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Things You Should Know Before Moving to Bakersfield, CA

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Bring it on home to Bakersfield is what residents who live in the California community do. With more than 350,000 locals residing in the region, the 143-mile wide city is a complex community of commerce, education and entertainment.

Known as California's Country Music Capital and Nashville West, residents enjoy a taste of the Midwest culture in California, creating a deep sense of camaraderie in the district.

Located in Kern County and less than two hours from Los Angeles, Bakersfield gives that hometown feel, but in the same breath offers the magic of Hollywood only a hundred miles away.

If you are curious about the California community, browse through this guide to see why so many people love to call the location home.

Bakersfield Climate

With up to 191-days of cloudless calendar days throughout the year, Bakersfield is noted for being one of the clearest communities nationwide. Bakersfield boasts long hot summers and brief mild winters, offering residents no reason to see snow.

The district only experiences snowfall once every 20- to 30-years, with the last whiteout in 1999. However, Tule fog in the region causes traffic delays since there is slight visibility in the vicinity due to the heavy haze. With an average high of 99-degrees in July and temperatures jumping down to 38-degrees in January, residents enjoy comfortable and long-lasting spring and fall seasons.

Bakersfield Neighborhoods

Tripling its size in the last thirty years, Bakersfield neighborhoods have greatly grown with constant development in the district. From the sections of Stockdale to La Cresta-Altavista, several subdivisions create the large community. Between the Northeast College Heights residential region to the Southwest Seven Oaks financial district, citizens are spread all over Bakersfield, bringing life throughout the entire 661 area code. The heart of the city, downtown Bakersfield, is divided into several districts including the Westchester and Mill Creek communities. The city center is made up of restaurants, galleries, museums, sports complexes and much more that attracts thousands of residents downtown all year.

Registering Your Car

You have 10 days to retain a new license in Bakersfield, according to the California Division of Motor Vehicles. You are considered a California resident if you register to vote, pay school tuition or file property taxes in the state. New residents must provide proof of name, address, birth date, social security and a necessary application to get a license with a Bakersfield address.

After passing a vision test and paying a $39 fee, new residents become officially licensed. It is also easy to register your car and receive California license plates. With the necessary paperwork and proof of insurance, you can register your car for $46 dollars. After your car is registered, you will receive new California license tags.

Bakersfield Schools

The Bakersfield City School District is governed by Superintendent Dr. Rob Arias, who oversees the system's 33 elementary, 8 middle and high schools and 1 gifted and talented site. Home to Kern High School District, California's largest 9-12 school system, Bakersfield brings the administration for the many high schools together under one roof. From alternative, special and technical education, students are skilled in all areas of expertise in the 9-12 district.

Bakersfield brings students private education as well, with religious and specialized institutions in the area. On a higher level of education, California State University Bakersfield offers four-year bachelor's degrees in more than 90 majors, as well as 30 types of master's degrees. Bakersfield College, a two-year public community campus, offers an array of associate's degrees in everything from architecture to welding, with dozens of different certificates in-between.

Bakersfield Employment

Even with a 9.5% unemployment rate, the region still brings jobs to area residents with top employers Grimmway and Bolthouse Farms, Bakersfield Memorial Hospital, Kern Medical Center and State Farm Insurance to name a few. Community classifieds offer career choices for new residents to explore when they arrive in the area.

Bakersfield businesses make up a tight knit commerce community where young and old company owners work close together for the area's greater good. The Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce has both a vision and mission statement. While the chamber's vision is to have a respected say for the diverse commerce in the community, the mission statement promises to provide guidance for a growing business community.

Living Costs in the City

With a 25.5% percent cost of living lower than the state average and a 2.3% lower than the national average, CNN Money reports a median household income of $58,799 in Bakersfield. Though the typical home is priced at $145,000, area apartments can run as low as $450 or as high as $1,400 for a one-bedroom depending on the landscape and luxury of the residence. Coupled with the 9.5% unemployment rate, Bakersfield could be a complicated place to live if you find yourself without a job and in need of a large living area.

Bakersfield Moving Resources

Moving and storage companies are ready and willing to help you with your move to Bakersfield, whether you’re moving from out of state or from another county in California. Make sure you get estimates from multiple moving services before you commit to hiring any (at least three estimates). Check back to our guides for tips on how to choose your moving service wisely with important questions to ask, differentiating between types of estimates, and mistakes to avoid. Visit the following pages at Movers.com to get quotes for the following services:

Bakersfield Transportation

Three main freeways run within the Bakersfield borders, with state Routes 99, 58 and 178 as the most traveled. Mass transportation is provided by Golden Empire Transit. With 16 local, express and rapid routes in the region, the transit agency transports residents all around town. Union Pacific and BNSF Railroads serve Bakersfield, and the Amtrak station is located downtown. Meadows Field Airport flies in and out of Bakersfield, making it easy to land locally.

Culture & Contemporary Life

From the Kern County Fair to the notable nationwide Fox Theater, residents are never left without something to do in Bakersfield. Area sporting events bring citizens together, with residents rallying at either a Condors hockey or Jam basketball competition. The Rabobank Arena, Theater and Convention Center holds many music tours that come through town, giving residents a chance to see their favorite bands.

Museums and movie theaters also make Bakersfield a fun place to relax and have fun. But most of all, home to the largest group of Basque restaurants in the nation, Bakersfield offers many amazing dining experiences in the area. And if residents want a late night cocktail, local clubs provide intimate and private settings to get to know one another.

Bakersfield Relocation Tips

  • Visit Bakersfield, CA and see how much there is to do within the city borders. If you like your stay, you may want to consider calling the community home.


  • If you are looking to relocate your business to Bakersfield, research the local commerce and see if the trade you want to bring to town is likely to flourish or flounder.


  • Contact the Bakersfield Police Department and find out about the area crime writings and neighborhood watch programs available.

Staff Writer  Posted by Staff Writer on April 23, 2013

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