Located in the high desert about 90 minutes northeast of Los Angeles, Victorville is a city of nearly 120,000 residents that’s most well-known for its location along famous Route 66.
Though Victorville’s locale in the Mojave Desert makes for harsh summers, the fall and winter weather can be surprisingly mild, making it a popular escape destination for weekend travelers from LA.
Victorville features a variety of historical attractions, and it’s close to many of Southern California’s largest state and national parks that boast magnificent natural beauty and abundant outdoor recreation options.
Below are 15 things to do in and around Victorville, California.
1. The California Route 66 Museum
When it was established nearly a century ago, Route 66 stretched uninterrupted from Chicago to Los Angeles.
At almost 2,500 miles long, it was the country’s longest east-west highway. Though it has been surpassed by the more efficient interstate highway system, it’s still an iconic symbol of American history and culture that most visitors find alluring.
The Route 66 Museum is located on D Street in Victorville. It features an impressive collection of historical memorabilia relating to the road’s construction and the states, cities, and towns through which it passes.
The museum was founded more than two decades ago and includes permanent and temporary exhibits.
2. Mojave Narrows Regional Park
Though it’s less than two hours away from LA, Victorville couldn’t be more different from its crowded, chaotic, and pretentious big-city neighbor to the south.
The Mojave Narrows Regional Park is a popular attraction that draws sportsmen and women, nature lovers, and sports enthusiasts from near and far.
Spread around scenic Horseshoe Lake, the park offers year-round activities like camping, hiking, and fishing. It’s stocked with a number of gamefish species like bass and trout.
The park is located on Yates Road in Victorville and includes dozens of cam and RV sites, covered seating areas, and a disc golf course.
3. Green Tree Golf Club
The 18-hole, par-72 course at Green Tree Golf Club in Victorville stretches for more than 6,500 yards through some of the most stunning natural desert areas.
The course has been open since the early ‘60s. Though many of its competitors have come and gone over the years, Green Tree has remained a favorite for its reasonable greens fees, well-maintained greens and fairways, and beautiful scenery.
Previous players have noted that Green Tree was moderately challenging, had plenty of tee box options to accommodate women, seniors, and children, and that carts weren’t always mandatory, which was a big hit with those who prefer to walk.
4. High Desert Center for the Arts
Though it’s most well-known for its natural and historical attractions, Victorville’s High Desert Center for the Arts is the perfect place to spend a few hours for those interested in immersing themselves in local culture and the arts.
The center is located on 8th Street in Victorville, near the downtown area. It has been providing the community with high-quality theater and musical productions since it was founded a decade ago.
Their schedule includes year-round performances that run the gamut from old classics like Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol to contemporary favorites like Rent and Grease.
Tickets tend to go quickly for popular shows, so check their schedule and availability online before making a special trip.
5. Restaurant Row
Victorville’s convenient equidistant location between Barstow and LA on Interstate 15 makes it a popular stopping point for travelers looking to eat and gas up before continuing their journeys.
For a relatively small desert city, Victorville features an abundance of dining options ranging from fast-food joints and coffee shops with drive-thru windows to sit-down family-style restaurants serving everything from gourmet burgers and pasta to sushi and Hawaiian BBQ.
Restaurant Row runs through the center of town just blocks off the interstate. It features nearly two dozen individual establishments catering to nearly all tastes and budgets.
Perennial favorites include Panera Bread, Starbucks, Johnny Carino’s Italian restaurant and The Habit Burger Grill.
6. The High Desert Farmers Market
Despite its relatively low annual rainfall and scorching summer temperatures, the high desert produces an impressive variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables.
The High Desert Farmers Market has been around for nearly 30 years. It was originally the brainchild of a pair of local college students who were intent on bringing local growers and consumers together in a way that traditional markets didn’t.
The market is open year-round and provides fresh, healthy, reasonably-priced, and locally produced food to locals who’d rather support small growers and entrepreneurs than large national grocery chains.
The market’s vendors also sell meat, dairy products, and prepared food items like salsa and honey.
7. Mojave Riverwalk
Though riverwalks are generally more common in areas that actually get significant amounts of rain, the Mojave Riverwalk is a popular Victorville attraction for those looking to experience the great outdoors without driving to distant state and national parks.
The riverwalk’s multi-use trails are open to walkers, runners, and bikers. Though the wash by which it runs is usually dry, guests will enjoy beautiful views of Pelican Lake and its riparian habitats that are home to many birds and animal species.
The trail runs for nearly four miles, begins on the campus on Victor Valley College, and connects to the aforementioned Mojave Narrows Regional Park.
