BEST WESTERN
Desert Villa Inn
1984 East Main Street • Barstow, California 92311
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Barstow Area Guide

This CA Barstow Hotel is conveniently located off Interstate Highway 40, just minutes away from some of the Barstow's area finest attractions. Stay with this Barstow Motel and see all that this unique city has to offer. The Barstow area offers a wide range of indoor and outdoor recreational activities, including museums, shopping, OHV areas, desert exploring, seasonal wild flower viewing, geological points of interest and much more. Enjoy fantastic entertainment and dining all just a few minutes away from this hotel in Barstow.

Barstow Area Attractions
Discovery Trails Desert Discovery Center. The Desert Discovery Center is an interactive learning center that offers after school and weekend programs, and field trips that motivate students of all ages to learn more about the fields of geology, history, biology, and anthropology. The program is designed to identify each student's current interests to tap into their abilities while learning more about the natural, cultural and historic resources of the Mojave Desert. www.discoverytrails.org.

Route 66 
Situated in the western Mojave Desert, the Best Western Desert Villa Inn offers a convenient downtown location in Barstow, California. Enjoy easy access to the Calico Ghost Town, Harvey House and the Mojave National Preserve. For those looking to discover a piece of American heritage and culture, a stretch of Historic Route 66 is right at the front door!

Route 66 Mother Road.
Route 66 was nicknamed the "Mother Road" and the "Main Street of America." In its heyday, Route 66 ran 2,448 miles through the heartland of America, crossed 8 states and stretched from Illinois to California. Although Route 66 is no longer designated on any maps, historic markers reveal to visitors many notable points of interests.

Route 66 History.
Commissioned in 1926, U.S. Route 66 was one of the original U.S. highways. During the 1930s Route 66 was a popular transportation route for those seeking refuge west during the Dust Bowl. During its use, Route 66 supported local economies with roadside businesses prospering due to the increase in traffic. However with the signing of the Interstate Highway act in 1956, Route 66 was on the decline. Route 66 was eventually decommissioned in 1985 and removed from the U.S. Highway System.

Mother Road Route 66 Museum
Mother Road Route 66 MuseumThe Mother Road Route 66 Museum maintains and displays a collection of historic photographs and artifacts related to the history of Route 66 and its communities. The museum's displays include automotive history exhibits, an extensive library and pictorials showing the development of the highway. The gift shop stocks brochures, maps and travel information as well as fine gifts, jewelry and books related to Route 66. Exhibitions change often, so visitors can always find something new to see. www.califrt66museum.org.

Check out the history of the Mother Road at the Route 66 Museum in Barstow, California. Discover photo exhibits, artifacts, folk art and dazzling neon signs celebrating this historic road way. The Route 66 Museum features a library and gift shop allowing visitors to take home a slice of Route 66 Americana.

Death Valley
The hottest, driest and lowest point in the U.S., Death Valley is a land of extremes. Summer temperatures in the valley average over 100 degrees, and at 282 feet below sea level, Death Valley is the driest place in North America with an average rainfall of only 1.96 inches a year. Death Valley offers visitors spectacular sights like the sand dunes at Stovepipe Wells, Scotty's Castle Museum, a myriad of wildflowers, biking, hiking and camping, There are also several visitor centers throughout the area that offer programs like guided walking tours, living history tours, wildlife information, and much more. www.nps.gov/deva/

Barstow Station
If you're looking for kitschy, desert-themed souvenirs, Barstow Station is a must see. This rest area / tourist trap is chock full of funky shops selling Route 66 stickers, Mexican agate jewelry, homespun crafts, t-shirts, candy, Minnetonka moccasins and every kind of Las Vegas memento you can think of. You'll find penny squashing machines, video games and a variety of fast food restaurants at this fun tourist attraction. Barstow Station is located across from the Best Western in Barstow.

Rainbow Basin
Rainbow Basin is located in the Mojave Desert, just northwest of Barstow. Over millions of years, water and wind have sculpted layers of sandstone and sediment to expose brilliantly colored formations in this fantastic area. Once a verdant marsh and home of many prehistoric creatures, like Miocene-age horses, camels, mastodons and saber tooth cats, you'll see their remains embedded in the canyon walls, buried by sediments over time. Many of the fossils found in Rainbow Basin are now on display at museums around the country.

Stoddard Valley OHV Area
Located in the Mojave Desert, Stoddard Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Area offers a diverse landscape for off-highway vehicle recreation. The area's steep rocky mountains, rolling hills, open valleys, and winding sandy washes offer great off-road fun for motorcycles and ATVs. With elevations ranging from 5,000 to 2,800 feet, this triangular-shaped riding area is used extensively for OHV riding, including competitive racing events by permit. The area also offers many opportunities for hiking, rock scrambling, rock hounding and bird and wildlife watching. www.blm.gov/ca/barstow/stoddard.html.

Mitchell Caverns
Mitchell Caverns features a wide variety of cave formations, which were formed when sedimentary limestone and marble were dissolved by acidic ground water. First opened for tours by Jack Mitchell in 1932, the caverns are the only limestone caverns in the State Park system. Visitors will see spectacular and intricate limestone formations including stalagmites, stalactites, helictites, lily pads, draperies, curtains and popcorn. Tours run daily at 1:30pm; weekends at 10am, 1:30pm and 3pm. www.nps.gov/moja/home.htm.

