- is the county seat of Riverside County, about 55 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.
- is the county seat of San Bernardino County, about 60 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.
- is the commercial center of the region and home to the area's international airport and main shopping areas.
Native Americans called the Inland Empire home for thousands of years before the arrival of European explorers in the 18th century. Residents would spend winters in the warmer valleys and move into the cooler mountains during summer months.
Throughout much of the 19th and 20th century, agriculture was the dominant industry for the region. In the post-World War II decades, there was an explosion of residents and industry as developers turned to cheap land east of Los Angeles. Although the area is often criticized for its sprawling developments that are incredibly automobile-dependent, many cities have made an effort to encourage denser housing developments centered around commercial and office-park developments. Today, the region's growth continues as housing prices remain incredibly affordable and residents from Orange and Los Angeles counties swell the area's population.
The Inland Empire is densely populated, with 4.2 million residents. However, the area isn't as totally self-sufficient in the regard that many residents still commute to their jobs in the adjacent Los Angeles metropolitan area of Los Angeles and Orange counties. Inland Empire residents also tend to travel to Los Angeles and its immediate environs for activities such as zoos, aquariums, theme parks, planetariums, higher-rated museums, and such. This isn't to say the Inland Empire is without its own attractions as its has some good theatres, nearby mountains, lakes, and enjoyable restaurants and malls. But it does show that the Inland Empire is not just a stand-alone metropolitan area, but also an integrated part of the Greater Los Angeles area.
By planeLA/Ontario International Airport (ONT) is the main airport for the Inland Empire. Almost all domestic airlines serve the airport and there are a handful of flights to Mexico depending on the season.
Commercial airports in Los Angeles, Burbank, Santa Ana, and Long Beach (all outside the Inland Empire, but still in the Greater L.A. area) can be used, but they are about a one-hour drive away without traffic -and chances are there is going to be traffic in Southern California.
San Bernardino International Airport (SBD), in the Inland Empire, has built a passenger terminal, but receives no scheduled flights. It is a commuter airport mainly for private aircraft (Nov 2018).
Other smaller municipal and private airports dot the landscape as well, including Cable Airport in Upland, which is the largest private airport in the United States.
By trainThe national railway Amtrak serves many Inland Empire cities, including Ontario and San Bernardino.
The suburban commuter Metrolink system connects many Inland Empire cities with Los Angeles, Ventura, and Orange Counties. Because it is a commuter train, weekend service is limited.
Three east-west freeways link the Inland Empire with Los Angeles to the west. Interstate 10, the main route, connects downtown Los Angeles with San Bernardino. Interstate 210 and State Route 210 connect Pasadena and the San Fernando Valley with San Bernardino and Redlands. State Route 60 connects downtown Los Angeles with downtown Riverside.
In addition, the almost always-congested State Route 91 freeway connects many Orange County Cities with Riverside. Two north-south freeways also traverse the region. Interstate 15 connects San Diego to Las Vegas via Corona and the western Inland Empire cities. Interstate 215 forms a loop through the eastern cities, from San Bernardino south to Riverside, Perris, and Murrieta.
By busGreyhound serves many Inland Empire cities.
By trainMetrolink, Southern California's commuter rail system, operates four lines that serve the Inland Empire. These are the San Bernardino Line, the Riverside Line, the 91 Line, and the Inland-Empire Orange County Line. Some lines, such as the Riverside Line, have no weekend service at all.
By carMuch of the Inland Empire is laid out in a grid-like pattern, making navigation very easy. In addition, streets maintain their names as they cross city boundaries, which helps reduce confusion.
Because many Inland Empire residents commute towards Los Angeles and Orange counties for work, westbound traffic is heaviest in the morning (between 7 and 9AM) and eastbound is heaviest in the evening (between 4 and 7PM). Friday traffic can be a nightmare, especially on long weekends, as many Southern California residents flock to Las Vegas. However, some simple day-planning can help you avoid driving on freeways during rush hour and will make your experience more enjoyable.
By bicycleAlthough mountains sit nearby, much of the Inland Empire is flat enough to encourage bicycle riding. Many major thoroughfares have marked bike lanes, and numerous projects are converting abandoned rail lines to paved bike trails. Although bike use is low compared to other urbanized areas, rising gas prices are resulting in more and more cyclists using the bike lanes throughout the area. Local politicians are slowly but surely becoming aware of this and there are at least token promises for more bike infrastructure to come in the future.
address: 12505 North Mainstreet, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91739A large outdoor mall designed to resemble America's "Main Street," Victoria Gardens contains many upscale stores and restaurants.
Route 66Historic Route 66 ("Foothill Blvd" or "5th Street") passes through many Inland Empire cities. Local agencies have invested heavily in improvements to commercial services and infrastructure along the corridor. Still, many historic relics survive. A trip east from La Verne to San Bernardino will take several hours but is worth it.
San Bernardino Nat'l ForestThe Inland Empire contains much of the San Bernardino National Forest, whose territory covers parts of the San Gabriel, San Bernardino, and San Jacinto mountains. Recreation opportunities are numerous and include hiking, skiing, and boating.
Santa Ana River TrailThe Santa Ana River Trail runs through the cities of Riverside, Colton, and San Bernardino, and is under construction through Redlands and Highland. When complete, the trail will connect Orange County beaches with the San Bernardino Mountains.
Bulldog Pubphone: +1 909 946-6614address: 1667 N Mountain Ave Upland, CA 91784Bulldog Pub in northern Upland is a great place to catch live music and drinks at very reasonable prices.
Not all low-income areas are crime-ridden and drug-infested. In fact, many low-income neighborhoods are often host to the best and oldest restaurants in the area. Use a combination of street smarts, do your research, and know your area when choosing a destination.
San Bernardino County is broken up into many different smaller cities and towns with their own unique way of enforcing the laws. For example, in the city of Loma Linda smoking a cigarette and walking down a public sidewalk will get you a ticketed fine, but in the city of Redlands no big deal. The markings from where one city begins and another ends aren't easily spotted.