Palmdale is a city in the far north of Los Angeles County in the Antelope Valley region of the Mojave Desert in Southern California.
In 1933, the U.S. government established Muroc Air Base (from a founder's name, Effie Corum, spelled backwards), now known as Edwards Air Force Base. They also bought Palmdale Airport in 1952 and established an aerospace development and testing facility called United States Air Force Plant 42. One year later, in 1953, Lockheed established a facility at the airport. After this time, the aerospace industry took over as the primary local source of employment, where it has remained ever since. Today, it's known as the "Aerospace Capital of America", where many of the aircraft used in the United States military are built and tested.
Palmdale is about 70 mi (110 km) 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.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) operates the Los Angeles Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) at its site near Plant 42 at Avenue P and 25th Street East. However, the 1 Palmdale Regional Airport (PMD IATA). has no scheduled passenger airline service.
The next closest airport is Bob Hope Airport (BUR IATA) in Burbank, approximately one hour's drive to the south, and is served by most major carriers.
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX IATA), Ontario International Airport (ONT IATA), and Bakersfield Meadows Field (BFL IATA) are all approximately the same distance away timewise, 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.
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 mi (140–190 km)), Long Beach Municipal Airport (LGB IATA) and John Wayne International (SNA IATA) may also be used as alternates.
Shuttle buses operate to/from LAX, costing approximately $70 one way:
- 2 Palmdale Transportation Center (downtown). 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 its Thruway Bus service. It is the metropolitan area's mass-transit hub.
- 3 Vincent-Grade/Acton Metrolink station. It serves southernmost Palmdale and nearby Acton with commuter rail service to/from Los Angeles. Its on the same Metrolink line as Palmdale Transportation Center
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 has 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 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.
- Avis/ Budget, 1342 E Palmdale Blvd ☏ +1 661-274-7822
- Dollar, 412 Auto Vista Dr ☏ +1 661-449-8580
- Enterprise, 811 W Ave K, Lancaster ☏ +1 661-945-4611
- Hertz, 43440 10th St W STE 101, Lancaster ☏ +1 661-726-2060
- 1 California Aqueduct (California State Water Project). A series of aqueducts, reservoirs, power plants and pumping stations that run the length of the state of California, a portion of which passes through the Antelope Valley along the San Gabriel Mountain foothills. There are many vantage points where the waterway can be seen. There are also many miles of bicycleways along the aqueduct.
- 2 San Andreas Fault (at the southern end of Palmdale immediately north of the intersection of Avenue "S" and the Antelope Valley Freeway (#14)). A low hill, through which the Highway 14 cuts, is called the Palmdale Bulge. It sits immediately above the San Andreas fault. Strata of rock are visible, warped and twisted in dramatic fashion by the tectonic interaction of the Pacific and North American plates. It is possible to park and hike about one-half mile through the desert to overlook the formations. Be careful and do not approach too close to the edge of the steep cutaway.
Aerospace and flightEdit
- 3 Blackbird Air Park (United States Air Force Plant 42 airpark), 2503 E. Avenue P (take Highway 14 or Sierra Highway to Avenue P, turn east, drive to 25th Street East), ☏ +1 661 274-0884. F-Su 10AM-5PM. Actually, two museums adjacent to Plant 42, the classified USAF manufacturing plant, also used by NASA. The Blackbird Airpark Museum is an extension of the AFFT Museum at Edwards AFB, while the Joe Davies Heritage Airpark (formerly Palmdale Plant 42 Heritage Airpark) is operated by the municipality. Both are staffed by retirees who had previously worked in the aerospace industry, some actually having worked on the aircraft displayed at the two parks. All of the aircraft have been carefully restored for public display. View and walk around retired SR-71A (Blackbird), A-12 and U-2 aircraft. Aircraft in flight can be seen irregularly—many of the United States' most advanced airplanes have been assembled and test-flown here. Most impressive to see in flight are the B-2 Spirit Bombers which are assembled at Air Force Plant 42, located along Sierra Highway. Other advanced aircraft such as the F-35 can be seen in test flights, as well as some older aircraft such as F-22s, T-38s, B-1s, C- and KC-135s, and even the occasional B-52 or C-5 Galaxy. A small dirt parking lot at the intersection of Avenue N and Sierra Highway affords a straight-down-the-runway look at whatever is flying that day. The SR-71 and F-117 are not seen in the skies anymore, but the frames of these and other history-making airplanes can be seen at Blackbird Park. The Space Shuttle fleet was also built at the Rockwell International buildings once located here. Lockheed Martin's Skunkworks is located at a hangar at the western edge of the Plant 42 property, and the little skunk logo can be easily seen from Sierra Highway.
Local experience, culture & museumsEdit
- Palmdale Amphitheater. Located at Marie Kerr Park on the western side of the city, it is a 10,000-seat outdoor amphitheater, featuring performers and interesting events like the Kaleidoscope arts festival.
- Palmdale Playhouse and Art Gallery.
- Palmdale Civic Center. The location of the Poncitlan Square and the Larry Chimbole Cultural Center downtown.
- Joe Davies Heritage Airpark at Palmdale Plant 42. And the next-door Air Force Flight Test Center Museum's Blackbird Airpark Annex show off displays of various aircraft built or tested at Palmdale Air Force Plant 42.
- Palmdale Schoolhouse. At McAdam Park is the only remaining building of the original village of Palmenthal in the late 1800s.
Outdoors, nature, camping & recreationEdit
- Big Rock Creek Camp. A camping area near Devil's Punchbowl southeast of the city.
- Joshua Ranch Trail. A natural preservation area, temporarily closed due to a housing development under construction.
- 1 Littlerock Dam and Recreation Area (southeast of the city). It is a county-operated park with a public use lake and several campsites.