Western America Railroad Museum-4 miles
The Western America Railroad Museum offers historical displays that focus on railroad history and the development of railroad technology. The museum's authentic railroad depot is home to displays of railroad artifacts, artwork, timetables, uniforms, tools and various other items related to railroading. Outdoor displays include rolling stock, locomotives, signals and general operating equipment, allowing visitors to see railroad equipment up close. The museum is open Fri.-Sun., 11am - 4pm. www.barstowrailmuseum.org.

Harvey House, Casa Del Desierto
In the late 1800s-1930s, Fred Harvey set up a string of dining rooms and boarding houses for Santa Fe train passengers. Barstow's Casa Del Desierto, considered one of the jewels of the Harvey House system, opened in 1911. Offering comfortable, luxurious rooms, gourmet cuisine served on fine china, and quality drinks, Casa Del Desierto was also equipped with a full ballroom and was the site for many of the town's dances and social events. This lovely historic building is now home to the Greyhound and Amtrak stations, several arts groups, the Mother Road Route 66 Museum and the Western America Railroad Museum.

Barstow Golf Club
Built in 1974 and designed by Ted Robinson, ASGCA, this 9-hole, regulation length golf course features 3,256 yards of golf from the longest tees, for a par of 36. With Bent Grass greens and fairways, the course is semi-hilly with scattered tree-lined fairways. The course also has a large lake that comes into play on two holes. $10 greens fees include cart rental. The course is open to the public year-round. www.barstowgolfclub.com


The Mojave Desert National Preserve
The Mojave Desert National Preserve covers an area of more than 15,000 square miles and extends from the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the west to the Colorado Plateau in the east, and from the San Gabriel and San Bernardino mountains in the south to the northern reaches of Death Valley. The Mojave National Preserve offers spectacular sights for visitors. With Rose-colored sand dunes, volcanic cinder cones, Joshua tree forests and mile-high mountains, visitors to the Preserve will see impressive natural wonders that change with each season. The area offers a rich plant and animal population that varies by elevation. Desert tortoises can be seen in creosote bush flats, while the stunning black and yellow Scott's Oriole can be found nesting in Joshua trees located along the hillsides. Mule deer and bighorn sheep roam among Pinyon pines and juniper in the park's many mountain ranges.

Mojave Desert Attractions


The area receives very little rain each year, so rare winter snows and vivid spring wildflowers are a special treat for visitors. Enjoy a scenic drive past cinder cones and lava flows on the road to Kelso Dunes. You'll see more Joshua trees and a glimpse of the distant Providence Mountains as you gain elevation up this easy grade. For a more challenging trip, try the Mojave Road in your Four wheel drive vehicle. Originally part of a network of Indian trails, the route became a wagon road when the Army established a series of outposts across the desert in the 1860s. The Mojave Road bisects the Preserve from east to west and was the major route across the Mojave Desert until the arrival of the first railroad route in 1883.

Mojave Desert Accommodations


Stay at the Best Western Desert Villa Inn when you visit the Mojave Desert National Preserve and the Mojave River Valley Museum. Located just off Interstate Highway 40 and minutes from area attractions, you'll enjoy great accommodations and extra features at our comfortable hotel. The Desert Villa Inn offers everything you need to make your vacation in the Mojave Desert and Barstow area memorable. Enjoy our comfortable rooms and suites, complimentary continental breakfast, free Internet access and discounts on desert vacation packages.

Mojave River Valley Museum


When you're in the area, make sure to visit the Mojave River Valley Museum, located in downtown Barstow. Dedicated to the preservation of the scientific, historical and cultural heritage of the past and present, the museum offers a series of historical exhibits depicting the history of the Mojave River Valley, from the arrival of Father Garces in 1776, to the pathfinders, pioneers, miners and the present-day space program. Artifacts from the famous Calico Early Man site are on display and other exhibits include 19th century mining, gemstones, minerals, railroads, automotive and the famed "headless horseman" found in the desert in 1965. The museum's gift shop offers a wide selection of souvenirs and books on local history, railroads, Death Valley, geology / mineralogy and much more. The Museum is free to the public and open daily from 11am - 4pm. www.nps.gov/moja/.

California Historic Mining Town - Calico Ghost Town

Ghost Town History Calico Ghost Town is a historic silver mining town that was founded in 1881. Located just ten miles north of Barstow, California, Calico was originally one of the richest silver strikes of the 1800s. Silver mining was strong in the area until the late 1890s when the value of silver fell. Fortunately for the town of Calico, rich deposits of borax were discovered in the Calico Mountains in the early 1890s and the town maintained a large mining operation until 1910, when large deposits of Borax were discovered closer to Los Angeles. Ghost Town History. The town was restored to its original glory by Walter Knott, of Knott's Berry Farm fame, in 1950 and donated to the County of San Bernardino in 1967. With one third of the original buildings still in tact, this authentic silver mining town lives on as one of the few original mining camps of the Old West.

See Calico Ghost Town


Visitors can walk the streets and examine what life was like for Calico's miners and townspeople. The town's original cemetery, bathhouse, barbershop and town hall are highlights that shouldn't be missed. Calico Ghost Town also offers a variety of mercantile stores, a schoolhouse, blacksmith shop and gold panning operation. A narrow gauge railroad operates within town limits and a hard rock silver mine offers opportunities for underground exploration. Make sure to take an evening ghost walk tour to hear more about the town's darker history. Calico Ghost Town is open daily from 8am - dusk. www.calicotown.com.

  
 
 
Sunday April 20, 2014