Lancaster is a city in the Antelope Valley of Mojave Desert in Southern California. It has a population of over 165,000 and is a land of immigrants and more than 75% farmland. Over the centuries, people arrived in this region and made it their home.
Today there is so much to see and do in Lancaster for all ages and interests. You can choose from many attractions and forms of entertainment. And for those who want to escape the rush of urban life, relaxing places where you can recharge your batteries await.
The city offers parklands, playgrounds, picnic areas and sports facilities. Their historic district features an array of boutiques, dining opportunities and entertainment. The modern part of the city offers The BLVD, a one-mile renovated section of Lancaster Boulevard.
1. Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve
Get away from the city and see panoramic views of Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve full of brilliant wildflowers. The Antelope Valley is a state-protected reserve of California located in the western Mojave Desert at an elevation ranging from 2600-3000 feet.
Each spring, the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve comes alive with a variety of wildflowers blooming around the park. The intense blooming season usually occurs from March through May. To keep the fields in a natural state, California State Parks does not water or stimulate growth of flowers.
Lancaster also has the Poppy Festival scheduled in April. You can join in for two days of music, art, food and fun. You can enjoy lunch at shaded picnic tables with a view over the valley to the San Gabriel Mountains. The park is open from sunrise to sunset daily year-round.
2. BLVD Farmers’ Market
Farmers’ markets are culinary adventures, a chance to see, taste, and learn about the farm-fresh produce and food products. Join every Thursday on BLVD weekly farmers’ market! Shop for organic produce, fresh bread and baked treats, salsa, honey, ready-made food, and much more.
It is also a perfect chance to speak with the farmers and get their tips on how to grow and cook their fresh foods. The Farmers’ market is also a gathering place, with local musicians, moms cradling babies, and friends shopping together. This is where you can find great gifts from specialty items to handmade crafts.
The City of Lancaster is partnered with Raw Inspiration, a non-profit operator for California Certified Farmers Markets.
3. Lancaster Performing Arts Center
The Lancaster Performing Arts Center engages the Antelope Valley in a broad spectrum of regional, national, and world class entertainment. It was established in 1991 with the motive to provide financial support, equipment and performance enhancements to the Arts for Youth Program.
The center includes a variety of programs such as National Circus of the People’s Republic of China, the show of gymnasts, Olympic Warriors, comic performance by Bill Engvall, The Gold Club Gala and a number of music performances by artists like Chris Isaak and many others.
Each category of events has a different mix of shows to attract people from different age groups. Lancaster Performing Arts Center tickets are a hot selling item close to any holiday season.
4. The Castle Roller Skating
Come and get your body moving on a pair of skates. Roller skating is not only fun but also an affordable way to entertain your family and help them stay in shape. Roller skating easily burns up calories. It also improves balance, strength, and flexibility.
Visit a roller skating facility which is proud of being “the fun place for the entire family”. Their goal is to provide entertainment for people of all ages. They offer many different public skating sessions each week, including a special session which features all Christian music.
Are you looking for a place to celebrate a special occasion? Give them a call and manage your very own private party. After skating lessons you visit their fully stocked skate shop.
5. Watch The Lancaster Jethawks In Action
If you like baseball then you should take a trip to The Hangar. The Hanger is a stadium in Lancaster that is home to the JetHawks. The JetHawks are a minor league team that have a large following amongst the locals.
This team is the only one that plays in Los Angeles County so tickets for the home games sell out quickly. The stadium only hold 4,900 fans so an early purchase of tickets is recommended.
The team has seen much success over recent years and a very impressive record long term as well. A game at The Hangar is a must do experience for your time in Lancaster.
6. The Musical Road
Located in Lancaster on West Avenue “G”, you can enjoy a musical ride on the only “musical road” in the United States.
It all began in Japan when a Japanese engineer Shizuo Shinoda was digging with a bulldozer when he accidentally scraped some markings into a road. Later when he drove over the markings he realized that the vibration produced a tune. Depending on how far apart the grooves are and how deep they are, a car moving over them will produce different sounds.
In Lancaster it was originally created for a Honda commercial but it became such a hit with the locals that they decided to keep it. Visitors who wish to hear music must stay in the far left lane of the three-lane road. It’s said that driving at 55mph provides the optimal sound quality. To date, the only other “singing” roads are located in Japan, South Korea and Holland.
7. Visit famous filming locations
Take a desert adventure and explore famous filming locations. You will be fascinated by the desolate and very remote stretch of desert roads. You can visit well known “Kill Bill Church” where the wedding massacre happened. The official name is The Sanctuary Adventist Church and is an actual working religious facility. This small Spanish style chapel is on a lonely road and with a Joshua tree it gives a cinematic feel.
Across the street from the “Kill Bill Church”, are a few run-down buildings which were used in the filming with Jean Claude Van-Damme, and Chris Rock. Another interesting film set in this area is Club Ed. It was built for a Dennis Hopper film (Eye of the Storm) in 1990.
Club Ed road is now the most filmed desert road. There are many other filming locations in Lancaster standing out in the middle of the lonely desert.
8. The Boeing Plaza – Aerospace Walk Of Honor
If seeking a local place to learn more about the aerospace industry and greatest aviators, the Boeing Plaza is a great place. The Boeing Plaza is located on the corner of the BLVD area.
The Aerospace Walk of Honor was established in 1990 “to recognize the important contributions of unique and talented aviators who soared above the rest.” Walk of Honor is dedicated to individuals who sacrificed time and risk lives for the advancement of aerospace. Honorees are memorialized with granite monuments located along Lancaster Boulevard.
Each year, three to five pilots are selected for their lifetime contributions in testing experimental aircraft. The annual unveiling of the monuments are inducted in late summer and is followed by an evening program and banquet.
9. Lancaster Museum of Art and History
Lancaster Museum of Art and History provides a special visitor experience. The modern looking museum is dedicated to appreciation of art, history and culture in the Antelope Valley.
The extensive exhibition program is for all age groups. Kids will enjoy locally collected dinosaur and native artifacts, while adults can see creative presentations on sustainable energy.
The museum collects post-war period and contemporary art, sculpture, prints, drawings, photography and film.
10. The Antelope Valley Indian Museum
The Antelope Valley Indian Museum is a unique and eclectic folk art structure located in the Mojave Desert. The museum displays artifacts of the American Indian groups of three major cultural regions – the Southwest, the Great Basin and California. It has been a public museum since 1932, but it has also been a homestead, a theater, a ranch, a Hollywood set, and an attraction.
It is situated on the south side of Piute Butte against a dramatic backdrop of Joshua trees and towering rock formations. The Native American Heritage Commission designated Piute Butte as a sacred landscape. The museum displays many rare and outstanding cultural materials and one-of-a-kind objects.
The park also features a picnic area, historic grounds, historic cottages and an outdoor ceremonial arena. The park and museum are open Saturday-Sunday year-round.
11. American Heroes Park
In 2011, the City of Lancaster opened American Heroes Park, a 12-acre recreation facility located just one block north of BLVD downtown area. It’s in honor of local heroes who have given their lives to protect America’s freedom and liberties.
American Heroes Park offers a lot of options for community enjoyment. You can take advantage of playgrounds, baseball and soccer fields, basketball and handball courts, gazebos, and a restroom building. Memorial plaque walls provide a place of reflection and gratitude for local fallen military, police and fire personnel.
American Heroes Park is open daily and is perfect for a day out in the sun or even a picnic.