Blake Walsh

30 Best Things to Do in Lancaster, CA

  • Published 2022/11/03

Nestled at the base of Tehachapi, San Gabriel, and Sierra Pelona mountain ranges, lies Lancaster City in California.

This underrated tourist destination features astounding desert landscapes, world-class racetracks, outrageously colored poppy fields, diverse wildlife, remarkable aerospace museums, sprawling crimson canyons, and so much more.

Here, you’ll see the magnificent Mojave Desert, which offers a wide variety of outdoor recreational activities such as camping, hiking, star gazing, rock climbing, picnicking, and several others.

Interested to know more about this place?

Here are the 30 best things to do in Lancaster, California:

Take a Sightseeing Tour at Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve

View of flowers at Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve

Wollertz /

The vast spreading, brightly colored wildflowers in Antelope Valley create a heavenly visual to behold.

Watch the fields painted in brilliant shades of saffron, violet, yellow, blue, and green.

The perfect time to visit this reserve is in spring, when the flowers are in full bloom.

People at Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve

Zhuo Wen Chen /

Enjoy an invigorating hike along the picturesque nature trails and view the region’s diverse wildlife.

You can spot snakes, lizards, rats, meadowlarks, scorpions, beetles, hawks.

Additionally, this place also features cream cups, lupine, owl clover, coreopsis, and more.

Closeup of poppy blossoms at Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve

joojoob27 /

Catch Shows at Regency

One of downtown California’s hidden gems is the Regency movie theater at 742 W Lancaster Blvd.

The nice 2-story facility is a classic, cozy movie theater that offers recliners and three different screens.

Regency has everything you would expect from a traditional theater but with a more intimate atmosphere that allows you to enjoy a movie without getting lost in the crowd.

The employees are genuinely friendly, compassionate, and helpful; they make you feel welcome immediately as soon as you step foot inside of the great-looking building.

If you’re nearby, don’t forget to spend some time at this wonderful place; this is what luxury theaters should be like!

See the Flying Stunts at Los Angeles County Air Show

A plane during Los Angeles County Air Show

Santiparp Wattanaporn /

This annual event takes place for two days in October.

It features remarkable flying stunts by the US Air Force and Navy, a broad array of army jets, skydiving, helicopters, vintage army aircraft, hot air balloons, a science fair, exhibits displaying aviation history, and plenty more.

Planes during the Los Angeles County Air Show

Santiparp Wattanaporn /

Every alternative year, the venue rotates between William J. Fox Airfield and Edwards Air Force Base.

Attend this event to enjoy the entertaining and awe-inspiring performances.

Jets at Los Angeles County Air Show

betto rodrigues /

Visit the Lancaster Museum of Art and History

Museum of Art and History or MOAH includes permanent collections and rotating exhibitions.

It has four locations in Lancaster that collectively offer several thousands of diverse exhibits such as historical artifacts, aviation-related displays, artworks by regional artists, a pinball machine, local memorabilia, history of surfboards, and many more.

It mainly focuses on the Antelope Valley’s regional art, culture, natural resources, and history.

Various events are also organized here throughout the year, including open mic nights, annual art competitions, exhibitions by students of local schools.

Visit the museum and explore the stunning artworks that will make for a perfect visit.

Revisit Native American’s Culture at Antelope Valley Indian Museum

Exterior view of Antelope Valley Indian Museum

Junkyardsparkle, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Antelope Valley Indian Museum is one of the major attractions of Lancaster and provides you with a unique experience.

It features thousands of historical and contemporary exhibits related to the regional Native American culture.

The items on display include pottery, sandals, baskets, jewelry, paintings, textiles, rugs, hunting equipment, ropes, sculptures, and more.

The outdoor area of the museum features nature trails and picnic areas.

The museum is open to the public on weekends from 11 am to 4 pm.

Watch Orchestras at Lancaster Performing Arts Centre

Founded in 1991, this theatre offers a wide range of entertaining and lively performances, such as ballets, orchestra, comedy, plays, musical concerts, magic shows, musicals, and plenty more.

Considered the largest and the best theatre in the entire Antelope Valley, Lancaster Performing Arts Centre features not only regional talent but also presents world-famous performances.

Some renowned artists who have graced the stage here include Debbie Reynolds, Willie Nelson, Henry Mancini, Penn & Teller, Billy Ray Cyrus, Natalie Cole.

Get tickets to a show and enjoy an amazing performance.

