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Bakersfield golf offers an in-town get away

11 Jun

Lose yourself in a great game of golf at one of the many Bakersfield golf courses. Beautiful views, great conditions and physical activity are all reasons why you should get more in tune with your golf game!

Bakersfield is all about the golf

7 Jun

There are many ways to have fun in Bakersfield, California.  One of my favorite things to do in Bakersfield is to golf.  There are many golf courses scattered throughout Bakersfield but my favorite include the links at Riverlakes, North Kern, and Stockdale Country Club.

Riverlakes is the hardest of the three courses in my opinion.  The course includes twelve lakes throughout and a beginner should watch out for them or else lose many balls in the water.  There are also three fountains included in the desert landscape of the course.  Almond and Pine trees are all over the course and after 3 or 4 holes a person might forget he is even in Bakersfield at all being that the course draws players in with its beauty.  The conditions of the course are very well maintained.  The thick fairways and flat greens are proof of this.  One thing that needs to be improved are the golf carts.  The carts are in good condition but are not kept charged enough.  I have had to call the club house on two occasions in order to have a different cart brought out to me due to mine running out of battery.

A view of one of Riverlake's many difficult holes.  Included is one of the 12 lakes.

A view of one of Riverlake’s many difficult holes. Included is one of the 12 lakes.

Stockdale Country Club is the one private course out the before mentioned courses.  In order to play here, one must either be a member or be a member’s guest.  Stockdale does an absolutely wonderful job at keeping its course in top condition.  In my opinion, the course is not as difficult as Riverlakes unless someone has trouble with accuracy.  In order to excel on this course, accuracy is more important than power.  Although this club is hard to access if not a member, I strongly suggest trying to find someone to play with.

A beautiful look into Stockdale's heavily wooded golf course

A beautiful look into Stockdale’s heavily wooded golf course

North Kern Golf is the most laid back and least well-kept out of the three courses.  I do not mind the rougher fairways or the poorly manicured greens due to the relaxed environment this course offers.  This course is located about 20 minutes from the city of Bakersfield off of the 99 freeway.  The course is set on a hilly terrain and contains a mountain backdrop that offers players a beautiful view.  The hills often give players some difficulty and a player with a strong power game would succeed here more than the other two courses.

The sun peaks through the trees at North Kern Golf Course.

The sun peaks through the trees at North Kern Golf Course.

Each of these three courses offer Bakersfield citizens and visitors alike the opportunity to play a great round of golf.  I strongly agree visiting all three courses and experiencing the different things that set each apart from each other.

Bakersfield offers a rich history for all to enjoy

3 Jun
The Bakersfield sign many years ago, located on Buck Owens Blvd.

The Bakersfield sign many years ago, located on Buck Owens Blvd.

When people think Bakersfield, they usually don’t think of it as a place where someone could do some quality sight-seeing.   However, Bakersfield is a town of rich history and there is much to see.  The town hosts a variety of buildings that have history and meaning flowing through their foundations.  Farms and dairies are scattered throughout and many of them offer beautiful landscapes for the pleasure of the eye.

Bakersfield is known for its contributions to the farming and dairy communities so someone looking to see the sights in Bakersfield would have to drive by some of these dairy and farm lands.  Kids get a kick out of seeing so many cows and looking at nature is often a great way to find peace.

Another must see for travelers in Bakersfield is the Kern County Museum.  The museum offers an exhibit called Black Gold, which takes a look into the history of oil and how it is created.  The exhibit also gives information to the history of oil in Bakersfield.  Another great exhibit is Pioneer Village which spans across 16 acres of museum property.  The village has over 50 buildings and structures that depict Bakersfield’s history.  Its a great place to take a walk and learn about the story told by Bakersfield over the years.

The Kern County Museum.  Located on 3801 Chester Ave, the museum offers great history on Bakersfield.

The Kern County Museum. Located on 3801 Chester Ave, the museum offers great history on Bakersfield.

