric surroundings of one of the few remaining honky-tonks in Bakersfield.
How to get to BakersfieldMeadows Field Airport, 10 miles north of Bakersfield, operates routes to San Francisco, Houston, and Denver, and can be reached by taxi; the city is also served by Amtrak’s San Joaquin Route, which provides direct rail links to Stockton and the San Francisco Bay Area. Bakersfield is easy to get to by road, with California State Routes 58, 99, and 178 providing local access and the Interstate 5 superhighway just a few miles west. Public travel in Bakersfield is facilitated by the network of Golden Empire Transit buses; other providers supply long-distance bus routes, including a service to LAX, 120 miles away.