I keep telling Nate I want to drop the kids off with Oma and Opa for a weekend and take a little road trip up to Valencia.

“Valencia?” he asks. “You want to go to Magic Mountain?”

Well…yes, yes I do. But there's a lot more to this desert town than the most thrilling roller coasters in the state! Valencia, aptly nicknamed “awesometown” has a ton of villages and shopping and quaint neighborhood activities. The little homes are all so picturesque. I want to walk the paseos, climb around the Vasquez rocks and tour the conservation center. I have a soft spot for this little gem in the upper corner of Los Angeles county, having spent many days here throughout my high school and college years.

When I started one of my first jobs in the “real world” post-graduation, a coworker I highly admired lived in Valencia. She worked flex hours with some telecommuting, so she had the joy of experiencing the hustle and bustle of the city while being able to escape to her Valencia sanctuary. She was big on making memory books, and she'd always show me pictures of her adorable boyfriend and her fluffy little cat curled up in front of the beautiful front porch view. She actually had an upstairs AND a downstairs in her home, which seemed unreal to little-old-me who was paying $1800 for a tiny one bedroom in the heart of LA. She'd share activities she went on with all her hip Valencia pals, and I remember thinking what a cool place Valencia would be to live with a young family.

Experience awesome

If you happen to be in the Los Angeles area, don't miss out on a fun event this weekend happening in Valencia. Check out the premiere of the Charleston at River Village to celebrate small town character in Southern California fashion. You can bring the kids and enjoy a street fair with face painting, music, hot dogs and more!

  • When: Saturday, May 18, 2013, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Where: 22451 Plantation Court Santa Clarita, CA 91350
  • More details: Visit

While you're there, check out the spacious homes and the awesome rec centers and river trails. There is some serious awesomeness to be found on the outskirts of the county (take it from Nate and I in our 3-acre rural home – room to spread out is important with a growing family!).

What aspects do you think are most important in a family-oriented community?