Lancaster, located in Southern California's Antelope Valley, bills itself as "the heart of the Antelope Valley."  Seventy one miles and an hour's drive northeast of Downtown Los Angeles, this Mojave Desert exurb/suburb has been the historic trading place and meeting center for locals for generations.  Today as more of a "bedroom community" than previously, it has more of an influx of former residents of "down below" from the LA metropolitan area than before, and is becoming more ethnically and culturally diverse like its southern neighbors down below. 

The Antelope Valley, nicknamed by aerospace industry types as "Aerospace Valley," is known for its aircraft and defense industry contributions nationally.  The largest single employer of note regionally is Edwards Air Force Base.  Other aerospace companies in the area, primarily in Palmdale at Plant 42, are Northrop Grumman, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin.  Los Angeles County is also a large employer of area residents.  Many residents commute to "down below" for their workday - 60,000 people daily during the week. 

 Soccer and softball tournaments held throughout the year draw many participants and their families from throughout the western United States to the Antelope Valley for these activities.  The City of Lancaster (incorporated in 1977) has two athletic fields dedicated to them: the Lancaster National Soccer Center at Avenue L and 30th Street East and the Big 8 Softball Complex located at Lancaster City Park on 10th Street West at Avenue K-8. 

 Several new hotels have opened in Lancaster in the last few years, typically close to the Antelope Valley Freeway/California State Route 14.  Restaurant cuisine offered now includes Indian, Chinese, Thai and Sushi, besides the old standbys of American, Mexican, and Italian.

Lancaster and the Antelope Valley lend themselves well to outdoor activities.  The Prime Desert Woodland Preserve - a City of Lancaster park - is excellent for walking and for viewing native Joshua trees, desert wildflowers in season, as well as birds.  West of Lancaster city boundaries lies the idyllic Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve, a California state park.  The poppy fields there - and elsewhere in the Antelope Valley - bloom each year in the Spring.  Red Rock Canyon State Park north of Mojave is a favorite offroading location for many Southern Californians.  The Space Shuttle landed at Edwards Air Force Base many times in the 1980s and 1990s into the 2000s with many tens of thousands of visitors viewing the landing from the dry lake bed.  Edwards AFB still hosts an air show open house (October). . . but due to security and budgetary concerns, the show is no longer  automatically annual, and is now done on a to be determined basis, evaluated yearly.  When held, this show draws tens of thousands of visitors to the base.   

 The climate can be hot, with temperatures ranging from 95 to 105 degrees F. in the Summer.  Lesser known is the Wintertime cold, which can range from 45 to 55 degrees F. for a high, and 30's and 20's F. at night.  Snow can fall if the conditions are right.  The afternoon desert winds, a saving grace in the Summer, is one to bundle up for in the Winter.  These are typically 15 to 25 mile an hour winds, with gusts possible.  Autumn and Spring can be short transitional seasons with cold fronts interrupting the weather pattern.