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.
San Bernardino can be accessed by several Southern California airports. LA/Ontario International Airport (ONT IATA) is the best option, being located approximately 15 miles southwest of San Bernardino, south of I-10. For those willing to rent a car, west of the city is Burbank Airport (now known as Bob Hope Airport; BUR IATA) and lying to the southwest, Long Beach Airport (LGB IATA). Each of these airports are approximately 67 miles away. Los Angeles International Airport (LAX IATA) is about 80 miles southwest. These airports are serviced by most major airlines such as Delta, American, United, Southwest, and Alaska Airlines. LAX typically has more frequent service and more affordable flights than those to the other airports; but the convenience of Ontario Airport can make it an asset.
Amtrak serves San Bernardino with a station at 1170 W. Third Street, which is served by the daily long-distance Southwest Chief line between Chicago and Los Angeles. Metrolink, the regional commuter rail service, also serves San Bernardino at their station just next door to the Amtrak station. San Bernardino is the terminus of the San Bernardino line to L.A. Union Station, as well as offering limited service on the Inland Empire-Orange County line to Orange County.
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.
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|