When I was in the Navy, I was pigeon-holed (stuck in a specific role or typecast) to remote duty. In my situation, I became a guy who was destined for small bases, out of the way bases.
These were places where neither the hardcore war fighters, bleeding-edge technicians, nor even most of the rank-and-file service-members wanted to go.
Why? Because it's usually boring. In some cases like Misawa, Japan, it's beautiful and just hard to get anything decent shipped. In certain parts of Eastern Europe, it was just boring and depressing.
Living in Ridgecrest, CA, was like Misawa, but with great American conveniences. The place is a treasure and people don't even know it.
While Ridgecrest is a bit far from the coast-- about 2 1/2 hours from Los Angeles and about 4 hours from Cambria--it's surrounded by charm. The mountains are nearby, a few surrounding towns deliver a lot of interesting flavor. A great comic book store, quite a few unique shops, and great traffic.
The best areas in Ridgecrest, CA are the China Lake area, Red Rock Canyon State Park, and Searles Lake. If you need an affordable place that is peaceful, but with access to the LA area without having to take a flight, Ridgecrest is it.