When most people think of California, they think of hot, humid, sunny weather, and long, sandy beaches stretching along the Pacific Coast. They fail to realize that the state is home to several different climates and many diverse landscapes.
Hesperia, a small city of about 95,000 people in San Bernardino County, features a cooler desert climate and the unique landscape of the Mojave Desert. The city is widely known for its legendary golf course and outdoor recreation.
Visitors to Hesperia enjoy a beautiful landscape consisting of barren desert areas where you can participate in many activities, including horseback riding, hiking, and backcountry camping.
These barren areas are also known for having some of the best sunsets around, and the lack of light pollution makes them the perfect places to watch the night sky.
A humanmade lake is situated in Hesperia Lake Park; this is where many of the town’s festivals and events occur.
Hesperia is also home to a professional baseball team, The High Desert Mavericks, so the sports fans in your party will have the opportunity to catch a game while visiting the city.
Several festivals occur throughout the year, including the Hesperia Days Festival, which takes place in the fall and features a parade, a rodeo, and fireworks.
Below are 15 of the best things to do in and around Hesperia, California.
1. Learn about Local History and Culture at the Victor Valley Museum
A great way to become more familiar with a region is to visit museums depicting the history and the culture of the place.
The Victor Valley Museum in nearby Apple Valley hosts a variety of learning programs and features exhibits highlighting historical events and cultural aspects of the High Desert and San Bernardino County region.
This long-standing museum has a number of items on display, including Native American artifacts and geological samples.
2. Enjoy a Wide Range of Activities at Hesperia Lake Park
While Hesperia Lake Park is the perfect place to enjoy your daily walk, it’s also much more than that. It’s a place where you can experience wide-open spaces, natural surroundings, and a wide range of outdoor activities.
Hesperia Lake, the park’s main centerpiece, is a popular fishing area, and there’s a bait and tackle shop on site. Camping is allowed in the park, and each site has a picnic table and fire pit. Other amenities in the park include washrooms with showers, picnic areas, soccer fields, and an equestrian camp.
3. Indulge with an Authentic Italian Meal at Juliano’s Italian Restaurant
Whether you’re taking a mid-day lunch break or ending your day with dinner and drinks, Juliano’s Italian Restaurant has just what you’re looking for.
Depending on the weather, you can choose to sit outdoors or indoors at this popular eatery in Hesperia. Enjoy a range of quality, authentic Italian dishes in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere.
Appetizers, salad, soup, seafood, pasta, a variety of chicken-based dishes, and delicious desserts are among the options available. After dinner, enjoy a drink from the extensive wine list or kick back with a beer or cocktail.
4. Meet Native and Exotic Animals at The Hesperia Zoo
Within the ten acres of The Hesperia Zoo, visitors can view a variety of native California species, along with animals from around the world. Guided tours are available during select days of the week, but you can also tour the zoo on your own.
Along the way, you’ll meet primates, big cats, marsupials, and various bird species. It’s also possible to book in advance to witness feedings. A number of special events are hosted throughout the year.
5. Sample Local Craft Beer at Oak Hills Brewing Company
Oak Hills Brewing Company has only been around for a few years, but it has gained the reputation for being the top spot to sample locally-brewed craft beer.
This microbrewery has a range of high-quality beers on tap in their inviting taproom, including Steadfast Kiolsch, Conviction Pale Ale, and Responsible Irish Red.
They also serve a selection of barrel-aged and high-ABV beers. Patrons who have not reached the legal age limit can enjoy homemade non-alcoholic root beer, ginger ale, and cream soda.
During select nights of the week, the brewery hosts events such as trivia nights.
6. See More Historical Exhibits at the Harrison Exhibit Center
Learn about the history of Hesperia from prehistoric times to recent times at the Harrison Exhibit Center. On display are numerous exhibits, including the Old Town Collection, Native American history, the railroad, local politics, and pioneer history.
7. Spend the Day Outdoors at Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area
Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area is a popular park where visitors go to enjoy an active day in a pristine natural setting.
The main feature of this large park is Silverwood Lake, where visitors can enjoy swimming, boating, and fishing. Hiking and biking are popular activities in the park, and there are several trails suitable for both. If you wish to stay in the park overnight, an on-site campground makes this a possibility.
8. Enjoy a Delicious Meal at La Casita Cafe
The long-standing, family-owned La Casita Cafe in Hesperia serves traditional Mexican cuisine. Egg and seafood-based dishes, tostadas, burritos, and fajitas are just a few of the items you’ll find on their extensive menu.
The drink menu is even more extensive, with a wide selection of wines, local and imported beers, and signature margaritas.
9. Embark on Outdoor Adventures in Mojave River Forks Regional Park
Mojave River Forks Regional Park is a combination of campground, picnic park, and recreational area situated in the Summit Valley. The biggest draws to this park are its remote location away from the crowds of any city or town and its stunning scenery consisting of nearby mountains and desert terrain.
Activities within the park and nearby areas include hiking, boating, fishing, and horseback riding. At night, the wide-open landscape and lack of light pollution make the park a prime location for stargazing.
Visitors to the park also have easy access to several recreational areas, including the Pacific Crest Trail, Deep Creek Hot Springs, and Silverwood Lake.
10. Experience the Nostalgia of Route 66 at the California Route 66 Museum
If you’re an avid road-tripper and knowledgeable about American pop culture, you’ve likely heard of iconic Route 66. This famed highway depicted in many films and is at the top of many a road-tripper’s bucket list.
The history of this highway- along with its cultural significance – is fascinating, and you can learn all about it at the California Route 66 Museum.
This museum is dedicated to preserving Route 66’s history, which is displayed across numerous interactive and informative exhibits.
While at the museum, you can enjoy a variety of photo opportunities complete with props and a replica 50’s diner, VW Love Bus, and 1917 Model T Ford. Friendly staff are there to answer questions and provide assistance to ensure you leave with that perfect shot. Route 66 souvenirs can be purchased at the on-site gift shop.
11. Book a Tee Time at Hesperia Golf and Country Club
The high desert terrain of Hesperia is the perfect location for an 18-hole championship golf course; the iconic Hesperia Golf and Country Club is one of the best courses in the state.
As a former PGA Tour Stop, you can only imagine what legendary golf pros teed off at this masterpiece of a golf course designed by William F. Bell Jr. The first thing you’ll notice upon arrival is the stunning landscape.
A day on this course is filled with challenges and new obstacles. After a day spent on the greens, retreat to the Ponderosa Bar & Lounge for some food and drink.
Also on site are a driving range, pro shop, and practice facilities.
12. Relax in Malibu Park
Malibu Park is the perfect spot to spend an afternoon relaxing with some low-key activities for the whole family. Pack a lunch and make it a full day.
This beautifully-maintained, clean park has a playground and sandbox for the children, and comfortable places for the adults to relax. Enjoy that lunch you packed in one of the sheltered picnic areas.
13. Dine on Traditional Mexican Cuisine at Taco My Hacienda
In the mood for some wholesome and delicious comfort food? Taco My Hacienda serves homemade, traditional Mexican fare and has a variety of snacks and meals available.
Tortilla chips, Guacamole, birria, quesadillas, chicken salad, burritos, and tacos are just some of the items available on their extensive menu, which also includes many appetizers and combos. Access to the salsa bar is included with every meal.
14. Lime Street Park
Another family-friendly park in Hesperia is Lime Street Park. This park, which features a lot of beautiful oak trees, has a skate park, basketball court, dog park, walking trail, and playgrounds.