Nestled within the picturesque landscapes of Southern California, San Bernardino stands as a city that offers a blend of natural beauty, historical significance, and modern attractions. From stunning mountain vistas to cultural landmarks, this hidden gem has something for everyone. In this article, we’ll take you on a virtual journey through some of the most captivating things to do in San Bernardino, California.
1. Discover the Majestic San Bernardino Mountains: The city’s backdrop is adorned by the San Bernardino Mountains, a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you’re an avid hiker, mountain biker, or just seeking a tranquil escape, there are numerous trails catering to all skill levels. Iconic routes like the Pacific Crest Trail and Castle Rock Trail promise breathtaking vistas and a chance to reconnect with nature.
2. Journey into History at the Original McDonald’s Museum: San Bernardino boasts an important piece of fast-food history – the Original McDonald’s Museum. This is the site where the McDonald’s brothers first revolutionized the fast-food industry. Explore the vintage exhibits, witness the evolution of the brand, and experience a slice of American pop culture.
3. Exquisite Art and Culture at the Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art (RAFFMA): For art aficionados, the RAFFMA at California State University, San Bernardino, is a must-visit. This museum houses a diverse collection of artworks spanning various cultures and periods. From ancient artifacts to contemporary pieces, the museum offers an enriching cultural experience.
4. Thrills and Excitement at Glen Helen Raceway: If speed and adrenaline are more your style, Glen Helen Raceway is the place to be. This renowned motorsport venue hosts a variety of events, including motocross, off-road races, and concerts. Feel the excitement as you witness skilled riders tackle challenging tracks.
5. Tranquility at the California Theatre of the Performing Arts: For those seeking refined entertainment, the California Theatre is a treat. This historic venue hosts concerts, theatrical performances, and ballets. The opulent décor and acoustics make it a prime location for an elegant evening out.
6. Get Up Close with Wildlife at the Big Bear Alpine Zoo: Take a short drive to nearby Big Bear Lake and visit the Big Bear Alpine Zoo. Unlike traditional zoos, this facility primarily focuses on rehabilitating and providing sanctuary for injured or orphaned wildlife. Learn about local fauna and the importance of conservation efforts.
7. Spiritual Resonance at the San Manuel Indian Reservation: Gain insight into the heritage of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians by visiting the San Manuel Indian Reservation. Immerse yourself in the tribe’s culture through events, history, and art, and appreciate the importance of preserving indigenous traditions.
8. Explore the Unique Original McDonald’s Site and Museum: For history buffs, a visit to the Original McDonald’s Site and Museum is a must. This location marks where the fast-food giant first began, allowing visitors to step back in time and witness the birth of a global phenomenon.
9. Outdoor Escapades at Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area: Adventure seekers will find solace at Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area. Engage in water sports, hiking, and picnicking while surrounded by the stunning San Bernardino Mountains. The reservoir offers boating, fishing, and swimming opportunities, making it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts.
10. Gateway to Mountain Resorts: San Bernardino serves as a gateway to some of Southern California’s most popular mountain resorts, including Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear Lake. These charming mountain towns offer year-round activities, from skiing and snowboarding in the winter to hiking and boating in the summer.
11. Stroll Through Downtown Redlands: Take a leisurely walk through the charming downtown area of neighboring Redlands. Lined with historic buildings, boutique shops, and quaint cafes, this area exudes a relaxed atmosphere. Explore art galleries, browse antiques, and enjoy a cup of coffee while immersing yourself in the town’s unique character.
12. Educational Exploration at San Bernardino County Museum: Delve into the region’s rich natural and cultural history at the San Bernardino County Museum. Engaging exhibits cover a wide range of topics, from paleontology and anthropology to regional ecosystems. This family-friendly attraction offers interactive displays and educational programs for all ages.
13. Hiking and Picnicking at Lytle Creek: Nature enthusiasts will appreciate the scenic beauty of Lytle Creek. This serene location provides hiking trails that wind through lush landscapes, leading to refreshing waterfalls and tranquil pools. Pack a picnic and spend a day surrounded by nature’s splendor.
14. Unwind at Glen Helen Regional Park: Glen Helen Regional Park is an oasis for relaxation and outdoor enjoyment. With sprawling green spaces, a lake for fishing, and playgrounds for the kids, it’s a perfect spot for a family outing. Picnic areas and shaded spaces make it a great place to escape the hustle and bustle.
15. Experience Local Flavors at Breweries and Wineries: San Bernardino is home to a growing craft beer and wine scene. Explore local breweries and wineries to taste a diverse range of beverages produced by passionate artisans. Experience the region’s unique flavors while mingling with fellow enthusiasts.
16. Witness Natural Wonders at Box Springs Mountain Reserve: Venture to Box Springs Mountain Reserve for an invigorating hike and stunning vistas. The reserve’s trails lead to panoramic overlooks, providing an ideal backdrop for nature photography. As you ascend, you’ll encounter diverse plant life and potentially catch glimpses of wildlife.
17. Step Back in Time at the Heritage House: Travel back to the late 1800s by visiting the Heritage House in Riverside. This historic mansion showcases the Victorian era with its beautifully preserved architecture and decor. Guided tours offer insights into the lives of the wealthy families who once called it home.
18. Family Fun at Fiesta Village Family Fun Park: For a day filled with family-friendly fun, head to Fiesta Village Family Fun Park. This amusement center features go-karts, mini-golf, arcade games, batting cages, and even a water park. It’s a fantastic destination for both kids and adults to enjoy a variety of activities.
19. Marvel at Astronomical Wonders at San Bernardino Valley College Observatory: Embark on a celestial journey at the San Bernardino Valley College Observatory. During public viewing nights, you can observe planets, stars, and other celestial phenomena through powerful telescopes. Learn about astronomy from experts and marvel at the wonders of the night sky.
20. Cultural Immersion at Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral: Experience the grandeur of Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral, a stunning example of Gothic Revival architecture. Attend a service or simply admire the intricate details and religious artistry that adorn the cathedral’s interior.
Conclusion: San Bernardino, California, might not be the most famous destination, but its offerings are boundless. From natural wonders and cultural landmarks to recreational havens and historical sites, this city provides a well-rounded experience for visitors. Whether you’re an adventurer, history buff, nature lover, or art enthusiast, the hidden treasures of San Bernardino are waiting to be explored.