When speaking about Bakersfield, one must not forget to mention possibly the most famous place in the town which is Buck Owens Crystal Palace.  Buck Owens is Bakersfield’s own A-list celebrity and he was loved by all but his memory now lives on in the palace…..the house that Buck built.  Buck Owens, the creator of the song “Streets Of Bakersfield,” was a country music star and member of “The Bakersfield Sound” which is a collection of artists such as Buck and Merle Haggard that sing according to a specific style, a style referred to as the Bakersfield sound.  Now the palace is a restaurant and event center and many of Country music’s biggest stars have played there.  These stars include Willie Nelson, Brad Paisley, Eric Church, and Taylor Swift.  So to travelers in Bakersfield, don’t forget to stop by and grab a bite to eat and take a tour of Buck’s place.

Also on the list of places to visit while in Bakersfield are the Fox Theater, The Padre Hotel, Riverwalk Park, Luigis Restaurant, and the Rabobank Arena.  These places along with many more offer a great Bakersfield atmosphere and have rich histories and stories to tell about the town of Bakersfield.  For more Bakersfield destinations and information visit http://www.virtualtourist.com and search Bakersfield.

Beat the heat at Dewars

17 May

The weather is heating up in Bakersfield and soon we will all feel once again 100 degrees feels like.  So what better way to beat the heat then to cool down with some ice cream.  Dewars, located on Calloway in Bakersfield, CA, offers a great family environment for those looking to survive the hot weather with the help of a cool treat.  Dewars is known around town as ice cream royalty but it also features taffy, shakes, freezes, sodas, and floats in its menu.

Dewars is equipped with a small arcade and giant talking moose head that always gets the kids laughing.  The staff is very friendly and customers can either dine in or order for the go.  There are also party rooms that customers can reserve for events that require private group seating.

Dewars on Calloway Drive in Bakersfield, CA

Dewars on Calloway Drive in Bakersfield, CA

One of the most famous of all the items on the menu is the Georges Special.  This is a treat named after the grandson of the founder.  The ingredients include vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup, ground walnuts and frozen bananas.  These ingredients are perfect on a night after a long hot day.  Other more popular treats include the Black and White and Grandpa Jim’s Sundae.  This sundae is more equipped for two as it contains six scoops of ice cream (two vanilla, two strawberry and two vanilla), ground walnuts, almonds and bananas.

A look at the famous George's Special along with the extra cup they give you for what's left in the blender.

A look at the famous George’s Special along with the extra cup they give you for what’s left in the blender.

Dewars has been around for over 100 years and some of its more famous recipes are just as old!  They get busier, of course, as the summer time rolls around so be one of the many that will enjoy Dewars this summer.  Don’t let the weather beat you!  Instead indulge in an ice cold treat.  Dewars is located on 2700 Calloway Drive and you can order over the phone at 661-587-2056.

Play your heart out at Camelot Park

13 May

This audio story is a description of Camelot Park in Bakersfield, California told through sound. The sounds give listeners an account of what goes on in Camelot Park through the sound of games, playing kids, and the batting cages.

Buena Vista Lake offers some fun in the sun

10 May

If you hear someone say “I’m going to the lake,” in Bakersfield they are most likely talking about Buena Vista Lake . BV is the lake of choice for most Bakersfield citizens as it is the only one in the area big enough to put a boat on. “We love going out there with our boat to do some wakeboarding and we usually stay the night and BBQ at the camp sites,” said Austin Tillema. Tillema is only one of the people you would see operating a boat trailed by a tuber or wake-boarder. When the weather heats up, the lake becomes a very popular destination for people targeting a place to cool off.

Lake Evans Kayak Fishing Camping California Destinations

A beautiful view of the lake at Buena Vista

Besides water sports, boaters are often seen fishing from their boats at the lake. The outdoor news service said that as of May 3, 2013 the “bluegill bite is very good and taking over the action at BV.” Bob’s Bait, a tackle shop near the lake, offers great information on what types of fish are biting and what kind of bait they are biting on. They also sell all the bait one would need including night-crawlers, worms, frogs, and plastics.

