In 1933, the U. S. government established Muroc Air Base (from an original founder's name, Effie Corum, spelled backwards), now known as Edwards Air Force Base. They also bought Palmdale Airport in 1952 and established an aerospace development and testing facility called United States Air Force Plant 42. One year later, in 1953, Lockheed established a facility at the airport. After this point in time, the aerospace industry took over as the primary local source of employment, where it has remained ever since. Today, it's known as the "Aerospace Capital of America", where many of the aircraft used in the United States military are built and tested.
Palmdale is about 70 miles north of Downtown Los Angeles off of California State Highway 14, the Antelope Valley Freeway. The A.V. Freeway is the area's principal north - south route. The other end of CA-14 to the North connects Reno, Nevada to the Palmdale area via US Highway 395.
California State Highway 18 connects the Victor Valley area to the Palmdale area via CA-138.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) operates the Los Angeles Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) at its site near Plant 42 at Avenue P and 25th Street East. However, the 1 Palmdale Regional Airport (PMD IATA). has no scheduled passenger airline service.
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX IATA), Ontario International Airport (ONT IATA), and Bakersfield Meadows Field (BFL IATA) are all approximately the same distance away timewise, assuming no traffic.
LAX has the most travel options and is generally the least expensive, but is significantly crowded and has many a long line in addition to the excessive traffic one must usually contend with to get to/from the airport.
Ontario will be much less crowded and easier to use. Traffic can be bad at times, but not nearly as bad as LAX.
Bakersfield is also an easy to use, uncrowded airport like Ontario, but has less flight options and is also generally more expensive, however, there is little to no traffic problems reaching BFL.
Shuttle Buses operate to/from LAX, costing approximately $70 one way:
- Antelope Valley Airport Express, +1 661 945-2529.
- 2 Palmdale Transportation Center (downtown). daily rail service to Los Angeles area destinations via Metrolink, a commuter rail line. The center is also served by Amtrak California, the national passenger rail carrier, using its Thruway Bus service. It is the metropolitan area's mass-transit hub.
- 3 . serves southernmost Palmdale and nearby Acton with commuter rail service to/from Los Angeles. Its on the same Metrolink line as Palmdale Transportation Center
Other than coming to or leaving town, rail service is not particularly used in this area as there are only 2 stations serving Palmdale and 1 more in nearby Lancaster.
Greyhound Bus Lines serves the Palmdale Transportation Center daily.
The Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA) has daily commuter bus lines that connect to the Palmdale Transportation Center from various areas in Los Angeles. The AVTA is also the operator of the city's public bus system.
Santa Clarita Transit has a daily commuter bus line that runs to the Palmdale Transportation Center from the nearby city of Santa Clarita.
Palmdale has a local city bus system, operated by the Antelope Valley Transit Authority. These buses operate on most major thoroughfares throughout the metropolitan area and arrive on average of every 15 to 20 minutes. There are 2 major transfer centers in the city for switching bus lines, one at the Antelope Valley Mall and the primary one at the Palmdale Transportation Center. Santa Clarita Transit is the nearby city of Santa Clarita's public bus system and it offers connecting bus service from the PTC as well. Greyhound Bus also serves the Palmdale Transportation Center.
Palmdale has taxi services by several companies. However, these taxis must always be called ahead of time, they are rarely in a position to be flagged down like in New York City or Los Angeles. If you plan on using a taxi service when arriving at Palmdale Regional Airport, there is a pay phone in the terminal that can be used to call them.
- El Taxi en Espanol (661) 266-2255
- Southland Yellow Cab (661) 723-2227
Palmdale has most of the major rental car companies present. If arriving at Palmdale Regional Airport, there is a phone available to contact the rental car companies. The rental car companies do not have lots on the airport site, but they will come and pick you up from the airport and take you to the rental car facility. They will also likewise return you to the airport in the same manner.
