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Introduction

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

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Sights and Activities

  • Site of the first McDonald Brothers Hamburger Stand, 1398 North 'E' St (N 'E' St & 14th St), ☎ +1 909 885-6324. M-F 9AM-5PM and Sa-Su 10AM-5PM. 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.

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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

San Bernardino International Airport (SBD IATA) (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. 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. 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.

By Train

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 stop at 2 San Bernardino Santa Fe Depot at 1170 W 3rd St (second to last stop). The cost of 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. From here the Metrolink Trains continue southeast to the 3 Downtown San Bernardino Station south of downtown, along W Rialto St between S 'G' St and S 'E' St, where both Metrolink routes terminate at. The Amtrak train continues north to Victorville (next stop) from the Santa Fe Depot on its journey towards Chicago.

By Bus

The intercity bus companies maintain separate stations or stops in different parts of town and are far away from each other. Some of the stops are in neighboring Fontana or Ontario instead:

  • 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), ☎ +1 909 824-8424, toll-free: +1 866 691-6732. 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.
  • Flixbus, bus stop next to John's Burgers at 1155 W 2nd St (bus will board in the large parking lot on W Second St next to John’s Burgers.).
  • Greyhound & Cruceros USA, bus station at 596 N 'G' St (SW of intersection of 6th & N 'G' St, next to Motel 6.), ☎ +1 909 884-4796, toll-free: +1 800 231-2222. 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.
  • Autobus los Paisanos, Agency at 1603 Valley Blvd. Suite C in Fontana (on corner with Sierra Blvd), ☎ +1 909 822-7777, toll-free: +1 866 771-7575. 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.
  • D&M Fiesta Travel, 1016 E Cooley St, Ste E2, Colton 92324 (Office park at the end of E Cooley St from S Mt Vernon Ave.), ☎ +1 909 424-1680. Ticket agency for bus travel on Tufesa and Intercalifornias and air travel to Mexico, Central America and South America.

The following services provide rides to the surrounding cities in the Inland Empire (San Bernardino and Riverside Counties) from the Downtown Transit Center next to the Downtown Metrolink Station:

  • OmniTrans. Operates local city and commuter buses in-town and to the neighboring cities of Fontana, Rialto, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, Redlands, etc. Connections to Foothills Transit in Pomona, Chino and Claremont.
  • Mountain Transit, ☎ +1 909 878-5200. Goes up to Crestline by Lake Arrowhead on the RIM Off the Mountain route and to Running Springs and Moonridge by Big Bear Lake. They offer local services between communities surrounding Lake Erwin, Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear Lake on the Big Bear Off the Mountain route and connections from Victorville through Moonridge.
  • Pass Transit (City of Beaumont Transit System), ☎ +1 951 769-8530. A cooperative to provide local public transportation to the Cities of Beaumont and Banning. Route #120 connects Beaumont to Calimesa, San Bernardino Transit Center, San Bernardino Metrolink Station and Loma Linda.
  • Riverside Transit Rt#200 (RTA). Operates local buses in and around Corona, Riverside city, Beaumont, Banning (Rt #31), San Jacinto and other cities in western Riverside County. The #200 bus connects Anaheim to San Bernardino via Riverside along Hwy 91.
  • Victor Valley Transit (VVTA) RT#15 B-V Link, ☎ +1 760 948-3030. Regular commuter route route to Rialto, San Bernardino and Fontana from Barstow and Victorville. $6.50 regular fare; $3.25 for seniors, veterans, disabled, medicare. (

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Getting Around

By Car

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

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Eat

  • 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.
  • 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. (Along N Mt Vernon Ave just north 6th Ave), ☎ +1 909 888-0460. Tu-Th 9AM-2:30PM & 4:30PM-8PM; F 9AM-9PM; Sa-Su 9AM-8PM.

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Sleep

  • America's Best Value Inn & Suites (Red Lion), 395 N 'H' St (N 'H' St & W 4th), ☎ +1 909 888-6575.
  • Best Western Hospitality Lane, 294 E Hospitality Ln, ☎ +1 909 381-1681, fax: +1 909-888-5120. $105-160 (Doubles).
  • Days Inn, 1386 E. Highland Ave (E Highland Ave & Mountain Ave), ☎ +1 909 881-1702.
  • Economy Inn, 685 W 6th St (SE of intersection of 6th & N 'G' St, across 'G' St from Greyhound Station), ☎ +1 909 888-5775. (updated Aug 2018 | edit)
  • Hills Garden Hotel, 2000 Ostrems Way, ☎ +1 909 880-8425.
  • All Star Lodge, 450 North G St (Along 'H' St between N 6th and W Victoria. Accessed from the 5th St exit from I-215 (Exit #44 & 44A)), ☎ +1 909 885-0055. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. $65-70.
  • Econo Lodge, 606 N 'H' St (Along 'G' St between N 4th and W 5th St. Accessed from the 5th St exit from I-215 (Exit #44 & 44A)), ☎ +1 909 884-4488, fax: +1 909 884-4489. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. $65-70.
  • Motel 6 San Bernardino Downtown, 777 W 6th Ave (W 6th Ave & 'H' St, Next to Greyhound Station), ☎ +1 909 763-2561.
  • Motel 6 San Bernardino North, 1960 Ostrems Way (University Pkwy & I-215 at Exit #48), ☎ +1 909 887-8191, fax: +1 909-880-9231.
  • Motel 6 San Bernardino South, 111 West Redlands Blvd (W Redlands and S Club Way, accessed from Exit 73A from the eastbound lanes; and Exit 73 (Hospitality Ln) from the westbound lanes of I-10), ☎ +1 909 825-6666, fax: +1 909-872-1104.
  • 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.

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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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San Bernardino Travel Helpers

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This is version 4. Last edited at 9:45 on Jun 14, 19 by Utrecht. 2 articles link to this page.

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