Moving to Bakersfield Ultimate Guide

Moving To & Living In Bakersfield, CA – (2019) Ultimate Guide

Moving to a new city always comes with a mix of anticipation and trepidation. It’s an exciting adventure to explore somewhere completely new, but there are still a few important things you’ll want to know before you get there. Things like: How much will it cost to live here? Where will my kids go to school? Where will I work? To help you move confidently, we’ve put together this complete guide to living in Bakersfield. We cover it all, from the best neighborhoods, to top industries and even fun things to do. So read on and prepare to get even more excited about your new home.

It’s the Oil Capital of the World

Kern County, where Bakersfield is located, is the top oil-producing area in the entire world. Overall, the area produces 10% of the US oil supply, and the yearly oil yield from Bakersfield is valued at about $3 Billion.

Bakersfield: A City of Parks

There are 59 total parks in Bakersfield, covering hundreds of acres throughout the city. Plus, Bakersfield is just minutes away from the Sequoia National Park, making it a top destination for hikers, bikers and other outdoor enthusiasts.

The Bakersfield Sound

Like Detroit’s MoTown, Bakersfield is home to a special musical genre. A subset of Country Music, the Bakersfield Sound has been best captured by artists including Korn, Michael Lockwood, and Bakersfield native Buck Owens.

Bakersfield Demographics

There are currently about 367,555 people living in Bakersfield, making it the 9th largest city in California, and the 52nd largest city in the United States. The median household income in the area is around $58,000 per year. The municipality is young, with a median age of just 30.4, owing in part to the fact that 54% of the population is made up of families with kids under 18. As a side note, Bakersfield is rated the #3 relocation spot for millenials!

Despite being a SoCal City, Bakersfield has a uniquely Southern feel to it. Wondering why? Well, during the oil rush at the turn of the 20th century, there was a mass migration of Texans to Bakersfield as it became apparent that the city was a prime spot for finding “black gold.” This is also why one of Bakersfield’s favorite delicacies is Pickled Tongue. Don’t knock it till you try it!.

Job Opportunities in Bakersfield

Oil rig in Bakersfield, CA at sunset

Bakersfield is best known for its opportunities in Agriculture and Energy. In addition to (and sometimes as part of!) petroleum companies, natural gas and renewable energy innovation have become a major focus in the area. There are more than a dozen solar energy companies with offices in Bakersfield, including Elon Musk’s brainchild, Tesla.

Farming is just as important to people living in Bakersfield as energy. In fact, the two largest carrot-producing farms in the entire world are located in this West Coast city. Grimmway Farms and Bolthouse Farms are also two of the top employers in Bakersfield, each employing more than 2,000 local workers. Other major employers in the area include the Bakersfield Memorial Hospital, State Farm Insurance and the California State University at Bakersfield.

What’s the Weather Like in Bakersfield?

If you hate the snow and love the heat, moving to Bakersfield may be the perfect choice for you. Bakersfield enjoys a stunning 272 sunny days per year. The average temperature here almost always stays above 45 degrees, though the heat can crank up to the mid-90s at the height of Summer. It’s no wonder that utility payments in Bakersfield are higher than the national average; no matter how much you enjoy a hot day, cooling off with some A/C will definitely be called for here.

How Much Does it Cost to Live in Bakersfield?

Living in Bakersfield costs slightly more than the national average, but significantly less than living in other areas of California. The median home value here is just $214,600, which is 48% lower than the state median. Renting in Bakersfield is also reasonable, with an average monthly price of around $1,000. Despite affordable prices, 43% of Bakersfield residents choose to rent instead of owning their homes.

Other categories regarding the cost of living in Bakersfield follow a similar pattern. Goods and Services, Healthcare and Groceries all cost a bit more than other parts of the country but still less than other West Coast cities. One cost to keep in mind when moving to any new city is transportation. Most residents in this city own 2 cars and the average commute time to work is 21 minutes, so it’s important to consider car repairs and fuel costs when budgeting for your life in Bakersfield.

What are the Best Neighborhoods in Bakersfield?

If you’re moving to Bakersfield for the first time, you might be wondering about the many neighborhoods available in the city. Finding the right community to fit your style is just as important as finding the right job, school or house. To help you get started in your neighborhood search, here are a few of our favorites neighborhoods in Bakersfield:

  • Stockdale Estates: A planned community next to the Stockdale Country Club, homes here sell for around $375,000, attracting affluent families and professionals.
  • Southern Oaks: This planned community includes 175 single-family homes, and offers easy access to local amenities and jobs. Students living in Southern Oaks will attend the highly rated Panama-Buena Vista Union school district, making this community a top choice for families.
  • Tuscany: A larger neighborhood in Bakersfield, this community offers more than 300 single family homes, and offers a suburban atmosphere despite being just minutes away from downtown.

Schools in Bakersfield

Families moving to Bakersfield shouldn’t have any worries about their children’s education. In addition to dozens of top-rated public institutions, there are 155 private schools in Bakersfield for parents to choose from, making this city a perfect choice for students of any age. Centennial High School, Stockdale High School, and Liberty High School are some of the best public high schools in Bakersfield, each receiving an 8/10 rating from Greatschools.org.

The Best Things to do in Bakersfield

Young child petting a goat at the Zoo

California Living Museum Zoo

 

Just because Bakersfield isn’t on the coast, doesn’t mean there’s any lack of fun activities in this California city! One of the best things to do with kids in Bakersfield is to visit the California Living Museum Zoo (AKA the CALM Zoo). The CALM Zoo has a unique focus on animals native to California, like the Black Bear, the bobcat, and of course, the All-American Bald Eagle. Daily feedings and animal encounters teach children about the world around them, and kids can even feed animals at the Children’s Park area of the Zoo.

Zoo Information:

  • Hours: 9AM-4PM Daily
  • Admission: Adults $9; Senior $7, Child $5, Children under 3 Free
  • Address: 10500 Alfred Harrell Hwy, Bakersfield, CA 93306
  • Phone Number: (661) 872-2256

The Park at River Walk

During Bakersfield’s many sunny days, a fantastic way to get outside and enjoy the weather is to take a walk in the Park at River Walk. Covering 32 acres, the park offers waterfront walking trails along the Kern River. After your stroll, be sure to check out The Shops at Riverwalk for plenty of shopping opportunities! Want to stop by? Click here to see a map of the park.

McMurtey Aquatic Center

Looking for something to do when it gets hot out? Families in Bakersfield love visiting the McMurtey Aquatic Center to cool off! In addition to multiple pools and diving boards, the Aquatic Center has two enormous slides for kids to enjoy. You can also sign up your little one (or yourself!) for swim lessons at the Center every summer.

Where to Eat in Bakersfield

Bakersfield is a haven for foodies, with cuisine from all over the world, and new restaurants opening all the time! Here are two of our favorite local spots:

24th Street Cafe

Since 1987, the 24th Street Cafe has been serving everything from breakfast to burgers to people living in Bakersfield. The Cafe is known not only for its amazing food but also it’s reasonable prices and friendly staff!

Nuestro Mexico Restaurant

Craving classic Mexican cuisine? Head over to Nuestro for delicious dishes like Chilaquiles, Pozole, Carne Asada and more! Wash it all down with Nuestro’s homemade margaritas for the perfect night out.

Moving to Bakersfield, CA

So, is moving to Bakersfield the right choice for you? If your answer is YES, let Smooth Move USA help make the transition truly worry-free with our premier moving services. We can help with any move, across any distance, and offer options to fit your move into your budget. Call us today to get started!