Whether you’re exploring Tehachapi for the first time, or have been living in town for years, the Tehachapi Visitor Center always has something new for guests to discover.

The center opened around four years ago because there was a need to have a spot for people who come through the area for various reasons.

“It’s a very fulfilling, very magical, very interesting, very magical place to spend some some quality time in,” said Cheryl Graham Wilson, who sits on the Visitor Center Committee and Tehachapi Tourism Commission.

The Tehachapi Visitor Center is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Monday. The volunteers working at the center have a number of resources available to visitors and try to figure out a person’s interests before giving them recommendations.

The walls of the Visitor Center are filled with brochures and guides to help travelers organize their stay. Day planners are available to give ideas on antique shopping, wine or beer tasting, hiking, museum hopping or visiting alpacas and other exotic animals.

Pick up a walking tour map of historic downtown and check out the murals and plaques that depict various aspects of Tehachapi’s history.

Wine lovers can check out Tehachapi Wine and Cattle Company and Triassic Vineyards, Wilson said. Two additional wineries are coming soon — Dorner Family Vineyards and Stray Leaves.

For people seeking adventure, the Pacific Crest Trail or Tomo-Kahni State Historic Park, which overlooks Sand Canyon to the east and the Tehachapi valley to the west and was the site of a Kawaiisu (Nuwa) village, are places to explore. Another spot for hikers would be Tehachapi Mountain Park, which offers the Nuooah Nature Trail and various camping opportunities. The city is a great spot for bicyclists as well, with several paved paths available, as well as dirt biking, and the annual Gran Fondo in September.

Animal lovers have a variety of options available to them nearby as well, such as Adorable Alpacas, Windswept Ranch Petting Zoo and The Cat House. There are also several music venues offered in town, including Fiddlers Crossing.

Seasonal activities are big in the community. The Mountain Festival in August and the Apple Festival in October draw in large crowds year after year. The arts and craft festivals also bring many vendors and visitors to the downtown area in the spring, summer and autumn.

Food is another big component in Tehachapi, and Wilson said there are restaurants serving various types of cuisines, such as Thai and Mediterranean.

Even train enthusiasts can go to model train shows, the train museum and view the world famous Tehachapi Loop.

“We want this to be a destination city,” said Wilson. “This is such a cliche and all cities say this, but I think no matter your age category and who you have with you, I think that there truly is something for everyone and everyone would be fulfilled (in Tehahcapi).”

Guests at the center also can check out Freedom Plaza, located on the corner of Tehachapi Boulevard and Curry Street. The plaza opened in 2016 and features monuments for all five branches of the armed forces.

Though the center is open select days during the week, there is an app available that can help assist visitors during their stay. Named Visit Tehachapi, users have dining, play, hotel and motel, shopping and worship categories to choose from to plan their visit. If they know they want to visit wineries or antique shops, they can narrow their searches to those specific topics. It also includes information on various festivals and events taking place.

The Visit Tehachapi app is available for download on the App Store or Google Play.

For more information on the Tehachapi Visitor Center or the Visit Tehachapi app, visit http://www.liveuptehachapi.com/405/Visit-Tehachapi.

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