- Avis (661) 945-5825
- Budget (661) 273-8140 or (661) 266-0662
- Dollar (661) 945-1869
- Enterprise (661) 274-2585 or (661) 266-0334
- Hertz (661) 540-0889 or (661) 948-5496
Aerospace and flight
- 1 Blackbird Air Park (United States Air Force Plant 42 airpark), 2503 E. Avenue P (Take Highway 14 or Sierra Highway to Avenue P, turn east, drive to 25th Street East.), ☏ . F-Su 10AM-5PM. Actually, two museums adjacent to Plant 42, the classified USAF manufacturing plant, also used by NASA. The Blackbird Airpark Museum is an extension of the AFFT Museum at Edwards AFB, while the Joe Davies Heritage Airpark (formerly Palmdale Plant 42 Heritage Airpark) is operated by the municipality. Both are manned by retirees who had previously worked in the aerospace industry, some actually having worked on the aircraft displayed at the two parks. All of the aircraft have been carefully restored for public display. View and walk around retired SR-71A (Blackbird), A-12 and U-2 aircraft.
Live entertainment & festivals
- Palmdale Amphitheater. Located at Marie Kerr Park on the western side of the city, is a 10,000 seat outdoor amphitheater, featuring the Starlight Concert Series [dead link] hosting many world famous performers on evenings in the summer.
- [dead link] The Palmdale Fall Festival. An annual festival said to be one of the best in California and held every October at Marie Kerr Park.
- [dead link] The Palmdale Jazz & Wine Festival. An annual event held in September at the Palmdale Amphitheater.
- [dead link] Palmdale Playhouse and Art Gallery.
- [dead link] Thursday Night on the Square. Features an outside market, live entertainment, various arts and crafts, refreshments, and children's activities on Thursday nights in the summer.
Local experience, culture & museums
- [dead link] Palmdale Civic Center. The location of the Poncitlan Square and the Larry Chimbole Cultural Center [dead link] downtown.
- Joe Davies Heritage Airpark at Palmdale Plant 42. And the next-door Air Force Flight Test Center Museum's Blackbird Airpark Annex show off displays of various aircraft built or tested at Palmdale Air Force Plant 42.
- [dead link] Palmdale Playhouse and Art Gallery.
- [dead link] Palmdale Schoolhouse. At McAdam Park is the only remaining building of the original village of Palmenthal in the late 1800s.
Outdoors, nature, camping & recreation
- Big Rock Creek Camp. A camping area near Devil's Punchbowl southeast of the city.
- Joshua Ranch Trail. A natural preservation area, temporarily closed due to a housing development under construction.
- 1 Littlerock Dam and Recreation Area. Southeast of the city, is a county operated park with a public use lake and several campsites.
- 2 Saddleback Butte State Park. Located in the buttes north of Lake Los Angeles to the northeast of the city, the park has a small camping area. It is known to be an ideal location for late night stargazing and viewing meteor showers on clear nights.
- Best Of The West Softball Complex. Regularly hosts various state and national softball tournaments.
- Brunswick Vista Lanes. Is located on 30th Street East near Palmdale Blvd.
- Brunswick Sands Bowl. Is located on Sierra Highway north of Avenue L.
- Rancho Vista Golf Course. Is Palmdale's only PGA class golf course.
- Antelope Valley Country Club. Another major golf course which requires club membership to play.
- Desert Aire Golf Course. Located near the eastern side of the city.
- Mountain High. A ski resort in nearby Wrightwood, southeast of the city.
- 3 Dry Town Water Park, ☏ . On Avenue S is open each summer from May to September, it has water slides, a wave pool, and a lazy river.
- Hammack Activity Center and Roller Hockey Rink. A family-friendly facility providing various activities for youth.
Palmdale has many of the stores found in the typical middle-class cities across the United States. Most of these stores are found at the intersection of Rancho Vista Blvd. and 10th Street West in and around the Antelope Valley Mall. There is also another heavy retail shopping cooridor growing on 47th Street East at Avenue S. The third main shopping area is located along Palmdale Blvd. between 17th Street East and 30th Street East.
