About California City
Roughly 100 miles north of Los Angeles, tucked away in the Antelope Valley, lies a city with an instantly recognizable name. Back in the 1950s, developers hoped California City would develop into one of the state’s and even the country’s biggest and best cities. Those grand dreams never became reality, but the city that stands in the area today is one of the most unique spots anywhere in the state of California.
California City sits in desert surrounds, so the natural scenery on offer here is as harsh as it is spectacular. And with much of the early development of the area now abandoned, there’s a real ghost town feel to the area. This, along with the fact that it’s still easily accessible from LA, makes California City a unique and exciting destination for a wide range of creative projects.
Attractions in California City
It’s not the grand city the developers first envisaged, but California City still offers a number of unique attractions worth visiting and exploring. Here are just a few of the local options you might like to check out.
- Desert Tortoise Research Natural Area
The desert tortoise is the official state reptile of California. So it’s only fitting that in California City, almost 40 square miles of terrain has been set aside as a refuge for these beautiful and remarkable creatures. Check out the Interpretive Center and then set out to explore the self-guided hiking trails — the 1.75-mile Discovery Loop is a particular favorite.
- Central Park
If you’re looking for the best park in California City, Central Park is it. Boasting a somewhat different vibe to its New York City namesake, the park boasts a man-made lake as well as plenty of space for recreational activities. Feeding the ducks and letting the kids loose on the playground are favorite pastimes here.
- Boeing NB-52B Mothership 008
Better known as Balls 8, this B-52B launch aircraft was used by NASA in a host of iconic missions. It was used as a mothership to help launch X-15 aircraft for research flights, and also provided support to the space shuttle program. Today it’s on display near the entrance to Edwards Air Force Base.
Production Locations in California City
Situated in the Mojave Desert, California City is home to some truly unique production locations. After all, the list of films that feature scenes shot in the Mojave Desert is a long and impressive one, with titles such as Kill Bill, Star Wars, and Lethal Weapon just a few well-known examples. Throw in the abandoned roads and structures in the area, plus a selection of family homes, and the creative possibilities on offer here are truly unique.
- Desert Surrounds
The landscape in this part of the country is truly vast and unforgiving. This harsh desolation makes for a truly unique backdrop for a variety of creative projects, and you’ll find myriad possibilities if you start scouring filming locations in California City. The long and lonely road that stretches past this desolate desert patch evokes a feeling like you’re in the middle of nowhere, or perhaps even on another planet.
- Private Homes
The population of California City has been on the rise in recent decades, so why not search for a humble family home to use for your next project? There’s nothing quite like capturing a slice of real-world living in your project to lend it an air of authenticity, so start searching for properties that match the theme or goal of your production.
- Abandoned Sites
As we touched on above, the original grand plans for California City were never fully realized. The good news is that this makes the area a filmmaker or photographer’s dream, with a host of distinctive photography locations in California City on offer. With paved roads that don’t really seem to lead anywhere, and old signs contributing to the sense of abandonment, you’ll find a host of perfect sites for capturing that ‘ghost town’ vibe.
Event and Meeting Venues in California City
If you’re planning an event or hosting a meeting in California City, you won’t find the same diversity of choice that you might get in many other cities around the state. What you will get, however, is a selection of truly unique venues that are sure to leave a lasting impression on all who visit. With this in mind, shop around to find a space that matches your needs.
- Restaurants and Cafes
The best restaurants and cafes in and around California City are ideal for use as event venues or meeting spaces. Whether you’re meeting over coffee to plan your next project or sitting down to a delicious dinner to celebrate a milestone birthday, you’ll find all the essential ingredients for a successful event.
- Parks and Outdoor Spaces
If you want to make the most of the unique scenery and environment California City has to offer, head outdoors. From pretty parks to vast outdoor spaces, the natural surroundings here are quite unique. And if you can find the right outdoor event space in California City, you’ll create an ambiance and a backdrop that’s impossible to replicate.
Finally, another way to capture the sense of wide open spaces and harsh terrain to be found in this part of the world, local ranches make wonderful California City event venues. With acres of room to move and gorgeous high desert scenery as a backdrop, celebrations held on a secluded ranch here are as memorable as they come.