23 Best & Fun Things to Do in Barstow (CA) (2024)

In the Mojave Desert of Southern California, in San Bernardino County, is the small city of Barstow. The US census bureau recorded a population of 25,442 in the city at the 2021 census.

In the 1800s, the city served as a crucial rest stop for numerous travelers heading west. It is conveniently located between Los Angeles and Las Vegas for those traveling.

Barstow features a good number of fun and exciting tourist attractions that you and your family can explore.

Some of the most popular attractions include Route 66, Interstate 15, Route 66, Interstate 15, Western America Railroad Museum, Los Domingo’s Mexican Restaurant, and Barstow Harvey House, Di Napoli’s.

Plan to stay in the Barstow region if you want a memorable and fun experience in California.

Let’s explore the best things to do in Barstow, CA

Things to Do in Barstow, CA

1. Castle Mountains National Monument

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Between the Mojave National Preserve and the Nevada state line lies the Castle Mountains National Monument. It encompasses more than 21 acres of vast wilderness.

You can completely disconnect from the city in this remote area while also exploring seasonal wildflowers, rainforests, and grasslands.

According to visitors, the stark whiteness of the desert contrasts enticingly with the vitality of the nearby urban areas.

Mountain biking, hiking, and backpacking are popular activities you can engage in while at Castle Mountains National Monument.

You can set up your tent and spend the night in the desert at one of three campgrounds.

Considering snowfalls are commonly below freezing, the best times to visit are spring or fall.

Don’t pass up the opportunity to visit this tranquil tourist destination!

Address: Barstow, CA 92311, USA

2. Barstow Harvey House

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The Barstow Harvey House, also called Casa Del Desierto or House of the Desert, is a lot more than just a historically significant building. This wonderful landmark draws visitors from around the world.

Casa Del Desierto, constructed in 1911, was added to the National Heritage List in 1975. In 1976, the location was designated as a California Historic Site.

The Western America Railroad Museum, the Route 66 “Mother Road” Museum, the Barstow Chamber of Commerce, and the Barstow Visitor’s Bureau are now located in the area that was once used for railroads.

Barstow Harvey House is, therefore, the center of the city’s history. The two large halls of the Historic Harvey House are used as a formal business setting, an exposition location, and a venue for social events.

Read up on what’s going on at the Harvey House, book one of the ballrooms, or sign up for one of our interesting ghost tours.

Address: 685 N 1st Ave, Barstow, CA 92311, USA

3. NASA Goldstone DSN Visitor’s Center

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The Goldstone Outreach program is located in Barstow’s Historic Harvey House (Casa Del Desierto).

The DSN Visitor’s Center in Barstow, however, is accessible to the general public six days per week.

You can learn everything about successful space communications from 1958 at this location.

Anyone interested in the exciting world of telecommunication and space travel must visit the NASA Goldstone DSN (Deep Space Network) Visitor’s Center.

To find out more about the amazing work done by the Deep Space Network, schedule a visit to the NASA Goldstone Visitor Center.

Only through advanced reservations do they offer guided tours of Goldstone.

If you want to discover more about this tourist destination in Barstow, ensure to make reservations.

Address: 681 North First Avenue, Barstow, CA 92311, United States

4. Route 66 Mother Road Museum

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Objects and images from the past connected to Route 66 and the localities of the Mojave Desert are on display at the Mojave Desert Museum.

The historic Casa del Desierto, Harvey House, which is now the Route 66 Mother Road Museum, was officially opened on July 4, 2000.

Witness the development of Route 66 from early pioneer routes, businesses, automobile history, locations, and railroads.

If you want to stay longer or just take a day trip, you can also read a lot of brochures and publications. On-site docents with expertise are also available for consultation.

The famed 2,248-mile Route 66 and the most recent information on traveling Route 66 and crossing the Mojave Desert are currently covered in great detail by tour guides and exhibits.

