Victor Valley, CA Offers the Best of All Worlds
How outdoor recreation and the arts help make this California region a great place to live.
Victor Valley is in the middle of everywhere. Not only can residents enjoy plenty of recreational and cultural activities within the region, but they can also find a wealth of entertainment only a short drive away.
“We’re one hour from everything,” says Jill Hemingway, former art gallery manager and current grant writer for the High Desert Center for the Arts in Victorville. “From skiing in the mountains to going to the beach to going to Los Angeles, it’s just a great location.”
Along with a sunny climate that includes an average of approximately 300 days of sunshine each year, the Victor Valley offers a cost of living below the national average and abundant housing, from suburban to resort to rural. The area is also known for its high quality hospitals and schools, including more than 30 universities, colleges and technical schools in the area.
Not only does the Victor Valley offer an appealing quality of life, but its growing amenities and unlimited outdoor activities make it one of the fastest-growing areas in the Southwest, from both a residential and business perspective.
“Large companies wish to locate where unique community branding and amenities exists,” says Steve Richard, president of the Richard Design Associates architectural firm in Apple Valley. “Yes, they need an educated workforce pool, transportation, rail and infrastructure. But their potential employees are looking for something more. Candidates for these high-end jobs are looking for places to begin their careers, establish roots and raise families.”
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It is easy to understand the appeal of the Victor Valley. All you have to do is look around. There is beautiful scenery in every direction, and numerous ways to enjoy these vistas.
One of the newest is the Apple Valley Legacy Trail Park, which includes picturesque views from Hilltop House atop Bass Hill. More than $600,000 has been raised for the project, including a $160,000 grant from the California Department of Parks Recreation Land and Water Conservation Fund to acquire approximately 21 acres of land.
“The park has the potential to be the High Deserts’ Santa Monica Pier,” says Richard, co-founder of the Apple Valley Legacy Trail Committee. “There’s no ocean, but you do get a 360-degree hilltop view of the Mojave River Valley’s history and the new development happening before our eyes.”
Other outdoor highlights in the region include lakeside parks and the 840-acre Mojave Narrows Regional Park, with fishing in Horseshoe Lake. Hiking, biking and horseback riding can also be enjoyed on the Pacific Crest Trail and in the Lucerne Valley. Snowskiing is plentiful at Big Bear, Wrightwood and Snow Valley, and golfers can tee up at public courses including the Hesperia Golf & Country Club, the Green Tree Golf Course in Victorville and the Apple Valley Golf Course.
For those who like their outdoor activities on the extreme side, Big Pines Ziplines in Wrightwood offers 1,500-foot-long, 300-foot-high zip runs with speeds of up to 55 mph. Some of the nation’s best off-roading is available at El Mirage Dry Lake, Dumont Dunes, Stoddard Valley and Johnson Valley. There is also a BMX track for all ages in Hesperia, along with a new off-leash dog park.
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The High Desert Mavericks in Adelanto have been attracting baseball fans for 25 years. The Mavericks’ popularity was evident during their 1991 debut season, when they became the first California League team to top the 200,000 mark in attendance.
The San Bernardino County Fair has been held in Victorville every year since 1947 and is the last remaining fair that exists along the famous Route 66 highway. Multiple generations of fairgoers have enjoyed concerts, magicians, comedians, jugglers, animals and, of course, the rides and cotton candy.
The visual arts are on display at the High Desert Center for the Arts. Formed in 1987, the HDCA has an art gallery in the front and a theater for live shows in the back, and also offers acting and dance classes.
“The High Desert is really starting to make a priority of bringing more art and culture to this area,” Hemingway says. “I’m seeing more artists move here, and we’re getting quality performers like you’d find in Los Angeles. This is becoming a special place to a lot of people.”