15 Best Things to Do in Antelope Valley, CA

Antelope Valley, CA
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Antelope Valley is among the numerous districts in California that let you experience enthralling activities across its several neighborhoods.

Located in the beautiful Southern California high desert, this 3,000-square-mile closed basin is blessed with nature.

It borders the mountain ranges of Tehachapi, Sierra Pelona, and the San Gabriel Mountains.

Over 11 000 years before, Antelope Valley was a famous trade route for Native Americans traveling from Arizona and New Mexico to the coastal areas of California.

When the Fort Tejon military post was established in 1854 near Grapevine Canyon and Castaic Lake, it opened an opportunity for more traffic inside the valley.

Antelope Valley was formerly considered a Greater Los Angeles area bedroom region.

During the 1980s, significant developments started around the area, resulting in a growth in population in its 13 localities.

Named after the pronghorns that roamed around the basin until the 1880s, Antelope Valley is now a central hub for travelers who want to see a different side of California.

Try these best things to do in Antelope Valley that will surely make your visit a standout trip.

Ride a Horse at Devil's Punchbowl Natural Area and Nature Center

Rock formations at Devil's Punchbowl Natural Area
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A popular outdoor experience in Antelope Valley is the Devil's Punchbowl Natural Area and Nature Center in Pearblossom.

It opened in 1963.

The Devil's Punchbowl Natural Area and Nature Center highlights many geological features, such as a canyon and a generous layer of sedimentary rocks along the trail.

While you can take a walk or hike through the 7.5-mile round trip path, you can take a fun horseback ride.

The trail takes you through a 300-foot-deep canyon from the higher San Gabriel Mountains.

Mountain views from Devil's Punchbowl Natural Area
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Along the trail, you'll see scenic landscapes of California junipers, Pinyon pine woodland, Joshua trees, and Desert chaparral shrubs sprawled across 1,310 acres.

You'll also enjoy the lush vegetation of cottonwood and willows and fun sightings of fauna such as chipmunks, California ground squirrels, and gray foxes.

River bed at Devil's Punchbowl Natural Area
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Learn about History at Western Hotel Museum

You must head off to Western Hotel Museum in Lancaster to learn about Antelope Valley.

This museum, located at West Lancaster Boulevard, walks you down the town's vibrant history and the whole of Antelope Valley's heritage.

Originally a 19th-century hotel built in 1888, the small museum houses many historical artifacts from the 1800s.

Also considered the city's oldest surviving structure, the gallery features a collection of images showcasing early settlers' lifestyles.

Inside the Western Hotel Museum, you'll see relics of household items and primitive equipment which they used to build their homes.

The objects also represent how Native Americans did their work back in the day.

Walk with Nature at Butte Valley Wildflower Sanctuary

Do you like going on nature walks while relaxing your eyes with beautiful scenery?

A trip to Butte Valley Wildflower Sanctuary is a perfect choice if you are in Antelope Valley.

The 351-acre oasis is along the rough terrain of Saddleback Butte State Park in Lancaster.

You'll treat your eyes with a feast of colors and beauty as vibrant wildflowers cover the land.

Specific areas are also dotted with creosote bushes and Joshua trees.

Remember to bring your camera to capture the lovely view when taking a tour inside this wildflower haven.

Butte Valley Wildflower Sanctuary allows an incredible opportunity to take panoramic landscape images, so you have to take advantage of the chance.

Solve a Mystery at Greatest Escape

As one of Antelope Valley's scariest, most hair-raising escape rooms, Greatest Escape at 10th Street leads you on an intense and frightening journey.

You and your friends will jump into a world of finding clues and solving mystery puzzles you should accomplish in only 60 minutes.

Greatest Escape opened in 2016 with three themed rooms that take you to horrifying scenes you can only experience in the movies.

The Apartment brings you to a serial killer's house, while Jail Break takes you on an intense mission of saving your friends from danger.

Lastly, Beyond the Wardrobe lets you experience a magical world with scary beasts and horrifying animals.

All these chilling escape rooms offer different intensities and difficulties, so choose only what you can conquer.

