Barstow

Travel Guide North America USA Western United States California Barstow

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Introduction

Barstow is a city in the southern desert of the state of California. The city's location at the junction of Interstate 15 and Interstate 40, as well as its position on the old Route 66, make it a frequent pit stop for travelers passing through on their way to more exotic destinations.

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Sights and Activities

  • Desert Discovery Center, 831 Barstow Rd, ☎ +1 760 252-6060. Tu-Sa 11AM-4PM. The highlight of the DDC is the 6,700 pound (3,039 kg) Old Woman Meteorite, the second largest meteorite ever found in the United States. Free.
  • Main Street Murals (See website for a map of locations). 24 hours. A series of 16 murals depicting the history of Barstow are painted on the sides of buildings along Main Street. A note of interest is that all of the murals have jackrabbit painted into them, some obvious, some require searching. Free.
  • Mojave River Valley Museum, 270 E. Virginia Way (Exit I-15 at Barstow Road, go north two blocks then turn left.), ☎ +1 760 256-5452, e-mail: mrvm@verizon.net. Daily 11AM-4PM except Christmas Day. Presents the history of the Mojave River Valley from the arrival of Father Garces in 1776 through the space program. Free.
  • Barstow Harvey House, 681 N. First Ave, ☎ +1 760 256-8617. The "Casa Del Desierto" is one of the hotels built by Fred Harvey during the effort to build his vision of "3,000 Miles of Hospitality" along the Santa Fe Railways. No longer in operation as a Hotel, the Harvey House is the location of the Barstow Route 66 Museum, the Western America Railroad Museum, the Barstow Chamber of Commerce and the Barstow Visitor's Bureau.

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Events and Festivals

Holidays

  • New Year’s Eve - The US celebrates the outgoing of the old year and incoming of the New Year quite dramatically. Every state boasts its own parties to ring in the New Year, but none is more extravagant than New York’s Time Square, which sees people overflowing into the neighboring restaurants, bars, parks, beaches, and neighborhoods.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day (officially Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. and sometimes referred to as MLK Day) is an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around King's birthday, January 15. The holiday is similar to holidays set under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. The earliest Monday for this holiday is January 15 and the latest is January 21. King was the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law.
  • St Patrick’s Day - March 17 celebrates the US’s large Irish population. Many cities around the country boast boisterous parades and Irish-themed parties, especially New York and Chicago, where the river is dyed green. Be wary of the drunkenness that dominates as this is definitely a party-day.
  • Memorial Day - Memorial Day is an important holiday throughout the United States, but not for crazy festivities. Parades commemorating wartime heroes are often held and the day is also the ‘unofficial’ start of summer. Most visitors follow the crowds to parks and beaches, which are capped off with informal BBQs.
  • Independence Day - Also known as the Fourth of July, Independence Day celebrates the US’s break from the British during the 18th century. Barbecues, street parties, beach trips, and weekend getaways are commonplace to appreciate freedom.
  • Labor Day is a public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws, and well-being of the country. It is the Monday of the long weekend known as Labor Day Weekend. It is recognized as a federal holiday. Beginning in the late 19th century, as the trade union and labor movements grew, trade unionists proposed that a day be set aside to celebrate labor.
  • Halloween - Halloween is a fun holiday on October 31 for all generations to dress up in costumes and relive their youth. Children walk around the neighborhood trick-or-treating for candy, while adults attend parties. Other seasonal events include haunted houses, pumpkin farms and carving, and corn mazes.
  • Thanksgiving - On the fourth Thursday in November, Thanksgiving is held in almost every home in the US. Tourists will have a hard time finding anything to do as the country essentially shuts down in observation. A typical Thanksgiving meal consists of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie commemorating the original Pilgrim’s feast at Plymouth Rock.
  • Christmas - On December 25, Christians celebrate Christmas as the pinnacle of their calendar by attending church and opening gifts from Santa Claus. Almost everything shuts down to promote family togetherness. The northern regions hope to experience a “white Christmas,” with trees and festive lights blanketed by snow.

Sport

  • Super Bowl Sunday - the world’s most watched sporting event and one of the highest grossing TV days of the year, Superbowl Sunday is a spectacular extravaganza. Held the first Sunday in February, the Superbowl is the final playoff game between the NFL’s top two teams. The venue rotates every year around America, yet the local parties seem to remain. Pubs, bars and restaurants are great places to enjoy the Superbowl or locals throw their own parties with different variations of betting.
  • The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball (MLB) in North America, contested since 1903 between the American League (AL) champion team and the National League (NL) champion team. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff, and the winning team is awarded the Commissioner's Trophy. As the series is played during the fall season in North America, it is sometimes referred to as the Fall Classic.

