Lancaster is located in the Antelope Valley of the western Mojave Desert in Southern California, about an hour and a half from Los Angeles. Life here is pretty suburban, and residents come from a diverse range of cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds.

The cost of living in Lancaster is about average, with a median sales price of $275,000 and median rent of $1,750 a month. For that price, you can get a decent single-story home or rent a nice house or condo. About 40 percent of the population rents in Lancaster. Some of the biggest employers include Edwards Air Force Base and Lockheed Martin.

Neighborhoods to check out include Del Sur, Gorman and Fairmont. Downtown Lancaster is the historic district, which is filled with shops and restaurants. Lancaster Boulevard is known as The BLVD, and is the city’s hub for nightlife, shopping, eating and entertainment. There’s also a farmers market and annual festivals.

One of the perks of living in Southern California is the weather. In Lancaster you will enjoy year-round sun and a pleasant semi-arid climate — but don’t expect LA weather. Because Lancaster is located in the high desert, you’ll experience more extremes here than in LA — the summers are hotter and the winters are colder; it might even snow.

Remember the poppy field scene in "The Wizard of Oz?" You'll see something quite similar here. When the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve is in full bloom in mid-April, a blanket of bright orange colors the reserve as far as the eye can see. And speaking of "The Wizard of Oz," Judy Garland’s childhood home is right here in Lancaster. If you’re interested in learning about Antelope Valley, head to the Antelope Valley Indian Museum State Park to see artifacts of the American Indian groups of the Southwest, the Great Basin and California. For a bit of art and culture, head to the Lancaster Museum of Art and History.