Listen to Music along Musical Road

Did you know that you don't have to switch on your radio to listen to music while on the freeway?

Take a drive through the quarter-mile-long Musical Road in Lancaster, a unique attraction you should try when navigating to Antelope Valley.

Located at Avenue G's 30th and 40th Streets West, this musical road features spaced grooves that produce pitches when a vehicle drives over.

Make sure to drive at around 55 mph to hear the best version of the music.

It plays the William Tell Overture while you move through this scenic portion of the city.

Initially, the car manufacturer Honda built the musical road at 60th and 70th Street West in 2008.

It was intended for a commercial advertisement.

Upon the project's completion, Honda turned over the roadway to the town as a gift.

As many drivers tried to go through the area, it created loud noises that gathered the ire of the people in the neighborhood.

It was then relocated to a more remote street.

Today, many tourists who drive their private cars check out this attraction without annoying the locals.

Admire the Beauty of California Poppy Reserve

People at California Poppy Reserve
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Since 1976, Antelope Valley has taken pride in the California Poppy Reserve in the remote hills of Lancaster.

It offers a stunning rolling field of the four-petal state flower, with the Tehachapi and Liebre Mountains of the Mojave Desert as a perfect backdrop.

Scenic view of California Poppy Reserve
Danita Delimont / Shutterstock.com

Inside the 1,763-acre property, you can tackle an eight-mile trail and enjoy the dreamy field in full bloom from mid-February to May.

The trail does not have any shaded stops.

You need to bring lots of sunscreen and snacks while you admire the beauty of the burning orange wildflowers.

Also, stay on the trail, as you might encounter Mojave green rattlesnakes along the way.

Closeup view of California Poppy Reserve's vibrant poppies
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Study American Art at the Museum of Art and History

This museum is an excellent place to learn about post-war American art.

The Museum of Art and History in Lancaster walks you down the history of local artists in Antelope Valley.

Since 2012, the 20,000-square-foot museum has displayed various exhibitions about Native Americans.

Most works presented in this gallery are from contemporary Southern California street artists.

Drop by the Museum of Art and History if you love arts and history.

Play with the Cats at Cat House Rosamond

Exotic Feline Breeding Compound's (EFBC) Feline Conservation Center, or the Cat House, is a sanctuary of over 70 endangered felines worldwide.

You can find it in Rosamond, California, part of Antelope Valley.

Since its opening in 1977, it has housed over 16 species of exotic wildcats roaming its vast natural habitat.

See bobcats, cougars, Palace cats, fishing cats, and more.

The center has large cages, expansive playing areas, wetlands, and more habitats sprawled across its vicinity.

You can also get up close and personal with the friendly species while observing jaguars, tigers, and leopards from their cages.

While the Cat House does not sell cats to the public, cats born here are sold to various zoos and conservatories.

You can learn about them through educational tours, interactive activities, and volunteer opportunities.

Go Racing at Willow Springs International Motorsports Park

The 600-acre Willow Springs International Motorsports Park is a permanent road racing spot in Antelope Valley.

Opened in 1953, this road course is the oldest in the country, making it a distinct motocross destination for enthusiasts.

It has also hosted several iconic races worldwide, making it a known racing venue in California.

If you intend to practice here, you have plenty of tracks to choose from, depending on your skill level.

Inside the Willow Springs International Motorsports Park are seven trails featuring plenty of uphill and downhill portions and twists and turns with varying difficulties.

Tour the Blackbird Airpark Palmdale

Aircraft at Blackbird Airpark Palmdale
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If you are interested in aviation, a tour around Blackbird Airpark in Palmdale can give you a glimpse of what it's like inside a high-speed jet.

Blackbird Airpark sits adjacent to the U.S. Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale.

Opened in 1991, the park is a three-acre display of several notable airplanes in history.

It is the home of the SR-71 Blackbird, a two-seater plane similar to the CIA's A-12 reconnaissance aircraft.

You'll also find other historic planes, such as the U-2D Dragon Lady, the A-12 test plane, and the D-21 drone.

