Introduction to Santa Clarita, California
Incorporated in 1987, Santa Clarita is the 24th largest city in California. Within Los Angeles County it is the 4th largest city. It is part of the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area, which in the broadest sense, has a population of nearly 18 million people. Santa Clarita lies in the southern part of the state, 22 miles north of Los Angeles. The Pacific Ocean is 27 miles away.
The city is bounded on the west by interstate 5 and on the east by state route 14. These highways intersect near the southern tip of the city at the historic Newhall Pass, the gateway through the mountains to San Fernando Valley to the south, and the rest of Los Angeles (Newhall Pass is also referred to as Fremont Pass and San Fernando Pass).
Santa Clarita is the result of a 1987 merger of several communities which were already in existence - Saugus, Valencia, Canyon Country, Newhall, and parts of Castaic. One goal of the merger was to keep tax dollars local.
Valencia is a planned community. It was designed and built by the Newhall Development Company from the 1960's through the 1990's. This city within a city contains 55 neighborhoods, each with it's own architectural style. One of the advantages of the preplanning of Valencia is the pathways for pedestrians and bicycles known as paseos.
This network provides pleasant access to all sections of the city. For safety and convenience, paseos are routed under and over major roadways. Santa Clarita intends to make these pathways even more widespread in order to alleviate traffic congestion.
Paseos are not the only nod given to non-motorized traffic. The Sand Canyon Equestrian Trail is available in the Canyon Country section of the city, while Valencia Heritage Park provides a trail head for hikers. Many more outdoor activities are listed below
In spring the City of Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival celebrates the culture and history of the west, and even includes cowboy poetry. Later in the year the Hart of the West Pow Wow celebrates history and culture from the Native American Indian point of view. In the summer the city provides free Concerts in the Parks. The fall brings the International Family Film Festival, while in winter you can enjoy a Lighted Boat Parade at Castaic Lagoon.
In 1999 and again in 2000, Santa Clarita was one of the Finalist Communities for the "All-America City Award" conferred by the National Civic League. The city consistently ranks within the FBI's top 10 safest cities in the U.S.
Santa Clarita is primarily a residential community. While most job opportunities are not far away, within it's borders the largest employers are the William S. Hart Unified School District, Six Flags Magic Mountain, and the Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital .
Arts and Leisure
Cultural, historical, and leisure attractions include:
- The William S. Hart Park and Museum
- The California Institute of the Arts
- The Santa Clarita Repertory Theatre
- The Canyon Theater Guild
- The Fillmore & Western Railway, where the film industry's trains can be seen and ridden
- The Walker Cabin, built by Frank Walker around 1920, which demonstrates how a pioneer family lived
- The Oak of the Golden Dream, the site of California's first authenticated gold discovery
- The Castaic Lake Recreation Area
- Sand Canyon Equestrian Trail
- Valencia Heritage Park
- Six Flags Magic Mountain amusement park
- Professional sports in the greater Los Angeles area
- Many other attractions in the Los Angeles metropolitan area