Palmdale, a small settlement in the Antelope Valley on the western side of the Mojave Desert, is surrounded by a huge desert environment reminiscent of the classic era of western films.
The city is well-known for being the site of a US Air Force testing center, where iconic planes like the Lockheed Blackbird made their debut.
Continue reading to know the 10 best things to do in Palmdale.
1. Airfield Known as Blackbird in the Local Area
The Blackbird Airpark, located next to the Joe Davies Heritage Airpark, is a separate attraction that celebrates the Lockheed SR-71A, more often known as the Blackbird.
After decades of secret research and development, this spy plane first flew in the 1960s.
Only 32 of these incredible aircraft were ever produced, and the Blackbird Airpark is the only spot on Earth where you can get so near to one that you can touch it.
And the D-21, an early drone that used speed to avoid discovery in enemy territory, is also on display.
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2. A Splash in Dry Town’s Water Park
Children will like this activity from May through September, especially when the temperature soars in the middle of the summer.
There are six water slides for older children and adults to enjoy, and a separate area called Little Miner’s Camp is dedicated to the pleasure of younger guests with shallow pools, games, and three smaller rides.
Dusty’s Mineshaft Racer is a major attraction for adults, as it features a pair of flumes that can be used to compete in side-by-side races on custom-made mats.
In addition to the water rides and pools, there is a Subway restaurant and juice bar.
3. Shopping Center in Antelope Valley, California
The 16-theater Cinemark movie complex opened in this massive mall in 1990, making it Palmdale’s go-to for moviegoing.
Antelope Valley Mall features over 140 shops and services, including the department stores Macy’s, JC Penney, Sears, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Forever 21 as well as the department stores and discount department stores that make up the mall’s five anchor stores.
The mall features both a food court with a variety of eateries and a “restaurant row” with sit-down eateries including Olive Garden, Red Lobster, and Arby’s for when you work up an appetite while shopping.
4. The Poppy Reserve in Antelope Valley, California
You can’t miss this natural reserve about 30 minutes northwest of Palmdale if you’re ever there between February and May.
The state flower of California is the poppy, and for a few brief months, entire fields of them are in bloom, lending a Technicolor tinge to the otherwise austere desert environment.
The scenery is stunning, and your photographs will do it justice.
There are seven miles of pathways for visitors to explore; some of them are even paved for the convenience of people who use wheelchairs.
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5. Golf at Rancho Vista
Even while golfing isn’t Palmdale’s claim to fame, the city does have a public course that meets PGA standards.
Rancho Vista’s lush vegetation provides a welcome contrast to the surrounding desert, and several of the holes provide breathtaking vistas of the distant mountains.
Golf architect Ted Robinson, whose work can be seen on more than one hundred and fifty courses from the United States to South Korea, was responsible for the layout of the 18-hole course.
The clubhouse serves as both a restaurant and bar and its balcony provides stunning views of the desert landscape beyond the course.
6. Ranch on Rainbow Ridge
If you’ve ever wanted to live like a cowboy, a trip to Antelope Valley’s rough desert landscape is the perfect way to satisfy your demands.
Thankfully, the Rainbow Ridge Ranch is there to make kids’ fantasies of galloping off into the woods a reality.
Two hours of trotting or galloping across tough terrain, climbing mountains, and wading through water up to your boots is all it takes to do this on an Adventure Ride.
Bring the kids along, and they may experience the thrill of a pony ride in a dedicated outdoor area.
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7. Exalted Peaks
Palmdale is located in the High Desert, which means that despite its warm summers, it can get cold enough in the winter for snow to fall.
It takes less than an hour to drive to a nearby ski area if you happen to be in town during the winter.
Located in the San Gabriel Mountains at an elevation of 2,000 meters, Mountain High features three distinct ski areas, the most popular of which is the West Resort.
Because of its higher altitude, this region has a long snowy season than the other two.
Snowboarders and skiers alike flock there to enjoy the area’s famed glade paths, which offer off-piste terrain and take you through picturesque forests.
At Mountain High, the summers are spent exploring the Angeles National Forest and playing frisbee golf on a breathtaking course.
8. Magic Mountain at Six Flags
One of the best family outings in Southern California is just a 40-minute drive down CA SR-14 South.
In keeping with its status as Six Flags’ flagship park, the 260-acre Six Flags Magic Mountain features a whopping 19 roller coasters.
The best part is that they keep installing new roller coasters, making it the case that this amusement park has more roller coasters than any other in the globe.
Since 2011, five new roller coasters have been introduced, including Full Throttle, which boasts the tallest vertical loop in the world at 49 meters.
High Sierra Territory is a Looney Tunes-themed section for younger guests, while Rapids Camp Crossing is a recreation of a wilderness expedition in the American west.
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9. Brewing Company That Transplants
Ready to welcome visitors Transplants Brewing Company is Palmdale’s sole craft brewery, open Thursday through Sunday and staffed by beer professionals from all over the country.
The brewery releases a wide variety of out-there beers, like Cumber Some, a wheat lager with prominent cucumber undertones.
Black Bayou is a black ale infused with roasted coffee beans, while Filbert is made with hazelnuts and chocolate.
You can bring your own lunch or dinner from a local takeout spot and enjoy it with a drink of craft beer at the welcoming bar in the sampling area.
10. It took place at the Palmdale Amphitheater
The best spot to see live music is in the Antelope Valley, this outdoor venue hosts performances under the starry desert sky throughout the warmer months.
There is a diverse lineup of concerts each year; acts including the Four Tops, Blue Oyster Cult, Styx, and the Temptations have all performed there since 2005.
Everyone is encouraged to bring a blanket and enjoy cuisine from the area’s eateries, which will be represented by vendors.
Movies including “Despicable Me,” “Harry Potter,” and “Finding Nemo” will be shown during weekly family movie nights throughout the month of August.