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March 8, 2024

Weekend Travel Guide: Victorville, California

Once a fixture of the Wild West, Victorville now provides a little piece of Hollywood in the desert.

By Elite Traveler

Lying just outside of the infamous Los Angeles smog, but close enough to retain some of LA’s glamorous culture, Victorville, California, is a city like no other, gracefully straddling desert expanses and high mountain lakes, Old West opulence and Beverly Hills bravado.

Begin your trip to town with a stop at the California Route 66 Museum, located in the heart of Victorville’s Old Town. A tribute to the highway that once served as the gateway to the West and, for that matter, US folklore, the museum features a variety of Route 66 icons such as Hulaville and the Green Spot Motel’s neon sign, paying homage to what John Steinbeck once dubbed “the Mother Road.”

Following on naturally from this highway heritage, Victorville has become a US motorsport capital, sitting between San Bernardino’s famed Glen Helen Raceway to the south and the dry lake racing at El Mirage Lake to the north. It has also featured in countless movies, from Lethal Weapon to Kill Bill: Volume 2.

Route 66
The famous Route 66 / ©Shutterstock

Cutting between these locales, and right through the heart of Victorville, is the legendary LA-Barstow to Vegas dual-sport route, a 400-mile rite of passage on the bucket list of every serious off-road motorcyclist.

For visitors looking for relaxation, not adrenaline, a stroll past Old Town’s Veterans Memorial and Old Victor School is well worth the effort, as is a trip down to nearby Big Bear Lake for an afternoon of boating on alpine waters or mountain biking along miles of winding, wooded trails that will accommodate and excite riders of all skill and fitness levels.

Lake
Big Bear Lake / ©Shutterstock

Where to sleep

On the pine-rimmed shore of its namesake, Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa offers modern travelers the same escape Serrano Indians sought when they retreated to Big Bear Valley every summer. Whether you’re enjoying an indigenous ingredient-focused treatment in the Spa of the Pines or watching whitecaps from the fireplace-adorned Presidential Suite, Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa captures nature at its most luxurious.

27984 CA Highway 189 Lake Arrowhead, CA 92352; +1 909 336 1511, lakearrowheadresort.com

Where to eat

Diane’s Saddleback Grill serves classic US cuisine in an unfettered environment sure to encourage any appetite. Begin with the lobster escargot, a domestic take on the French classic, before indulging in the braised short ribs in a Cabernet Sauvignon reduction, served with garlic mashed potatoes and fresh seasonal vegetables.

300 Highway 173 Lake Arrowhead, CA 92352; +1 909 337 3113, thesaddlebackgrill.com

Where to fly

Just 90 minutes northeast of Los Angeles, Million Air Victorville is a perfect alternative to the crowded transportation centers of the US Southwest. A member of Southern California Logistics Airport, this high-desert FBO sits alongside Interstate 15, and matches its regional glitz with leather recliners, an espresso bar and other amenities sure to keep both pilot and passenger pleased.

Million Air Victorville (VCV) Southern California Logistics Airport 18590 Readiness Street Victorville, CA 92394; +1 877 246 6659; csr.vcv@millionair.com; millionair.com

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