15 Best Things to Do in Barstow, CA

Barstow, CA
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Barstow is a relatively small community in California's San Bernardino County.

It is well located for travelers going between Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

The city is at the crossroads of numerous important roadways, including Route 66, Interstate 15, and California State Route 58.

The Western America Railroad Museum, Los Domingo's Mexican Restaurant, and the Barstow Harvey House are just a few of the well-known attractions at this tourist destination.

Tourists and locals may spend an entire day viewing the top landmarks and engaging in the best activities in Barstow.

Everything is in one location, and everyone is on the same page.

Enjoy quality time with your family and friends as you explore the best things to do in Barstow, California.

Watch Old Trains at the Western America Railroad Museum

Name sign of Western America Railroad Museum
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The Western America Train Museum, housed in the ancient Harvey House, contains railroad relics of the Barstow region and the whole West.

It is a great place to spend a couple of minutes studying the exciting background of Pacific southwest railroads.

A santa fe train at Western America Railroad Museum
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The museum is inside an original railway depot and features a vast collection of railroad-related items.

A train under a tree at Western America Railroad Museum
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You may view train operational equipment, train sets, locomotives, signaled materials, and track hardware outside.

Likewise, you can see displays of old trains, pictures, archival materials, and much more.

Tourists can also check out two cabooses.

Union pacific train at Western America Railroad Museum
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Join a Ghost Tour at the Barstow Harvey House

Front exterior of Barstow Harvey House
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The Barstow Harvey House, commonly known as Casa Del Desierto or House of the Desert, is much more than a historic structure.

Built in 1911, Casa Del Desierto became part of the National Heritage list in 1975.

The site also became a California Historic Site in 1976.

Today, the previous railway area houses the Western America Railroad Museum, the Route 66 "Mother Road" Museum, the Barstow Chamber of Commerce, and the Barstow Visitor's Bureau.

Side view of Barstow Harvey House's exterior
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As a result, Barstow Harvey House is the city's historical heart.

The Historic Harvey House serves as a professional business facility, exposition space, and social event setting with two spacious halls.

You may read more about the Harvey House's activities, reserve one of the ballrooms, or join one of our unique ghost tours.

Learn more about this fantastic landmark that attracts tourists worldwide.

History marker of Barstow Harvey House
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Make Your Pizza at Di Napoli’s Firehouse Italian Eatery

Di Napoli's Firehouse Italian Eatery has operated for almost two decades, opening in 1994.

It treats customers like family.

They've worked hard to establish a pleasant setting, blending terrific food and excellent beverages.

Likewise, their crew constantly looks for chevaliers.

With a thick crust over the edges, traditional light pizza comes straight off the bricks at this Italian eatery.

You may design your traditional hand-tossed pizza with pepperoni, salami, beef, Italian sausages, green peppers, Canadian bacon, mushrooms, black olives, fresh tomatoes, cheese, and other toppings.

Not only that, but they also provide handmade potato salads, pasta salads, starters, and side dishes. You can even take them home if you want.

Go on a Tour on Route 66 Mother Road Museum

A motorcycle displayed in Route 66 Mother Road Museum
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The Mojave Desert Museum houses a collection of historical images and objects relating to Route 66 and the Mojave Desert localities.

On July 4, 2000, the historic Casa del Desierto, Harvey House received dedication as the Route 66 Mother Road Museum.

See for yourself the growth of Route 66 from early pioneer routes, railways, automobile history, companies, and places.

You can also read many brochures and publications if you plan a day trip or a more extended stay.

Likewise, you can speak with expert docents on site.

Presently, tour guides and exhibits provide a great deal of information on the famed 2,248-mile Route 66 and the latest info on traveling Route 66 and crossing the Mojave Desert.

Before you go, stop by the gift store to collect souvenir maps and items to remember your trip.

