San Bernardino is the largest city of San Bernardino County. The 2000 census shows the population to be 185,401. Of this, 45.2% are white and 16.4% are African-American. 27.1% is cited as "some other race", the majority of which is most likely Hispanic. The city, along with its outlying areas, has a large Hispanic and Spanish-speaking population. 40.4% of the population speaks a language other than English at home.
Recent years have not been kind to San Bernardino. The closure of the Kaiser Steel facility in nearby Fontana in the 1980s and the closure of Norton Air Force Base in 1994 were cataclysmic to the economy of the city. Repeated attempts at downtown revitalization have been mostly unsuccessful. In 2012 the city declared bankruptcy in the wake of a stubborn economic decline. The city was further devastated by a mass shooting by terrorists that took place in 2015.
The 1 San Bernardino International Airport SBD IATA is located on the former Norton Air Force Base 3 mi (4.8 km) east of downtown San Bernardino. The airport is accessed from I-10 at Thompson Rd at Exit #74 and from I-215 at Mill Ave, Exit #42B from the southbound lanes and from Inland Center Dr at Exit #42A from the northbound lanes. Alas there is a passenger terminal for both international and domestic traffic but there are no regular commercial or charter flights at present. Currently the airport is used for general aviation, aircraft testing and maintenance; and a base for the US Forest Service to deploy aircraft to fight nearby forest fires (if any). The next nearest airport for regular commercial flights to San Bernardino is the LA/Ontario International Airport (ONT IATA), 22 mi (35 km) west on I-10 and N Archibald Ave (Exit #55A). LA/Ontario is more compact, less crowded, has fewer delays, and usually cheaper and closer in than Los Angeles International Airport(LAX IATA) which is 76 mi (122 km) away. The next closest airports to San Bernardino are in Palm Springs (PSP IATA) which is 57 mi (92 km) east along I-10 and Santa Ana (SNA IATA) also 50 mi (80 km) southwest of San Bernardino along I-215 and CA Hwy 91 through Riverside and Corona.
The MetroLink San Bernardino Line from the downtown Los Angeles Union Station (via Rialto and Fontana) and the Inland Empire-Orange County Line from Oceanside through Orange County and Riverside terminate at 2 San Bernardino Station at 1170 W 3rd St. Tickets varies depending on how far you are traveling. Amtrak serves San Bernardino at the same location with the once daily Southwest Chief line between Chicago, Kansas City, Albuquerque, Grand Canyon (at Williams Jct) and Los Angeles and with the Amtrak Thruway Buses connecting San Bernardino to the San Joaquins Line in Bakersfield.
- El Paso Los Angeles Limousine Express, depot at 620 W Mill St (Behind strip mall at W Mill St and G St, next to Wisdom Motorsports and just east of the 215 at Exits 42A/42B), ☎ , toll-free: . Travels along I-10 between Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Indio, Phoenix, Las Cruces and El Paso on one route and on I-15 to Las Vegas and North Las Vegas on another route. They have additional depots at 11825 Valley Blvd in El Monte; 260 E 6th St St in downtown Los Angeles, and at 4425 S Atlantic Blvd in East Los Angeles.
- Greyhound & Cruceros USA, bus station at 596 N 'G' St (SW of intersection of 6th & N 'G' St, next to Motel 6.), ☎ , toll-free: . Greyhound travels primarily on Interstate 10 (Los Angeles-San Bernardino-Phoenix-El Paso-San Antonio); I-10/SR-78/SR-86 (San Bernardino-Indio-El Centro-Calexico); I-15/I-215 (Las Vegas-San Bernardino-Los Angeles & San Bernardino-San Diego on two separate routes. Some routes bypass San Bernardino between Barstow & Los Angeles); & 405/SR-91 (San Bernardino-Santa Ana-Long Beach). Passengers transfer in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Phoenix, San Diego, Calexico, El Paso and San Antonio to continue to additional destinations in the U.S. and in Tijuana or Mexicali to continue south of the border.
