Bakersfield lies at the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley. It is one of the valleys largest towns and key agricultural centers. The Kern River oil field which was developed in 1899 remains one of the biggest oil producers in the nation, and has brought prosperity to this region. Population: As of 2011, Bakersfield's population is 338,689.
Climate: One of the sunniest cities in the U.S. (just behind Yuma, Arizona and Redding, California), Bakersfield has long, hot, dry summers, and brief, cool, wet winters. Bakersfield gets a mere 6 inches of rain per year, weather guaranteed not to interfere with your golf game.
Cost of living: Reasonable for retirement living, the cost of living in Bakersfield is 2% less than the national average.
Housing costs: Likewise, housing is slightly less than the national average. The median retirement home in Bakersfield will cost around $197,900.
Colleges and Universities: The OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) at CSU Bakersfields Extended University is an organization for people aged 50 and better who want to participate in a community of fellow learners. Retirees will have the opportunity to take classes, teach classes, plan and coordinate activities, organize volunteer projects, and volunteer for any other tasks they might find rewarding through this program.
Transportation:Meadows Field, also known as Kern County Airport, serves the Greater Bakersfield metropolitan area, and is one of two international airports in the San Joaquin Valley. The Airport Bus of Bakersfield runs a shuttle seven times daily between Bakersfield and LAX. Golden Empire Transit (GET) is the local bus system.
Travel and tourism: Downtown Bakersfield has an upbeat mix of restored buildings, county offices, restaurants and antique shops, such as the Five and Dime inside an original Woolworths building. The Fox Theater showcases a variety of performances, and Buck Owens multi-million-dollar Crystal Palace is a raging success.
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