The Tehachapi Visitor Center made its downtown debut two years ago, but the enthusiasm of its volunteers parallels the first day it opened.

“You never know when a guest is going to come in so I stay ready,” volunteer Cheryl Wilson said.

Pat Doody, a volunteer since that first day, said the Tehachapi Visitor Center is a vital resource and serves a wide demographic — including Tehachapi’s own residents.

“Foreigners and Pacific Crest Trail hikers come through here,” Doody said. “But sometimes people from Tehachapi come by just to say ‘hi.’”

Wilson has also been volunteering at the Visitor Center since the start. To her the Visitor Center is a vital source of information for the community, with its slew of brochures and program guides and sharp, intelligent volunteers.

“We’ve been meeting every Monday at 1 p.m. since it’s opened and even before that,” Wilson said. These meetings ensure quality and valuable information is given at the Visitor Center."

The Tehachapi Visitor Center is a great resource for those hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. Doody said the center can get hikers in touch with trail angels in the area. Trail angels may provide accommodations for through hikers at no cost.

But the Visitor Center is for everyone.

“We serve the greater Tehachapi area, too, including California City, Rosamond and the Cesar Chavez Memorial,” Doody said. But Doody’s favorite recommendations are animals and wine.

“I’m a wine aficionado. I’ve done a lot of research on it, so I love telling people about the different wineries here,” she said.

Souza, Triassic and Dorner wineries are all close by.

Doody also said animal-lovers will be pleased with Tehachapi. From the feline compound in Rosamond, to Windswept Ranch with its camels, zebra, white buffalo and reindeer, to the California Living Museum, or CALM, in Bakersfield, the greater Tehachapi area has a lot to offer.

According to Wilson, Tehachapi is worth stopping for. At first glance, the city may seem sleepy, but Wilson ensures she can offer advice for a jam-packed schedule to experience Tehachapi highlights from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

“It’s more than strolling down the boulevard and window shopping,” Wilson said about Tehachapi.

“Whether it’s a young family, elders, millennials, young retirees, Tehachapi fulfills many factors of desires,” Wilson said. “We have hiking, biking, equestrian and horseback riding.”

Wilson and Doody are only two of the team that is dedicated to showing you the hidden gems Tehachapi has to offer.

While you’re chatting with the docents of the Tehachapi Visitor Center, kids can acquaint themselves with the center’s playground. The volunteers can aid you in creating a custom itinerary with the free Visit Tehachapi App.

Download the app on visittehachapi.com.

Create a custom itinerary with the free Visit Tehachapi App. Log on to VisitTehachapi.com, download the app and explore. Select your favorite places to eat, play, stay and shop to create a "My Trip" itinerary.

The Visitor Center is open Thursday through Monday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.