The Best of Places

What To Do In Taft



The Fort 910 North 10th Street
Taft, CA 93268

The Fort is a replica of Sutter's Fort in Sacramento, CA built in 1940 of adobe bricks by the government as a depression era project. The well landscaped grounds are used for weddings and civic events. The building housed federal, state, and county offices and was once used as a birthing center, but now provides rental space for business offices and retail shops. It was designated a historical landmark by Kern County in 1980. The complex consists of an auditorium, gazebo, and the McKittrick jail which was moved to the Fort in 1988.

The Fox Theatre 514 Center Street
Taft, CA 93268
661.765.7469 (Movie Line)

The Fox Theatre is the gem of downtown. The Fox Theater is independently owned and now has three screens and is able to present first run movie releases that are found at the larger theater chains. No long lines, reasonable priced tickets, luxurious seating, full service snack bar await you. They also offer West Side residents special movie releases, musical concerts, and theatrical plays. The Fox Theater was presented with an historic preservation award, presented by the Humanities Council of Kern County, in recognition of their successful restoration efforts.

West Kern Oil Museum 1168 Wood Street
Taft, CA 93268

The West Kern Oil Museum is a treasure chest of local history. Exhibits range from the ancient Native Americans to cutting edge trends in the oil industry, plus everything in between. The 75 foot rebuilt landmark wooden derrick that sits on the museum grounds can't be missed. The museum offers group tours, has a knowledgeable volunteer staff, and has an active membership that consists of local community and former residents. People from all over the globe have visited the West Kern Oil Museum. Plan to spend several hours touring the indoor and out door exhibits. Be sure to visit the gift shop and reference library.

Museum Hours: Thursday Sunday: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Skydive Taft 500 Airport Road
Taft, CA 93268

Taft School of Skydiving has been located at the Taft Airport since 1996. Renamed Skydive Taft, owner Dave Chrouch has over 9,000 sky dives and 15 years in the sport, wining a gold medal for his camera flying at the World Freestyle Meet and a silver medal at the Perris Challenge Cup. He is currently the Field Based Operator for the County of Kern at the Taft Airport. Skydive Taft is located within walking distance of food and lodging. Taft has some of the best weather for skydiving in the country. They also have a large air-conditioned and heated building with a covered patio and barbecue area complete with misters to keep you cool in the hot summer months.

Carrizo Plains The Goodwin Education Center / BLM
P.O. Box 3087
California Valley, California 93453
805.475.2131 / 661.391.6000

Lying adjacent to the southwest edge of the San Joaquin Valley in eastern San Luis Obispo County, the Carrizo Plain is the largest remaining tract of the San Joaquin Valley biogeographic province with only limited evidence of human alteration. The 250,000 acre area is a diverse complex of habitats similar to those in the San Joaquin Valley that have become fragmented or destroyed. It includes the largest remaining contiguous habitats for many endangered, threatened and rare species of animals such as the San Joaquin kit fox, the blunt-nosed leopard lizard, the San Joaquin antelope squirrel and the giant kangaroo rat, and also provides habitat for many listed plant species including the California jewelflower, Hoover's wooly-star and San Joaquin woolythreads. The Carrizo Plain has been a focal point identified in U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service recovery plans for land acquisition and management of these species. Stop by the Taft Chamber office at 400 Kern Street for information and maps before visiting the Carrizo Plains.
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Painted Rock
Bureau of Land Management
3801 Pegasus Dr.
Bakersfield, CA 93308

The area is also rich with evidence of its prehistoric and historic past. Painted Rock, a sacred, ceremonial site of the Chumash People, rises majestically from the grassland while remnants of homesteads, farms and mining operations dot the remainder of the Carrizo Plain.

San Andreas Fault
Bureau of Land Management
3801 Pegasus Ave.
Bakersfield, CA 93308

The Carrizo Plain is home to diverse communities of wildlife and plant species, is an area culturally important to Native Americans, and is traversed by the San Andreas fault, which has created and moved mountain ranges, carved valleys and is marked by a subtle alignment of ridges, ravines and pools. The Bureau of Land Management office has a book of auto tours of the fault and other landmarks.
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Buena Vista Golf Course 29338 Golf Course Rd
Taft, CA 93268

Located 11 miles east of Taft off Hwy 119 near the Buena Vista Lake area, this public course offers the golfer a challenging course of trees and rolling hills, strategically placed sand traps all at a very reasonable green and cart fee. Practice tees and putting green will get you warmed up and ready to go. A fully stocked pro shop and full service snack bar with some of the best burgers on the Westside await you. Golf lessons and equipment repairs are available.

Call ahead for tee times and fees.

Tule Elk State Reserve The reserve is north of Gorman, south of Buttonwillow, west of I-5 via Stockdale Highway.

Tule Elk State Reserve protects a herd of tule elk, once in danger of extinction.

Cattleman Henry Miller began a 50-year effort to save them in 1874. At that time, few elk remained. In 1932, the herd was given permanent protection in a 950-acre property by the State of California, now known as Tule Elk State Reserve.The elk are most active from late summer through early autumn. Visitors are encouraged to bring binoculars for better viewing.

The park has picnic areas and interpretive exhibits. Call for more information regarding viewing times or check their website.
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Buena Vista Aquatic Recreation Area Kern County Parks and Recreation Department
1110 Golden State Ave.
Bakersfield, CA 93301

The Buena Vista Aquatic Recreation Area was developed in 1973. Water first flowed into the lakes in April of 1973, and it took approximately 43 days to fill both lakes. Available activities include:

  • Boating
  • Waterskiing
  • Watercycles
  • Fishing
  • Swimming
  • Bike Path
  • Camping Facilities
  • Picnic Areas
  • RV Dump Station
  • Concession Buildings

Reservations are required for picnic areas, please call ahead to make your reservation.
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Also See Resident Information
Parks & Recreation
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