Visit Small Towns Around LA
April 30, 2019
Spring is here, and while the apartments for rent in San Pedro, CA, are certainly a lovely sight, sometimes, that lovely weather just beckons you to take a trip to someplace new for a little while. Thankfully, Southern California is packed with small towns you can visit, each packed with tons of charm and character. Pack a bag, get your camera ready, and read on, as we present you with this list of must-visit small towns that are begging for you to stop by and say “hi.”
Just north of Los Angeles you’ll find Palmdale, a town of about 152,750 people, well-known for being the home of the Joe Davies Heritage Airpark (which has a number of military planes once used by the US Air Force). If you’re looking for a family-friendly stop, this should be near the top of your list, as a tour of America’s military aviation history is something that often delights both young and old in equal measure.
If a tour of the airpark isn’t quite your speed, however, know that Palmdale packs plenty else to hold your attention. The Palmdale Amphitheatre regularly hosts big musical acts, The Antelope Valley Mall is a great place to unwind while doing some shopping, and if you’re looking for outdoor recreation, the Littlerock Dam Recreation Area provides by the truckload, as do the many trails and hiking paths around town.
Head just a bit further north of Palmdale and you’ll hit Lancaster, a sort of sister town with plenty more for you to do. If you’re already heading to Palmdale, why not check it out? While you’re in town, you’ll definitely want to give their Museum of Art & History a go, as they have collections dedicated to the various arts and a good deal of variety among their exhibits. Beyond the art offerings, Lancaster, like Palmdale, is a great place to do some shopping, with a healthy number of local businesses making unique items for you to purchase.
There’s also “The Boulevard,” a stretch of Lancaster Boulevard that has been morphed into a central hub of downtown activity. There are more great businesses, restaurants, and festivals that occur here from time to time, so be sure to mark the spot on your map if you plan on heading to Lancaster for your small-town road trip. It’ll be well worth the visit!
Turning our attention south, you may want to check out Avalon, a resort town located on Catalina Island. It’s the only incorporated city on Santa Catalina, with close to 4,000 inhabitants, though it attracts a fair number visitors who want to check it out (about a million or so per year). The city itself is only 2.8 square miles in size, but the island offers plenty more to explore. Outside of the tourist resort lay the wild outdoors, so if you’re looking for a natural paradise to adventure through, few offerings in Southern California can provide the wonders you’ll find here.
San Juan Capistrano
Back to the mainland now, to San Juan Capistrano, south of Los Angeles near San Clemente. This town has about 34,593 people, and an architectural style reminiscent of the old Spanish style of the earliest European settlers to this area. With that in mind, you should know that one of the town’s most famous attractions is the old Christian mission here, Mission San Juan Capistrano, which was founded in 1776 by Franciscan Catholics. Today, you can venture here to learn about the Spanish colonization of California, the role the Catholic Church played in shaping events, and, if you prefer, just tour the grounds and take in the amazing, classic architecture.
For a taste of that old-school, California cowboy vibe, you’ll want to head north to Santa Ynez, one of the central communities of the Santa Ynez Valley. With only 4,418 residents, this town is indeed small, but the Santa Ynez Valley provides plenty in the way of excitement and exploration, so much so that you may find yourself spending hours just taking in the wonders of the great outdoors.
And beyond just exploring the wilderness, there are plenty of breweries, wineries, restaurants, museums, and nightlife with that small-town atmosphere for you to discover, so there’s a little something to have fun with no matter what your specific interests. The bonus here is that everything is set against that lovely backdrop provided by the Santa Ynez Valley, which, let’s face it, is one of the most beautiful around.
This is the spot for pure, unadulterated relaxation. Surrounded by hills and mountains, the layout is indeed scenic, and beyond that, there’s a vast array of hotels, resorts, and spas to laze about at. You could center a whole trip around kicking back and having some “me” time in the lap of luxury, but if you’re looking to add a bit more adventure to the mix, you can also take part in any number of the recreational activities the town is known for, like hiking, biking, and horseriding.
Ojai, you should know, is also a festival town, and has a number of stellar events on the calendar year round. Maybe you’ll head there for Pixie Tangerine Month, or for the Ojai Valley Tennis Tournament? Or perhaps the annual music festival or wine festival are more your speed? Either way, this is a hotspot for fun, and you’ll definitely want to plan a visit.
Head Back to the Apartments for Rent in San Pedro, CA, Once You’ve Had Your Fill of the Road
After you’ve reached your limitations on small-town adventure, head back to the city, to The Vue, and ease back into the hustle and bustle of this urban, seaside paradise in style. What other apartments offer such sweeping high-rise views of the LA Harbor, or the convenience of being in walking distance of all your favorite San Pedro hotspots? This is comfort done right, and the way life in Southern California was meant to be experienced. Check it out, and make this your fantastic new harbor home.