8. Organic Fusion Teahouse
In most parts of the country, coffee is still king, but in recent years, health-conscious caffeine lovers have been increasingly adding tea to their diets.
Although they’ve only been around for a few years, Organic Fusion Teahouse on Monarch Boulevard in Victorville has already attracted quite a loyal following.
Their menu is chock-full of healthy drinks made with minimally processed organic ingredients. In addition to tea, they serve a variety of fresh juices and smoothies that are big hits during the dog days of summer when the temperature in the desert can be downright stifling.
For those in need of more hearty sustenance, they also serve salads, seafood, and entrees with international influences like curry.
9. Creative Arts Theater
When it was created more than a decade ago by a local husband and wife team with a passion for theater, the Creative Arts Theater’s future was anything but certain.
The city of Victorville already had a popular theater, but it didn’t take long before their budding company took off. It’s now one of the high desert’s most-loved live entertainment venues.
Featuring experienced mentors and lots of up-and-coming local talent, the theater hosts a variety of productions throughout the year that generally get great reviews.
In addition to posting upcoming performances on their website, they offer opportunities to audition for parts and volunteer for behind-the-scenes work.
They’re located on 8th Street in Victorville.
10. The Galley Fish Tacos
Whether you’re by the ocean in San Diego or staring at a cactus in Victorville, fish tacos are just plain good eats.
They’re relatively healthy, have tons of vibrant flavors, and don’t weigh you down like a slab of ribs or a greasy burger.
The Galley Fish Tacos is a locally-owned family business located on Amargosa Road in Victorville. They use wild cod and traditional recipes to create mouth-watering tacos like those found in coastal Mexico.
Whichever taco option you choose, you’ll have the choice of corn or flour tortillas, as well as a variety of fresh salsas—both red and green.
11. The Victor Valley Museum
From Victorville, the town of Apple Valley is about five kilometers west, just off the Happy Trails Highway.
The Victor Valley Museum is located on Apple Valley Road in Apple Valley and features one of the area’s most unique collections of natural and historic memorabilia and artifacts.
The museum is a particularly good fit for those traveling with kids because many of its exhibits encourage interaction as opposed to passive viewing.
Items on display touch on biology, botany, Native American culture, fossils, and geology. It’s often one of the most engaging and entertaining attractions on many visitor’s trips.
12. Big Bear Lake
Though it’s about 70 kilometers southeast of Victorville, Big Bear Lake is one of those natural attractions that shouldn’t be overlooked for those interested in temporarily distancing themselves from their desert surrounding.
Big Bear Lake’s elevation in the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains gives it cool year-round temperatures that its lowland counterparts would kill for.
Big Bear features tons of outdoor activity options, including fishing, swimming, hiking, and mountain biking. Even during the summer months, it rarely gets hotter than the mid-80s.
Bring warm clothes whenever you visit, because the nighttime temperatures often dip into the 40s.
13. Oak Hills Brewing Company
Featuring a popular taproom on Poplar Street in Hesperia, just 10 kilometers south of Victorville, Oak Hills Brewing Company has been one of the area’s go-to destinations for lovers of world-class beer since it was founded in 2012.
Most of what Oak Hills brews on site is available in their taproom. Their products come in a wide variety of colors and flavor profiles, ranging from traditional IPAs and Irish Reds to Hefeweizens and ales.
They also serve homemade non-alcoholic beverages like cream soda and ginger ale, and their lot is often crowded with local food trucks selling gourmet grub to hungry revelers.
14. San Bernardino County Museum
Though you’d probably never know it by visiting Victorville, San Bernardino County is one of the country’s most populous counties. At more than 50,000 square kilometers, it’s also the largest by land area.
The county boasts an interesting history dating back nearly two centuries, and the San Bernardino County Museum is the perfect place to learn about it for those who don’t mind a scenic drive through the desert.
The museum was founded in 1952 in nearby Bloomington but is now located on Orange Tree Lane in Redlands, about 45 kilometers south of Victorville, just off Interstate 10.
15. Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area
Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area is one of the area’s largest and most popular natural attractions. It’s located just a few kilometers southeast of Victorville on Sawpit Canyon Road in Hesperia.
The park’s centerpiece is Silverwood Lake, which is primarily fed from spring snowmelt from faraway Oroville Dam.
Silverwood Lake often draws big crowds on the weekends during the summer months, when outdoorsy LA residents get the urge to break away from their urban lifestyles to enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, swimming, fishing, and mountain biking.
Additional park amenities include both rough and family-style camping areas, boat ramps, and restrooms.