Take a Walk and Shop at Outlets at Barstow

Guess store and the food court of Outlets at Barstow
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You wouldn't expect to discover an outlet mall in the desert, but that's what you'll find driving through Los Angeles and Las Vegas on Interstate 15.

Outlets At Barstow is a fantastic site to rest on your travel.

It has clean facilities and offers the opportunity to indulge in surprise retail therapy.

Shops at Outlets at Barstow
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This "Jewel in the Dessert" has sanitary restrooms, an official California State Welcome Center, and an onsite Food Hall.

Various businesses eagerly anticipate your arrival with great deals!

Around 38 stores provide friendly prices, too.

Stop by their Customer Support Office to ensure you don't skip out on daily deals.

The California Welcome Center onsite also has pamphlets and other information to help you plan your trip!

Kate spade store at Outlets at Barstow
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Discover History at Mojave River Valley Museum

In 1964, the Mojave River Valley Museum opened, thanks to the work of local citizens who wished to bring attention to their unique environment.

The Museum preserves and shows different historic exhibits regarding the Mojave River Valley's history, dating back to 1776.

You can check out collections of over 20,000 pictures and dozens of local newspapers.

The Museum organizes field trips for residents and tourists, and everyone is invited to join their monthly meetings.

Discover the pioneers, railways, and miners who helped develop the valley over the previous few centuries.

The Museum focuses on protecting and improving the desert's biological, historical, and cultural legacy of the Mojave Desert.

Go Backpacking at the Castle Mountains National Monument

Landscape of Castle Mountains National Monument
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The Castle Mountains National Monument comprises over 21 acres of vast wilderness between the Mojave National Preserve and the Nevada state line.

This secluded location allows you to fully disconnect from the city and experience rainforests, grasslands, and seasonal wildflowers.

Tourists say the blinding whiteness of the desert contrasts delightfully with the energy of life from neighboring urban regions.

Hart peak at Castle Mountains National Monument
James Holladay, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Popular activities include hiking, backpacking, and mountain biking.

There are three campgrounds where you may set your tent and spend the night in the desert.

The ideal time to come is in the spring or fall, as snowfalls are frequently below freezing.

Don't miss out on this fascinating tourist spot that offers peace!

Order Breakfast at Black Bear Diner

Even though Barstow is not a huge city, it still offers many dining options.

The Black Bear Diner is one of those locations.

Residents and tourists alike find themselves returning time and time again.

They provide a variety of breakfast items such as waffles, French toast, and pancakes sprinkled with powdered sugar and served with warmed syrup, fresh fruit, and whipped cream.

They feature a healthy menu where guests can view and track their calorie, protein, and carb intake in their meal.

Is it the delicious food, or maybe it's the fantastic ambiance?

The truth is these things wrapped up in a cute bear bow keep people coming back.

Stop by the Barstow Station

Welcome entrance of Barstow Station
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Barstow Station has everything, whether you're searching for fun, a resting spot, learning about history, or collecting treasures.

You can also eat delicious food, meet people, and load essential supplies before heading back out on the road.

Liquor corner of Barstow Station
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Likewise, you can find over 16 different retailers at Barstow Station, including well-known brands like McDonald's and Dunkin' Donuts.

They feature Wi-Fi, comfortable and pleasant drivers' lounges, a beverage shop, and clean toilets, to name a few amenities.

Are you looking for lottery tickets?

They've even created millionaires!

Explore and Learn about Space at NASA Goldstone Dsn Visitor’s Center

The Historic Harvey House in Barstow houses the Goldstone Outreach program (Casa Del Desierto).

The facility itself is restricted to the general public.

However, the DSN Visitor's Center in Barstow is open to the public six days a week.

This place can tell you everything about the excellent space communications since 1958.

The NASA Goldstone DSN (Deep Space Network) Visitor's Center is a must-see for anybody interested in the fascinating realm of space travel and telecommunication.

Book a visit to the NASA Goldstone Visitor Center to learn more about the Deep Space Network's incredible work.

