Overview of Lancaster
The largest community in California’s Mojave Desert, Lancaster is known for its dramatic landscape and its aerospace industry, driven by the presence of Edwards Air Force Base. A high tech hub for Southern California, Lancaster is part of Los Angeles County, but, separated by the San Gabriel Mountains, it’s a world away from the regional sprawl.
People looking for apartments for rent in Lancaster will love the sunny weather, range of great activities and lively, forward-thinking culture.
Living in Lancaster, CA
Lancaster saw a burst of development in the late 1890s when local prospectors found gold and borax in the hills and mountains to the north. The town really took off when the area became a site for Air Force test flights in the 1930s. Edwards Air Force base, where test pilots famously flew to record speeds and altitudes in the 1950s and pioneered technology such as stealth systems in later decades, was famously the site of the Space Shuttle Columbia landing in 1981. Although Lancaster was not incorporated as its own city until 1977, it has loomed large in the imagination of aviation enthusiasts for decades.
With roughly 155,000 people, there’s more to Lancaster than aerospace technology. Apartments in Lancaster offer a relaxed living environment that nonetheless has plenty of entertainment opportunities, with a vibrant downtown and convenient access to the beautiful outdoor attractions of the San Gabriel Mountains, Sequoia National Forest and the stark beauty of the Mojave Desert.
Lancaster Work and Study
Lancaster residents have the option to study at any of several area colleges, including the Antelope Valley campus of CSU Bakersfield, Antelope Valley College, the private University of Antelope Valley or CSU Long Beach’s College of Engineering at the Lancaster University Center.
Edwards Air Force Base is the dominant driver of the local economy, acting not only as the city’s principal employer but also as the catalyst for the presence of many area aerospace and defense contractors. China Lake Naval Weapons, Lockheed Martin and Northrop-Grumman are all major employers. Local schools and government also provide a large number of jobs in the area.
Rentals in Lancaster, CA, and Cost of Living
Although a majority of Lancaster residents are homeowners, a significant percentage choose to rent, creating a sizeable market for renters, and rent prices are relatively affordable compared to the nearby Los Angeles area. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau showed the median gross rent from 2008 to 2010 was $1,079, while additional research showed one bedroom apartments renting for $650-800 per month.
Lancaster Attractions and Special Events
Many of the diversions in town reflect the presence of the aviation industry, from the scenic downtown Aerospace Walk, where visitors can browse monuments honoring celebrated pilots, to the name of the Lancaster minor league baseball team, the JetHawks. Lancaster is also home to an active downtown area and cultural destinations like the Lancaster Museum of Art and History and the Lancaster Performing Arts Center, as well as the country’s only musical road, a stretch of road where rumble strips sound out the William Tell Overture.
With great weather year-round, Lancaster lends itself to outdoor recreation. The Lancaster National Soccer Center is a major draw for soccer tournaments, while the Prime Desert Woodland Preserve offers hiking trails in 100 acres of wilderness in the middle of town. The San Gabriel Mountains and Sequoia National Forest are both within driving distance, and the scenic appeal of the desert landscape regularly attracts filmmakers. Visitors can also check out the Antelope Valley Poppy Preserve, which features acres of wildlife and beautiful orange poppies, the state flower. Poppies are celebrated in the annual California Poppy Festival, held in Lancaster.
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