For families with big groups and lots of kids, there are recreational play areas as well as bike paths. Parents can let their kids run wild at the jungle gyms or take them for a ride on the bike path.

After a long day in the sun an appetite is bound to creep up. Instead of driving home, lake-goers can bring their tents and sleeping bags or RV’s and camp out at one of the many camp sites located at the lake. Picnic areas are scattered throughout the lake and offer people BBQ areas. In all, the lake offers not only a great spot for people with boats, but also an ideal spot for families and groups of friends looking to get a taste of the outdoor life.

3 May

Things are heating up in the National Basketball Association playoffs.  The Los Angeles Lakers have been swept out of the first round of the playoffs by the San Antonio Spurs.  The season ended in disappointment for the Lakers but there are still plenty of games worth watching in this year’s first round of post season play.

nbaplayoffs

The logo for the National Basketball Association playoffs

This part of the season is the most exciting for basketball fans and being that the Lakers are from Los Angeles, Bakersfield is home to many of their fans but now that they are out, fans can root for other California teams including the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers.  Fans who search far and wide for a place to watch the game need look no further than Bakersfield’s own Firehouse restaurant.

The Firehouse is in the Southwest part of Bakersfield on the corner of White Lane and Gosford road.  It has a wide variety of lunch and dinner choices including steaks, burgers, sandwiches, and pizza.  Fans who are also billiards lovers would be in heaven, as the restaurant also boasts 18 regulation sized pool tables.

curry

The Golden State Warriors’ Stephon Curry celebrates after a big play. The Warriors have made it to the second round of the playoff where they await their next opponent.

            The one thing true sports fans have to have when watching a game is a nice TV, so basketball fans can rest easy in knowing that whichever way they look, they would surely catch a glimpse of the game on one of the Firehouse’s 20 high-definition flat screen televisions.  The Firehouse also has a full bar and Bakersfield’s largest selection of beer on tap for fans looking to grab a cold one during the game.

            Past years, in which the Lakers went deep into the playoffs, the place was wild.  “It felt like I was actually at the game, people were chanting M-V-P when Kobe went to the free throw line as if we were actually inside the Staples Center,” said Davey Orloff as he explains his experience watching the Lakers win the NBA Championship at the Firehouse in 2010.  Zach Richmond explains his experience at the restaurant only two days ago when the Lakers played a must win game against the New Orleans Hornets:  “I have never seen a restaurant so packed during a game, and there were Lakers jerseys at every table.”  This year the Lakers had a shortened season but fans can still watch games in a playoff atmosphere at the Firehouse.

It would be hard to find another bar around town that hosts so many basketball fans who actually mock chants often heard in stadiums around the country.  My dad, Bryan Hough, was a former manager at The Firehouse, and he was there during the 2010 game 7 that one the Lakers the championship.  “I haven’t seen anything like that. I am 43 years old and have been a Laker fan my whole life, but that night we were packed wall to wall with Lakers jerseys.  There were a few Celtic fans, but that place was like a mini Staples Center for a night,” he said.

The Firehouse also has a welcoming staff.  The waiters and waitresses are very nice and helpful.  With how packed the games get during this time of year, they are pretty quick at getting food to the customers.

“I was surprised with how fast the service is,” said Omar Garza, a Lakers fan who often visits the Firehouse for games.  During big games like playoff and championship games, fans are also treated to a raffle.  Jerseys, balls, and tickets to places around town are given away to fans that pull a winning ticket or answer a correct question during the trivia held during commercials.

The Firehouse is a popular place for all sporting events including baseball, football, and ultimate fighting.  With baseball season starting up, the Firehouse will start to bring in many Dodger and Giants fans as they too call California home.  However, big playoff games bring in the most amounts of fans, and right now is the perfect time to join as the biggest games of the season are coming up.  Each win is a must win four game sixes are going to be played on May 3rd, 2013.

For more information fans can go onto the Firehouse’s Facebook page, where they post status updates for playoff games to remind fans that the best environment for watching games is at their restaurant.