We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Red Bluff to Bakersfield- driving

Vancouver Canada
Level Contributor
174 posts
18 reviews
Save Topic
Red Bluff to Bakersfield- driving

We will be taking I-5 then switching to Hwy 99 at Lodi for the rest of the way to Bakersfield.

Is there anything worth stopping for nearby while we are enroute to break up the drive?

Thanks!

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
60,806 posts
114 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Red Bluff to Bakersfield- driving

Hi

The usual question is ... what are you interested in seeing? "Worthwhile" is such a personal choice.

In winter we watch for migrating birds along the Sacramento Valley, but I'm guessing that you'll be making this drive soon.

Old Sacramento is popular with tourists & locals, and the Railroad Museum is pretty good. Strolling around the grounds of the state capital is a nice break.

The Great Valley Serpentarium (reptiles) is just a few blocks off Hwy 12, the connector between I-5 and Hwy 99 in Lodi. But I think crossing over at Hwy 4 in Stockton is a bit faster.

Farm Fresh Foods in the San Joaquin Valley: tripadvisor.com/Travel-g28926-c175348

Vancouver Canada
Level Contributor
174 posts
18 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Red Bluff to Bakersfield- driving

Thanks for the info!

Sacramento, CA
Destination Expert
for Sacramento
Level Contributor
4,105 posts
40 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Red Bluff to Bakersfield- driving

I would say the must see stop on that route is Old Sacramento. Maybe you could have lunch / brunch on the Delta King.

oldsacramento.com

Oregon Coast
Destination Expert
for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
Level Contributor
43,012 posts
1,068 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Red Bluff to Bakersfield- driving

If you like antique trucks and farm equipment, this is a dandy museum just north of Sacramento:

tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g33290-d5319…

Long Barn...
Level Contributor
4,717 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Red Bluff to Bakersfield- driving

" But I think crossing over at Hwy 4 in Stockton is a bit faster." It is a much faster route.

San Anselmo...
Level Contributor
506 posts
38 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Red Bluff to Bakersfield- driving

I will preface this comment by saying I hate I-5. I would still suggest that without a pressing need to stop some where on 99 between Lodi and Bakersfield I would stay on that route and cross over to 99 somewhat closer to Bakersfield. A little map checking indicates it is probably a shorter trip in miles to cross over in the Stockton (yes 4 should be faster) or Lodi areas but having some familiarity with both routes I think time wise sticking to I-5 should be faster.

Those who might know better should probably comment. And yes 99 is a lot faster now then when I first started using it circa 1955 and no I was not driving then.

Newberg, Oregon
Level Contributor
6,106 posts
389 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Red Bluff to Bakersfield- driving

You might as well switch to 99 in Sacramento, rather than farther south in Lodi or Stockton if you're set on taking 99 the rest of the way. Old Sacramento would be a good break in the drive from Red Bluff.

We've driven both routes MANY times over the past 40-some years (most recently, just last weekend). Hwy 99 has segments of road construction and rough pavement that can be irksome. I-5 is much better road and a little faster if you want to get to Bakersfield in a hurry. You can cross over from I-5 to 99 at Lerdo Highway (a few miles south of Kettleman City) or on Hwy 58 at Buttonwillow. There's an excellent restaurant, Willow Ranch, at the Buttonwillow exit on I-5.

Edited: 14 July 2013, 00:02
Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
60,806 posts
114 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Red Bluff to Bakersfield- driving

I'm sticking with my original suggestion of Hwy 4. The section of Hwy 99 between Sacramento and Stockton is loaded with on ramps & off ramps. I just don't like it. Then the Original Poster can continue to Bakersfield on Hwy 99 as desired.

Google Maps suggests that I-5 to Hwy 4 to Hwy 99 is 4 minutes slower than I-5 to Hwy 204 (very near Bakersfield.)

And yes, Hwy 99 is much much nicer & faster without the traffic lights it used to have!

San Anselmo...
Level Contributor
506 posts
38 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Red Bluff to Bakersfield- driving

I lost a message that was probably overly long.

In my experience Google Maps bases it travel times on traveling at the speed limit and I think 99 would have more places that will not be the case. I would suggest that 4 minutes is probably an underestimate of the time saved on I-5. It will still be a long trip and up to an hour or even more is probably worth the advantage of going through real towns to stop in and avoiding the long boring stretches of I-5 south of Tracy. It is simply not the route I would take.

I particularly miss the stoplights in Livingston (I think that is where they were) that lasted long past when they were gone elsewhere on 99. Are there still long parts south of Modesto where it is no longer a freeway and was in fact a limited access highway. It has been at least 10 years since I have driven it there.

Newberg, Oregon
Level Contributor
6,106 posts
389 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Red Bluff to Bakersfield- driving

Indeed, Google maps bases its time estimates on driving the speed limit. Due to the (rough) condition of parts of 99, that estimate is probably fairly accurate. But in the REAL world, anyone driving the 70 mph limit on I-5 will be passed by everyone, including some of the truckers. If you don't have your cruise control set somewhere close to 80 mph, you'd better stick solely to the "slow lane."

On our trip last week, we left Westley, just south of Stockton, at 5 a.m. and were through Bakersfield and on the section of Hwy. 58 headed to Barstow by 8 -- In Lake Havasu, AZ at 1:15 p.m.