Palmdale is located about an hour and a half north of Los Angeles in the Antelope Valley region. If you want to be close to natural beauty, this isn’t a bad spot. The city boasts Mojave Desert landscapes and views of the Tehachapi and San Gabriel Mountains. When the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve is in full bloom in mid-April, it’s a beautiful sight of bright orange as far as the eye can see. Outside the city, you can go hiking at Devil's Punchbowl or hit the trails of the Prime Desert Woodland Preserve and check out some wildlife.

It’s a family friendly city where about 80 percent of the population is married. The median sales price of homes is $305,000, and you can get a decent house for around that price — even one with an in-ground pool for under $400,000. Median rent per month is $2,050, but it’s not a big renters’ city. The top industry in Palmdale is aerospace, with Lockheed Martin being the biggest employer.

Because it’s located in the desert, Palmdale has some extreme weather. In the summer, temperatures can soar up into the triple digits and fall dramatically at night, and in the winter you may even get some snow. But when it comes to environmental hazards, fickle temperatures are nothing compared to earthquakes. Palmdale is located next to the San Andreas fault, so earthquakes and aftershocks are not uncommon. This may sound scary to non-Californians, but locals are used to it.

Things to do in Palmdale: Go shopping at the Antelope Valley Mall, hit the links at Rancho Vista Golf Course, join the Fin and Feather Club for some fishing or catch a show at the Palmdale Amphitheater.

Trivia fact: Remember Afroman, the rapper who sings “Because I Got High”? Well, he’s from here.