U.S air force aircraft at Blackbird Airpark Palmdale
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These interesting aircraft are all top-secret U.S. spy aircraft used during the Cold War.

You can find the Blackbird Heritage Wall inside the park dedicated to all aircraft professionals associated with the airplanes.

The open house at Blackbird Airpark Palmdale gives you a tour of the small park from skilled aeronautical engineers.

A plane at Blackbird Airpark Palmdale
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Drink at Antelope Valley Winery

Spend an afternoon with a glass of fine wine while viewing the spectacular landscape in Antelope Valley.

Go to Antelope Valley Winery in Lancaster, where you can taste the best California red and white wines and dry and sweet ones.

You can participate in their wine tasting, picnics, and tours of their grape growing process.

The Donato family founded this winery in 1990.

It started with a vineyard and grew into an entire winery with handcrafted wine baskets and an extensive collection of wine accouterments.

The Antelope Valley Winery also offers grass-fed buffalo and exotic meats such as pheasant, alligator, venison, and wild boar that you can pair with your choice of wine.

Catch Fish at Apollo Community Regional Park

If you are a fishing enthusiast visiting Antelope Valley, the right spot is the Apollo Community Regional Park in Lancaster.

This 54-acre park opened in 1972 and was named after the Apollo 11 astronauts.

It features three artificial lakes for fishing and boating.

You will typically catch common carp, rainbow trout, and green sunfish.

During some months, the park stock bluegill, catfish, and largemouth bass.

Bring your California fishing license to start your fishing adventure when you visit the Apollo Community Regional Park.

You can also join fishing derbies held thrice annually in the pond.

Visit the Lamont Odett Vista Point Marker

Drive to California Route 14, over 2.4 miles north of Angeles Forest Highway in Palmdale, and visit the Lamont Odett Vista Point Marker.

From the vista point, you'll see refreshing hillside views of Antelope Valley.

It also offers a nearby scenic sight of the artificial Palmdale Lake and the sag pond Una Lake.

The view deck is another excellent resting point where you can take panoramic pictures with the valley in the background.

This freeway rest area was built in 1975, whose name comes from Lamont "Monty" Odett, Sr., a notable legislator in the 1950s.

Visit the Lamont Odett Vista Point Marker!

Catch Performances at Lancaster Performing Arts Center

The Lancaster Performing Arts Center, located at West Lancaster Boulevard, is a premiere entertainment hub in Antelope Valley.

Established in 1991, the arts center is the largest performing arts facility in the northernmost part of Los Angeles County.

You'll always have world-class performances and acts to watch weekly from artists worldwide.

You can watch ballet, musicals, magic shows, concerts, and other performances that will ignite your appreciation of music and the arts.

As an entertainment destination, the Lancaster Performing Arts Center also offers dynamic theatre programs for locals in Antelope Valley.

If you stay for a while, you can enroll in their programs to learn more about performing arts.

Discover Native Culture at Antelope Valley Indian Museum State Historic Park

Exterior of the Antelope Valley Indian Museum State Historic Park
Junkyardsparkle, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Located in the rural east side of Antelope Valley is a state park that houses the best collection of Native American culture.

In 1928, the artist H. Arden Edwards built the Antelope Valley Indian Museum State Historical Park in Lancaster.

Front view of Antelope Valley Indian Museum State Historic Park
Junkyardsparkle, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Exploring the structure will leave you amazed at its rare artifacts from Native Americans who settled in the Great Basin, Southwest, and Californian regions.

Situated over a rock formation in the Mojave Desert, the chalet-style building is also on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Antelope Valley Indian Museum State Historical Park is one of Antelope Valley's havens of history that defines the region's roots and California's rich past.

Interior of the Antelope Valley Indian Museum State Historic Park
Junkyardsparkle, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Final Thoughts

Antelope Valley is a combined retreat of natural wonders, historical centers, and the arts.

Covering several towns, you will have a great time exploring what this valley is all about.

There are lovely nature walks with blooming flower fields, wildlife habitats of exotic species, and one-of-a-kind adventure spots.

If you want a unique adventure, the best things to do in Antelope Valley, California, will give you the perfect experience in the Golden State.

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