6 Communities in Bakersfield

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Overview

Located in Central California, Bakersfield is a city known for its Downtown Arts District, high-end shopping, and local museums. Its pleasant year-round temperatures allow active adults to hike, fish, swim, and camp at the surrounding parks and greenspaces. In addition, the city's affordable housing makes it a popular retirement destination.

Climate & Geography

Bakersfield has a hot desert climate with hot summer and mild to cool winters. There is very little precipitation, averaging only 6 inches throughout the year. Summer temperatures generally reach the 90s while winters can fall into the 40s.

Bakersfield lies in the San Joaquin Valley with the Sequoia National Forest to the northeast and the Los Padres National Forest to the southwest. 

Recreation, Culture, & Entertainment

There is a wide variety of outdoor recreation in Bakersfield. Residents enjoy the amphitheater and lake at The Park at River Walk, swimming at Hart Park, and walking through Central Park at Mill Creek.

One of Bakersfield's biggest attractions is its Downtown Arts District, which features local cafes, shops, and art galleries. Residents also enjoy the California Area Living Museum, with both indoor and outdoor exhibits, and The Gaslight Theatre and Music Hall for performances. High-end boutiques, designer fashions, and brand-name stores can be found at Valley Plaza Mall, The Marketplace, and The Shops at River Walk.

Cost of Living & Taxes

Bakersfield's cost of living matches the national average and is well below the state average. Compared to California, housing and transportation costs are much lower.

California does not tax Social Security benefits, but all other forms of retirement income are fully taxed. Property taxes in the state are below average, and there is a homeowners' exemption available. Sales taxes, on the other hand, are higher than average.

Health Care

California ranks in the top 14 states on Gallup's Well-Being Index.

There are three hospitals in Bakersfield that are rated high performing by U.S. News. These include Adventist Health Bakersfield, Bakersfield Heart Hospital, and Bakersfield Memorial Hospital. 

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