- Los Paisanos, depot at 1603 Valley Blvd. Suite C in Fontana (on corner with Sierra Blvd), ☎ , toll-free: . Travels along I-10 between Los Angeles and El Paso via El Monte, Ontario, Fontana. Some of their buses go up along I-15 to Las Vegas from Ontario. They have additional depots at 11635 Valley Blvd in El Monte and 612 Wall St in downtown Los Angeles. . Crosses into Mexico via El Paso/Cd Juarez.
- Tufesa, bus stop at Plaza las Glorias, 1167 N Mt Vernon St , Colton, CA, ☎ . Connects Los Angeles to Sacramento (via Bakersfield, Fresno, etc); to Salt Lake City (via Barstow, Las Vegas, St George, Orem); to Hermosillo (via Phoenix, Tucson, Nogales); to San Francisco Bay Area (Stockton, San Jose, San Francisco & Oakland); and to Tijuana (via Santa Ana, San Diego/San Ysidro). They also have an additional stop next to Luci's Beauty and Salon and the Agua Store in Ontario at 642 E Francis..
The city is fairly navigable with I-210, I-10, I-215, and I-15 as the freeways in the city.
- Site of the first McDonald Brothers Hamburger Stand. Location of the world's first McDonald's, now an unofficial museum. The original building no longer exists, but look for the huge red sign advertising 15 cent hamburgers which can't be purchased in the adjoining museum.
- Downtown San Bernardino. Definitely a neat place to check out. Recently revamped with angled parking, festivals, new stores, lower speed (vehicles) and more street appeal, this place is a hit! It is a very lively core with all kinds of stuff to do and lots of parking despite not being shown. It incorperates beautiful, generous wall to wall structures along with scenic landmarks.
- 1 Happy Family Vegetarian Restaurant, 2150 South Waterman Ave (south of the I-10 freeway). It specializes in vegetarian and vegan meals, and is often packed.
- 2 Lotus Garden, 111 E Hospitality Lane. It has exceptionally good Chinese and Cantonese cuisine, with a fancy sit-down atmosphere, lots of vegetarian options for relatively low prices (most meals under $15).
- Mitla Café, 602 N. Mt. Vernon Ave., ☎ . Tu-Th 9AM-2:30PM & 4:30PM-8PM; F 9AM-9PM; Sa-Su 9AM-8PM.
- Best Western Hospitality Lane, 294 E Hospitality Ln, ☎ , fax: . $105-160 (Doubles).
- Days Inn, 1386 E. Highland Ave, ☎ .
- Econo Lodge, 450 North G St, ☎ . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 11AM. $65-70.
- Motel 6 San Bernardino North, 1960 Ostrems Way, ☎ , fax: .
- Motel 6 San Bernardino South, 111 West Redlands Blvd, ☎ , fax: .
- 2 Wigwam Motel, 2728 W. Foothill Blvd. (Route 66 at Rialto town line), ☎ , fax: . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 11AM. Novelty motel established 1949 with each room as a free-standing concrete wigwam. Wi-fi, refrigerator, A/C, cable TV, telephone, outdoor pool, picnic area. $60-80.
Most of the foreign consulates are located along Wilshire Blvd in/around the Wilshire neighborhood and West Los Angeles, between downtown and Santa Monica in Los Angeles. The following countries maintain consulates in downtown San Bernardino:
- Guatemala, 333 N 'D' St (Along N 'D' St between W Court & 3rd St, next to Chase Bank), ☎ . M-F 08:00-16:00. They also have another consulate in Los Angeles.
- Mexico, 293 N 'D' St (SE of intersection of N 'D' St & 3rd St, across 'D' Street from the city hall building), ☎ , , (emergencies only), fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 08:00-19:00. They also have consulates in Calexico, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Santa Ana and San Diego.
San Bernardino is a good launching point for Joshua Tree National Park.
|Routes through San Bernardino|
|Los Angeles ← Riverside ←||W E||→ Victorville → Albuquerque|
|Los Angeles ← Colton ←||W E||→ Loma Linda → Indio|
|Victorville (via ) ←||N S||→ Colton → Riverside|
|Pasadena ← Rialto ←||W E||→ Redlands → END at|
|END ←||W E||→ Lake Arrowhead → Big Bear Lake|
|Santa Monica ← Fontana ←||W E||→ Victorville → Barstow|