3 Can’t-Miss Experiences In and Around San Bernardino


There is a great deal to be done in and around San Bernardino, California. From art to hiking, it is a culturally dynamic and vibrant area that has a great deal to offer travelers in search of interesting and authentic experiences.

This area of southern California sits well away from the traffic and madness of Los Angeles, offering affordable and unique experiences for everyone. Places like Redlands, California, a short ten miles from San Bernardino, has plenty of options for affordable lodging and has its own regional attractions worth visiting.

The Kelso Dunes

Image via Flickr by Tom Hilton

Taking up 45 square miles, the Kelso Dunes make up the largest dune field in the Mojave National Preserve and are worth the trip.

The hypnotic shifting of sand combined with the sheer magnitude of the dunes, the tallest measuring 650 feet, is awe-inspiring. Here you can have a truly memorable experience only available in a few locations throughout the entire world.

The locals enjoy an experienced they refer to sandboarding. This is done by climbing the dunes and sliding down slowly. This causes the sand to vibrate, almost musically. The vibrations can be both felt and heard, giving visitors the chance to say that they made the desert sing. Truly, an inspiring moment that will never be forgotten.

Tio’s Tacos

While sitting down to enjoy a meal at a Mexican restaurant is not exactly uncommon in Southern California, few have encountered a spot like Tio’s Tacos. This fast-casual eatery is located in the heart of historic district of downtown Riverside, making it the perfect location to explore this vibrant city. At Tio’s, guests will not only enjoy fresh, authentic food from western Mexico, but they will also have the opportunity to view a half-acre garden unlike any they have ever seen.

Owner and artist Martin Sanchez has spent the last decade constructing elaborate sculptures and even buildings out of recycled materials. Old appliances, chicken wire, bottle caps, and old glass are just a few of the objects Martin has used to construct his amazing and unique pieces of folk art. If authenticity is what you seek, this is the place.

Heart Rock Falls

This beautiful location is just north of the city of Redlands. Located in the San Bernadino Mountains, near Crestline, California, Heart Rock Falls is found at the end of the Heart Rock Trail.

The hike is short, around one mile to the falls and back, and relatively easy. However you might feel about hiking, the payoff is worth the trip. The trail follows a creek, leading hikers to a naturally occurring heart-shaped hole formed beneath a beautiful waterfall. This is the kind of outing where travelers can safely bring the entire family and take their time enjoying the natural beauty of the area.

When traveling in and around San Bernardino, remember to keep that sense of adventure and curiosity alive. Don’t limit your options or miss out by paying too much for a place to stay in a location that isn’t close to where you want to be.