Bakersfield, CA Gay City Guide – A Beautiful Place to Call Home

Situated between Fresno and Los Angeles, Bakersfield is the ninth-largest city in California. For much of its history, Bakersfield has been known as a center for oil production and agriculture – but it is also so much more. Although it’s not the biggest city in California, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t offer plenty to see, do, and enjoy. Bakersfield is a beautiful, welcoming, vibrant city with a growing and thriving LGBTQ community that would truly be a wonderful place to call home.

A Bit of Bakersfield History

Bakersfield is the county seat of Kern County, California. Located in the San Joaquin Valley, it was initially founded along the Los Angeles and Stockton Road in 1869 by Thomas Baker, who sought to reclaim swamplands along the nearby Kern River. For much of its early years, Bakersfield was an agricultural trade center for the mines of the Sierra Nevada mountains in the Owens Valley. Eventually, in the late 1800s, the Southern Pacific Railroad reached Bakersfield and further encouraged its growth. Today, Bakersfield remains an important center of agriculture – both for crops and livestock. As time went by, Bakersfield also developed a thriving tourist scene, and today, it is home to many popular attractions. It is also a city known for its significant contributions to country music, including being the home of many famous artists like Merle Haggard and Buck Owens. Bakersfield is also home to two important aerospace facilities and several excellent educational institutions. Last, but certainly not least, Bakersfield is a generally a very friendly and welcoming community, where all can find their place and feel at home.

Bakersfield – A Few Fun Facts

  • Bakersfield is the birthplace of the “Bakersfield Sound,” which is a distinct genre of country music made popular by legends like Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, Billy Mize, and others.
  • With over 170 miles of bike lanes, trails, and paths, Bakersfield is a great place to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors.
  • Bakersfield is home to the nation’s two largest carrot growers.

Read more fun facts about Bakersfield here.

The LGBTQ Community in Bakersfield

The LGBTQ Community in Bakersfield is steadily growing and thriving. Fortunately, that growth is encouraged and supported by a variety of community centers and resources, including:

The Bakersfield Center for Sexuality and Gender Diversity

?The Center exists to provide a safe, supportive space and services to the LGBTQ community in Bakersfield, and to serve as a bridge between the LGBTQ community and the greater Bakersfield area. The Center accomplishes this mission through offering resources, community building activities, support groups, networking opportunities, and more.

PFLAG Bakersfield

PFLAG Bakersfield is Bakersfield’s local chapter of PFLAG, which is the most extensive grassroots organization of its kind in the United States. For many years, PFLAG has played an essential role in providing support, education, advocacy, networking opportunities, and resources to LGBTQ communities across the country.

What’s the Weather Like in Bakersfield?

What is the weather like in Bakersfield? If you enjoy the sunshine and fairly mild temperatures year-round, Bakersfield might be a perfect place for you. Bakersfield receives very little rain each year – only 7 inches per year on average, which is significantly lower than the United States average of 38. It also receives plenty of sunshine – an average of 272 days a year in fact. Summers can get quite warm with highs reaching around 97° in July, but winters are mild and short with low temperatures rarely reaching below freezing. Spring and fall are very pleasant and mild and a wonderful time to enjoy the outdoors.

Bakersfield’s Best Events

Bakersfield Pride

Bakersfield Pride is a group that is the center of LGBTQ social and political organizing in Bakersfield and Kern County, and it is the group that is responsible for planning the city’s annual Bakersfield Gay Pride Festival, which is a yearly festival celebrating all that the LGBTQ community adds to the city. You won’t want to miss your chance to participate in the fun and festivities!

Bakersfield Jazz Festival

For over 30 years, the Bakersfield Jazz Festival has been a community celebration of jazz music. This multi-day festival features world-class jazz performers, and typically draws huge crowds. It’s one Bakersfield event that you won’t want to miss.

Where to Live in in Bakersfield

Although Bakersfield may not have a specific “gayborhood” like some of the larger California cities do, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t many neighborhoods where those in the LGBTQ community can feel welcome and at home. Across Bakersfield, buyers can find a variety of home styles and price ranges to suit their needs, and will generally find that most communities are friendly, welcoming, and eager to have new neighbors move in. Currently, the median sales price for homes in Bakersfield is around $240,000, although there are many homes for sale both above and below that price range to fit the needs and wants of each unique buyer.

Arts and Entertainment

Bakersfield Museum of Art

The Bakersfield Museum of Art is located in Central Park in Bakersfield, and contains an inspiring collection of art, primarily from regional artists, in four galleries. The museum also hosts a wide variety of traveling art exhibits, and is a wonderful place to spend an afternoon learning, and feeling amazed and inspired.

Bakersfield Community Theatre

The Bakersfield Community Theatre is the oldest continually operating community theater in California, and the second oldest amateur community theater west of the Mississippi. The theatre puts on a variety of shows in a number of different genres each year – but all are guaranteed to inspire, delight, and entertain.  You won’t want to miss the chance to enjoy a show (or several) yourself!

Parks and Recreation

California Living Museum

The California Living Museum is a unique zoo and wildlife habitat located in Bakersfield dedicated to preserving and educating visitors about species that are unique to California, and specifically to Kern County. A beautiful Bakersfield day spent here is sure not to disappoint.

Hart Park

Hart Park is one of Kern County’s oldest parks – and also one of the most beautiful. It’s 370 acres offers plenty of opportunity for swimming, fishing, hiking, biking, or simply laying in the grass and enjoying a beautiful, sunny Bakersfield afternoon.

Bakersfield Nightlife

Buck Owens Crystal Palace

The Buck Owens Crystal Palace is a live country music venue designed by Buck Owens himself in 1996. Guests can enjoy good food, strong drinks, dancing, and the chance to look at plenty of Buck Owens memorabilia as they enjoy an evening out with their friends at this quintessential Bakersfield favorite.

Casablanca Nightclub

Casablanca Nightclub is a lively, LGBTQ-friendly nightclub with a large dance floor, loud music, festive lighting, and frequent theme-nights, dance parties, and drag shows. It’s truly a great place to dance the night away with old friends and new ones.

Contact a Bakersfield Gay Realtor Today

If you’re thinking of making Bakersfield the next place you call home, you’ll want to contact a realtor who knows the city well and who will work effectively with you to help you find the best home and neighborhood to fit your needs. We’re here to help. If you’re ready to get started, contact a Bakersfield gay realtor today for a free, no-obligation consultation!