While there are many fun attractions throughout California, especially southern California, many people tend to hit the big tourist traps without reveling in the natural beauty that California has to offer. Antelope Valley, which is located in Lancaster County, quite close to Palmdale, has natural as well as man-made attractions that everyone should take the time to visit. Stay at one of the great Palmdale hotels and take a weekend trip! You can even make it a great getaway vacation by planning an extended stay in Palmdale. Los Angeles’ surrounding areas have been growing in tourist activity as visitors begin to realize all the natural beauty that exists. Below are some of the great places to visit in Antelope Valley and the surrounding areas. Get a dose of natural, as well as man-made beauty, and a bit of interesting education in Antelope Valley. Devil’s Punchbowl: The National Park is a bit of a hike from the center of Antelope Valley, but it is certainly worth the beautiful drive. This Natural Area has a wide variety of flora and fauna and plenty of trails to take for an afternoon nature hike. California Poppy Reserves: You can relive the poppy-field scene from The Wizard of Oz in Judy Garland’s old stomping grounds. Interestingly enough, she and John Wayne both lived in Antelope Valley at some point in their lives. The Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve is open year round from sunrise to sunset, while the best time to visit is February through May. Since that is wildflower in the desert, you can see the best that the Mojave Desert has to offer. Make sure you bring a jacket and sun block lotion, as the desert temperatures are generally unpredictable. Windmills: While this is certainly a man-made attraction, it is definitely worth the drive. One of the largest wind-energy areas in the world is located in Lancaster County, and it is a sight to behold. There is really nothing like watching dozens of windmills harvest clean, natural, sustainable, and renewable energy that significantly helps the earth’s current energy crisis. Around Town: There are plenty of things to do and see in Lancaster, Palmdale, and Antelope Valley. The Antelope Valley Mall is large, and very popular, while the Palmdale Amphitheater hosts a wide variety of events. The Lancaster Performing Arts center is always a good time, there are two famous golf courses in the area, and the Antelope Valley Fair and Alfalfa Festival are both exciting experiences in the area. Scenic Drive of San Andreas Fault: The famous 110 mile drive along the San Andreas Fault briefly passes through Lancaster County. This is the only drive-through earthquake fault in the world, and for those of you who like to experience wild and natural beauty, this is a must-see spot for you. Antelope Valley has a lot to offer visitors and residents, and the best part is that even though it is just outside of Los Angeles County, you can leave all of that LA traffic behind. The country roads and freeways are never crowded, and scenic drives can be relaxing and enjoyable rather than stressful and frustrating. Take a trip to Antelope Valley, set up camp in one of the great Palmdale motels, and find out what you have been missing!