They provide guided tours of Goldstone but only through advanced bookings.

Plan ahead if you want to learn more about this Barstow tourist attraction.

Grab Pamphlets at the California Welcome Center

Exterior of California Welcome Center
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Many daytime tours are within 2 hours of Barstow.

They also have a wide range of hotels and restaurants situated on historic Route 66.

The California Welcome Center is in the heartland of the Mojave Desert.

Go shopping, tour a museum, hike, explore the Mojave Desert and explore the Old West at Calico Ghost Town.

The personnel at the California Welcome Center can supply you with excellent trip planning information for the remainder of your time in the Golden State.

Interstate tourists can get local, statewide, and national information at the California Welcome Center.

The center also has pamphlets and information for guests going throughout California.

Pay Respects to Firefighters at the Giant Fire Helmet

Daytime view of the Giant Fire Helmet
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The Giant Fire Helmet is an unusual but touching tribute to the firemen who paid the ultimate sacrifice on 9/11.

You can find this monument near the Desert Discovery Center along Highway 15.

The number "343" is inscribed on the helmet, indicating the number of FDNY firefighters who lost their lives that day.

The Barstow Fire Department felt that a life-size replica of an FDNY fire helmet would entice passers-by to pay their respects to the 343 fallen firefighters.

Honoring those who have died is a lovely gesture that may bring comfort to their families.

Try Traditional Mexican Cuisines at Los Domingo’s Mexican Restaurant

Los Domingos, which opened in 1981, has remained true to traditional Mexican cuisine.

They are proud of their cuisine, service, and active participation in their community.

This restaurant provides distinctive, trademark meals that you won’t find anywhere else.

Their collection of American staples can always fulfill your burger cravings.

If you’re in the mood for an American burger or a meaty New York Strip, the menu has plenty of options.

You can expect delectable fresh and spicy specialty meals like Chili Prime Rib Steak or Steakhouse Picados and a diverse menu of traditional Mexican tacos, salad, and burritos.

It is available for breakfast and lunchtime and has a kids’ menu.

Los Domingo’s Mexican Restaurant is a great spot to catch up with friends for a drink and a game.

Appreciate Nature at Rainbow Basin Natural Area

Daytime view of Rainbow Basin Natural Area
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Rainbow Basin Natural Area is a geological feature in the Calico Peaks ranges about 13 km north of Barstow.

Anyone visiting Barstow should visit the amazing Rainbow Basin Natural Area, which is a combination of private and public land.

You may either walk or drive around the one-way circle road to see the spectacular scenery.

A trail at Rainbow Basin Natural Area
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The Bureau of Land Management administers the Rainbow Basin Natural Area.

A National Natural Landmark, this basin features stunning geological formations and fossil layers.

If you enjoy seeing geological formations and stunning surroundings, make this your next stop in Barstow.

Rock formations at Rainbow Basin Natural Area
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Watch Tournaments at Oggi's Sports Brewhouse Pizza

You'll find award-winning beers and perfect signature pizzas packed with favorite toppings at Oggi's Sports Brewhouse Pizza.

It's also a pleasant place to gather with friends or family to cheer on your favorite sports team.

Their restaurant has earned 45 awards and has a big bar with 25 taps selling distinctive Oggi's microbrew beers.

Huge TVs mounted on each wall make sure you don't miss your team's tournament.

This is also Barstow's only restaurant with an outdoor terrace.

Oggi's has everything you need for a fun time.

Taste Oggi's distinctive homemade dough topped just how you like it and cooked to a soft, crunchy masterpiece.

Final Thoughts

Barstow combines all of the advantages of small-city life with the resources of larger cities.

Throughout your time in this city, you can participate in museum tours, try savory meals at various restaurants, start shopping sprees, and do many other activities.

Travelers to Barstow may spend a whole day visiting the city's top monuments and stunning landscape while participating in the city's best activities.

Explore this fantastic city for a lovely vacation!