Finding Our Inspiration in Lancaster, California
Just Northwest of Los Angeles, hidden in rolling hills, lies an unexpected and inspiring jewel, waiting to be discovered by you: Lancaster, California.
Being artists and songwriters, we are always on the hunt for inspiration to give us new ideas, fresh perspectives, and interesting stories. Lancaster did not disappoint. And inspiration is waiting there for you, as well.
Spring is the perfect time to visit Lancaster. The drive from Los Angeles takes you through beautiful countryside, as the winter rains (yes, even in Southern California) give rise to happy hills of lush green grass and flowers. In the distance you can still see snow-capped mountains and the windmills that lead you to Tehachapi. The enchanting drive calls you to explore. As you approach exit 162 for CA-14 North, the hills open to reveal the broad desert valley that houses Lancaster, Antelope Valley. And like 19th century prospectors struck with gold fever, the dream of discovering this gem drew us in. We found inspiration in 3 major categories: Nature, Flight, and Art. We cover these areas in depth and share a story or two on our podcast, episode 211. Listen to that HERE: (
Enjoy the sunshine and beautiful scenery. Lancaster is full of inspiring and unique parks! Here are a few highlights:
Prime Desert Woodland Preserve is like a walk through living history. An easy trail and clearly marked paths take you through various segments of desert landscape. And, along the way, experience an infusion of local art as you sneak up on occasional animal sculptures spaced throughout this peaceful, tranquil experience.
Spring is an ideal time to visit Lancaster and walk through fields of orange California poppies in the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve. In this California State Park, even purple and white flowers make an appearance. In order to keep the fields in a strictly natural state, California State Parks does not water or stimulate the flowers. The park service also excludes sheep and cattle from grazing the hillsides. Up until the early 1970s, sheep once grazed the buttes in the western Antelope Valley.
If you’re into really awesome geology, which I personally dig, you will find awesome sandstone formations just near Lancaster! Like The Devil’s Punchbowl with wonderful hikes, and even horse riding. And if you enjoy these sandstone formations, you can day trip from Lancaster and explore Vasquez Rocks Natural Area and Nature Center, and Red Rock Canyon State Park, which has The Red Cliffs Trail.
The Apollo Community Regional Park provides a scenic, peaceful walking area with multiple ponds filled with ducks and water fowl that seem eager to accept any stale bread you might bring along. Maybe bring a picnic and enjoy the picnic seating and save a crust from your sandwich for your new feathered friends. Several folks were there with their fishing poles – so there are a variety of ways to enjoy this park. Along with its Apollo/space-themed mural and its location right next to the Antelope Valley College’s Aviation training center. Which leads us into our next source of inspiration in Lancaster… Flight!
A la, The Hollywood Walk of Fame, the sidewalks in downtown Lancaster are lined with columns and murals that honor heroes of flight. The columns are part of the Aerospace Walk of Honor, which includes tributes to Chuck Yaeger, The Tuskogee Airmen, Pete Knight (the fastest man in the world), and many others!
Joe Davies Heritage Airpark is the place to go to see planes and jets on spectacular display, portraying the rich aerospace heritage and presenting the historical significance of United States Air Force Plant 42*. Walk around in history as you marvel at the wonders of flight technology, with 21 retired military aircraft on display, plus a 1/8 scale model of the B-2 Spirit, an AGM-28 Hound Dog Missile, a B-52, a C-46, and various aircraft components.
*Air Force Plant 42: In 1951, the U.S. Air Force purchased land from Los Angeles County and established Plant 42 in Palmdale as the premier production flight test installation in the world. U.S. Air Force Plant 42 is home to Boeing, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, Northrop Grumman and NASA Dryden Flight Research Center.
Also, a short drive from Lancaster is the Air Force Flight Test Museum at Blackbird Airpark, the only airpark in the world where you can see top-secret US spy aircraft of the Cold War era together.
Of course you’ll come in the Spring, to check out the poppies, but you can also come back and visit in the fall, so that you can catch the Airshow! Lancaster partners with Edwards AFB for a 3-day flight extravaganza.
Not only did we find flight-themed murals, we found walls chuck full of all kinds of murals! Which leads us to our third category of Lancaster inspiration… Art!
The Musical Road is a must-do! On your way to or from the Apollo Community Regional Park, get your cruise set to 55 and catch the tune that plays as you drive on Avenue G. Super creative and being musicians, we got a huge kick out of it!
Downtown Lancaster, The BLVD Lancaster, bursts with artistic inspiration. From the music that fills the air all along the boulevard, to the Cedar Center for the Arts, which includes the MOAH (Museum of Art and History): Cedar Art Gallery. With colorful abstract art painted on the crosswalks, and the murals that cover exterior business walls, a stop in the downtown area draws you in, and makes you feel alive and inspired. As you walk down the street, you’ll find yourself anticipating what piece of artistic work you will see next? The murals, inspired by the Museum of Art and History, can even be seen by tour, as new artists are regularly commissioned to create new murals on more walls.
There is more to come! The Museum of Art and History is re-opening in May, another musical road is in the works, and more developments around flight are also coming soon.
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With love and inspiration, Rory and Alexa, The ROAMies