A planned, gated community in the Northwest of Bakersfield, Riverlakes
boasts a mix of residential, commercial, and retail developments. A private 17-acre lake provides the main centerpiece of the neighborhood as well as a Scottish-inspired links-style golf course. Exclusive amenities for the more than 1,700 residents in the neighborhood include fishing, sailing, and golf as well as access to the private club maintained by the homeowners association. A tightly-knit family-oriented community, the neighborhood boasts one of the best school districts in Kern County.
Schools in Riverlakes
School data provided by GreatSchools
Restaurants & Nightlife
For the size of the neighborhood, Riverlakes has a fair variety of restaurants. One of the main streets for dining options, Coffee Road offers a range of locally-owned restaurants. The Northwest Promenade also offers national restaurant chains such as the Red Lobster, Macaroni Grill and the like.
Bakersfield locals particularly enjoy Japanese food at Sushi Ko on Coffee Road. With chic décor and sushi rolls bursting with flavor, first-time customers quickly turn into regulars, as they almost always come back for more. A trick to keep the sushi habit in check, the restaurant offers buy two, get one roll free promotions from Monday to Friday between 3:30-5:30pm.
For good value and large groups, Kento’s Mandarin BBQ takes the cake. This Chinese restaurant mainly does a lot of takeout business, hence their location’s basic ambiance. However, diners enjoy their items being cooked fresh as soon as they place their orders rather than getting served meals reheated in woks. Families also love the Family Pack for 6 combo, including several dishes using chicken, shrimp, beef, vegetables, egg rolls, rice and more.
The go-to place for fancier dining as well as live music, Krush offers a lively bar as well as dining ambiance for smart casual dining. The menu boasts a few appetizers, salads and entrees. The wine bar offers bottles and glasses of wine, but diners can also get a wine card allowing them to try out different wines at reasonable prices. Diners looking for lighter fare can order a cheese plate and a couple glasses of wine to enjoy along with the live music.
The nightlife in Riverlakes consists of a few other bars and restaurants that have live music, such as Steak and Grape. However, a 10-minute ride down to Highway 99 and the several lounges, bars, and dance clubs in that area offers partiers opportunities to dance the night away at destinations such as the Casablanca, Aldo’s Night Club, and Sky Bar and Lounge.
History & Culture
Historically a rural area, the Riverlakes neighborhood developed and began to grow in the mid-1990s, slowly becoming a part of the city limits, connecting the isolated towns of Fruitvale, Rosedale
into the city in the process.
Annual events in the lakeside neighborhood include a sailboat race open to the residents as well as a winter boat parade, where boats are decorated with lights and put on show at the lake for the community to watch in their backyards. There have been as many as 22 boats taking part in the parade.
Only one bus line passes through the Riverlakes neighborhood, which makes it a car-dependent area to live in when it comes to daily life and running errands. While the area proves fairly walkable when heading to nearby amenities, don't expect going on foot to be sufficient for all your errands. Longer distances can be covered by biking, as bike paths exist in abundance throughout the neighborhood. Taxis aren’t readily available in the gated community, so those in need of transportation typically have to call ahead to schedule a pick-up. Uber serves the area as well.
Riverlakes has a higher cost of living than the city average. One-bedroom apartment rentals go for an average of $1,042 per month. The price of gas in Riverlakes sits 7.2 percent higher than the national average.
The Northwest Promenade offers a mile-long retail shopping area anchored by major retail chains such as Target, Ross, Walmart, Best Buy, Kohl’s, Home Depot, and more. It also features a barbershop for kids called Cool Cuts 4 Kids and Babies R Us for families with children. For artists and art lovers alike, there are several art and framing companies as well as art supply companies such as Aaron Brothers.
A local florist has a shop in the area as well as a jewelry store, Rogers Jewelers.
For the avid golfer in the family, be sure to check out the pro-shop at the Links at Riverlakes Ranch. Whether looking for your next putter or simply a new shirt, you're sure to find it here.
Grocery stores that service the immediate area include WinCo, Vons, and Vallarta. FoodMaxx, Grocery Outlet, and Albertsons also have locations in the larger Bakersfield area.
Several farmers markets and organic markets also exist throughout the greater Bakersville area, just southeast of Riverslake, including Bakersfield Certified Farmers Market, Kaiser-Permanente Sunday Farmers Market and Bakersfield Produce. Murray Family Farms off Highway 58 also offers locals the opportunity to pick out their own produce, putting the harvesting process directly in their hands. This farm also offers many other fun activities to the public.
Riverlakes has one major park in the neighborhood, the Riverlakes Ranch. Its many amenities include a community center, activity room, gym,
basketball court, restrooms, picnic pads, shelters for group picnics and several play areas for children. People of all ages are able to enjoy all the park has to offer. A number of recreation programs are also offered at the community center year-round to help keep the locals active.
Riverlakes also has a private clubhouse across from The Links at Riverlakes Ranch Golf Course. This complex features three different pools, hot tubs, spas and event centers that can be rented out for parties and weddings. The lake also offers walking and biking trails for fitness-minded residents who like to stay fit and take in the outdoor scenery at the same time.