In California, it's rare to find a town not accessible by highway or freeway. But this is precisely what makes Palmdale a unique family-friendly and community-oriented place. Palmdale was the first town to become incorporated in the Antelope Valley. Today, it's one of the fastest-growing cities in the area, but it hasn't lost its original charm and character.
As with many places along the West Coast, there is evidence that Native Americans first inhabited the region around Palmdale. Spanish explorers are also believed to have stayed briefly in the area. However, both populations were transient, and it wasn't until years later that the foundation for an official town was laid.
Palmdale's origins as an official census-designated place date back the 1880s when the first settlers arrive from across the United States. The first group, which was comprised mostly of Midwestern travelers, called the new place "Palmenthal," which describes the founders' first encounter with palm trees. According to legend, the settlers actually first saw Joshua trees growing in the area, but they were unfamiliar with the species and just referred to them as palm trees. The name "Palmenthal" is German for "Palm Valley." When the first post office was established in the city (which happened in 1888), the name "Palmdale" become official.
Because of its warm climate and fertile soils, Palmdale's topography supported many agricultural activities. Initially, the first settlers grew mostly fruits and grains. However, their once-successful crops failed with the arrival of a severe drought. As luck would have it, however, the Southern Pacific railroad was starting to reach the area. With it came more settlers and a less agriculturally reliant economy.
Over the years, Palmdale has suffered from hardships caused by natural events like fires and droughts. Its economy has somehow persevered, however, thanks in large part to the arrival of the Palmdale International Airport and a military base. In fact, the city's military presence is so pronounced that it is unofficially called the "aerospace capital of the US."
What to See in Palmdale
Given its close-knit community feel and its affiliation with the military, many of these themes are prevalent in the area's attractions. No matter where you choose to go, there are many great places to explore that offer fun and educational experiences for all ages.
The Blackbird Airpark was dedicated as a tribute to the Air Force in 1991. This museum contains some rare aeronautical displays, including the A-12 and the Lockheed SR-71A. Here you'll also find a special covert drone that was once used in Air Force missions. As its name suggests, the Blackbird Airpark also honors other aircraft in the Blackbird family. Over the years, its collection of aircraft has been carefully restored for the public's viewing pleasure. Visitors can take self-guided or professionally-led tours of the museum. A gift shop in the airpark lets visitors purchase and dedicate bricks in honor of Air Force veterans who they wish to remember.
DryTown Water Park
Despite its name, there is nothing dry about this action-packed water park. Water-based fun awaits with activities including multiple wading pools for young visitors, larger pools, and water slides. There is also a cafe in the park that serves delicious food. DryTown Water Park was established by one of the most prominent mining companies in the area and has many mining-themed attractions like the "Miner's Camp". Tubing and other water activities are also offered at the water park, which operates on a seasonal basis.
Mulligan Family Fun Center
At this dual indoor-outdoor amusement center, it doesn't matter what season it is or what the weather is like. The center features a multi-story castle-like structure that offers many indoor activities including laser tag, go-karting, and a rock wall. The building is set on a beautiful property with tall evergreens and ponds. This setting makes a perfect spot for mini-golfing, which is one of the center's most popular outdoor activities. The family fun center is available for private parties too, and it's especially popular for birthday parties.
Palmdale is a unique place steeped in history and natural treasures. However, as history shows, it is not immune to natural disasters. This year, call on Lawn Love to get your property in top shape. With our expert lawn care services, we'll make sure your property looks its best and offers the most protection against the elements. Call or complete the online quote form today to see what we can do for your yard.