For many Los Angeles residents, an hour's drive can equal a five-mile stretch on the 405. For those living in Frazier Park, Cuddy Valley, Pine Mountain Club, Piñon Pines, Lake of the Woods, and Lockwood Valley however, 40-60 minutes on the road leads to restaurants, shopping, and entertainment in Bakersfield or Santa Clarita Valley.
We're really in a unique situation living here. We have the benefit of enjoying the beauty and recreation of the mountains everyday, yet we have access to a world of options less than an hour outside our doorstep.
The Mountain Communities offer a delicious array of restaurants, from pizzerias, mexican restaurants, family-style cafes, gourmet coffee shops, bakeries, specialty sweet shops that sell ice cream, an assortment of sandwich counters to a New York style delicatessen, plus a host of popular fast food restaurants near the interstate.
Those in search of exotic or fine dining experiences need only head to Bakersfield, where Basque food reigns supreme, or the Santa Clarita Valley, which has had an influx of ethnic eateries open recently, according to Michelle Sathe, editor of Food411SCV.com, an online dining directory for the area. "Persian, Korean, Indian, Cuban; just name your craving and Santa Clarita has it covered," she said.
Mountain residents in pursuit of higher education can save gas and help the environment by opting to use public transportation, such as the weekday vanpool service to UCLA's campus. For $185 per month, vans pick up passengers from Pine Mountain Club and The Flying J Travel Center in Lebec in the early morning, returning by 6 p.m. Other nearby schools include California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), College of the Canyons, California State University at Bakersfield and Bakersfield Community College.
Kern County also provides shuttle service throughout the mountain area for those traveling from one of our mountain villages to another, or wishing to catch a bus to Bakersfield.
On weekends or during vacation, residents can hit the road for a 2 hour or less drive to the coastal communities of Santa Barbara and Pismo Beach. The winding, scenery-soaked highway 166 out of Pine Mountain Club connects to the 101 freeway in Santa Maria, less than 15 miles from Pismo Beach. A more straightforward route can also be taken on Interstate I-5 to the 126. The 126 runs through the agricultural town of Fillmore, a great place to pick up produce from the many farm-fresh stands before reaching Ventura and Santa Barbara.
If air travel is on the itinerary, Bakersfield's newly-opened Meadows Field Air Terminal offers a nice choice of travel options and clocks in as a sixty minute trip from Pine Mountain Club or 45 minutes from Frazier Park. Traveling south, Burbank Airport, though closer to a 90 minute commute, provides a closer and more convenient alternative to LAX.
You really can escape the noise and congestion and live in the secluded and protected scenic beauty of the national forest without giving up the amenities of urban and suburban living. Come up for a visit. It would be my pleasure to show you around the area and all it has to offer.