- 2 Saddleback Butte State Park. Located in the buttes north of Lake Los Angeles to the northeast of the city, the park has a small camping area. It is known to be an ideal location for late night stargazing and viewing meteor showers on clear nights.
Baseball and softballEdit
- Best Of The West Softball Complex. Regularly hosts various state and national softball tournaments.
- Bowlero Palmdale, 38241 30th St E, ☏ +1 661-274-2878.
- Rancho Vista Golf Course. Palmdale's only PGA-class golf course.
- Desert Aire Golf Course (near the eastern side of the city).
- Mountain High. A ski resort in nearby Wrightwood, southeast of the city.
- 3 Dry Town Water Park, ☏ +1 661 267-6161. On Avenue S is open each summer from May to September, it has water slides, a wave pool, and a lazy river.
- Hammack Activity Center and Roller Hockey Rink. A family-friendly facility providing various activities for youth.
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.
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 downtown where all hotels are located.
American and BBQEdit
- Boulevard Cafe, 2211 E. Palmdale Blvd, ☏ +1 661-266-7709.
- Cascades Grill, 3905 Club Rancho Dr (inside golf course clubhouse), ☏ +1 661 272-9082.
- Schooner Saloon Restaurant, 38417 20th Street East, ☏ +1 661 947-3006.
- Vincent Hill Station, 553 Sierra Highway, ☏ +1 661 272-4799.
- Q&Q Hawaiian Barbeque, 39445 10th Street West, ☏ +1 661 265-8889.
- Malhi's Family Indian Cuisine, 39256 10th Street West, ☏ +1 661 947-4400.
- Gino's Italian Restaurant, 819 W. Palmdale Blvd, ☏ +1 661-224-1306.
Japanese & sushiEdit
- Big Tuna, 39409 10th Street West, ☏ +1 661 273-9966.
- Tokyo Steakhouse, 2106 E. Palmdale Blvd, ☏ +1 661 538-1578.
- El Toreo West, 38801 10th Street West, ☏ +1 661 273-4050.
- El Toreo East, 3025 E. Avenue S, ☏ +1 661 266-8496.
- Los Arco's Mexican Food, 3115 W. Rancho Vista Blvd, ☏ +1 661 267-0298.
- Sharky's Mexican Grill, 39532 10th Street West, ☏ +1 661 273-4713.
- Speedy Joes Mexican Restaurant, 40205 10th Street West, ☏ +1 661 266-9625.
- Mongolian Express, 1233 W. Rancho Vista Blvd, ☏ +1 661 274-1703.
- Mi Ranchito Seafood, 1060 E. Palmdale Blvd, ☏ +1 661 273-2135.
- Nopgow Thai Restaurant West, 39522 10th Street West, ☏ +1 661 273-0875.
- Nopgow Thai Restaurant East, 2551 E. Avenue S, ☏ +1 661 538-0590.
- Thai Palms Restaurant, 957 E. Palmdale Blvd, ☏ +1 661 272-1267.
- Alice's Burgers, 801 W. Palmdale Blvd, ☏ +1 661 266-8550.
- Doublz Burgers, 2230 E. Palmdale Blvd, ☏ +1 661 266-0353.
- Dragon Express, 3005 E. Palmdale Blvd, ☏ +1 661 947-4989. Suite# 18
- Primo Burger's, 4654 E. Avenue S, ☏ +1 661 533-6806.
- Rubio's Mexican Grill, 39445 10th Street West, ☏ +1 661 225-9564.
- Tom's #25, 695 W. Palmdale Blvd, ☏ +1 661 947-9777.
- Don Chato’s Mexican Cantina, 38350 30th Street East, ☏ +1 661 947-7166.
- El Torito, 1161 W. Rancho Vista Blvd, ☏ +1 661 274-4502.
- Horseshoe Club Cantina, 38426 6th St. East
- Best Western - John Jay Inn & Suites, 600 W. Palmdale Blvd, ☏ +1 661 575-9322.
- Courtyard Palmdale, 530 W. Rancho Vista Blvd, ☏ +1 661 947-4100, fax: +1 661 947-0153.
- Embassy Suites by Hilton Palmdale, 39375 5th Street West, ☏ +1 661 266-3756, fax: +1 661 266-3625.
- Hampton Inn & Suites Palmdale, 39428 Trade Center Dr, ☏ +1 661 265-7400.
- Hilton Garden Inn Palmdale, 1309 W. Rancho Vista Blvd, ☏ +1 661 266-4411, fax: +1 661 274-2510.
- Holiday Inn Palmdale-Lancaster, 38630 5th Street West, ☏ +1 661 947-8055.
- Motel 6, 407 W. Palmdale Blvd, ☏ +1 661 272-0660, fax: +1 661 272-8935.
- Residence Inn Palmdale Lancaster, 514 W. Rancho Vista Blvd, ☏ +1 661 947-4204, fax: +1 661 947-0107.
- Staybridge Suites Palmdale, 420 West Park Drive, toll-free: +1-800-970-4534.
- Lancaster - Palmdale's twin city to the north on Highway 14, Lancaster is the largest city in the Antelope Valley. Lancaster provides extensive services for travelers, as well as the whimsical "Musical Road", a recreation of a road built in Lancaster for a Honda commercial that has grooves cut into it that generate an approximation of the William Tell Overture when a car passes over them.
- Santa Clarita - Located 37 miles southwest of Palmdale on Highway 14, Santa Clarita is the home of Six Flags Magic Mountain, an amusement park that is legendary among roller coaster fanatics, with many of the rides having held world records for height or speed.
|Routes through Palmdale|
|Bishop ← Lancaster ←||N S||→ Santa Clarita → Los Angeles via|
|Junction ← Lancaster ←||W E||→ Jct E → Jct|