Rising from the desert sand decades ago as the playground of LAs rich and famous, Apple Valley was once home to Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. Sitting just off Highway 15 near Victorville, Apple Valley is a high altitude desert town that is way more laid-back than its cousin Palm Springs. You won’t find all of the glitz and glamor here, or even any apples - just a lot of sunshine, parched land, and people who like living in a place pretty far removed from the hustle of Orange County and LA.
Thanks to a building bonanza in the mid 2000s, this town has plenty of places to start your apartment search. Finding rental homes in Apple Valley is pretty easy and straightforward. Rent from a fancy apartment complex if you want to have a pool, fitness center, and stuff like that, but be prepared to hand over references and job info so that they know you won’t skip out on the rent. For those who don't want to bother with that stuff, find a landlord and rent directly.
Welcome to Apple Valley
As you might expect for a town that's pretty much in the middle of nowhere, prices are lower than areas that see more action. Two bedroom apartments in Apple Valley will cost you about as much as in neighboring Victorville, or for those not familiar with these parts, way less than what you'd get in LA or San Diego. Single family homes with yards cost about the same as two-bedroom apartments in Apple Valley, and there really isn't a whole lot of yard maintenance to do here. Most backyards are either rocks or parched dirt.
In a town with a climate this hot and unforgiving, you have to wonder how many residents simply ran out of gas on their way to Vegas and just stayed put. A lot of people seem to love the climate, though, since Apple Valley’s population has boomed in the past decade. Just like any other city in California, moving in is as easy or hard as you want it to be pack a couple suitcases, rent a U-Haul, or hire professionals to pack up your stuff and move it for you.
The weather is downright sizzling in Apple Valley during the summer months, and shade trees are few and far between. Pets will pretty much enjoy lounging around in the comfort of the A/C most of the time to avoid roasting. Choose a house with a fenced-in yard if you want Spot to get some exercise. Just make sure you don't leave him out there all day.
Apple Valley Neighborhoods
Due to the availability of relatively inexpensive land and homes, a lot of new homes and apartment complexes went up over the past 10 years or so. The town is pretty small, and where you choose to live pretty much depends on your tastes. Rent a simple home or apartment near the city center, a lakeside villa, or a personal dude ranch on the outskirts of town.
Central Apple Valley: The area where Happy Trails Highway (18) meets Navajo Road is the center of town, but that’s not really where most of the people live. This area is mostly businesses, but there are some residential streets a couple of blocks north and south of the main drag. There is also one or two bedroom apartment housing in a trailer park that has its own pool.
The west side: Much of the development is located South and West of Ol Happy Trails coming into town from Victorville. Hundreds of suburban-style streets snake around the area, offering everything from simple and small homes to luxurious mini-neighborhoods, like the homes on Tigertail Rd. These digs here are huge houses with in-ground pools surrounded by a green quasi-golf-course belt. This part of town also has Super Target and chain restaurants that feed off of it.
Apple Valley Country Club: The northwest part of town that surrounds one of the few large green areas is the most upscale neighborhood. There are both all bills paid apartments that are right next to the clubhouse, as well as separate luxury homes circling the links as well. The best part about living here is that you can actually walk to nearby restaurants, shops, and the town’s main library.
Spring Valley Lake: On the far west end of town lies the fanciest neighborhood in Apple Valley. Surrounding a golf course and the only place you can actually swim further than 100 feet are hundreds of homes packed into a pretty small space. The prime spots are right on the lake, and there are even a few fingers that were built out into the middle of the water to provide more lakefront property. Pretty much all of these houses are huge and come with their own dock out back.
The East End: The eastern side of Navajo Rd. peters out into the desert after a few blocks of residential houses. Most of the town is on the opposite side, so if you are looking for the action, you won't find it here. There are some pretty large trailer park complexes around here though, if that is your thing.
South Apple Valley: Dozens of streets sprawl south from Yucca Loma Road, and the mainly residential area isn't separated into any real neighborhoods. The majority of the homes in this area are moderately priced single family pads, interspersed with the odd duplex or apartment complex here and there. There really isn't much other than houses until you reach Bear Valley Road, which has some places to eat.
Living in Apple Valley
Take a hike in the lush forest, jet-ski across the lake, or go ice skating just kidding. You'll have to take a road trip to do anything like this. When the sun isn't directly overhead, it is actually pretty nice, and Apple Valley has lots of bike and running trails to keep residents in shape. While the Mojave River actually runs right next to the town, most of it is actually underground and sadly out of reach. Fortunately, there is a place where it is forced out of its subterranean hiding Mojave Narrows Regional Park. But you'll have to share it with the thousands of people who live around it.
You won’t get far in Apple Valley without your own set of wheels. This town has inadequate public transportation and is more of a sprawl than a walkable city. You'll also want a car to escape to LA or Vegas every now and then, which are just a few hours away. While there are some restaurants and bars in town, it's not much of a variety, except for the ubiquitous fast food chains. Fortunately, enterprising local residents have opened a bunch of decent restaurants, such as Viva Maria Mexican Restaurant & Bar and Mama Carpino's Italian. Bon Appetit!