Ah, the holidays. That magical time of the year where everyone is rushing to buy every gift imaginable for every person on their list.
And with some extra time off, why not take a road trip and explore local neighborhoods you may not have been to before. Lancaster is a perfect drive for Los Angelenos (only an hour away!) – and not too far for so many living in SoCal.
WHAT TO DO:
LANCASTER’S MUSICAL ROAD
Los Angeles is all about living the celluloid life – but sometimes life on the small screen is just as fun. Do you remember the Honda commercial from a few years ago that featured a road that played the William Tell Overture? Located on Avenue G between 30th and 40th Street West, this road is unlike any other you’ve probably traveled. The first of its kind in the US, you may be tempted to pass through more than once. Bonus: The tune sounds a little like the melody for Jingle Bells – perfect if you’re traveling for the holidays.
This is Lancaster’s answer to the Sunset Strip. Filled with hip bars and restaurants, the BLVD is also home to the city’s growing art scene. #Streetartgoals for sure, with murals that change every year and muralists that are both local and global artists.
While you’re at the BLVD, be sure to stop into this great museum which is home to many beautiful paintings, sculptures and installations you won’t want to miss!
Do something out of the ordinary and visit an ostrich farm. Established in 1988, the working ostrich ranch is a family affair run by three generations living and working on the property. Ostriches are such fun, quirky animals that it is quite a treat to get to see so many on this working ranch!
Tigers, leopards and cats, oh my! Cat lovers are sure to fall in love with this unique conservation center, dedicated entirely to protecting and preserving these gorgeous cats. While many zoos offer similar programs for larger cats, this center take special care to make sure it is offering a protective home to smaller cats as well. A 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization run entirely on public donations, this cat house offers a home to some of the world’s most exotic felines.
One of California’s state historic parks, this museum was originally built as a homestead in the 1930s by Howard Arden Edwards, who became intrigued by the story and culture of Native Americans. Many of artifacts are on display as well as colorful artwork and galleries. The museum hosts many annual events, including craft boutiques, bonfires, chili cook-offs and cowboys who come to sing at the blazing bonfire outside the museum walls so be sure to check on the site for the best times to go!
WHERE TO EAT
Restaurants are popping up all over Lancaster. Chic décor, excellent food, and incredible prices are sure to make this a foodie destination in the upcoming years.
Instagram much? Then you’ll want to be sure to stop by Don Sal’s for their epic Sunday brunch where they don’t just serve bottomless mimosas. They bring them to tables in tall dispensers which are #picoftheday worthy. But you won’t stop there as it’s a must to indulge in the drool-worthy options Don Sal’s has for their epic brunch. Choose from a wide array of absolutely delicious tacos and shrimp ceviche and enchiladas and veggies and beans and so much more. And their dessert station is equally epic with options that range from Jello for the kids )or kids at heart) to flan and churros and even fruit. Plus, a Mariachi band is there playing all the tunes you could possibly want to hear! Major #sundaygoals.
Honor California’s heritage by harkening back in time to the Old West with a visit to this classic American Cowboy Steakhouse. Combining contemporary American cuisine with a Western flair, options include fantastically cooked steak, salmon, French onion soup and a host of veggie sides. My personal fave? The mushrooms – they are super delicious and healthy!
WHERE TO STAY:
Not quite ready to make the hike all the way back to LA? Spend the night at The Hampton Hotel & Suites. With spacious rooms and a complimentary breakfast, the Hampton Hotel is the perfect home away from home.