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Stopover in Bakersfield

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41 posts
6 reviews
Stopover in Bakersfield

Hi all. My partner and I will be driving from San Francisco to Las Vegas in June and where looking to break up the journey by stopping over in Bakersfield for the night as it seems to be the half way point. We have planned on staying in the home wood suites and are planning a night out in the buck Owens crystal palace as we are both country fans. Having read some reviews on here we are a bit worried about our safety. We plan on getting a cab from our hotel and back to buck Owens and maybe a bit of a walk in the afternoon around our hotel. Can anyone put our minds at ease please

7 replies to this topic
Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
45,775 posts
91 reviews
1. Re: Stopover in Bakersfield

Hmmm. Bakersfield could be the midway point. But the route via Yosemite NP is about 1,000 times more scenic.

SF - I5 / Bakersfield / I15 - Las Vegas ~ 8+ hrs of wheels turning / driving, 575 miles

SF - Hw 120 / Yosemite's Tuolumne Meadows high country / Hwy 395 / Death Valley - Las Vegas ~ almost 11 hrs, 575 miles This route also involves two National Parks with entrance fees. tripadvisor.com/Travel-g28926-c182361 Two nights would be much better. With just one night, staying in Tuolumne Meadows, Lee Vining, June Lake, or maybe Mammoth Lakes would work. With two nights, spend one in Yosemite Valley and one in Lone Pine.


But I have no advice for an overnight in Bakersfield.

Fortaleza, CE
Level Contributor
8,610 posts
381 reviews
2. Re: Stopover in Bakersfield

Bakersfield isn't scenic (and the route getting there, and on to Vegas is pretty dull) and in the summer is likely to be very hot, but if you are really big country music fans, an overnight in Nashville West could be fine. I'd vote for the Yosemite route, or any other route crossing the Sierra at any of a number of places (from Lake Tahoe to Sonora Pass), but they could take longer. If you do go via Bakersfield, you could take a slight detour crossing the Sierra at Walker Pass (Kernville, Lake Isabella) and stopping at Red Rock Canyon State Park before going to Hwy. 58 and on to I-15. But, as noted, the route will still be dull.

San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
Level Contributor
12,067 posts
45 reviews
3. Re: Stopover in Bakersfield

As noted, the Bakersfield route to Las Vegas is about the least scenic route from anywhere to anywhere.

If you go via Yosemite and Death Valley, one overnight stop will not be enough. Each of these beautiful parks merits a couple of days or more. Your interest in seeing the Buck Owens Crystal Palace is understandable, so you will have to make the choice between it and two of the most unique and majestic national parks in America.

Sorry, I also have no personal recommendations for lodging in Bakersfield. If you decide on a night out there, I'm sure someone will come along with a suggestion in town. For myself, to whom Bakersfield is a fuel stop or a place to pass through, I would choose Tehachapi.

Corona del Mar, CA
Destination Expert
for San Diego, Orange County, California
Level Contributor
41,748 posts
408 reviews
4. Re: Stopover in Bakersfield

If you do a stop over in Bakersfield I'd stay near the Crystal Palace. There are a dozen nice hotels there including a Best Western on site at the Crystal Palace. All the hotels are easily walkable.

Fremont, California
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
Level Contributor
17,465 posts
3,252 reviews
5. Re: Stopover in Bakersfield

As long as there is an event going on in Bakersfield, (I assume you have checked the nights) you will have a good time. In terms of Bakersfield not sure where your lodging is. There is a motel section by the interstate highway - basically you will find other travelers like yourself who is spending the night and is safe (not a lot to do in this area but you already sound like you have fun plans.) There is also downtown which is quieter and also fine to stay at.

If you are staying in either of those two areas you ware in fine areas. There are some areas in Bakersfield less likeable then these two areas.

Basque food is very good in this area - its basically family style and lots of it if you are looking for a place to enjoy prior to the show.

You'll have a good night. Here's a Smithsonian Magazine article on basque


and Woolgrowers is quite good in this area


There are two spots to stay along this route to Vegas which are usually Bakersfield or Barstow - they are not tourist destinations but a place to stay to break up the trip and are both fine to stay at from that perspective.

As mentioned above, since it is June Tioga Pass is open so a popular route is to drive through Yosemite, down highway 395 through Death Valley and into Las Vegas. That would be more scenic but its up to you.

Grover Beach, Ca
Destination Expert
for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
Level Contributor
16,846 posts
9 reviews
6. Re: Stopover in Bakersfield

If your hotel is on Mill Rock Way, the location is fine. It's kinda in the boondocks.I wouldn't worry too much about your safety at the Crystal Palace. It's a popular venue and there's always people around, so I wouldn't fret too much. Just use common sense and be aware of your surroundings at all times. Just like you do where you live.

Edited: 6:10 pm, April 19, 2014
Bakersfield, CA
Level Contributor
118 posts
61 reviews
7. Re: Stopover in Bakersfield

Homewood Suites on Mill Rock Way is in a nice safe area. Across the parking lot is the Marketplace shopping center with some restaurants, a movie theater, and shops, some fairly upscale by Bakersfield standards ;) It's where my family stays when they come to town.

That said, it's quite a distance from Crystal Palace. Which could mean for a fairly expensive cab fare. You're probably going to want to drive yourself there.

Or you could stay closer at the hotels off Rosedale Hwy. Easy on and off the fwy. There's a Hilton Garden Inn and A Courtyard Marriott on Marriott Dr. Both nice - a friend stays at either while in town for business. Also much closer to the Crystal Palace and better if you'd like take a cab. There really isn't much to do around these hotels, though, if you're looking for an afternoon walk.

You'll be fine at the Crystal Palace. It's not the best of neighborhoods but not the worst. There's really mostly businesses and a couple hotels right by it. You won't be wandering around because there's really nothing else to see. The parking lot is large and gated in. I've never felt unsafe going there. Enjoy! If you're a country fan it's interesting to see. They do ticketed concerts regularly so check their schedule for the day you plan to visit on their website.

I second the other posters who mentioned Basque food - Bakersfield is known for their great Basque restaurants! Our personal favorites are Woolgrowers and Benjis. Benjis would be fairly close to the Rosedale Hwy hotels. Benji's is in a so-so area - really mostly businesses along Rosedale Hwy. Woolgrowers is in a little scarier, more rundown part of town. It's a very popular restaurant, though, and I've never had a problem when going there. They have a couple famous patrons - check out their website http://www.woolgrowers.net/index_old.html

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