Obtain maps and other mementos from the gift shop before leaving to serve as travel reminders.

Address:681 N 1st Ave, Barstow, CA 92311, USA

5. Black Bear Diner

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Despite not being a large city, Barstow still has a wide variety of restaurants. This includes restaurants like the Black Bear Diner. Both locals and visitors find themselves making frequent trips back due to its delectable food and wonderful atmosphere.

They also offer a variety of other breakfast foods in addition to waffles, French toast, and pancakes dusted with powdered sugar. They are served with warm syrup, fresh fruit, and whipped cream.

They offer a nutritious menu on which customers can view and monitor the number of carbohydrates, proteins, and calories in their meals.

It’s a fact that these items, especially when bundled with a cute bear bow, draw customers in.

Address: 2481 Gulf Fwy S, League City, TX 77573, USA

6. Ayres Hotel

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If you’re a traveler looking for a break from the open road, the Ayres Hotel’s airy suites and animal-friendly rooms are the ideal locations for you.

Visitors staying in-house can use the spa, fitness center, and indoor heated pool. The business center is available to business travelers, who will also appreciate the free Wi-Fi.

This Barstow hotel has inviting, boutique-like interiors in all of its rooms and suites.

A place to unwind and escape is provided by the personalized lodging service, which enhances your overall experience.

Make reservations for a room at this fantastic Ayres Hotel in Barstow, California, to finalize your travel arrangements.

Address:2812 Lenwood Road, Barstow, CA 92311, United States

7. Di Napoli’s Firehouse Italian Eatery

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Since its debut in 1994, Di Napoli’s Firehouse Italian Eatery has been in business for almost 20 years.

The restaurant treats its clients like family. They put a lot of effort into creating a welcoming atmosphere that combines delicious food and top-notch beverages. In the same way, their crew is always looking for chevaliers.

This Italian restaurant serves traditional light pizza hot off the brick with a thick crust around the edges.

Fresh tomatoes, pepperoni, beef, green peppers, Italian sausages, bacon, mushrooms, black olives, salami, cheese, and other toppings are all acceptable additions to a traditional hand-tossed pizza.

Additionally, they offer freshly made starters, sides, potato salads, and pasta salads. If you want, you can even bring them home. Dining at this Italian Eatery is one of the best things to do in Barstow, CA.

Address:17856 CA-18, Apple Valley, CA 92307, USA

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9. Outlets at Barstow

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Driving on Interstate 15 through Los Angeles and Las Vegas, you wouldn’t expect to find an outlet mall in the desert, but that’s exactly what you’ll find.

It has spotless amenities and provides the chance to indulge in unexpected retail therapy. Shopping here is one of the top things to do in Barstow, CA.

Sanitary restrooms, an official California State Welcome Center, and an on-site food hall are all features of this “Jewel in the Dessert.”

With fantastic deals, numerous companies eagerly await your arrival! About thirty-eight shops offer reasonable prices as well.

To make sure you don’t miss out on any of their daily deals, stop by their customer support office.

You can find brochures and other information at the nearby California Welcome Centre to aid in your travel planning!

Address: 2796 Tanger Way, Barstow, CA 92311, USA

10. California Welcome Center

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In the middle of the Mojave Desert is where you’ll find the California Welcome Center. Visiting this Center is one of the top things to do in Barstow, CA.

Within two hours, Barstow offers numerous daytime excursions. On the historic Route 66, they also have a huge selection of hotels and eateries.

Visit Calico Ghost Town and the Mojave Desert, go shopping, take a museum tour, go hiking, and explore the Old West.

For the rest of your stay in the Golden State, the staff at the California Welcome Center can provide you with excellent trip-planning advice.

Interstate travelers can obtain local, state-wide, and international information at the California Welcome Center.

Additionally, the facility offers flyers and information for visitors traveling throughout California.