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Getting There

By Plane

Barstow itself does not have commercial airline service. The closest commercial airport is LA/Ontario International Airport (ONT IATA) about a 1-hour 14 minute (77 mi (124 km)) drive south of Barstow on Interstate 15, passing through Victorville, Cajon Pass, and Rancho Cucamonga en route. The next nearest commercial airport is Las Vegas McCarran International Airport about 2 hour 15 minutes (153 mi (246 km)) drive, northeast, on Interstate 15.

By Train

Amtrak, 685 North First Ave. The Southwest Chief line stops in Barstow. The westbound train stops in Barstow at 3:40AM and the eastbound stops at 9:55PM, so plan accordingly.

By Car

Interstate 40 and Interstate 15, both major cross-country highways, intersect in Barstow. I-15 comes from Southern California to the south and the Las Vegas area to the north. I-40 comes from Northern Arizona. The historic (but decommissioned) Route 66 also passes through. California State Route 58 enters from the west, connecting Barstow to Bakersfield.

By Bus

  • Greyhound, (Depot) 1611 E Main St (Behind McDonald's at Barstow Station at E Main and I-15 (Exit #184)), ☎ +1 760 256-8757, toll-free: +1 800 231-2222. Greyhound travels primarily on Interstate 15 (San Bernardino, Barstow, Las Vegas). Other variations of this route go towards downtown Los Angeles along the 210 without going into San Bernardino.
  • Bolt Bus, (bus stop) Carl's Jr at 2856 Lenwood Rd (Off at the Lenwood Rd exit on I-15 (Exit #178).). Service from Los Angeles, Ontario and Las Vegas
  • Barstow to Fort Irwin bus, ☎ +1 760 380-3598. Tu, Th, and Sa. Bus service between the Fort Irwin Army Base and the city of Barstow. $2.75.
  • B-V Link (Rt #15), ☎ +1 760 948-3030. M, W, Th 7:50AM-6PM. Bus service between Barstow, Victorville and the Inland Empire. One way $6, round trip $12, seniors/disabled are half price.

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Getting Around

By Car

Main Street, L Street, Rimrock Road, and Montera Road encircle Barstow, while Barstow Road bisects the city.

Barstow is a small town with no traffic problems.

By Public Transport

Barstow Area Transit, ☎ +1 760 255-3330. M-F- 7AM-7PM, Sa 9AM-5PM, Su 8AM-4PM. BAT provides service on three bus lines that run hourly. For areas not covered by the routes, dial-a-ride service (+1 760 256-0311) is available. $1.25, Senior/disabled $0.65, children 6-17 $1, under 5 free.

By Foot

The downtown area of Barstow is small enough to easily get around by walking.

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Eat

  • Jenny's Grill Steak & Mariscos, 1231 E. Main St. (Exit I-15 at E. Main Street, head west for 1 mile. Restaurant is on right hand side in front of Comfort Inn.), ☎ +1 760 255-1500, fax: +1 760 256-8020. M-Sa 7:30AM-10PM, Su 7:30AM-9PM. A family run Mexican restaurant with Sonoran, Continental, and Seafood entrees. Good food, and reasonable prices with dinner entrees starting around $6. Pricing avg. $8-$12 a plate.
  • McDonald's Barstow Station, 1611 E. Main St., ☎ +1 760 256-0812. Lobby - Daily 5AM-11P, Drive-thru - Daily 24 hours. If not the largest McDonald's in the world, it is certainly the most unique. Barstow Station is a McDonald's with an ice cream shop, candy store, gas station and the home of several radio stations that broadcast to travelers crossing the Mojave Desert. The most unique aspect of Barstow Station is the eating area. You can dine in old train cars and enjoy the view of travelers passing through this town. There is also a stand inside that sells homemade fudge.
  • Lola's Kitchen, 1244 E. Main St., ☎ +1 760 255-1007. M-F 4AM-7:30PM, Sa 4AM-4:30PM. Excellent Mexican food located inside the Von's shopping center. Cash only.
  • Del Taco (Del Taco #1), 2871 Lenwood Rd. (Exit I-15 at Lenwood Rd., restaurant is on the east side toward Barstow Outlet Center.), ☎ +1 760 253-2641. 6AM - Midnight. Opened in 1964, this is one of the first Del Tacos (the chain started in Barstow) and has an extensive menu, serving otherwise long discontinued offerings. A special menu available only at the Barstow restaurants offers a selection of items with increased quantity at a discounted price. (updated Jul 2015 | edit)
  • Idle Spurs Steakhouse (Idle Spurs), 690 Old Highway 58, ☎ +1 760 256-8888, e-mail: info@idlespurssteakhouse.com. Tu-F 11AM-9PM, Sa-Su 4PM-9PM. Situated in a renovated house just outside of the Main St. district, big steaks, full bar, homey atmosphere, music on the weekends. Pricing avg. $15-25 a plate.
  • DiNapoli's Firehouse, 1358 E Main St, Barstow, CA 92311 (Exit I-15 at E. Main Street, head west 1 block, turn left on Mountain View, restaurant is on the righthand side facing Main Street.), ☎ +1 760 256-1094. 11AM - 9PM. DiNapoli's Firehouse is a dark yet warmly lit and arranged Italian restaurant with FDNY memorabilia and New York crooners during their heyday lining the walls. Meals cover the gamut of Italian cooking and pasta/baked Lunch and Dinner variety. Pricing avg. $15-25 a plate.

