2013 Insiders Guide

Lawrence, Caroline

Descended from pioneers, teamsters, and newspapermen, she grew up in Bakersfield, taught in England, then entered the field of mystery writing for children. She went on to pen 20 books in The Roman Mysteries series plus a second series about 12-year-old P.K. Pinkerton, a detective in 1862 Virginia City, Nevada.

Maturango Mountain Lion

In 2008, Ridgecrest’s Maturango Museum acquired a dead mountain lion, killed on the road. The staff put it in their freezer for storing salvaged animals and requested California Department of Fish and Game’s permission to have it taxidermied. They received word in 2011 that they could not proceed without state legislation to allow educational entities to possess dead mountain lions. The resulting SB 769 passed both houses of the State Legislature unanimously. When Gov. Jerry Brown signed it and expressed the wish “that the same energetic bipartisan spirit could be applied to creating clean energy jobs and ending tax laws that send jobs out of state,” the saga made national news.

Night with the Elk


At Tule Elk State National Reserve, the event became possible for the first time last October when California State Parks opened the grounds to camping and after-dark programs.

Nut Festival

This spring, Kern County will observe its first, honoring the culinary delights and health advantages of almonds, pistachios, and walnuts—some of our leading agricultural crops—June 14 & 15 at the Kern County Museum.



From the Latin word for “bonebreaker,” Kern County’s “fishing eagle” hovers over the water and dives feet first to snatch its meals, spends winters in the valley, and resides year-round on Isabella Reservoir.

Plane Crazy

Every third Saturday at Mojave Airport, combines aerospace-oriented art and collectibles with aircraft displays and the opportunity to meet famous pilots.


Founded in 1863, flourished during the gold rush in the Kern River Valley.

Red Rock Canyon State Park

25 miles northeast of Mojave on Highway 14, it greets motorists, off-roaders, and others with stunning cliffs, buttes, and geological formations where the El Paso Range and southernmost tip of the Sierra Nevada converge.

Ridge Route Communities Museum and Historical Society

Located in Frazier Park with a 1920s gas station replica, showcases the history of the mountain area north of Castaic and south of Bakersfield and spans the centuries from Native Americans and missions to Fort Tejon, the catastrophic 1857 earthquake, ranchers, miners, and homesteaders up to the 21st century.

“Romantic Cities of California”

1939 travelogue by Hildegarde Hawthorne—esteemed poet, essayist, biographer, and granddaughter of the literary giant Nathaniel Hawthorne—describes Bakersfield as “thoroughly well-to-do…and the shopping district has none of the silly advertising blah-blah that spoils so many in the Californian scene.”

Submersible on the Desert


Conceived and directed by Dr. William B. McLean at U.S. Navy’s China Lake research facility, the Moray was a small manned underwater fighter developed in the 1960s.

Tehachapi’s Murals

They recount the city’s milestones in an impressive array of subjects that include “People of the Mountains,” “Tehachapi Loop,” “1915 Street Dance,” and many more.

Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

Toll House
Toll House

A Kern County connection: Dreyer’s Ice Cream Plant in Bakersfield produced the ice cream inside.

Tomo-Kahni State Historic Park

Nestled on a ridge in the Tehachapi Mountains, this site of an ancient Kawaiisu Native American settlement has extensive rock art. Visitors can only see it if escorted by a trained volunteer or ranger on spring and fall weekends.


China Lake’s unmanned systems program, specializes in drones that can relieve personnel of dull, dirty, and dangerous tasks; gather critical information and use it to strike the enemy; and defend against threats posed by unmanned systems.


Nickname bestowed on Bakersfield in the late 1800s owing to its many canals.

Village Fest

The event has earned the accolade “party of the year” thanks to unlimited food samples, multiple stages with simultaneous live music, dozens of breweries and wineries, and 16 acres of fun.

Visitor Spending

In Kern County, it topped the $1 billion mark for a sixth consecutive year in 2010, supporting 12,900 jobs. Most tourist dollars go to fuel, food, retail, lodging, and recreation.

Windsurfing & Parasailing

Two of the most popular sports on (and over) Lake Isabella, windsurfing and parasailing benefit from afternoon winds that sweep across the southern portion of one of California’s largest bodies of water.

Whiskey Flat Jumping Frog Contest

A favorite event of Kernville’s Whiskey Flat Days, hearkens back to Mark Twain’s tale about the “Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.” Pie Ala Toad, Claim Jumper, Sir Richtoad, and Kermitt have figured prominently in past lineups of competitors.


The Mojave-based propulsion manufacturer can put you into suborbital space aboard the Lynx for $95,000. The Lynx carries two people, the pilot-astronaut and you, both in the front seat witnessing the action.

Yates, William Chip

Broke the world record for speed in an electric aircraft in 2012 at Inyokern Airport. He built it at IYK in two months for less than $100,000, and his 202 m.p.h. speed beat the previous 175 by a healthy margin. By 2014, he wants to be the first to fly Lindberg’s transatlantic route in an electric plane.

Zalvidea & Moraga Expeditions

Explored what would become Kern County in 1806: Zalvidea from Santa Barbara and Moraga from the north.

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