Palmdale is about 70 miles north of Downtown Los Angeles off of California State Highway 14, the Antelope Valley Freeway. The A.V. Freeway is the area's principal NORTH - SOUTH route. The other end of CA-14 to the North connects Reno, Nevada to the Palmdale area via US Highway 395.
California State Highway 138 is the principal EAST - WEST route and connects the Inland Empire (Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario) and the "Grapevine" area of Interstate 5 to the Palmdale area.
California State Highway 18 connects the Victor Valley area to the Palmdale area via CA-138.
Palmdale Regional Airport (IATA: PMD) was served by United Airlines, but currently has no scheduled service.
The next closest airport is Bob Hope Airport (IATA: BUR) in Burbank, approximately one hour's drive to the South, and is served by most major domestic carriers.
Los Angeles International Airport (IATA: LAX), Ontario International Airport (IATA: ONT), and Bakersfield Meadows Field (IATA: BFL) are all approximately the same distance away time-wise, assuming no traffic.
LAX has the most travel options and is generally the least expensive, but is significantly crowded and has many a long line in addition to the excessive traffic one must usually contend with to get to/from the airport. It is also the closest airport with international airline service.
Ontario will be much less crowded and easier to use. Traffic can be bad at times, but not nearly as bad as LAX.
Bakersfield is also an easy to use, uncrowded airport like Ontario, but has less flight options and is also generally more expensive, however, there is little to no traffic problems reaching BFL.
If you are willing to drive really far (90-120 miles), Long Beach Municipal Airport (IATA: LGB) and John Wayne International (IATA: SNA) may also be used as alternates.
There are a couple of Shuttle Bus companies that operate daily from Palmdale to LAX, costing approximately $70 one way:
Antelope Valley Airport Express, +1 (661) 945-2529.
The Palmdale Transportation Center in downtown, has daily rail service to Los Angeles area destinations via Metrolink, a commuter rail line. The center is also served by Amtrak California, the national passenger rail carrier, using it's Thruway Bus service. It is the metropolitan area's mass-transit hub.
The Vincent-Grade/Acton Metrolink station serves southern Palmdale and nearby Acton with commuter rail service to/from Los Angeles.
Other than coming to or leaving town, rail service is not particularly used in this area as there are only 2 stations serving Palmdale and 1 more in nearby Lancaster.
Greyhound Bus Lines serves the Palmdale Transportation Center daily.
The Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA) has daily commuter bus lines that connect to the Palmdale Transportation Center from various areas in Los Angeles. The AVTA is also the operator of the city's public bus system.
Santa Clarita Transit has a daily commuter bus line that runs to the Palmdale Transportation Center from the nearby city of Santa Clarita.
Palmdale has a local city bus system, operated by the Antelope Valley Transit Authority. These buses operate on most major thoroughfares throughout the metropolitan area and arrive on average of every 15 to 20 minutes. There are 2 major transfer centers in the city for switching bus lines, one at the Antelope Valley Mall and the primary one at the Palmdale Transportation Center. Santa Clarita Transit is the nearby city of Santa Clarita's public bus system and it offers connecting bus service from the PTC as well. Greyhound Bus also serves the Palmdale Transportation Center.
Palmdale does have taxi services by several companies. However, these taxis must always be called ahead of time, they are rarely in a position to be flagged down like in New York City or Los Angeles. If you plan on using a taxi service when arriving at Palmdale Regional Airport, there is a pay phone in the terminal that can be used to call them.
Palmdale has an extensive street system that is easily navigable by nearly everyone.
Palmdale has most of the major rental car companies present. If arriving at Palmdale Regional Airport, there is a phone available to contact the rental car companies. The rental car companies do not have lots on the airport site, but they will come and pick you up from the airport and take you to the rental car facility. They will also likewise return you to the airport in the same manner.
The Antelope Valley Fair and Alfalfa Festival is held for ten days in the late summer at the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds in Lancaster to the north of the city.
The annual California Poppy Festival is held at Lancaster City Park on a single weekend in April every year.
