Welcome To The Antelope Valley
Offering small-town ambiance with all the big-city advantages, the Antelope Valley benefits from clear blue skies and a four-seasons climate. The area’s population continues to grown due to several factors, including a thriving economy centered around the Palmdale Regional Airport. The airport is home to United States Air Force Plant 42, a federally owned military aerospace facility with contractors including Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. Plans for the airport include expanded commercial service.
Edwards Air Force Base can also be found in the Antelope Valley, just east of Rosamond, 37 miles (60 km) northeast of Palmdale. Significant amounts of U.S. military flight testing are performed there, and it has been the site of many important aeronautical accomplishments, including the first flight to break the sound barrier. NASA space shuttles originally landed at Edwards because the lake beds offer a vast landing area. NASA built a huge landing strip at Kennedy Space Center, retaining Edwards as the backup in case of bad weather at Cape Canaveral.
The Antelope Valley is located in northern Los Angeles County, California and the southeast portion of Kern County, California, and constitutes the western tip of the Mojave Desert. Although composed of several cities, the principle cities of the Antelope Valley are Palmdale and Lancaster. Both cities are located in the southern region of the Antelope Valley, approximately 60 miles northeast of Downtown Los Angeles off State Highway 14 (commonly known as the Antelope Valley Freeway).
The Antelope Valley’s close proximity to the city of Los Angeles, coupled with its affordable cost of living, have made this location a prime destination for commuters. Many of the valley’s inhabitants work in the Los Angeles area, while maintaining their residence here in the AV. On their off days, residence can often be found on the ski slopes of Mountain High or the beautiful shores of Santa Monica, Venice, or Malibu, due to their closeness to the Antelope Valley (around an hour’s drive). Las Vegas is also a favorite travel destination for the valley’s residence, being accessible in as little as 3 hours from the Lancaster area.
With several activities occurring throughout the year, the Antelope Valley is the perfect place for families. In the springtime, the city of Palmdale host its Springfest & Egg Hunt, while fall ushers in the annual 2 day long Fall Festival. In the later part of April, the Poppy Festival in Lancaster offers two days of music, art, food and fun celebrating the state flower of California and the appearance of poppies in the Antelope Valley!
For concerts, festivals, events, movies and more, the Palmdale Amphitheater is just what the doctor ordered. The Palmdale Amphitheater at Marie Kerr Park is the Antelope Valley’s premier outdoor entertainment venue, providing audiences with a blend of high energy concert performances and community-based programming. Palmdale Amphitheater’s convenient location, great sight lines, and comfortable, grassy seating areas are complemented by the popular City of Palmdale Starlight Concert Series presented on Saturday evenings during summer months.
Summertime events in the valley include Fourth of July Celebrations at the Lancaster Jethawks’ Stadium, as well as the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds. Summer Camps are also available through the city of Lancaster and Palmdale’s Department of Parks and Recreation. Many families even participate together in the annual 10K Run, 5K Run/Walk and Children’s 1K and 400-meter runs, also presented by the City of Palmdale Department of Parks and Recreation. In 2006, the city of Palmdale’s first-ever Tournament of Roses Parade float won the coveted Princess’ Trophy for the most beautiful float 35 feet or under.
Plenty of Shopping and Entertainment:
There’s abundant shopping and dining variety, as well as a movie theater complex, at the Antelope Valley Mall. Several smaller retail plazas are also located in the area. The Palmdale Playhouse draws residents of all ages for concerts, dance programs, plays, musicals, opera, an annual Shakespeare Festival, holiday events and more. The playhouse even has an art gallery. Thursday Night on the Square is a summer staple for many residents, offering an open-air farmers market, along with live entertainment, unique arts and crafts, scrumptious food and free children’s activities.
In recent years, the city of Lancaster has even added an IMAX screen to its already existing 22 screens. Revamping the movie theaters wasn’t the only addition Lancaster made in recent years. In 2010, the stretch of Lancaster Boulevard now known as The BLVD underwent a dramatic transformation through a complete streetscape redesign. A new street, lighting, street furniture, traffic pattern, landscaping, and more has helped bring about the renaissance of The BLVD as the heart of downtown Lancaster, a central hub of activity and community. From underground bowling, to Farmer’s Markets every Thursday year-round, The BLVD offers a little something for everyone.
- The Palmdale School District is the area’s largest school district, with an enrollment of over 28,000 in 29 schools. The district covers the central portion of the city. The mission of the Palmdale School District is to provide each child with a rigorous and relevant academic education, a safe learning environment and the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for success in the 21st Century.
- The Lancaster School District is the area’s third largest school district after Palmdale and the A.V. High School District. This school district covers most of central and part of eastern Lancaster with 15,000 students in 19 schools. The mission of the Lancaster School District, a group of dedicated and caring professionals, is, with the support of the community, to develop academic and personal excellence in all students through a rigorous curriculum infused with high expectations within a safe and secure environment fostering socially responsible citizens who enrich our diverse community.
- The Westside Union School District covers western Palmdale and Lancaster and their immediate suburbs including Quartz Hill, Del Sur, Leona Valley, and Antelope Acres. The Westside Union School District is a caring, supportive and motivating learning environment where students’ individual needs are considered in their class placement, as well as their needs to attain grade level performance standards. Westside has an enrollment of approximately 9,000 students from Kindergarten through 8th Grade. There are six elementary schools which consist of Kindergarten through 6th grade, two middle schools which consist of 7th and 8th grades and three schools which consist of Kindergarten through 8th grade.
- The Eastside Union School District covers eastern Lancaster with 3,500 students in 4 schools. Their mission is to educate all students to develop skills, knowledge, and attitudes to be responsible, productive, and fulfilled individuals able to succeed ethically in a democratic society.
- The Keppel Union School District covers eastern Palmdale and its immediate suburbs, including the eastern Antelope Valley communities of Lake Los Angeles, Pearblossom, Littlerock, Sun Village, Llano, and Valyermo. It has 6 schools with over 3,000 students. The Keppel Union School District’s mission is to Seek Education, Strive for Excellence, and Aspire to Greatness. They sustain a vision for providing and maintaining a positive environment where children acquire the basic reasoning skills to be successful learners and productive contributing citizens. Further, the Keppel Union School District conveys the following commitment: Children are the focus of our professional leadership. We will use informed decision-making that reflects community needs in encouraging continuous improvement for the total child.
- The Southern Kern Unified School District provides all public school education in Rosamond and nearby Willow Springs. Their mission is to provide their diverse student body with the best education possible and to instill in them a passion for life-long learning in partnership with their parents and the community.
- The Muroc Joint Unified School District provides all public school education for Edwards Air Force Base, and the northern Antelope Valley communities of North Edwards, and Boron. The District is a K-12 unified school system of approximately 2000 students. It was founded as an elementary school in 1911, with one teacher and less than a dozen students. The school house was located at Edwards. Boron students were bussed to the air base for their education. As the area became more populated, another school was established in 1929, in Boron. The schools became a unified district in 1953, encompassing 578 square miles in Kern and San Bernardino counties.
- The Mojave Unified School District provides all public school education in the northern Antelope Valley communities of Mojave and California City. The Mojave Unified School District’s mission is to graduate each student with technical, reasoning, academic, and character skills needed for career preparation.