Taking a Closer Look: Valencia

Los Angeles is a sprawling city, with 88 cities and 140 unincorporated areas. Within the City of Angels are some truly fantastic places to live — cities with high-quality schools, developing businesses, community events, and more! In this recurring blog series, I aim to explore the latest happenings in cities across the southland. First up, Valencia.

History of the Area

The Southern Pacific Railroad connected Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Valencia is nestled in the Santa Clarita Valley (SCV), 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. The SCV came to be in December 1987 as the union of four unincorporated communities: Canyon Country, Newhall, Saugus, and Valencia.

Before that, however, Saugus served as the station that helped connect San Francisco and Los Angeles via train. Henry Mayo Newhall was born in Saugus, Massachusetts in 1825. As an accomplished auctioneer and businessman, he purchased the Rancho San Francisco and granted a right-of-way to the Southern Pacific Company. The first tracks for the SF-LA railroad were laid across his ranch and the railroad named the townsite had granted: Newhall.

In 1887 the Saugus Cafe opened its doors, and the restaurant still operates today — maintaining its place as the oldest-operating restaurant in Los Angeles County.

Magic Mountain

Valencia is known as the home of the infamous Magic Mountain theme park.

Nearly every California resident has heard of Valencia because it is home to the famous Six Flags Magic Mountain theme park. But with the Coronavirus pandemic, the majestic park has been closed since March 13th, and there is no set date for reopening. But that hasn’t stopped the Magic Mountain staff from establishing a series of safety protocols for guests once they do open again.

The guidelines they have chosen are similar to what other businesses have determined is best:

  • Mandatory masks
  • Temperature checks
  • Limited attendance to promote social distancing
  • Online reservation system for tickets
  • 6+ feet of separation while in line for food/attractions 
  • Increased cleaning and hand sanitizer 

Dining News

Photo courtesy of SCV News

Recently, in Newhall, diners had the opportunity to eat outside, akin to other cities in the southland like Pasadena. Restaurants in Newhall expanded their outdoor dining footprints into the street. 

The new adaptations appeared to excite the residents of the region, a sentiment echoed by Santa Clarita Councilwoman Laurene Weste, “I’m joyful to see people able to be outdoors with friends and family. Even if they’re 100 feet apart, they can wave, say ‘Hello’, eat something good, and know that they’re helping our local economy and that they’re doing something fun, which is really important for all of our mental health.” (Learn more by reading the full story here)

The outdoor dining is made possible with water-filled K-rails, allowing restaurants to provide outdoor dining in parking spaces all week long.

Drive-in Movie Theaters

Photo by Patrick Semansky/AP/

As Californians continue to manage Governor Newsom’s guidelines, drive-in movie theaters are experiencing a renaissance across the Golden State. Since the outbreak, these outdoor movie theaters have experienced a huge uptick in attendance, and more seem to open every week! In fact, an Australian company, Floating Cinema, is bringing outdoor movie watching on boats to Los Angeles (Floating Cinema).

Closer to Valencia, every weekend at the Drive-In at the Park, movie lovers can enjoy double features each weekend through August. For more info, visit Drive-In at the Park.

About Michael Bruer

Michael Bruer is a Los Angeles native, and serves as the Social Content Creator at JohnHart Real Estate. Michael received his Bachelor's Degree in English from Saint Mary's College, and has spent the last 10 years honing his skills in Copywriting, Social Media Management, and SEO best practices. He is an avid fan of basketball, soccer, and college football, and even performed on an improv team for the past couple of years with his wife!

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