Fun in the sun: Kern style
May 5, 2010
Filed under Features
Summer is upon us, and once we’re out of class, the world is our oyster for four months. For those bound to the smaller, Bakersfield-area oyster, don’t fret. There is still plenty to do, believe it or not. Here is your guide to summer fun . Kern County style.
After about 20 minutes of training, guests of Skydive Taft can be in the plane and ready to jump. Skydive Taft offers tandem skydiving for $180, with special prices for groups and military. They are open from 8 a.m. until sunset daily, but all jumps require a reservation. To make an appointment or for more information, go to www.SkydiveTaft.com.
Bakersfield’s minor league baseball team plays at Sam Lynn Ballpark (4009 Chester Ave.) throughout the summer. Game day prices range from $5 to $9, and groups can receive discounted tickets. There are different promotions every day of the week, including: free hot dog, chips and drink for children 12 and under on Wednesdays; $1 domestic beer and $1 fountain drinks on Thursdays; and buy-one-get-one-free ticket offers for military, police, firefighters and paramedics on Fridays.
Kern River Tours, based in Lake Isabella, gives guests the chance to tour and explore the Kern River with experienced guides. Guests can choose from different difficulties, from mild to wild. Prices range from $36.05 for the three-mile “Lickety Split” trip, to $868 for the three-day class V difficulty “Forks of the Kern” trip. For more information, please visit www.KernRiverTours.com.
The California Living Museum (CALM) is home to various animals and plants native to California. Currently, CALM is preparing a new mountain lion/bobcat exhibit, which is set to open this summer. The zoo houses more than 80 species of animals that cannot be released back into the wild for medical reasons. CALM is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $9 for adults, $7 for seniors, $5 for children (3-12) and free for children under three. CALM is located in Bakersfield at 10500 Alfred Harrell Highway.
Downtown Bakersfield is alive with art. Metro Galleries (1604 19th St.), Surface Gallery (1703 20th St.), the Bakersfield Museum of Art (1930 R St.) and the Bellmoore (2001 Chester Ave.) are all full of art of different mediums. First Friday takes place downtown on the first Friday of each month and is an event that promotes these galleries and more.
Oenophiles of Bakersfield don’t have to travel far for wine hotspots around Kern County. Imbibe Wine and Spirits Merchant sells all kinds of wine from around the state, country and world. Imbibe frequently has new arrivals and also has events throughout the summer. Imbibe is located in Bakersfield at 4140 Truxtun Ave. and is open Monday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. For those willing to travel a little farther, the Souza Family Vineyard boasts “Tuscany in Tehachapi.” The vineyard’s tasting room and gift shop is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For directions or more information on the Souza Family Vineyard, visit www.SouzaFamilyVineyard.com.
For those interested in more than wine, Bakersfield has numerous bars. From the upscale to the grungy, there is bound to be the right bar for anyone. For a dive bar, check out The Mint (1207 19th St.); for a sports bar, try Tailgater’s Sports Bar & Grill (900 Truxtun Ave.); and for some food with your drinks, try Lengthwise Brewing Co. (6720 Schirra Court).
Camping and hiking
The Kern Valley is the home of the Sequoia National Forest and many other areas for hiking and camping. One trail to check out is the Trail of a Hundred Giants, a self-guided, half-mile hike. Cedar Creek Campgrounds is about 60 miles outside of Bakersfield and has trails near the campgrounds, including Old Sled Trail and Bull Run Cattle Drive. Check out www.KernValley.com for more camping and hiking in Kern Valley.