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San Bernardino is a city in the Inland Empire in California.


San Bernardino is the largest city of the eponymous 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.

Get in

San Bernardino can be accessed by several Southern California airports. Ontario International Airport (airport code: ONT) is the best option, being located approximately 15 miles southwest of San Bernardino. For those willing to rent a car, west of the city is Burbank Airport (now known as Bob Hope Airport; airport code: BUR) and lying to the southwest, Long Beach Airport (airport code: LGB). 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.

Get around

The city is fairly navigable with I-210, I-10, I-215, and I-15 as the freeways in the city.


San Bernadino City Hall
  • 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.




  • Mitla Café, 602 N. Mt. Vernon Ave., +1 909 888-0460. Tu-Th 9AM-2:30PM & 4:30PM-8PM; F 9AM-9PM; Sa-Su 9AM-8PM.



  • 1 Wigwam Motel, 2728 W. Foothill Blvd. (Route 66 at Rialto town line), +1-909-875-3005, fax: +1-909-421-0844. 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. Wigwam Motel on Wikipedia

Go next

San Bernardino is a good launching point for Joshua Tree National Park, and lies halfway between Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

Routes through San Bernardino
Los AngelesRiverside  W Amtrak Southwest Chief icon.png E  VictorvilleAlbuquerque
Los AngelesColton  W I-10.svg E  Loma LindaIndio
Victorville (via I-15.svg)  N I-215.svg S  ColtonRiverside
PasadenaRialto  W California 210.svg E  RedlandsEND at I-10.svg
END  W California 18.svg E  Lake ArrowheadBig Bear Lake
Santa MonicaFontana  W US 66 (historic).svg E  VictorvilleBarstow

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