Bakersfield is the county seat of Kern County, California, in the United States. The city is one of the fastest growing of the larger cities of the United States. The county has a large agricultural base and is a significant producer of oil, natural gas, hydro-electric power, wind-turbine power, and geothermal power. Top producing area crops include cotton, carrots, table grapes, almonds, pistachios, citrus, wheat, garlic, and potatoes. Oil is still important to the local economy, but even as the area's oil boom begins to dwindle, Bakersfield continues to grow, known for its friendliness toward economic expansion, with a highly diversified business community.
The city of Bakersfield covers approximately 100 sq. miles, (metro area is 224 sq. miles) and is 492 ft. above sea level. Bakersfield was designated an All America City in 1990 by the National Civic League. The name of the city “Bakersfield” was chosen after one of its early settlers named Colonel Thomas Baker. The valley was plentiful with lakes and rivers. Bakersfield also has its own Minor League Baseball (MiLB) team, the Bakersfield Blaze.
Bakersfield has a warm Southern California climate. January is the coolest month of the year with average daily temperatures of 57 degrees Fahrenheit. July is the hottest month of the year with an average daily temperature of 99 degrees Fahrenheit. Bakersfield attraction offers something for everyone, making it an ideal destination for families. Bakersfield is home to the largest carrot producing operations in the world, Grimmway Farms and Bolt house Farms.
Bakersfield and the surrounding areas provide the opportunity for a wealth of outdoor activities, including: auto racing, fishing, biking, camping, golf, hiking and backpacking, jet skiing, kayaking, mountain biking, tennis, white water rafting, and more. Bakersfield’s economy is extremely stable, based on a secure, and state-of-the-art, agricultural industry and rich oil and gas production. Located in downtown Bakersfield, the Rabobank Arena, Theater and Convention Center is a premiere venue for sporting events, theater productions and concerts.
Bakersfield, California is a unique area that remains one of the most affordable places to live in California. As a growing community, Bakersfield is experiencing a large amount of new homes and commercial space being built. Apartments may be located in large complexes, with amenities such as swimming pools, spas and tennis courts. Apartment buildings can also be small units of two or four apartments.
Bakersfield has a large Basque population in and around the city, and many of Bakersfield's oldest and most historic restaurants are Basque. These include Woolgrowers, Maitia's, Noriega's, Pyrenees, Sandrini's (located in a 110 year-old basement), Benji's, Narducci's, and Italian Restaurant Luigi's.
Bakersfield is a politically conservative city with complicated racial and socio-economic equity issues. Currently Bakersfield is governed by a City Council and Manager system with a mayor acting as the presiding officer. Bakersfield is the second largest city in the United States (after Fresno) that is not directly linked to an Interstate highway.
Bakersfield location along the Kern River makes it a prime destination for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers. Off-road recreation is one of the most popular pastimes of residents and numerous vehicular recreation areas are available within a short distance from the city. Offering a wide range of visual arts experiences for residents and visitors alike, the Bakersfield Museum of Art features rotating and permanent art exhibits by regional, national and international artists. Bakersfield is known for its pervasive musical influence, so it is no surprise that the city offers a wide range of entertainment opportunities for visitors.
Bakersfield has 12 school districts with 56 elementary schools (K-6), 17 junior high schools (7-8) and 13 high schools. Bakersfield and the surrounding communities are home to many naturalized species of animals. The community also has a continuation high school, a community college (the first in the U.S.), a state university, a college of law, and many vocational and adult schools. California State University, Bakersfield is a four-year college that has an accredited school of business as well as being noted for its nursing program.