Acton, CA: The Place To See Stars


About 40 minutes outside of Downtown LA, over the mountains and into the Mojave Desert is a small town named Acton; you can mention the name to people who live in the next town over, and they have no idea what you’re talking about, yet the town is home to countless stars

Acton is the town I was born and raised in; a town so small that my graduating high school class of 1999 was about 100 students, and we shared the same campus as the junior high. Everyone knows each other, which as you can guess can be a horrible thing, but in times of need, everyone comes together.

The landscape is littered with tumble weeds, red dirt, rocks boulders, cactus, wild flowers and mountains. Homes sit on no less than an acre of land each and almost every Actonian has a handful of horses (unless you’re my family.. we stick to dogs…). The amount of wildlife is highly concentrated, with daily appearances by rabbits, coyotes, quail, roadrunners, rattle snakes, lizards, mountain lions, random bears here and there and more. When my parents were building their house, a wild bull used to roam our property, which was awesome to see as a small 6-year-old child! Unlike the city, we experience snow, yet we also have insanely hot summers. Temperature differences between Acton and LA can be near 30 degree opposites at times, due to the surrounding mountains and higher elevations.

Wild flower

The one thing about Acton that sets the town apart from most places near LA: the stars. Not the famous stars as in celebrities, rather REAL stars. Anyone native to LA will tell you the light pollution and smog makes it damn near impossible to star gaze, yet a 40 minute drive to my hometown treats you with clear skies and amazing views of the stars and meteors.

What else is there to see or do in Acton? Nothing. Which is why growing up turned me into a traveler. It’s truly amazing how isolated the town is, yet so close to city life. Every day as I watched dried tumble weeds fly past my window, I became more and more obsessed with the thought of experiencing other parts of the world. It took years, but I eventually saved up enough money to take the two month Europe trip that not many others in Acton did, making me also appreciate my small town a little more upon my return. After all, it was awesome to come back home and actually see the stars in the night sky, but the feeling to leave never left.

So why am I writing about Acton? I am participating in the A to Z blog challenge, where I must write a post daily, with the first topic starting with the letter A. Not only does Acton start with A, but this also has the perfect timing to coincide with the launch of my California Love section of my blog. It seems fitting to start California Love with a post on my hometown and why it encouraged me to get out of it and see the rest of the state, and even the world for that matter.

What are your thoughts on your home town or city? Did you grow up with the same wish to leave? Was what you found better? I’d love to hear about it!

About The Roaming Bean (109 Articles)
You're probably wondering what the heck is a "Roaming Bean"... Given that I am clearly not a Bean, and my name is Jen, what gives with this Bean thing, right? A friend of mine called me JenBean as a child, and it kinda stuck. Actually, it really stuck... even my license plate says Jenbean. And seeing as I have this grand lust to wander the world, The Roaming Bean seemed suitable. I've changed my career path more times than I have my underwear (minus all the times I've gone commando).... from animating, to forensic pathology, to international business, to fashion marketing and even to my wonderful and favorite of the bunch, degree in culinary arts, nothing kept my attention. Nothing was fun enough to do every day for the rest of my life. I mean, even though I cooked for celebrities in the heart of Hollywood, CA, why the hell would I want to sweat my ass off in a ridiculously HOT kitchen for most of the day and go home smelling like beef and onions? And the chef hat?? Do you know what that did to my hair?? Enter traveling.... The rainy day I descended down the tower of Notre Dame in Paris, gripping on to the railing for dear life so not to slip and tumble to an early death from the torrential down pour that was causing a small flood in the stairwell, my life changed. When I safely made it to the ground, legs shaky from an apparent lack of fitness it requires to walk up and down 387 steep stairs, I realized my hands were stained a delightful copper color from the rusted hand rail I had so dearly clung to. Desperate to get the icky stuff off my supple hands, and no running water in sight, I did what any other hopeless idiot would have done: I washed my hands in the nearest Parisian gutter. It was that moment that changed my life... I threw away my hair dryer, my rolling luggage and my dignity. I let my hair go natural, I bought a back pack and I CAMPED through Europe for a month and a half. Yes my friends, I crossed over into a savage traveling beast. Ok, a lot of people travel that way. But I didn't. And I'm so incredibly thankful for that rainy day in Paris that made me realize the world is a pretty sweet place. That realization led me on a quest; a quest to get out there, see things, soak up some local culture and eat my way around the world (with minimal food-related illnesses, such as but not limited to raging diarrhea).

6 Comments on Acton, CA: The Place To See Stars

  1. Deborah Anne Hart // December 28, 2016 at 3:17 pm // Reply

    I grew up in Pismo Beach, and San Luis Obispo, CA,

    And I was a raging idiot to ever leave my home town(s).
    But it is way to late in life to go back now, and I find myself
    Living in Newhall, CA, which most people like to call Santa
    Clarita. I am sure you know where that is. I am a (very) low
    Income senior , and I currently live with my daughter. I am
    Looking for an affordable living situation for myself, and that
    Is how I came upon your blog post. Your pictures are very nice!

  2. Karen Rapoport // September 18, 2014 at 2:55 am // Reply

    ………where the eff is Acton? 😜 and the bean is right Connie, Vasquez Park is not actually in Acton but there is a high school called Vasquez High and there is an Acton park so I can understand the confusion!!

  3. theegetawaygal // April 3, 2014 at 8:12 am // Reply

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and am so glad I’ve visited yours! 🙂 Loved this story about your home town. I also grew up in a small place, have since moved around am now also in California. I think it’s common to want to leave your home town and explore but I find it interesting how many people actually either end up back there or talking so positively about it. No matter what it’s part of who we are. Great post and good luck on the challenge!

  4. Your photos are lovely! Great start to the challenge. Happy Writing. 🙂

  5. Connie Morris // April 2, 2014 at 11:27 am // Reply

    You missed one the most beautiful spots in Acton, Vasquez Rocks park..It is well known outside of Acton lol

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