Check Out the Historical Artifacts at Western Hotel Museum

Formerly a hotel, Western Hotel Museum was converted into a museum during its centennial year in 1988.

It educates its patrons about the regional history of the Antelope Valley.

It is affiliated with the Museum of Art and History and is one of the oldest buildings of this region.

Its permanent collection displays historical artifacts and local memorabilia include household items, maps, pictures, traditional masonry equipment, black and white albums, sculptures, clocks, china, baskets, furniture, crockery, a pump organ, Native American stones, and more.

It is open to the public on the second and fourth Fridays and Saturdays of every month, from 11 am to 4 pm.

Explore the ancient artifacts in this historic museum.

Enjoy the Hot Air Balloon Rides

Balloons at Hot Air Balloon Rides

moralito /

With Don’s Early Light Hot Air Balloon Flights, you will certainly the mind-blowing aerial views at the Mojave Desert and Antelope Valley.

Try this amazing experience in Lancaster and create unforgettable memories to cherish.

You won’t regret it!

Wander around Apollo Community Regional Park

Encompassing over 50 acres, this park features three enchanting lakes, picnic areas, invigorating hiking trails, barbeque grills, snack bars, playgrounds, and more.

You can also spot ducks, geese, rabbits, and swans.

What’s more, the lakes provide access to fishing.

This park has been named after the astronauts who traveled in the Apollo 11 spaceflight.

Go for a refreshing stroll here or enjoy a nice picnic by the lakeside.

Drive on the Civic Musical Road

This fascinating and unique road is one of Lancaster’s prime attractions.

Located between 30th and 40th Street West on Avenue G, Civic Musical Road consists of grooves that play music every time a car is driven on it.

The grooves are located at regular intervals on the road.

It was originally paved by Honda Motor Company in 2008 as a publicity stunt.

Enjoy a scenic and musical drive on this road while visiting Lancaster.

Go Hiking at Prime Desert Woodland Preserve

A rabbit at Prime Desert Woodland Preserve

Fifth Planet /

Prime Desert Woodland Preserve features hiking trails that traverse the desert’s remote areas.

It provides excellent opportunities to explore the astounding beauty of the Mojave Desert and its native flora and fauna.

It is also a perfect place for stargazing at night.

Go hiking in the wild and sandy desert and view the exotic wildlife.

Animal sculpture at Prime Desert Woodland Preserve

Rachael Martin /

You can spot ravens and hawks patrolling the sky, numerous jackrabbits, coyotes, lizards, quails, squirrels, cottontail rabbits, Joshua trees, cactus, and several others.

The Elyze Clifford Interpretive Centre is also located here, and it emphasizes the regional flora and fauna, history, culture, and geology of the Mojave desert.

The various exhibits include live animals, historical artifacts, pictures, interpretation of the regional Native American history, mining history, minerals found in the desert, and more.

The interpretive center is open on Wednesdays and weekends from 10 am to 4 pm.

Pay a Visit to Lancaster National Soccer Center

Watch a game of soccer at this renowned stadium.

It has 35 soccer fields and hosts a multitude of soccer tournaments throughout the year, such as the Cal south state cup, LA cup, California cup, and more.

Visit this place and you’re guaranteed to have a fun-filled experience

Go Camping at Saddleback Butte

Scenic view of Saddle Butte State Park

L.A. Nature Graphics /

Located in the Mojave Desert, this state park is a popular site for hiking, picnicking, and camping.

It features the Saddleback Butte, whose peak is at the height of over 3,600 feet from the ground.

Follow the hiking trails at the top of the mountain and enjoy the grand vistas of the Antelope Valley and the Mojave Desert.

The view of the sunset from the top is heavenly.

Here, you’ll enjoy a nice picnic against the picturesque backdrops.

Campgrounds are also available for primitive and RV camping, featuring barbeque grills and bonfire areas.

You can view foxes, lizards, cottontail rabbits, coyotes, squirrels, snakes, kangaroo rats, and several others.

The park is open daily from 9 am to dusk, and the campgrounds are open 24/7.

Witness the California Poppy Festival

This two-day festival takes place in April every year, which is organized at the Sgt. Steve Owen Memorial Park.

It features live performances, amusement rides, delicious food stalls, fun activities, a petting zoo, trampolines, animal encounters, arts and crafts stores, vintage and modern car shows, a farmer’s market, and more.

