What You Need to Know About Lancaster, CA
The city of Lancaster is one of several cities located in Antelope Valley, which makes up part of the western Mojave Desert. Lancaster is situated in the northern section of Los Angeles County, about 70 miles to the north of downtown Los Angeles and close to the border between Los Angeles and Kern counties.
Lancaster supports a population of roughly 160 thousand people, maintaining a close relationship with neighboring Palmdale, the other major city of the Antelope Valley region.
Nature, Culture, and Leisure in Lancaster
Lancaster residents have plenty of ways to take advantage of the Mojave’s arid beauty. State parks like Saddleback Butte and the Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park, as well as Prime Desert Woodland Preserve, provide hiking opportunities for lovers of the outdoors, with miles upon miles of paths snaking through junipers and Joshua trees. The Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve, 20 miles west of Lancaster, is home to a sea of California golden poppies, the state’s official flower, and their seasonal blooms are a sight to behold; Lancaster’s annual California Poppy Festival brings tens of thousands of visitors from all over the world. In total, Lancaster boasts over 600 acres of parkland, with the city government currently drafting plans for a system of trails and bike paths which will connect residential and commercial areas.
As part of the city of Lancaster’s cultural improvement efforts, the Lancaster Museum of Art and History was opened in 2012. Located in downtown Lancaster, the museum is a celebration of southern California, with thousands of art pieces on display. The Lancaster MOAH is one of the main attractions of Lancaster’s BLVD Cultural District, one of fourteen such cultural districts recognized by the state of California. Other institutions of the BLVD Cultural District are the Aerospace Walk of Honor, the historically important Western Hotel, and the Lancaster Performing Arts Center.
Dining, Nightlife, and Shopping
Downtown Lancaster, including the BLVD Cultural District, is home to a wide array of restaurants, bars, and clubs that will be sure to satisfy even the pickiest and most discerning clientele. From bowling to Latin dance to cozy British-style pubs, there’s something for everyone in downtown Lancaster.
That goes for shopping, too; Antelope Valley Mall and Palmdale International Shopping Mall are both quickly accessible from Lancaster, with a variety of vintage stores, antique shops, and other brick-and-mortar retail present in abundance in and around the BLVD Cultural District.
And if Lancaster’s nightlife and shopping scene don’t always cut it, Los Angeles is just a drive away.
With such a large population, Lancaster’s public education needs are met by four distinct school districts: Antelope Valley Union High School District, Eastside Union School District, Westside Union School District, and Lancaster School District. All together, Lancaster is served by 31 preschools, 57 elementary schools, 40 middle schools, and 32 high schools. Parents will be more than able to find a public school that suits their children in Lancaster, or, if so inclined, will have their pick of the 55 private educational institutions located there.
Real Estate in Lancaster
Since 2021, Lancaster home prices have risen by 23%. The median price of a home in Lancaster is $445 thousand, and houses in Lancaster usually stay on the market for about one month before being purchased. Lancaster’s housing market is generally considered hot, with prospective buyers usually facing stiff competition and bids often exceeding listing price.
About 75% of Lancaster households are owner-occupied, with the remainder used as rentals. Lancaster’s average rent hovers around $1,700 as of 2021, with rental demand fueled by the Antelope Valley’s own booming population as well as population runoff from the Los Angeles metro area and the USA at large. As remote work continues to disincentive living in crowded cities, more people are opting to live in slightly lesser populated areas such as inland California.
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