Bakersfield, California

Oil, Farming & Drinking



Sunny Days: 272
46100 Affordability
80100 Schools
58100 Diversity
67100 Safety

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

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:

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.

Neighborhoods in Bakersfield

View All


Young Professionals

Bakersfield, like much of the central valley, struggles to keep young workers in the city. Growing housing options downtown are helping but more will be needed to pull people away from the coast or the sunbelt cities that have exploding Gen Z and Millennial populations who appreciate the lower costs. Downtown is pretty much the only game in town for the traditional target characteristics of apartments and condos within a walk of a bar and restaurant scene and so if you’re looking at Bakersfield then start here.


Bakersfield has no LGBTQ+ center, where the community is concentrated. Relatively low housing costs have spread people throughout the city . While there is a growing population and much local civic support you won’t find it in a specific neighborhood.

Old Stockdale


Olde Stockdale is perhaps the most affluent neighborhood in Bakersfield. Large homes with huge lawns, parks and a beautiful Country Club with all the golf, tennis, fitness and social activities this is where a lot of families with means start their search.

Laurelglen is a great neighborhood to start your search if you’ve got younger children and are looking for a more affordable option than Old Stockdale. It has great smaller homes and apartment complexes, plenty of shopping and restaurants, parks and some great elementary schools for the kiddos.

  • Olde Stockdale
  • Laurelglen
  • Seven Oaks at Grand Island
  • Tevis Ranch