Here, you’ll see over 200 regional vendors selling products such as pottery, handicrafts, home décor, jewelry, candles, apparel, glassware, body care products, and so on.

Be a part of the festivities and experience the vibrant local culture here.

Watch Baseball Games at The Hangar

Exterior of The Hangar at Lancaster, CA

Alan Radecki, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Baseball is a prominent part of Lancaster’s culture.

Here you’ll see the Lancaster Jethawks, the city’s official minor league baseball team.

They have won two California League championship trophies.

They usually play at The Hangar stadium, which is this team’s home ground and can accommodate more than 7,000 patrons during a game.

Have a Wine Tour at Agua Dulce Winery

The Agua Dulce Winery is the largest winery in the region and is renowned for its chardonnay and red wines.

This place has won several awards at numerous national-level competitions and has also been honored as the best fine wine producer in the county.

Their tours are followed by a delectable lunch.

Spend a relaxing day touring their 400-acre vineyard and tasting delicious wine.

They’re open every day of the week except Mondays.

Spend the Day at Forrest E Hull Park

Forrest E Hull Park is a wonderful neighborhood park found at 2850 West Avenue L-12, Lancaster, California.

This park features a fenced-off area for pets, a spacious grassy field, and a paved lighted walking trail.

Here, you’ll see people having picnics.

The middle of the park is a big field that’s perfect for playing some soccer or football (or even flying kites if you’re up for it!)

Indeed, Forrest E Hull Park is a great place for children and families for a fun-filled day.

Cycle along the Sierra Highway Bike Trail

The Sierra Bike Trail is one of the most popular bike trails in Southern California.

It connects two cities, Palmdale and Lancaster, via a trail that takes commuters from both train stations for quick transportation around town.

Not only does this help areas of Antelope Valley connect to each other, but it’s also a recreational route that provides residents with some much-needed exercise.

There is this super fun stretch of bike lanes between Avenue Q and 6th Street East around the Palmdale Metrolink station.

Sierra Highway Bike Trail is located in southern California next to a desert, so you should definitely carry your water bottle.

Customize a Gift Basket at Antelope Valley Winery

You may customize the exquisite wine gift baskets from Antelope Valley Winery by adding your unique private California wine label and including California wines, exotic species, and wine accessories.

They create an extensive range of wines, from red to white and crisp to sweet, to satisfy every palette.

Additionally, there is a flavorful food and gift shop onsite.

Taste wines are made from grapes cultivated in the Antelope Valley American Viticultural Area.

There are wine tastings available indoors and outdoors, in addition to the glass and bottle.

Visit Antelope Valley Winery Wednesday through Sunday from 11 AM to 6 PM for tastings, tours, retail, and picnics.

Stop by for a Delicious Meal at Crazy Otto’s

Crazy Otto’s was situated next to the railroad lines in Lancaster, California, on Sierra Highway for approximately 25 years.

The diner eventually had two separate and independent kitchens and dining rooms due to the restaurant’s expansion over time to handle the heavy foot traffic.

The largest omelets in town is among the other accolade acquired by Crazy Otto’s, which they decided to uphold in June 1993.

Crazy Otto’s is open daily for breakfast, lunch, and in some places, evening.

Prime rib, a signature specialty, is certainly the greatest you’ve ever tasted.

Engage in Activities and Events at AV Fair and Event Center

The AV Fair and Event Center, a focal point for activities and events in the Antelope Valley, is your go-to place for all things local.

The Antelope Valley Fair, business meetings, private receptions, and galas are just a few events that occur all year long at their expansive venue.

Their goal is to fulfill the different academic and entertainment requirements of Antelope Valley households and residents by providing a well-managed, secure facility.

They also feature an AV Resort’s RV Park boasting complete connections, the possibility to keep pets, free internet access, and affordable pricing, offering everything you could need.

The AV Fair & Event Center is hosting several events, and reservations for private or public events are now open.

Explore The BLVD

The BLVD is an effort to revive the downtown atmosphere with a distinctively contemporary spin.

It fits into a larger drive to provide warm, fresh places where people may interact.

The locals gather there to celebrate, enjoy excellent company, and get to know one another.

Many of the best restaurants are located on the BLVD, along with various casual eateries for any palate.

The BLVD offers some of the most thrilling entertainment alternatives for everyone to experience if you’re looking for a fantastic spot to be entertained.

The BLVD has a wide variety of alternatives, including specialty goods, contemporary clothing, and one-of-a-kind treasures.

