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Explore the Tranquil Beauty of the Desert in your Thrifty Rental Car

Those sun visors will come in handy in your Thrifty rental car — the city of Inyokern gets over 355 days of pure sunshine every year. Aside from catching some rays, there’s actually quite a bit of history and opportunity in this tiny town of only 1,099 residents.

A City Rooted in History and a Whole Lot of Technology
In 1943, a university professor and Naval officer were flying over the Mojave Desert looking for a place to stage a joint rocket program during World War II. They decided on the city of Inoykern, which served mostly as a connector to the remote Indian Wells Valley farming community. Today you’ll find some of the greatest technological minds living in this small farming community that is now called China Lake. 

China Lake Naval Air Weapons Base
Representing 85% of the Navy’s land for weapons and armaments, research, development, acquisition, testing and evaluation (RDAT&E) and covering more than 1,100,000 acres, this massive base is bigger than the entire state of Rhode Island! The base is well protected, with restricted airspace covering an impressive 19,600 miles. The China Lake Museum Foundation offers free tours, and it’s definitely worth the short drive over. Park your Thrifty car rental in the designated area and, once inside, you’ll see the work of $3 billion in infrastructure resulting in the construction of over 2,132 buildings and facilities. One visit in the museum and you’ll never look back.

Indian Wells Brewing Company
Just a short drive away from the Inyokern Airport is the Indian Wells Brewing Company. What began as a historic U.S. Army Cavalry outpost in the 1860’s has evolved into one of the “biggest little craft beer breweries” in the U.S. Be sure to designate a driver of your Inyokern car rental because this place is a must-see. The brewery uses only pure artesian spring water from the historic Indian Wells Spring (California Historic Marker #457).  The water is captured below the surface of the spring, and because of its altitude, they are able to transport it into the brewery via gravity. That gives Indian Wells Spring a zero carbon footprint for acquiring water. While it has only been a brewery since the 1960s, it was once a healing waters resort, a military base, a doctor’s office, a U.S. Army Calvary outpost and a freight and stage station.

Indian Wells Lodge Restaurant
While you’re visiting the brewery, be sure to grab a bite at the Indian Wells Lodge Restaurant. You’ll find delicious steak and seafood on the menu, but the real delicacy is the soda. Try unique flavors like black licorice, gingerbread, cotton candy, mud pie and, for those that need a quick boost, “Rocket Fuel,” a popular energy drink.