The 10 Best Museums in Bakersfield

Bakersfield, nestled in the heart of California’s Central Valley, is a treasure trove of cultural gems waiting to be discovered. Among these, the city’s museums stand out as vibrant hubs where history, art, and science come alive. Whether you’re a local or just passing through, a visit to these repositories of knowledge can offer a delightful peek into the past and a thought-provoking glimpse into the future.

One museum that always seems to capture the hearts of visitors is the Kern County Museum. It’s a place where the region’s rich history is preserved and presented with such passion that you can’t help but be drawn in. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Let’s dive into the top 10 museums that Bakersfield has to offer, each with its own unique flavor and fascinating exhibits.

Kern County Museum

First up, the Kern County Museum offers a sprawling 16-acre history lesson. With over 56 historic buildings and exhibits, it’s like stepping back in time. The Lori Brock Children’s Discovery Center, a hit with the kids, makes learning fun with interactive displays.

Buena Vista Museum of Natural History & Science

For those with a curiosity for the prehistoric, the Buena Vista Museum of Natural History & Science is a must-visit. It’s home to impressive fossil collections and geological specimens that tell the story of Earth’s ancient past.

California Living Museum (CALM)

Next, the California Living Museum, or CALM, offers a different kind of museum experience. It’s an outdoor adventure where native wildlife and plants take center stage, educating visitors on conservation and natural history.

Bakersfield Museum of Art

Art enthusiasts will find their haven at the Bakersfield Museum of Art. With a focus on local and regional artists, this museum showcases a variety of contemporary artworks and offers educational programs that inspire creativity.

Kern Veterans Memorial

The Kern Veterans Memorial is a poignant tribute to the brave men and women who served our country. Its thoughtful exhibits and serene setting provide a space for reflection and appreciation of our nation’s heroes.

West Kern Oil Museum

Delving into the industry that fueled the local economy, the West Kern Oil Museum presents an in-depth look at the oil sector’s influence on the region. From drilling equipment to historical photographs, it’s a rich narrative of Kern County’s black gold.

Bakersfield Railroad Museum

All aboard for a journey through the golden age of railroading at the Bakersfield Railroad Museum. Train buffs will be thrilled by the collection of vintage locomotives and railcars, along with artifacts that capture the essence of this bygone era.

The Lori Brock Discovery Center

Located within the Kern County Museum, The Lori Brock Discovery Center deserves its own mention. It’s a wonderland for young minds, with hands-on exhibits that make history and science accessible and downright fun.

Fort Tejon State Historic Park

Though a short drive from Bakersfield, Fort Tejon State Historic Park is worth the trip. It offers a glimpse into life in the 1850s with reenactments and living history programs that bring the fort’s storied past to life.

Bakersfield Sound Exhibit

Last but not least, music lovers can’t miss the Bakersfield Sound Exhibit. Celebrating the unique country music genre that emerged from the local scene, this exhibit pays homage to the artists who put Bakersfield on the musical map.

Each of these museums offers a slice of Bakersfield’s diverse cultural landscape. They’re not just places to visit; they’re experiences to be savored, stories to be heard, and memories to be made. Whether you’re a history buff, art aficionado, or nature lover, there’s something here for everyone.


What are the operating hours for the Kern County Museum?

The Kern County Museum is typically open from 10 am to 4 pm, but it’s always a good idea to check their website for the most up-to-date information before planning your visit.

Is the California Living Museum (CALM) suitable for children?

Absolutely! CALM is a family-friendly destination that offers educational and interactive experiences for children of all ages. It’s a fantastic way to learn about California’s native species and the importance of conservation.

Are there any admission fees for the museums in Bakersfield?

Yes, most museums in Bakersfield charge an admission fee. However, prices vary, and some museums offer special discounts or free days. It’s best to check each museum’s website for the most accurate pricing information.


In conclusion, Bakersfield’s museums are cultural keystones that offer a wealth of knowledge and entertainment. From the historical richness of the Kern County Museum to the artistic allure of the Bakersfield Museum of Art, these institutions play a pivotal role in preserving the city’s heritage and igniting the imaginations of visitors. They’re not just places to pass the time; they’re venues where curiosity is rewarded, and every exhibit tells a story. So, if you’re ever in Bakersfield, make sure to carve out some time to explore these top 10 museums – you won’t regret it!

Kurby Team

The Kurby Content Team is a diverse group of seasoned real estate experts dedicated to providing insightful, reliable information for homebuyers, real estate investors, and real estate agents. With backgrounds ranging from real estate brokerage, property investment, and residential home buying, our team combines decades of experience with a passion for demystifying the real estate world. We at Kurby are committed to helping you make informed, successful real estate decisions. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned investor, or a real estate professional, count on the Kurby Content Team to deliver the most relevant, actionable real estate content you need.