Savor Great Wine at Stephen Hemmert Wines

In 2014, Stephen founded the Stephen Hemmert Wines company with Nicole St. Julian, his companion, and soon-to-be bride.

The ultimate objective is to create exceptional varietals and wines from different regions of California.

Wines made by Stephen Hemmert are produced in Lancaster, California.

Since each vintage is only made in small quantities, it is unusual and special.

Learn about the small-production, hand-crafted vintages of Stephen Hemmert Wines.

Furthermore, Stephen and Nicole frequently throw wine gatherings.

Other Things to Do Nearby

See Various Aircraft at Joe Davies Heritage Airpark

Aircraft at Joe Davies Heritage Airpark

Angel DiBilio /

Located in Palmdale, this airpark features over 20 real aircraft that the US Airforce once used.

Additionally, the park exhibits real missiles, bombers, transport aircrafts, plane components, and more.

Front view of an aircraft at Joe Davies Heritage Airpark

Angel DiBilio /

All the exhibits share some history with the US Airforce Plant 42, which is located in Palmdale city.

Tour the park and learn more about the aviation history of the country.

Admission to the site is absolutely free for all.

Display at Joe Davies Heritage Airpark

Steve Riggins, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

See Ostriches at Quail Run Ostrich Ranch

Quail Run Ostrich Ranch lets you get close to numerous ostriches.

Here, you’ll learn loads of interesting facts about these birds.

What’s more, the store at Quail Run Ostrich Ranch sells ostrich eggs, meat, honey, fresh apples and cherries, ostrich chicks, body care products, home décor, furniture, feather dusters, and so on.

Additionally, this site also features a cherry and apple orchard.

Take a tour of this farm and get close to animals that will have your day filled with excitement.

See the Rustic Red Cliffs at Red Rock Canyon State Park

Scenic view of Red Rock Canyon State Park

Scenic view of Gary C. Tognoni /

This historic state park features enormous rustic red cliffs and sedimentary rock formations spread throughout the desert.

Centuries ago, this site used to be inhabited by Native Indians.

Estimated to be over 10 million years old, this renowned archaeological site is a paleontologist’s heaven.

Close view of a canyon at Red Rock Canyon State Park

James LePage /

Numerous fossils can be found at this site, providing significant insights into the region’s ancient environment.

Enjoy an invigorating hike along these dramatic and brilliantly colored cliffs, or camp here at night to experience nature.

Or you may try hunting for fossils and appreciate the picturesque views.

You can spot roadrunners, tortoises, wild burros, rabbits, squirrels, eagles, and plenty more.

Owing to its incredible beauty, this site is popular among photographers and moviemakers.

Rock window at Red Rock Canyon State Park

yhelfman /

It has been featured in a wide range of films, such as Jurassic Park, The Mummy, The Big Country, Westworld. Destiny’s Child’s Cater 2 U music video was also filmed here.

Primitive camping is possible at Ricardo Campground.

The park is open from dawn to dusk.

Visit the Willow Springs International Motorsports Park

Established in 1953, this park encompasses 600 acres and features multiple racetracks.

Over the years, it has hosted several world-class racing events, such as the NASCAR cup series, Grand Prix motorcycle races, Cal club races, American Motorcyclist Association events, and plenty more.

It is one of the fastest and most difficult racecourses in the United States and has recorded speeds close to 200 mph.

A multitude of racing events is organized here throughout the year.

Get tickets to a race and enjoy a mind-blowing experience.

See the Planes at Edwards Air Force Base

A plane at Edwards Air Force Base

Eugene Berman /

Edwards Air Force Base consists of a flight test center for the US Air Force, NASA’s research center, a test pilot school, and a museum.

The museum is open to the public once a month, and free guided tours are provided.

Its exhibits feature 35 aircrafts, missiles, aircraft components, technical diagrams, pictures, model planes, and lots more.

Aircraft at Edwards Air Force Base

Eugene Berman /

Additionally, the free guided tour includes a bus tour of the main base.

You are only allowed to get off the bus at the museum.

Visit this place and enjoy viewing their incredible collection of diverse aircraft.

A plane landing at Edwards Air Force Base

Everett Collection /

Final Thoughts

Lancaster is a beautiful city with plenty of things to see and do.

Lancaster offers something for everyone, whether you’re looking for family fun or a night on the town.

Keep this post bookmarked when planning your next Lancaster visit!

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