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.
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. It only emerged from bankruptcy in 2017, making it one of the longest municipal bankruptcies in U.S. history. The city was further devastated by a mass shooting by two terrorists that took place in 2015. 14 people were killed, and 22 others were injured.
- 1 San Bernardino International Airport (SBD IATA) (on the former Norton Air Force Base 3 mi (4.8 km) east of downtown San Bernardino). Commercial flights with Breeze Airways, from San Francisco to San Bernardino to begin May 2022
- 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.
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.
Intercity bus services
The intercity bus companies maintain separate bus stations or stops in different parts of town and are far away from each other. Travelers will need to use a taxi, local bus (Omnitrans) or Uber/Lyft to transfer between the stations & stops. Some of the stops are in neighboring Fontana or Ontario instead:
- 4 El Paso Los Angeles Limousine Express, bus station 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), ☏ , toll-free: . 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.
- 5 Flixbus, (bus station)San Bernardino downtown Transit Center @ 559 W Rialto (Bus will board in the eastbound bus loading zone on Rialto Ave on the north side of the Downtown San Bernardino Transit Center. FlixBus will use the westernmost space in the bus pullout, designated by a sign that reads “BUSES ONLY BEYOND THIS POINT” between "E" and "F" Streets.). Connects San Bernardino to Phoenix/Tempe; Los Angeles, Las Vegas and San Diego.
- 6 Greyhound & Cruceros USA, bus station at 596 N 'G' St (SW of intersection of 6th & N 'G' St, next to Motel 6.), ☏ , toll-free: . Greyhound travels primarily on Interstate 10 (Los Angeles-San Bernardino-Phoenix-El Paso); 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. Omnitrans bus 10 connects the Greyhound Station to additional buses and San Bernardino Metro Link at the Downtown S Bernardino Transit Center. Check schedules for times and boarding locations.
- Autobus los Paisanos, Agency at 1603 Valley Blvd. Suite C in Fontana (on corner with Sierra Blvd), ☏ , toll-free: . 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 bus stations at 11635 Valley Blvd in El Monte and 612 Wall St in downtown Los Angeles. Crosses into Mexico via El Paso/Cd Juarez.
- 7 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.), ☏ . Ticket agency for bus travel on Tufesa and Intercalifornias and air travel to Mexico, Central America and South America.
See By bus under Get in of the Ontario article for a list of additional bus and shuttle companies serving the area.
Regional transit agencies
The following services provide rides to the surrounding cities in the Inland Empire (San Bernardino and Riverside Counties) from the 8 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. They also operate an inter-county express from Riverside on route #219.
- Mountain Transit, ☏ . 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), ☏ . 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 (RTA) #200. 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 Metro Link Station along Hwy 91. Likewise travelers can also board Omnitrans #219 bus to get from Riverside.
- Sun Line Transit Agency #10. Sun Line operates local buses in and around Palm Springs, Palm Desert, 1000 Palms, Indio and Coachella in the Coachella Valley. The Commuter Link Service (#10) Connects San Bernardino to Indio via CSUSB (San Bernardino main campus); Beaumont (2nd & Commerce) and CSUSB (Palm Desert Campus @ Cook & Berger). Passengers can transfer to the Sun Line Transit #5 bus in CSUSB Desert Springs to the Town Center/Shops of Palm Desert Malls (Town Center Way) and transfer to the #1 bus going west to Palm Springs or transfer directly to the #1 bus from Indio.
- Victor Valley Transit (VVTA) #15, ☏ . Regular commuter route route to/from Barstow and Victorville. $6.50 regular fare; $3.25 for seniors, veterans, disabled, medicare.
The city is fairly navigable with I-210, I-10, I-215, and I-15 as the freeways in the city.
Downtown San Bernardino is definitely a neat place to check out. It has angled parking, festivals, stores, lower speed for vehicles, and 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 incorporates beautiful, generous wall-to-wall structures and scenic landmarks.
- 1 Site of the first McDonald Brothers Hamburger Stand, 1398 North 'E' St (N 'E' St & 14th St), ☏ . M-F 9AM-5PM, 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.
- 2 Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art, 5500 University Pkwy, ☏ .
- 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).
- 3 Mitla Café, 602 N. Mt. Vernon Ave. (Along N Mt Vernon Ave just north 6th Ave), ☏ . Tu-Th 9AM-2:30PM & 4:30PM-8PM; F 9AM-9PM; Sa Su 9AM-8PM.
- 1 America's Best Value Inn & Suites (Red Lion), 395 North H St (North H & West 4th), ☏ .
- 2 Best Western Hospitality Lane, 294 E Hospitality Ln, ☏ , fax: . $105-160 (Doubles).
- 3 Days Inn, 1386 E. Highland Ave (E Highland Ave & Mountain Ave), ☏ .
- 4 Economy Inn, 685 W 6th St (SE of intersection of 6th & N 'G' St, across 'G' St from Greyhound Station), ☏ .
- 5 Hills Garden Hotel, 2000 Ostrems Way, ☏ .
- 6 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)), ☏ , fax: . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. $65-70.
- 7 Motel 6 San Bernardino Downtown, 777 W 6th Ave (W 6th Ave & 'H' St, Next to Greyhound Station), ☏ .
- 8 Motel 6 San Bernardino North, 1960 Ostrems Way (University Pkwy & I-215 at Exit #48), ☏ , fax: .
- 9 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), ☏ , fax: .
- 10 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.
Most of the foreign consulates are located along Wilshire Blvd in/around the Wilshire neighborhood and West Los Angeles, between downtown and Santa Monica in Los Angeles. The following countries maintain consulates in downtown San Bernardino:
- Guatemala, 330 N 'D' St Suite 120 (Along N 'D' St between W Court & 3rd St, next to Chase Bank), ☏ , fax: . M-F 8AM-4PM. They also have another consulate in Los Angeles.
- Mexico, 293 N 'D' St (SE of intersection of N 'D' St & 3rd St, across 'D' Street from the city hall building), ☏ , , (emergencies only), fax: , [email protected]. M-F 8AM-7PM. They also have consulates in Calexico, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Santa Ana and San Diego.
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|