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Bakersfield is a city in Kern County, California, United States. It is the county seat and largest city of Kern County. The city covers about 151 sq mi (390 km2) near the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley and the Central Valley region. Bakersfield's population as of the 2020 census was 403,455, making it the 48th-most populous city in the United States of America and the 9th-most populous city in California. The Bakersfield–Delano Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Kern County, had a 2020 census population of 909,235, making it the 62nd-largest metropolitan area in the United States. The more built-up portion of the metro area that includes Bakersfield and areas immediately around the city, such as East Bakersfield, Oildale, and Rosedale, has a population of 523,994. Bakersfield is a significant hub for both agriculture and energy production. Kern County is the most productive oil-producing county in California and the fourth-most productive agricultural county (by value) in the United States. Industries in and around Bakersfield include natural gas and other energy extraction, mining, petroleum refining, distribution, food processing, and corporate regional offices. The city is also the birthplace of the country music genre known as the Bakersfield sound.
Visalia ( vy-SAYL-yə, vih-) is a city in the agricultural San Joaquin Valley of California, about 230 mi (370 km) southeast of San Francisco, 190 mi (310 km) north of Los Angeles, 36 mi (58 km) west of Sequoia National Park, and 43 mi (69 km) south of Fresno. The population was 134,605 as of a 2019 U.S. Census Bureau estimate. Visalia is the fifth-largest city in the San Joaquin Valley after Fresno, Bakersfield, Stockton, and Modesto, the 44th-most populous in California, and 202nd in the United States.As the county seat of Tulare County, Visalia serves as the economic and governmental center to one of the most productive agricultural counties in the country.Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon National Parks are located in the nearby Sierra Nevada mountains, the highest mountain range in the contiguous United States.
Ridgecrest is a city in Kern County, California, United States, along U.S. Route 395 in the Indian Wells Valley in northeastern Kern County, adjacent to the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake (NAWS, or China Lake). It was incorporated as a city in 1963. The population was 27,616 at the 2010 census, up from 24,927 at the 2000 census. Ridgecrest is surrounded by four mountain ranges; the Sierra Nevada on the west, the Cosos on the north, the Argus Range on the east, and the El Paso Mountains on the south. It is approximately 82 miles (132 km) from the Lancaster/Palmdale area, 110 miles (177 km) from Bakersfield, and 120 miles (193 km) from San Bernardino, the three nearest major urban centers. Private air travel in and out of the city is provided through the Inyokern Airport. There are currently no scheduled commercial flights. The city has been near the epicenter of major earthquakes, including one in 1995 and a series of quakes in July 2019.
Lancaster is a charter city in northern Los Angeles County, in the Antelope Valley of the western Mojave Desert in Southern California. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 156,633, and in 2019 the population was estimated at 157,601, making Lancaster the 33rd largest city in California. Lancaster is part of a twin city complex with its southern neighbor Palmdale, and together they are the principal cities within the Antelope Valley region.Lancaster is located approximately 70 miles (110 km) north (via I-5 and SR 14) of downtown Los Angeles, and is near the Kern County line. It is separated from the Los Angeles Basin by the San Gabriel Mountains to the south, and from Bakersfield and the San Joaquin Valley by the Tehachapi Mountains to the north. The population of Lancaster has grown from 37,000 at the time of its incorporation in 1977 to over 157,000 as of 2019.