Originally a small old west town, Bakersfield is now a large central Californian city - but it still has plenty of old time charm. The city center is hip and modern, but go little ways and you’ll find horses, cows, cacti and even rattlesnakes. With its easy access to both urban life and California nature - Bakersfield really is “Life As it Should Be”.
Located in the pleasant San Joaquin Valley - Bakersfield is an agricultural powerhouse - but it’s not just a farm town. Bakersfield accounts for 10% percent of America’s domestic oil production, making it the most productive county in the country. Over the past 30 years, Bakersfield’s population has tripled. Population growth has slowed down a bit in recent years but business growth remains strong. In October 2013, a study found Bakersfield to be the number two city for real estate investment, and it ranked 6 on CNN’s “10 Best Cities to Buy a Rental Property” list. Bakersfield has the lowest sales tax in California - 7.5%, in fact Bakersfield is one of the lowest cost of living cities in California, and there are lots of affordable houses and apartments for rent.
Bakersfield is famous for its country music. The famous “Bakersfield Sound” was developed by Merle Haggard and Buck Owens in the 1950s and is characterized by its unproduced, earthy sound. There’s more to Bakersfield music than just country - the popular metal acts Korn and Adema also hail from here. Music fans should look for apartments for rent downtown - near the Fox Theatre. Great acts like the Goo Goo Dolls and Sturgill Simpson perform there at the Fox regularly.
The top employers in Bakersfield are in the Agriculture and Oil sectors - Giumarra Companies, Grimmway Farms, Bolthouse Farms and Chevron all operate here. Other top Bakersfield employers include The County of Kern, Mercy Hospitals of Bakersfield, and State Farm Insurance. Many firms choose Bakersfield for its low-cost land and easy access to highways and to the port of Los Angeles. Professionals looking for apartments for rent enjoy Bakersfield’s easy access to infrastructure.
The San Joaquin Valley is scorching in the summer and warm most of the year. The winters are mild and short. While it can be hot - the upshot is lots and lots of sunshine - you’ll always have a reason to swim in one of the many nearby swimming holes or sports facilities. Bakersfield’s weather also contributes to its amazing fertility. If you can picture yourself eating home-grown California tomatoes for dinner every night - then Bakersfield might just be the place for you.
There’s a lot of dining to choose from in Bakersfield, but for something different you should try one of Bakersfield’s Basque restaurants. Wool Growers is the most popular spot, with many delicious dishes from northern Spain and southern France. Other faves include the Pyrenees Cafe and Benji’s French Basque Restaurant. For more standard, but no less delicious fare, head over to Cope’s Knotty Pine Cafe for a burger and thick cut potato fries. If you feel like something more upscale, sit down at the Valentien Restaurant and Wine Bar - its menu is locally sourced from Bakersfield’s fine farms and gardens. With so many cheap long-term apartments for rent in Bakersfield - you’ll have plenty of money for going out to eat.
There’s a lot to see and do in Bakersfield. The Kern County Museum offers a window into Bakersfield’s past and some contemporary exhibits too. The “Black Gold” exhibit gives an inside look into the oil producing process. For the musically inclined, there’s a “Bakersfield Sound” display - this unique style of Bakersfield country music was made popular by Merle Haggard and Buck Owens. Bakersfield hosts events year round. Tap into your cowboy spirit at one of the horse shows - you can even compete if you’d like! Have some great gyros at the annual Greek festival, or even test your strength in the California Highland Games. For something truly unique, check out the Basque festival for traditional dishes (with exotic names like txakoli!), dancing, and games.
Bakersfield landmarks include the Rabobank Arena (home of the Bakersfield Condors hockey team), Fox Theatre (great live music), Famoso Raceway - totally awesome drag racing here, the Kern County Museum, the Buena Vista Museum of Natural History (super cool fossils), and don’t forget Buck Owen’s Crystal Palace - come here for great shows and tons of music history.
No night out in Bakersfield is complete without a visit to Trouts - an unfussy honky-tonk joint where you can drink, dance, and karaoke your troubles away. Afterward, head over to the Casablanca for some of the most turned up parties in Bakersfield. For a more pub style evening, The Mint offers beer, cocktails, patio seating, and a tasty green drink of the same name. Bakersfield traffic isn’t bad, so it’s easy to hit everywhere in one night. There are plenty of apartments for rent in walking distance of all the best spots.
Bakersfield is a car-friendly city. Traffic is quite rare and it’s easy to get from one end of the city to the other very quickly. It is possible to navigate the city without a car, but make sure to rent an apartment near one of the bus routes. Golden Empire Transits run 18 bus routes in Bakersfield, and Kern Transit connects Bakersfield to outlying Kern County communities - there are lots of great apartments for rent here too.
Finding Apartments for Rent in Bakersfield
California can be quite expensive, but Bakersfield doesn’t have that problem - In fact, Bakersfield is hands down the most affordable place to live in California. Search thousands of cheap Bakersfield apartments for rent with Rentberry - starting from $500 per month. There are many different kinds of listings in Bakersfield to choose from: condos, student apartments, suburban dwellings, even some luxury apartments. Filter by amenities to find your perfect apartment - select a balcony, fitness center, pool - whatever you need to feel like you’re really home. Bakersfield’s more upscale rental apartments can usually be found in the Fruitvale neighborhood.
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Downtown is the heart of Bakersfield. Rabobank Arena and the Fox Theater are located here, in addition to many great restaurants. For a blast from the past, check out Woolworth Diner - located in an antique store, this family diner serves great old time root beer. Once you’ve had your refreshing root beer, you’ll have plenty of energy for shopping at the Valley Plaza Mall, and of course checking out all the great Art-Deco style Bakersfield apartments and condos for rent nearby.
Nestled in the Bakersfield suburbs, you can find single family houses and apartments for rent in Fruitvale. Fruitvale is rich in Bakersfield musical history - Buck Owen’s Crystal Palace is located here. This country music venue and the museum was founded by Buck Owens himself, and his famous Pontiac Buckmobile remains there to this day.
City in The Hills
Set on fertile Bakersfield farmlands, City in The Hills has lots of cool old ranch houses and apartments for rent, hills to climb, and lush pastures to explore. Go northeast a little ways and you’ll find the gigantic Kern County Park - there are endless hours of hiking, fishing, and camping to be had here. Closer to town, there are blocks of student condos and apartments for rent. Locals like to go to Amestoy’s On The Hill - a no frills local joint- to knock back a few beers.
The Oaks (River Oaks, Seven Oaks, Southern Oaks) sprawl from Southwest Bakersfield up to the Kern River. Many families choose this area to settle long-term. The Oaks have easy access to downtown Bakersfield and offer many great nature spots and biking trails. Not far from California State University Bakersfield, The Oaks are a popular spot for student to find apartments for rent. After a hard day’s studying you can check out the great dive bars here - B Ryder’s Sports Bar is popular. The Lengthwise Brewing Company offers local craft brews.
Laidback and family-friendly, Greenfield is Bakersfield at its most relaxed and suburban. It’s a great place for families to rent long-term. It’s also good for professionals who want to find apartments for rent a little further from downtown. Bakersfield Sports Village Soccer Complex offers some excellent soccer fields - great for kids to get exercise.