Book your stay in Barstow, an oasis, a stopping-point, a crossroads in the middle of a vast desert and a great place to relax. And when you stay at our Barstow, CA hotels, you will be able to understand this old frontier town’s place in the folklore of the American west by enjoying its attractions, which include:
Nothing is more iconic to 20th century America than the drive-in movie theater, and the Skyline Drive-In continues the tradition seamlessly into the 21st century. You can buy food at the concession stand or bring your own, and your kids can wear their pajamas while enjoying the movie (be sure to remember blankets and pillows: even in the summer, desert nights are cool). The primary screen shows a first-release movie, and the second one always has something for the children. Make sure you take an evening to enjoy this blast from the past while you are in town.
Barstow is desert country, and to really get a grip on what that looks like, visit the Rainbow Basin Natural Area, a four-mile loop through spectacular pocket canyon scenery. You'll learn all about the geologic fault lines on your journey. Do it in the car or—if you come in the early morning or evening to avoid the worst of the heat—get out and hike through the hills and basins in Rainbow Wash.
Another American icon is Route 66, and you can learn about it—plus pick up some nifty souvenirs—at the Route 66 Mother Road Museum, where various artifacts, photographs, and film clips will take you back into the history and folklore of this most famous of all American highways. Enjoy free soft drinks and cookies as you peruse the many offerings in the gift shop.
Cars are not the only form of transportation important to the west as the Western America Railroad Museum will explain. Located right beside the still-active Barstow Station, there are several locomotives and cabooses outside the museum kids can climb on, and inside are maps, photographs, tools, memorabilia and a serious collection of date-nails (nails with the date stamped on the head as a means of keeping railroad records).
If you have had enough culture for a while, then stop by the Tanger Outlet Center for some shopping at 35 stores and designer outlets. You will have to brave a few busloads of tourists, but you can find some substantial bargains here if you persevere.
The desert that surrounds the town feels infinite, making the “civilization” of downtown that much more welcome. When you stay at our Barstow hotels, you can explore both at your leisure—and have the feeling of understanding an America that has all but disappeared.
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