Address: 928 N Coast Hwy, Oceanside, CA 92054, USA

11. Mojave River Valley Museum

The Mojave River Valley Museum was established in 1964 as a result of the efforts of locals who wanted to draw attention to their distinctive environment.

The Mojave River Valley’s history, which dates back to 1776, is preserved and displayed by the museum in a variety of historical exhibits.

Over 20,000 image collections, as well as dozens of regional newspapers, are available for viewing.

The museum arranges field trips for locals and visitors, and everyone is welcome to attend their monthly meetings.

Learn about the settlers, railroads, and miners who contributed to the valley’s development over the past few centuries.

The Mojave Desert’s biological, historical, and cultural legacies are the focus of the museum’s efforts to preserve and enhance them.

Address: 270 E Virginia Way, Barstow, CA 92311, USA

12. Painted Rocks Memorial

The Painted Rocks Memorial, a roadside attraction in Barstow, California, showcases rocks that local military staff has painted. It is one of the best places to visit in Barstow, CA.

Their unit’s crest and motto are displayed on the stones. Visitors do not require a pass to view the rocks because they are situated outside the training grounds’ entrances.

From a distance, this memorial appears to be a mismatched stack of boulders, but up close, you can see how each one is distinctively painted in vivid colors.

The Painted Rocks Memorial is a special illustration of American pride and a tribute to the nation’s armed forces.

The Painted Rocks Memorial is a must-visit for anyone passing through the area, although it might not seem like much.

A 30-mile journey through the desert landscapes of the region will take you past Coyote Dry Lake, a location used for filming numerous motion pictures, music videos, and commercials despite having only two days of water per year.

As this area contains private and public land, try to pay attention to the signs in the area.

Address:Fort Irwin Road, Barstow, CA 92311, United States

13. Calico Ghost Town Regional Park

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Calico Ghost Town Regional Park is a wonderful addition to the area around Barstow. The mining community of Calico, which dates back to 1881, was neglected in the middle of the 1890s.

In the 1950s, Walter Knott bought Calico intending to renovate the town’s structures and turn it into a well-liked tourist destination.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared the city to be California’s Silver Rush Ghost Town in 2005. He was given State Historical Landmark 782 status.

As a part of the county’s network of regional parks, Calico welcomes visitors from all over the world. There are stores, eateries, and historical displays in the town.

Off-roading, camping, and hiking are common activities in Calico. In this outdoor space, there are lots of outdoor activities to attempt. The Calico Odessa Railroad, Maggie Mine, Mystery Shack Tour, and gold panning are a few of the well-liked sights and activities in the city.

Calico Woodworks, Lane’s General Store, Calico PhotoShop, Odessa’s Calico Crafts, Print Shop, R&D Fossils & Minerals, Basket & Candle Shop, Pottery Shop, Calico Leather Works, Dorsey’s Dog House are just a few of the stores in the town.

Plan a quick day trip to Calico Ghost Town Regional Park while staying in Barstow to explore its history.

Address:36600 Ghost Town Road, Yermo, CA 92398, United States

14. Barstow Station

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No matter what you’re looking for, fun, a place to rest, information about the past, or treasure hunting, Barstow Station has it all.

Before returning to the road, you can also eat delectable food, interact with others, and load up on necessities.

At Barstow Station, you can find more than 16 different stores, including household names like McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts.

They offer amenities like Wi-Fi, welcoming and comfortable driver’s lounges, a beverage shop, and spotless restrooms, to name a few.

You can also purchase lottery tickets here. Even millionaires were produced by Barstow station.

Address: 1611 E Main Street, Barstow, CA 92311, USA

15. Oggi’s Sports Brewhouse Pizza

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Oggi’s Sports Brewhouse Pizza offers perfect signature pizzas topped with your favorite ingredients and outstanding beers.

It’s also a nice place to get together with friends or family and support your preferred sports team over some delectable pizza.

Their eatery has 45 awards and a spacious bar with 25 taps serving unique Oggi microbrew beers.

