About Kern County
Kern County is called California’s Golden Empire for a good reason.
This grand and historic area, where settlers once sought the riches brought by gold and the “black gold” of oil, is now a place of golden opportunity. Kern County is filled with booming cities and an unparalleled quality of life.
Diversity is the name of the game here. Found at the southern end of California’s great Central Valley, Kern County is the gateway to Southern California, the San Joaquin Valley, the Sierra Nevada and the Mojave Desert. Perfectly located, Kern is within easy reach of Los Angeles or San Francisco, the Pacific Coast or Las Vegas, Yosemite or Death Valley.
The third-largest county in California — larger than Massachusetts, New Jersey or Hawaii; or Delaware, Rhode Island and Connecticut combined — Kern hosts a wealth of recreational and tourism opportunities.
The Wild and Scenic Kern River is a Mecca for outdoorsmen. Beginners and professionals alike flock to its world-class rapids. The Kern River Valley is also the gateway to the Giant Sequoia National Monument and is home to some of the best fishing and camping in California. Five recreational lakes just add to the water-based fun.
Kern’s desert is home to the awe-inspiring Red Rock Canyon State Park and the living ghost town of Randsburg. You can also view the history of flight or developments in military technology at Edwards Air Force Base, Vernon P. Saxon Flight Museum, or the U.S. Naval Museum of Armament and Technology at the China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station.
In the San Joaquin Valley you can celebrate the life and legacy of a country music legend at Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace, view indigenous wildlife at the California Living Museum or Tule Elk State Reserve, or peer into our past at the Kern County Museum or West Kern Oil Museum.
With valley, mountain and desert areas, Kern County has something for everyone. Whatever you enjoy — bird-watching, golfing, hunting and fishing, auto racing, sky diving, rock climbing, biking, off-roading, skiing, kayaking, windsurfing or river rafting — Kern County is the place to be!