Firstly, it’s important to note that Bakersfield is not part of Los Angeles; it’s a separate city located about 110 miles north of LA. Here are some facts about Bakersfield:
- Oil and Agriculture: Bakersfield is known for being a significant hub for both agriculture and oil production. Kern County is often referred to as the “Oil Capital of California.”
- Country Music: Bakersfield has a rich history in country music and is famous for the “Bakersfield Sound,” a genre popularized by artists like Buck Owens and Merle Haggard.
- Cultural Festivals: The city hosts a variety of cultural festivals year-round, including events celebrating Native American, Basque, and Hispanic cultures.
- Outdoor Activities: Bakersfield is near the Sierra Nevada mountains and has several parks, making it a location where outdoor activities like hiking and camping are readily accessible.
- Educational Institutions: The city is home to California State University, Bakersfield (CSUB) and Bakersfield College.
- Hot Climate: Bakersfield has a hot desert climate, with very hot, dry summers and mild winters.
- Growing Population: As of my last update in 2021, the population was around 390,000, making it one of the more populous cities in California.
- Kern River: The river runs through the Sierra Nevada and provides a natural attraction with opportunities for fishing, white-water rafting, and hiking.
- Rabobank Arena: This is a significant venue in Bakersfield for concerts, sporting events, and other entertainment.
- Cost of Living: The cost of living in Bakersfield is generally lower compared to other California cities like Los Angeles or San Francisco.
Helpful Web Links for Visiting Bakersfield
- City of Bakersfield Official Website: For general information on services, events, and local ordinances.
- TripAdvisor and Yelp: For reviews of local restaurants, attractions, and accommodations.
- Kern Transit: For information on public transportation within Kern County, which includes Bakersfield.
- Local News Outlets: Like The Bakersfield Californian for news, events, and local happenings.
- Airbnb and Hotel Websites: To check out lodging options in the Bakersfield area.
What You Should Know About Bakersfield
- Heat: The climate can get extremely hot, especially in the summer. Make sure to stay hydrated and use sunscreen.
- Transport: Public transport is available but not as extensive as larger cities, so a car is usually the best way to get around.
- Safety: Like any city, some areas are safer than others. Always be aware of your surroundings, especially at night.
- Local Cuisine: Bakersfield is known for its diverse food options, including Mexican food and Basque cuisine, which reflect its cultural history.
- Nearby Attractions: While Bakersfield itself may not be a major tourist destination, it’s a good base for exploring nearby natural wonders like the Sierra Nevada mountains.