Thanks to the enormous TVs mounted on each wall, you won’t miss your team’s competition. Additionally, this is the only eatery in Barstow with an outdoor veranda.

Oggi’s has all the amenities you require for an exciting time.

Feel free to customize the toppings on Oggi’s signature homemade dough before it is prepared for a soft, crunchy masterpiece.

Address: 2245 Fenton Pkwy Ste 101, San Diego, CA 92108, United States

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16. Giant Fire Helmet

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The Giant Fire Helmet is a unique but heartfelt memorial to the firefighters who gave their lives defending the country on September 11, 2001.

This monument can be found along Highway 15, close to the Desert Discovery Center.

The helmet has the number “343” engraved on it to represent the number of FDNY firefighters who perished that day.

A life-size replica of an FDNY fire helmet was intended to draw attention to on-lookers to the 343 fallen firefighters, according to the Barstow Fire Department.

Paying respect to the dead is a thoughtful act that might comfort the families of the deceased.

Address:861 Barstow Rd, Barstow, CA, United States

17. Western America Railroad Museum

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Railroad artifacts from the Barstow area and the entire West are on display at the Western America Train Museum, which is housed in the historic Harvey House.

Spending a few minutes here is a great way to learn about the fascinating history of railroads in the Pacific Southwest.

A sizable collection of railroad-related items is on display at the museum, which is housed inside an original railroad depot.

Outside, you can see the tools used to operate trains, signaling materials, train sets, track hardware, and locomotives.

Similarly, you can view exhibits of vintage trains, images, historical documents, and much more.

Two cabooses are also available for visitors to explore.

Address: 685 N 1st Ave, Barstow, CA 92311, USA

18. Los Domingo’s Mexican Restaurant

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The 1981-opened Los Domingos restaurant has always served authentic Mexican food.

They take pride in their cuisine, customer service, and energetic involvement in their community. You won’t find unique meals like those served at this restaurant anywhere else.

Your cravings for burgers can always be satisfied by their selection of American favorites. There are numerous options on the menu if you’re in the mood for a meaty New York Strip or an American burger.

You can anticipate mouthwatering, spicily prepared specialty dishes like Steakhouse Picados or Chili Prime Rib Steak, as well as a varied selection of salads, tacos, and burritos that are typically served in Mexico.

The kids are not left out here because the restaurant provides a kids’ menu, and Los Domingos is also accessible for breakfast and lunch.

A great and exciting place to meet up with friends for a drink and a game is Los Domingo’s Mexican Restaurant.

Address: 1520 E Main St, Barstow, CA 92311, United States

19.Wolf Mountain Sanctuary

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The Wolf Mountain Sanctuary, one of the few refuges allowing human contact with wolves, is situated 50 minutes south of Barstow off California State Route 247.

The sanctuary’s mission is to prevent the extinction of wolves by educating the public on wolf advocacy.

Four days a week, the owner and her staff give tours to interested visitors, who can ask questions and take pictures of the wolves. The hours of operation are Thursday through Sunday, 10 am to 4 pm.

The wolf actors from the well-known Twilight film series are known for appearing at the sanctuary.

The county has threatened to close the sanctuary on a few occasions throughout its history. The sanctuary was about to close its doors when a petition to “Save Wolf Mountain Sanctuary” was started.

Details about tours can be found on the sanctuary’s website, but for safety purposes, children may have a minimum age or size requirement.

Address:7520 Fairlane Rd, Lucerne Valley, CA 92356, United States

20. Hooz on First

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Wondering what to do in Barstow, CA, late at night? Then visit Hooz on First. One of the few establishments open late in the town is Hooz on First, a well-known sports bar in Barstow that offers happy hour specials at noon.

Everyone has a wonderful time because of the ambiance and friendly staff.

With a menu full of appetizers, sandwiches, and other options, the food is also a superior choice to eating at one of the many fast food establishments in town.

