Valencia, CA

Overview

Standing as a picture-perfect suburban paradise just 36 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles, the master-planned community of Valencia attracts families and retirees with its peaceful village atmosphere and renowned school district. The community sits on the northern edge of Santa Clarita, a city named one of the 100 best places to live by Money Magazine. Valencia has also drawn various celebrity residents such as Taylor Lautner and Ashley Tisdale with its upscale residential developments, so it's no wonder the community calls itself "Awesometown." Valencia features dozens of unique villages, many overseen by homeowners associations and hosting neighborhood watch programs. Locals enjoy a large collection of parks, trails and charming shopping villages, and the western end of Valencia holds Six Flags Magic Mountain and Hurricane Harbor. Although many locals commute to L.A., the area also houses more than 1,500 employers from industries ranging from aerospace and technology to entertainment.

Restaurants & Nightlife

Despite Valencia's classy character and upscale neighborhoods, the unique dining scene is anything but pretentious, with a spread of family-friendly local eateries. Stroll through the community's shopping centers and strip malls to find burger grills, seafood joints, casual Italian cuisine, East Asian restaurants and everything in between. Valencia's prestige has drawn talented cooks from all over L.A. to create a unique restaurant flavor that plays on the community's reputation as "Awesometown." For a casual lunch, make you way over to Catch 21 to try the cajun sea bass or halibut skewers with a piping hot baked potato. This little grill feels like a fast food place when you step in, but the cooks serve up quality seafood that tastes more like fine dining. Take advantage of the free Wi-Fi while you enjoy a hearty portion of grilled fish. If you crave authentic Vietnamese cuisine, stop by Pho Sure. A big bowl of filet mignon pho warms you up on a cool, rainy day, and the shrimp spring rolls always leave you wanting more. Don't forget to try boba drinks like the green tea boba shake, and always come early on the weekends to avoid a crowd. For a special night out with that special someone, head to Olive Terrace Bar and Grill, a charming bistro that serves Mediterranean cuisine with a SoCal twist. When in doubt, try the steaming beef stroganoff or the chicken picatta smothered in a rich, creamy sauce. Valencia may not be Santa Clarita's nightlife hot spot, but residents find plenty of chain pubs, wine bars and grills for some casual Saturday night fun. See an IMAX movie at Valencia Town Center's theater, or enjoy a glass of wine at Lee's Wine Bistro. Locals gather here every night to sit back with a glass of Pinot noir or Moscato, but don't expect to find many high-end wines. For a real treat, grab a whole bottle of your favorite wine and enjoy it in the moonlight with your sweetheart on the outdoor patio.

History & Culture

Newhall Land and Farming Company began planning the Valencia community in 1960s and started development shortly after. Although the area now holds thousands of homes, development continues to this day, decades later. In 1987, Valencia merged with the communities of Saugus, Newhall and Canyon Country to form the city of Santa Clarita. This young community has already developed a unique art culture with craft stores, dance studios and Mission: Renaissance Fine Art Classes. For a walk through history, take a drive to the William S. Hart Museum in central Santa Clarita, or celebrate the region's heritage during the annual Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival in Old Town Newhall,

Transportation

Drivers enjoy a stress-free trip to work with consistently low traffic and plenty of free public parking throughout the community. Take the Interstate 5 for a 40-minute commute to downtown L.A. Ride-share services like Uber don't service the area, but you can always call Yellow Star Cab for a quick ride to the grocery store. Limited public transportation options await you in Valencia, but the Santa Clarita bus system connects you with the rest of the city. For a bigger trip, the Metrolink train stops just south of Soledad Canyon Road for direct access to L.A. or Palmdale. Valencia stands out as a bike-friendly neighborhood with courteous drivers, bike lanes on streets like on Newhall Ranch Road and Vanderbilt Way and a network of trails weaving through the community. You can also ride down the sidewalk as long as you give the right of way to pedestrians, and bike lockers are available at the Metrolink stations. The community also caters to foot traffic with paseos crossing over busy roads and pedestrian-minded shopping centers.

Cost

Living in Valencia costs a fraction of what you would pay to live in popular neighborhoods like Ocean Park in Santa Monica, but the cost of living still hovers above average for the L.A. metro area in this upscale community. Sprawling apartment complexes dot the residential areas, with an average rental rate of $1,547 for a one-bedroom apartment. A ride to Union Station in central L.A. from the Metrolink costs around $10, and a pint at the local pubs generally runs you $6 to $7. When filling your tank, expect to pay around 11 percent above the national gas price average.

Shopping

Like the rest of the community, Valencia's shopping experience has been carefully sculpted to deliver the ideal mix of local charm, upscale brands and one-of-a-kind retailers. Enjoy a day out at the Valencia Shopping Center, or explore the area's elegant strip malls and chic shopping villages scattered along the roads, with their charming patio tables and beautiful landscaping. Browse basic amenities like groceries and office supplies, or dig deeper to find upscale national boutiques, bookstores, beauty shops and high-end custom fashions. If you have a weakness for high-end beauty products, stop by Beauty Escapade, your one-stop shop for hair care products by top brands like Murad and Dermalogica. Browse the store's rainbow of O.P.I. nail polish colors, or come in to let one of the top stylists give you the perfect professional cut for your new job. Also stop by for a makeup session, relaxing massage or pedicure. Just remember to make an appointment as this popular salon fills up fast. For custom shirts, suit jackets and pants to help you nail an interview, head to J David's Custom Clothiers for you professional fashion needs. The men's clothing pieces fall on the pricier side, but the tailors provide free alterations until you achieve the perfect fit. Also stop in to browse a selection of high-quality socks, ties and ready-made shirts. When the time comes to stock up on groceries, head to Ralph's for all your staples, or visit the Valley Produce Market for fresh veggies at affordable prices. Be sure to visit the College of the Canyons Farmers’ Market for affordable local greens, strawberries and fresh-made hummus.

Parks

Outdoor recreation is a big part of everyday life in Valencia, with more than 30 miles of walking trails and a scattering of public parks. Stow your car in the big parking lot at Chesebrough Park before taking your kids to explore the big playground, or enjoy your lunch in the covered picnic pavilion. Fields of grass create the perfect environment to walk your pooch, and the park even provides doggie bags. You'll find locals of all ages relaxing at West Creek Park, a 17-acre green space with beautiful landscaping, a spacious basketball court and a sand-covered children's play area. This park's well-groomed walking paths and lush grass carry a distinct suburban feel that locals love.

2 Neighborhoods in Valencia, CA

  • Santa Clarita Valley

    Santa Clarita Valley, which lies just 12 miles north of San Fernando and 33 miles north of Los Angeles, has it all: proximity to the culture and nightlife of urban California while still being surrounded by nature. Pacerita Canyon Nature Area, 13 minutes to the east, features 350 acres of wilderness and 12 miles of trails, perfect for hiking enthusiasts or families introducing children to the wonders of nature. For instance, the Heritage Trail teaches kids about the cultural history of the area. Locals enjoy spending a long weekend or a warm day at the Castaic Lake Recreation Area, 15 minutes from their homes, for boating and swimming during the day and enjoying s'mores at night.

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  • Stevenson Ranch

    One of the more affluent communities in the Los Angeles area, you will find Stevenson Ranch located in the Santa Clarita Valley. Around 6.5 square miles in size, more than 1000 acres within this unincorporated area are set aside as open space and recreation areas.

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