Let’s be honest: sooner or later, you’ll want a break from Fort Irwin. When you inevitably hit this point, a day trip to Victorville is a great way to get a change of scenery.
Located about 90 minutes from post, Victorville, CA features shopping, great restaurants and fun activities for the whole family. Plus, it’s got some neat history that may help you gain a new appreciation for the area. Victorville is located on the famous Route 66, making it a hot spot for road trippers and lovers of Americana.
In Victorville you’ll see major chain stores where you can find things not available on post. Aside from places like Wal-Mart and Target, there’s the Mall of Victory Valley that features popular retailers like Macy’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Sephora, Victoria’s Secret and more. Plus, Victorville has a Costco. It’s worth getting a membership so you can stock up on essentials before heading back to Irwin.
Photo by InSapphoWeTrust
There is a wide selection of dining, ranging from chain restaurants like BJ’s Brewhouse to local gems such as D’vine wine bar. BJ’s is especially great if you have kids. The server will give the kids a sampler plate with bread and fruit to tide them over until their main course arrives. Anyone with toddlers knows this can make the difference between a calm, enjoyable meal and a colossal public meltdown.
D’vine Wine is known for being a great date night spot. It serves amazingly delicious food, plus there’s almost always live music playing. D’vine Wine also has a Wine Club where members receive two bottles per month and a discount on wine bar visits.
If you’re a fan of The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, you may remember that Guy Fieri loved Emma Jean’s Holland Burger Cafe. This place is considered a local icon and has been in business since 1947. Plus, a Kill Bill: Vol. 2 fan will recognize that it’s the diner where a filthy Uma Thurman calmly asks for a glass of water after she busts her way out of a coffin.
History and Entertainment
Photo by Whitney Runyan
For the history buffs, Victorville provides a variety of venues to learn more about the region. There’s the California Route 66 Museum where visitors can check out vintage vehicles, historic photographs and original artifacts. It’s located in Old Town Victorville and used to be the home of a popular 1950’s diner.
Scandia Family Fun Center is great for families and those who are kids at heart since it has arcades, mini golf and thrill rides.
For the nature lover, be sure to check out the Mojave Narrows Regional Park. It’s a gorgeous area perfect for fishing, camping and horseback riding. Plus, it has an aquatics play area.
All in all, there are many opportunities in Victorville that provide a brief escape from Fort Irwin. So go on and get your kicks on Route 66!
Feature Photo by Craig Dietrich
About the Author
Whitney Runyan is a stay-at-home mom of a 4-year-old boy and 2-year-old girl. She and her husband, Ron, are graduates of Ohio State University and have been married since 2009. The Runyans have been stationed at Fort Irwin for a year.