Bakersfield, California is a mid-size city in southern California. About a two hour drive north of Los Angeles, Bakersfield is the county seat of Kern County, which is the highest oil-producing county in the United States. Bakersfield's status as a hub of petroleum extraction has earned it the nickname the "Oil Capitol of California". Along with oil, Bakersfield's economy is strongly tied to agriculture: Kern County is one of the most agriculturally productive areas in the world. The area is also mineral rich, and produces a significant amount of California's renewable energy, primarily through solar and wind power. Bakersfield is also a growing center of manufacturing, with many companies relocating to the city because of its inexpensive land and proximity to Los Angeles.
If you are worried about the high cost of living in California, fret not: Bakersfield is considerably less expensive than other parts of the state and is the largest city with the lowest sales tax in California. Renting in Bakersfield is both significantly less expensive than the rest of California, and slightly less expensive compared to the United States in general. The cost of living in all areas -- food, transportation, housing, etc -- is lower than both the California and United States average. With the low cost of living, good job prospects and number of industries that call Bakersfield home, the city has attracted a number of young professionals and families in recent years.
Bakersfield also boasts an ice hockey team, excellent civic center and well-maintained bike paths. Public transportation is reliable but limited. As much of the surrounding areas are more rural, there is not extensive bus service. One of the biggest appeals of living in Bakersfield is its proximity to the best of what California has to offer: day trips can be made to Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Oakland, Pismo Beach, and Santa Monica State Beach, among other exciting locations, making a car an essential when living in Bakersfield.
Bakersfield can be stiflingly hot in the summer, but has fairly mild weather the rest of the year. If you are moving from an area that experiences all four seasons, be prepared for a dramatic change. In Bakersfield you can expect warm weather all year round with temperature spikes in the summer months.
Bakersfield is surrounded by rural land and its neighborhoods do not have the kind of notoriety that those of larger cities do. AreaVibes is an excellent resource to help you find the best places to live in Bakersfiled, CA.