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Drink

  • Bar 66, 1624 W. Main St. (Take the West Barstow exit), ☎ +1 760 979-2197. 4:30PM - 2AM. A casual bar on legendary Route 66. Very friendly, great staff and low-key until about 9 PM when the music starts and the place starts jumping. Special events and happy hours go on all year, so check the website out to see what is coming up.

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Sleep

  • Best Western Desert Villa Inn, 1984 E. Main St, ☎ +1 760 256-1781, fax: +1 760 256-9265, e-mail: brett@Innvestment.net. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 11AM. Swimming pool, complimentary continental breakfast and Internet access. Pet friendly. $65-130 (Doubles).
  • Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, 2700 Lenwood Rd, ☎ +1 760 253-9200. $100–220 (Doubles).
  • Motel 6, 150 Yucca Ave, ☎ +1 760 256-1752, fax: +1 760-256-9110. $45–55 (Doubles).
  • Rodeway Inn, 1261 East Main St, ☎ +1 760 256-7581. $40–60 (Doubles).
  • Sleep Inn on Historic Route 66, 1861 W. Main St, ☎ +1 760-256-1300, fax: +1 760 256-6807. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Outdoor pool, workout center, complimentary continental breakfast and Internet access. Pet friendly.
  • Stardust Inn, 901 E Main St, ☎ +1 760 256-7116. $35–60 (Doubles).

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Keep Connected

Internet

There is a very small internet bar/cafe culture in the USA. Even then most of the internet bars/cafes tend be located in major urban centers. Accessible WiFi networks, however, are common. The most generally useful WiFi spots are in coffee shops, fast-food chains, and bookshops, but also restaurants and hotels more and more have a network to connect on. Some of them might require you to buy something and you might need a password too, especially in hotels.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The general emergency phone number is 911. The USA has a great landline phone system that is easy to use. The country code for the U.S. is +1. The rest of the telephone number consists of 10 digits: a 3-digit area code, and a 7-digit number. Any small grocery store or pharmacy has pre paid domestic or international phone cards. These phone cards are very cheap and offer good rates. The once ubiquitous pay phone is now much harder to find. Likely locations include in or near stores and restaurants, and near bus stops. The cellphone network in the states is slowly getting better but is still not as good when compared to other western countries. Cell phones tend to operate using different frequencies (850 MHz and 1900 MHz) from those used elsewhere in the world (2100 MHz). This used to prevent most foreign phones from working in America. Phones must be tri- or quad-band to work in the U.S. Fortunately, technology has meant that most phones should now be able to pick up one of the U.S. networks. Prepaid phones and top-up cards can be purchased at mobile phone boutiques and at many discount, electronics, office supply and convenience stores. A very basic handset with some credit can be had for under $40.

Post

The US Postal Service is a very good and well priced mail system. There are post offices in every small and large town for sending packages internationally or domestically. Although some might keep longer hours, most are open at least between 9:00am and 5:00pm. If wanting to send a letter or postcard it is best just to leave it in a blue mail box with the proper postage. First-class international airmail postcards and letters (up 28.5 grams) cost $1.10. There are also private postal services like FedEx, UPS, TNT and DHL, which might be better value sometimes and are generally very quick and reliable too.

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This is version 4. Last edited at 9:44 on Jun 14, 19 by Utrecht. 4 articles link to this page.

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