As far as shopping unique to Palmdale, there really isn't any. You may find local area postcards in some of the stores like Wal-Mart or Target, but that's about as far as it goes.
Palmdale has eateries to satisfy any palate. Most of the food establishments are located at the intersection of Rancho Vista Blvd. and 10th Street West near the Antelope Valley Mall, or along Palmdale Blvd. between 20th and 30th Streets East.
Where multiple restaurants of the same name are mentioned, they are listed in order of distance from the city center where all hotels are located.
American & BBQ
- Bakers Square, 350 W. Palmdale Blvd, ☏ .
- Cascades Grill, 3905 Club Rancho Dr, ☏ .
- Country Cafe, 2211 E. Palmdale Blvd, ☏ .
- Greenhouse Cafe, 1233 W. Rancho Vista Blvd, ☏ .
- Pines Cafe, 4343 Pearblossom Highway.
- Schooner Saloon Restaurant, 38417 20th Street East, ☏ .
- Steer N' Stein, 2162 E. Palmdale Blvd, ☏ .
- Ten West Bar & Grill, 40420 10th Street West, ☏ .
- Texas Cattle Company, 1233 W. Rancho Vista Blvd, ☏ , fax: .
- Vincent Hill Station, 553 Sierra Highway, ☏ .
- China Garden, 2321 E. Avenue S, ☏ .
- China Palace, 232 E. Palmdale Blvd, ☏ .
- Lucky Star, 38414 Division St, ☏ .
- Mr. Wok, 3025 E. Avenue S, ☏ .
- Nopgow Chinese Restaurant West, 39522 10th Street West, ☏ .
- Nopgow Chinese Restaurant East, 2551 E. Avenue S, ☏ .
- Phoenix Inn, 2250 E. Palmdale Blvd, ☏ .
- Something to Eat, 39224 10th Street West, ☏ .
- 1 Mediterranean Delight, 1233 W. Rancho Vista Blvd (Exit Highway 14 at 10th St. W. Drive south one block, turn right into Antelope Valley Mall. Restaurant located inside mall.), ☏ .
- L&L Hawaiian Barbeque, 39438 Trade Center Dr, ☏ .
- Q&Q Hawaiian Barbeque, 39445 10th Street West, ☏ .
- Malhi's Family Indian Cuisine, 39256 10th Street West, ☏ .
- Eduardo's Italian Restaurant, 819 W. Palmdale Blvd, ☏ .
- Me & Ed's Pizzeria, 39202 10th Street West, ☏ .
Japanese & sushi
- Big Tuna, 39409 10th Street West, ☏ .
- Geisha Japanese Restaurant, 120 E. Palmdale Blvd, ☏ .
- Shogun Sushi, 828 E. Avenue Q-6, ☏ .
- Shogun Teriyaki, 1233 W. Rancho Vista Blvd, ☏ .
- Tokyo Steakhouse, 2106 E. Palmdale Blvd, ☏ .
- Tokyo Sushi, 2211 E. Palmdale Blvd, ☏ .
- Uozumi Restaurant, 38575 6th Street East, ☏ .
- Don Juan's Mexican Cantina, 38350 30th Street East, ☏ .
- El Dorado Restaurant & Bar, 2072 E. Palmdale Blvd, ☏ .
- El Torito, 1161 W. Rancho Vista Blvd, ☏ .
- El Toreo West, 38801 10th Street West, ☏ .
- El Toreo East, 3025 E. Avenue S, ☏ .
- Los Arco's Mexican Food, 3115 W. Rancho Vista Blvd, ☏ .
- Medrano's Mexican Restaurant, 1823 E. Palmdale Blvd, ☏ .
- Sharky's Mexican Grill, 39532 10th Street West, ☏ .
- Speedy Joes Mexican Restaurant, 40205 10th Street West, ☏ .
- Mongolian Express, 1233 W. Rancho Vista Blvd, ☏ .
- Mi Ranchito Seafood, 1060 E. Palmdale Blvd, ☏ .
- Louisiana Hots, 2728 E. Palmdale Blvd, ☏ .
