Not my cup of tea
I lived here for over 18 years before moving away and still don't miss this town. This town is great for the elderly and young families but not great for teens and young adults. It is very boring here and there is not much to do besides camping, fishing, and hiking. Sure there is natural beauty and clean air but everyone here is bored out of their mind. Tehachapi is just another small town that lacks amenities and good paying jobs for inexperienced people. People here are conservative and family oriented.
Nothing to do: It's easy to get bored here because there's nothing to do besides going out to eat or visiting Brite Lake. Too many teens smoking pot because getting high is the only thing getting them thru this depressing place. If you are in your 20s or early 30s or have teenage kids then don't move here.
Lack of Amenities: This town does not have a whole lot of restaurants, big box stores, and attractions. We have no real clothing stores so Kmart is the only place to buy clothes until Walmart opens up (will happen next year). Not that many casual restaurant chains. Only one we truly have is Denny's. Fast Food is abundant but we don't have Panda Express, KFC, Popeyes, Chipotle, Baja Fresh, and a few other heavy hitters that you could find in Bakersfield. Medical care here is a joke. We only have one hospital and it ain't that good. I know the new one will open up soon, but honestly you would probably be better off in UCLA Health or Memorial Hospital in Bakersfield if LA is too far. Not many attractions down here besides the train loop, brite lake, tom sawyer lake, and Woodward West (if you like to skate, super expensive though). We don't have that many big box retailers besides Kmart, Rite Aid, Walgreens, and Walmart (not open until 2019). The family owned restaurants are a hit or miss. Some are good, some are bad. Honestly don't expect anything fancy or high end. Also we have no DMV.
Lack of Diversity: Town mostly white and conservative. Not many people from different walks of life. Too many close minded people. Town is too religious and has more churches than restaurants. Not LGBT friendly, so if you are a part of the LGBT community or have family members that are a part of the LGBT community then you are better off in another place like LA.
City Government/schools: The government makes it hard for businesses to operate in this town. The government also prevented Walmart from opening up years earlier. They keep limiting the growth of this town and won't open up a DMV. For a "conservative" government, they don't seem to be pro-business. Also they don't seem to invest in infrastructure. The public schools are sub-par. We only have one public middle school and high school. The school admin doesn't care about their students and refuse to raise pay for deserving veteran teachers. A lot of good teachers have moved on to other schools in Bakersfield or Antelope Valley due to better pay.
Economy: There isn't that many jobs inside Tehachapi. Most jobs are service sector jobs. We do have the cement factory and state prison but its hard to get a job there. We do have Edwards AFB, Virgin Galactic, Lockheed, and Northrop in commuting distance but jobs are competitive as well over there. This town is not for inexperienced workers especially fresh college grads.
Location: Tehachapi is in Kern County, which is one of California's most economically depressed areas also one of the most depressing areas in the state. It takes 2 hours to get to LA, 3 hours for Orange County, 4 hours for SD, 4 hours for Vegas, 5 hours for SF, and 1 hour for Bakersfield/Antelope Valley. You have to commute to get anywhere. Somehow people see this as a pro.
Safety: Town is mostly safe. Violent crime is rare. Safest place in Kern County.
No congestion: Not too much traffic. Town isn't that crowded.
Clean Air: Bakersfield and the surrounding areas have bad air quality. Tehachapi is one of the few areas with good air quality.
Weather: It aint as good as Ventura or the other Coastal Areas but you do get all 4 seasons. Only place in Kern County that gets Snow. Doesn't get too hot like Bakersfield or Ridgecrest.
I'm not a big fan of this town. Some people like, some don't. There are better places to live in regarding this state. If you are looking for something with a small-town feel I would recommend Santa Clarita, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, San Clemente, Woodland Hills, Agoura Hills, San Luis Obispo, Seal Beach, Westlake Village, Camarillo, Arcadia, Newport Beach, and a few others. All are in CA and they are all more expensive than Tehachapi.
Robbie | Ridgecrest, CA