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The Central Valley Travel Guide


Bakersfield's founder, Colonel Thomas Baker, arrived with the discovery of gold in the nearby Kern River valley in 1851. With 355,000 residents, including the country’s largest Basque community, his namesake town is Kern County's biggest city. A country-music haven nicknamed Nashville West, Bakersfield is closely affiliated with performers Buck Owens (who died here in 2006) and Merle Haggard (who

was born here in 1937). It also has some fine museums.

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