- Original M&M Soul Food, 2260 E. Palmdale Blvd, ☏ .
- Nopgow Thai Restaurant West, 39522 10th Street West, ☏ .
- Nopgow Thai Restaurant East, 2551 E. Avenue S, ☏ .
- Thai Cafe Cuisine, 827 W. Palmdale Blvd, ☏ .
- Thai Palms Restaurant, 957 E. Palmdale Blvd, ☏ .
- Alice's Burgers, 801 W. Palmdale Blvd, ☏ .
- Brussels Deli, 906 E. Palmdale Blvd, ☏ .
- Buffet King, 2053 E. Palmdale Blvd, ☏ .
- Cupid's Hotdogs, 820 W. Rancho Vista Blvd, ☏ .
- Doublz Burgers, 2230 E. Palmdale Blvd, ☏ .
- Dragon Express, 3005 E. Palmdale Blvd, ☏ . Suite# 18
- Fatburger, 39256 10th Street West, ☏ .
- Great Steak & Potato Company, 1233 W. Rancho Vista Blvd, ☏ .
- Green Burrito, 1031 W. Rancho Vista Blvd, ☏ .
- Green Burrito, 2505 E. Avenue S, ☏ .
- H. Salt Seafood, 2551 E. Avenue S, ☏ .
- Philly Cheesesteak & Company, 38745 Tierra Subida Ave, ☏ .
- Primo Burger's, 4654 E. Avenue S, ☏ .
- Que Rico's, 473 E. Palmdale Blvd, ☏ .
- Rubio's Mexican Grill, 39445 10th Street West, ☏ .
- Tom's #25, 695 W. Palmdale Blvd, ☏ .
- Don Chato’s Mexican Cantina, 38350 30th Street East, ☏ .
- El Dorado Restaurant Bar Dancing, 2072 E. Palmdale Blvd, ☏ .
- El Torito, 1161 W. Rancho Vista Blvd, ☏ .
- Horseshoe Club Cantina, 38426 6th St. East
- Texas Cattle Company, 1233 W. Rancho Vista Blvd, ☏ .
- Vaughn’s Billiards, 2015 E. Palmdale Blvd.
- Best Western - John Jay Inn & Suites, 600 W. Palmdale Blvd, ☏ .
- Courtyard Palmdale, 530 W. Rancho Vista Blvd, ☏ , fax: .
- Embassy Suites by Hilton Palmdale, 39375 5th Street West, ☏ , fax: .
- EZ 8 Motel Palmdale, 430 W. Palmdale Blvd, ☏ .
- Hampton Inn & Suites Palmdale, 39428 Trade Center Dr, ☏ .
- Hilton Garden Inn Palmdale, 1309 W. Rancho Vista Blvd, ☏ , fax: .
- Holiday Inn Palmdale-Lancaster, 38630 5th Street West, ☏ .
- Motel 6, 407 W. Palmdale Blvd, ☏ , fax: .
- Residence Inn Palmdale Lancaster, 514 W. Rancho Vista Blvd, ☏ , fax: .
- Staybridge Suites Palmdale, 420 W. Westpark Drive., toll-free: .
- Red Roof Inn Palmdale/Lancaster, 200 W. Palmdale Blvd, ☏ .
- Lancaster - Palmdale's twin city to the north on Highway 14, Lancaster is the largest city in the Antelope Valley. Lancaster provides extensive services for travelers, as well as the whimsical "Musical Road", a recreation of a road built in Lancaster for a Honda commercial that has grooves cut into it that generate an approximation of the William Tell Overture when a car passes over them.
- Santa Clarita - Located 37 miles southwest of Palmdale on Highway 14, Santa Clarita is the home of Six Flags Magic Mountain, an amusement park that is legendary among roller coaster fanatics, with many of the rides having held world records for height or speed.
|Routes through Palmdale|
|Bishop ← Lancaster ←||N S||→ Santa Clarita → Los Angeles via|
|Junction ← Lancaster ←||W E||→ Jct E → Jct|