Travel writers frequently contact Visit Bakersfield about what to see and do in California’s ninth largest city.

During 2017, travel writers continued to heap praise on Bakersfield with articles focusing on our city’s food and surprising array of activities.

Here are some highlights:

The Los Angeles Times: “Go Basque in Bakersfield with an Epic Dinner at Noriega’s,” Sept. 12.

Quotable quote: “You'll sit down at a long, loud table with dozens of strangers, eat whatever the chef is cooking, drink from unlabeled wine bottles (and maybe pour a little red into your vanilla ice cream dessert, as is the house custom). By meal's end, you'll be surrounded by new friends. Your belly with be very, very full. And you might know a little more about Basques and the West.”

SF Weekly: “Bakersfield Has a Woolworth Lunch Counter,” Oct. 26.

Quotable quote: “Smell is the most evocative sense, and upon walking into the Five & Dime Antique Mall in downtown Bakersfield last weekend, I was struck by that unmistakable olfactory resonance. This Woolworth may function as a museum as much as a store; an effort to preserve something historic in Bakersfield and keep it safe from the centripetal force of exurban big-box retail that continues to erode downtown shopping districts. And in this thriving, two-floor vintage shop as big as a department store is a real Woolworth lunch counter.”

The Huffington Post: “Bakersfield, California, the Undiscovered Destination (even for Christmas),” Dec. 4 (also reprinted in The Chattanoogan, Dec. 5).

Quotable quote: “I only discovered that Kern County is the most overlooked destination in the state when I dropped by its booth at a travel show and was surprised by the enthusiasm of advocates. Few outsiders realize that the average high for its largest city from October to April is usually 56° to 79° (and May is only 83°). And there is a lot more to do than anyone could cram into one long vacation, regardless of preferred activity.”

2017 Travel Guide to California: “Bakersfield: Buck Owens & Basques.” Bakersfield was featured in the “Surprising Cities” section.

Quotable quote: “Bakersfield may just be a must-stop. Once home to the late country-music legends Merle Haggard and Buck Owens, this San Joaquin Valley community’s workaday, unpretentious facade masks a city of surprises.”

Homegrown Adventures (travel blog): “The Best of Kern County,” Nov. 2.

Quotable quote: “When you’re traveling through the great state of California, Bakersfield is always on your way. It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling from Los Angeles to Yosemite or from Redding to San Diego, you will be passing by Bakersfield and with so many great locations nearby it is easy to miss Bakersfield. On our trip to Southern California we decided to spend a few days in Kern County, and Bakersfield was a perfect place to experience what Kern County is all about. So glad that we didn’t drive past it this time because there is so much to see and do in Kern County.”

The Kern River Courier: “Bakersfield, It’s Worth Getting to Know,” June 6.

Quotable quote: “Bakersfield is fostering a public art culture. Several murals grace the north side of Wall Street alley and the east side of H Street. And local artists have transformed over 30 utility boxes into art pieces.”

The Daily Press (Victorville): “Visit Friendly Bakersfield, the Gem of the Central Valley,” Aug. 20.

Quotable quote: “Bakersfield is a gem. The people are friendly, the history great, the present happy, and the future bright.”

David Lyman, PhD, is the manager of Visit Bakersfield. The opinions expressed are his own.