Inland Empire, CA

San Bernardino Area

Lower elevations, too, can offer high-level entertainment. More than 280 acres of parks, lakes, and recreation areas are within the city limits of San Bernardino.

Let your youngsters experiment with hands-on exhibits at A Special Place Children's Museum. Spend an evening listening to music by the San Bernardino Civic Light Opera Company at the California Theatre of the Performing Arts or appreciating world-class entertainment at the Glen Helen Blockbuster Pavilion. Weekends, from April to June, 1,000 brilliantly costumed performers parade in 30 acres of meadows near tree-lined lakes at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire. If you love cars, don't miss the Route 66 Rendezvous Festival, a three-day event in September that draws 160,000 automotive-nostalgia buffs who cruise the highway in their 'rods.'

Drive to Redlands to see the Marmalade Mansions, 300 restored Victorian-era homes built by early residents who became wealthy in the citrus industry. On your way, stop at the San Bernardino County Museum to learn about regional archaeology, geology, history, and art. Also, check out the Asistencia, an 1830s outpost of Los Angeles' Mission San Gabriel.

The nearby communities of Yucaipa, Oak Glen, and Cherry Valley comprise the region's apple-orchard country. You'll find farms that invite you to pick your own fruit, sip cider or specialty wines, enjoy folk entertainment, and take a hayride.