The Palmdale Amphitheater, located at Marie Kerr Park on the western side of the city, is a 10,000 seat outdoor amphitheater, featuring the Starlight Concert Series hosting many world famous performers on evenings in the summer.
The Palmdale Fall Festival is an annual festival said to be one of the best in California and held every October at Marie Kerr Park.
The Antelope Valley Indian Museum, located east of the city is a museum dedicated to the local Native American tribes who lived in the region for hundreds of years. It contains various Native American artifacts and sells souvoniers.
The Musical Road which was created for a Honda commercial and is currently America's only "musical" road, is located on Avenue G in Lancaster north of the city. Grooves have been cut into the road at intervals in such a way that a car driving at 55 miles per hour hears the William Tell Overture (known to many as the theme from the Lone Ranger). The section of road proved so popular that it was re-located to this less populated stretch of highway and is now sponsored by the city of Lancaster itself. Videos of what you can expect to see and hear can be found on YouTube.
NASA Dryden Flight Research Center located at Edwards Air Force Base, located east of Rosamond north of the city, is a massive testing and training ground for the Air Force and NASA. There is a museum on the base and tours are available. Note that this is an active military base so ID will be required and visitors may be required to submit to a search.
The Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve is a state park located northwest of the city that is dedicated to the state flower, the California Poppy. Typically the month of April provides the best viewing time for the rolling hills of orange poppies. Additionally, the city of Lancaster will host the annual California Poppy Festival at Lancaster City Park on a single weekend in April every year.
Big Rock Creek Camp is a camping area near Devil's Punchbowl southeast of the city.
Devil's Punchbowl is a county protected natural hiking preserve along Big Rock Creek similar to a miniature Grand Canyon located southeast of the city.
Joshua Ranch Trail is a natural preservation area, temporarily closed due to a housing development under construction.
Littlerock Dam and Recreation Area, southeast of the city, is a county operated park with a public use lake and several campsites.
Saddleback Butte State Park is located in the buttes north of Lake Los Angeles to the northeast of the city and features a small camping area. It is known to be an ideal location for late night stargazing and viewing meteor showers on clear nights.
The Best Of The West Softball Complex regularly hosts various state and national softball tournaments.
The Lancaster Jethawks is a minor league professional baseball team serving as a class AAA farm team affiliate for the Houston Astros. They play at Clear Channel Stadium in Lancaster to the north of the city during regular baseball season.
Willow Springs International Raceway, located west of Rosamond to the north of the city, is a race complex has multiple tracks ranging from basic ovals to the 2.5 mi (4 km) big track. There is also a mini-Kart track and a convoluted street course. Events are held most weekends.
The Feline Conservation Center also known as (The Cat House), in Rosamond to the north of the city is a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of the world's endangered felines. Visitors can wander the compound to see many types of wild cats, which range in size from the house-cat size fishing cat to the 600+ pound Caesar, a Siberian Tiger. A Twilight Tour is available to allow viewing of the nocturnal species.
Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve is located in nearby Acton to the southwest of the city. It is an animal preserve which houses many animals frequently used in the filming of motion pictures.
Palmdale has many of the stores found in the typical middle-class cities across the United States. Most of these stores are found at the intersection of Rancho Vista Blvd. and 10th Street West in and around the Antelope Valley Mall. There is also another heavy retail shopping cooridor growing on 47th Street East at Avenue S. The third main shopping area is located along Palmdale Blvd. between 17th Street East and 30th Street East.
As far as shopping unique to Palmdale, there really isn't any. You may find local area postcards in some of the stores like Wal*Mart or Target, but that's about as far as it goes.
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Palmdale has eateries to satisfy any palate. Most of the food establishments are located at the intersection of Rancho Vista Blvd. and 10th Street West near the Antelope Valley Mall, or along Palmdale Blvd. between 20th and 30th Streets East.
Where multiple restaurants of the same name are mentioned, they are listed in order of distance from the city center where all hotels are located.
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!