Not many people outside the heated cooker of the central valley would know about Tehachapi. If you're from Bakersfield, Taft and nearby places, the hill town of Tehachapi is the place to go to beat the hellacious heat of summer in the valley.
Traveling to T-town is a short 40 minute drive from Bakersfield. With a scenic, winding drive that takes you on a picturesque tour of south central Cali through the mountains, you will be delighted to visit this charming mountaintop town that is surrounded by a moat of green fields and rolling hills.
Tehachapi is blessed with a Mediterranean climate caressed by a cool chill that is guaranteed to ease out any stress and tension in your weary bones. Once you're in the heart of this township, bring out your cameras and phones to take memorable pictures of the green mountains dotted with white windmills all around you.
The drive through town is sure to be a pleasing one, with almost no traffic. Just as you enter Tehachapi, the western style storefronts and businesses greet you. You feel like you're in 19th century America with the charming feel of the old Wild wild west.
A definite must stop is one of the town's icons; Kohnen's German bakery. This pride of Tehachapi has been serving visitors and locals for many years. Feast on some authentic German items made with incredible love by the warm staff. Calm your mind and soul with a mug of their freshly brewed soothing hot coffee. The Po'Boy sandwich is built to feed an entire hungry army. The clam chowder is great comfort food and takes you away to the coast immediately with one bite of the delightful soup.
Once your appetite is whetted, drive on to the Railway museum nearby which serves as a reminder and historical marker of the early origins of Tehachapi. If you have children or are a big kid yourself, a visit to the nearby Ostrich farm is definitely a must see. The gravel road along the idyllic mountains lead you to the active ostrich farm where springy ostriches are awaiting your arrival. You can watch how they are reared on the farm, and get a chance to get up close and personal with them. You can do so by feeding them in their enclosures. They love the company and will give you some terrific selfies for your social media and make your friends want to visit them as well. The tall and cute creatures are definitely stars of Tehachapi's tourism industry.
As you leave this town, stop by at the bustling Starbucks on Main street where you may meet friendly locals who gcan ive you a fantastic narrative of the town and their own stories about this lovely place they now call home. We met a Canadian hiker who shared his love for Tehachapi and also met an ex veteran local who told us the tales of Tehachapi. Finally, as you wave goodbye to your new friends, you are relaxed, informed and content with this trip which can be made in a day from Los Angeles.
So, go along with your family and drive to tantalizing Tehachapi. The mountains are calling your name, and with only a short drive away, what are you waiting for?
photos by: Thomas D. Mangelsen, Inc.
Written by: Arijit Basu