The Best Thing About Bakersfield?
Cali on a Budget
It’s very cheap and can be a base of operations where you can establish some home equity. It’s the affordable California. Would you believe that 80,000 people commute to Los Angeles?
Here's a happy transplanter on the pluses of Bakersfield: I am from the mid west Michigan and Ohio and I have lived in California since 1978. I lived in the Orange County area until 17 years ago when I moved to Bakersfield. Personally I love it. No traffic and things are much less expensive especially the rent and home prices. It is a pleasure to know when someone says something is 10 miles away it is only going to take 10 minutes. In LA and any city south of the Grapevine and it could take you 30 minutes not to mention how much longer a 30 mile drive with take.The east side of Bakersfield is full of friendly people and all of your outdoor recreation. rivers, lakes, parks etc. Much less stressful life here in Bakersfield.
The Worst Thing About Bakersfield?
The air quality. It’s off the charts horrible and it is known to smell bad. It’s been called The Worst Place to Breathe in the US. Asthmatics, don’t even think about it. And the air is not only horrible to breathe but the smog is a big grey cloud that hangs in the valley that is Kern County.
Here are a few cons from a local about Bakersfield:
- Limited nightlife/entertainment
- Air Quality
- Crime/Homeless increasing but that’s everywhere in Cali
Lifestyle of Bakersfield
Bakersfield is central AG community so, the produce is certainly fresh! Even though it is a city, it feels smaller than it is because the rural quality is pervasive. The biggest employers are oil companies, agriculture and prisons. People tend to be religious and conservative, they like guns, all cannabis is banned and it’s very hot with poor air quality/smog. Lots of dollar stores and thrift stores.
There are nice residential neighborhoods (West Bakersfield) and a downtown revitalization effort but this is strip mall, housing development, Walmart and Target country. It’s the kind of town where the nightlife consists predominantly of bars and you’re likely to run into the same characters with the same habits. It’s very homogeneous. Even between socioeconomic classes -- there are some very wealthy people and some very poor people, yet somehow, the mentality is pretty consistent. Entertainment is largely centered around drinking.
It is road trip distance to big cities and beaches but short of a couple hours drive, it’s pretty stranded.
Check out the annual calendar of events to see what's happening in Bakersfield: https://www.visitbakersfield.com/events/
Why You Should Move Here Now?
The Almighty Dollar
You want to save up some money while being geographically located inside the state of California.
In olden times the University of California and Calstate college systems were so good and so inexpensive families would move to the state just to get their kids into that system as residents. The costs have moved up but the UC's in particular are still excellent for low costs so we imagine families still want to be in California to put their kids through Cal, UCLA, Davis, Santa Barbara etc. If so then perhaps a WFH play in Bakersfield on that educational path still makes sense.