About 40 televisions can be found in Hooz on First, with the majority of them showing sporting events, games, karaoke nights, music, and more.

Even though it appears to be a small place with little to offer from the outside, it is one that travelers passing through the area should stop at.

Visit Hooz on First if you want a special experience where you can meet new people and have a drink with old friends.

Address:218 N. 1st Ave., Barstow, CA 92311, United States

21. Skyline Drive-In Theater

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One of the fun things to do in Barstow, CA, is to see a movie at Skyline Drive-in Theater. The ideal way to unwind after a day of exploration is to spend the evening at this quaint drive-in theater.

Consider learning about the town’s past all day, and then ending the day with some time spent in a classic outdoor movie theater. With two screens, a full snack bar, and a ton of movies for family entertainment, this location is a throwback to the past.

Although it might not seem like much, the Skyline Drive-In Theater is the ideal addition to your Barstow vacation when you’re looking for something to do.

For a schedule of recently released and upcoming films, visit Skyline Drive-in Theater’s Facebook page. Bring plenty of cash, too, as this is a cash-only establishment.

Address:31175 Old Highway 58, Barstow, CA 92311, United States

22. Rainbow Basin Natural Area

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The Rainbow Basin Natural Area is a geological feature located 13 km north of Barstow in the Calico Peaks range.

Tourists visiting Barstow should check out the spectacular Rainbow Basin Natural Area, which is made up of both public and private lands.

You can either drive or walk around the one-way circle road to view the stunning scenery.

The Rainbow Basin Natural Area is under the control of the Bureau of Land Management.

This basin, a National Natural Landmark, has breathtaking geological formations and layer upon layer of fossil records.

Make this your next stop in Barstow if you enjoy viewing geological formations and beautiful surroundings. It is one of the best places to visit in Barstow, CA.

Address: Fossil Bed Rd, Barstow, CA 92311, USA

23. Dana Park

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After a long drive, you should stop at Dana Park, a small Barstow park, to let the car cool off, stretch your legs, and give the kids and dogs a chance to run around.

The Park has a medium-sized cement skatepark ideal for skaters who prefer to skate on the streets. The skate park has a variety of ledges and street obstacles that are ideal for honing skills.

Despite being a smaller park, Dana Park also features other attractions like grills, restrooms, picnic tables, a tennis court, and a playground.

This Park, which is in the middle of a desert landscape, is the ideal oasis. Thus, you should add a visit to the Park to your checklist of what to do in Barstow, CA.

Address:850 Barstow Road, Barstow, CA 92311, United States

24. Peggy Sue’s Diner and Diner-Saur Park

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Peggy Sue’s Diner and Diner-Saur Park, a fun roadside attraction in nearby Yermo, is a great place to stop and relax after a long drive or to get a bite to eat while visiting Barstow, CA.

This roadside diner, which was built in 1954, has only nine counter stools and three booths.

Railroad ties from the local Union Pacific Railroad Yard were used to build the structure and mortar.

Hollywood’s golden age is brought to life on the diner’s walls with movie and television memorabilia.

A lovely garden with four 10-foot-tall dinosaurs and a lone human structure can be found in the Diner-Saur Park on the same property.

The lifelike statue of a man tries to escape the enraged stegosaurus by climbing over a turtle pond.

Address:35654 Yermo Road, Yermo, CA 92398, United States

Planning a California road trip? also, check out our list ofthings to do in Point Reyes Station,andthings to do in Turlockin for a fun trip

Plan Your Trip to Barstow

Barstow combines all of the advantages of small-city life with the resources of larger cities. There are numerous fun things to do in Barstow, CA.

Visitors to Barstow are welcome to spend the entire day exploring the best attractions, taking in the breathtaking scenery, and participating in the city’s top events.

You are bound to have a wonderful vacation by exploring this amazing city.

23 Best & Fun Things to Do in Barstow (CA) (2024)

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