Regional Spotlight on Bakersfield, CA


Located between Fresno and Los Angeles is the city of Bakersfield in Central California. Bakersfield is known for its sunny weather, distinct Basque cuisine, and is the birthplace of the country music genre known as the Bakersfield sound. The Bakersfield area is also a great retirement destination that is home to several active adult communities with reasonably priced homes.


Retirees are drawn to the Bakersfield area because of its prime location in Central California. Bakersfield is close to major highways like Interstate 5 as well as State Highways 99 and 58, which makes it easy for retirees to get around the state. The region’s climate and sunny days are two other appealing factors that attract baby boomers to this area.  

The region has an arid climate with hot, dry summers, cool and moist winters, and mild temperatures during the fall and spring seasons. Although the area gets little rain from May to September, retirees will still see plenty of green and leafy vegetation because of the Tulare Basin.

Thanks to long summers the region is perfect for growing a variety of crops that contribute to Bakersfield’s agriculture economy. Not only is the area a hub for agriculture but it also has a successful oil production economy. Many corporate and regional businesses within the manufacturing and distribution sector also have their headquarters in the Bakersfield area because of its affordable land and access to international ports in Los Angeles and Oakland.

Outdoor Recreation

Bakersfield is often referred to as the southern gateway to outdoor recreation in the Central Valley. Outdoor enthusiasts will love having numerous attractions and recreation throughout the Bakersfield area. Just a short drive away, retirees can explore all that the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range has to offer, such as fly-fishing, hiking, camping, white water rafting, and biking.

The area also has beautiful nature preserves and outdoor recreation like the Tule Elk State Nature Reserve, the Sequoia National Forest, Kern National Wildlife Refuge, and the Kern County Parks and Recreation. Golfers will also enjoy having several public golf courses such as Buena Vista Golf Course, Kern River Golf Course, and North Kern Golf Course that offer spectacular views and affordable green fees.

Historical Attractions

The city and surrounding area are also steeped in rich history. Retirees can explore Downtown Bakersfield’s past with a walking tour that visits the Historic Union Cemetery, Veterans Memorials, and unique church buildings. Active adults have access to a great selection of diverse museums as well as recreation centers. Some of the popular attractions include the West Kern Oil Museum, Kern County Museum, Bakersfield Museum of Art, and the California Living Museum, which is also known as the Bakersfield Zoo.


The area also has a large collection of Basque restaurants that feature the cuisine of the Basque Country, a region in Southern France and Northern Spain. Foodies can explore the city’s variety of Basque restaurants and enjoy the family-style meals that are served at long trestle tables that reflect Basque culture. In addition to Basque cuisine, the city also offers an eclectic mix of food options from across the globe.

Active Adult Communities

The Bakersfield area is also filled with several established 55+ communities including Kern City, Solera at Kern Canyon, and Four Seasons at Bakersfield. Active adult communities in this area feature affordable homes starting in the low $100s as well as an impressive lineup of resort-style amenities. Kern City, which is a 1,024-home active adult community, features an active clubhouse with indoor and outdoor recreational facilities as well as a rich social atmosphere.

Four Seasons at Bakersfield was developed between 2006 and 2017 by K. Hovnanian and offers 490 single-family homes, a 14,000 square-foot clubhouse, and more than a dozen social clubs and special interest groups. With great weather and plenty of outdoor recreation and attractions, it’s easy to see why retirees flock to the Bakersfield area as their retirement destination.

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