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San Bernardino County, officially the County of San Bernardino, is a county located in the southern portion of the U.S. state of California. With an area of 20,105 square miles, San Bernardino County is the largest county in the United States by area, although some of Alaska’s boroughs and census areas are larger. It is larger than each of the nine smallest states, larger than the four smallest states combined, and larger than 70 different sovereign nations. Located in southeast California, the thinly populated deserts and mountains of this vast county stretch from where the bulk of the county population resides in two Census County Divisions, some 1,422,745 people as of the 2010 Census, covering the 450 square miles south of the San Bernardino Mountains in San Bernardino Valley, to the Nevada border and the Colorado River.
The City of San Bernardino is a community rich in history and cultural diversity. Influences of Native Americans, Mexican settlers, Spanish missionaries and Mormon emigrants can still be seen throughout the City today. From the day in 1810 when Franciscan missionary Father Dumetz named the area San Bernardino to the present, San Bernardino – nestled south of the San Bernardino Mountains and west of the lower desert – has been recognized for its scenic beauty and strategic location.
Today, the City of San Bernardino serves as the county seat and is the largest city in the County of San Bernardino with a population of over 213,000. With 35 parks and 11 community centers, residents can enjoy playgrounds, swimming, youth sports, adult sports, senior activities, and special interest classes. The City’s menu of programs and services includes a public library system comprised of one main and three library branches which provide life-long learning to the world of ideas, information and creative experience for all citizens of San Bernardino.
The Metrolink commuter rail service, available at the Santa Fe train station, provides long distance transportation to commuters from the San Bernardino area to major centers of employment, such as downtown Los Angeles, and Orange County, within 90 minutes. Further enhancing commuter connectivity, a new light rail program is in development extending service through San Bernardino to Redlands, California. The two San Bernardino stops are strategically located in the civic center and hospitality corridors. Three stops are slated for the City of Redlands; ESRI, downtown Redlands and the University of Redlands.
San Bernardino has a wide variety of recreational and entertainment attractions. From playing golf at one of San Bernardino’s three public and private golf courses, to a 30 to 45 minute drive to mountains, skiing, deserts, beaches, resorts, and world-class cultural and sporting events, a variety of activities for all ages is available to residents and visitors, and it is home to the Inland Empire 66ers, a Class A-Advanced Minor League affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim competing in the California League. The Inland Empire 66ers, named after historic Route 66, play at the multi-use San Manuel Stadium which regularly seats 5,000 people and can be expanded to seat 10,000.
San Bernardino Theater District concert venues in the City such as, the historic California Theater, Sturges Center for the Arts, Roosevelt Bowl, National Orange Show Events Center, San Manuel Amphitheater and the Garcia Center for the Arts. The City’s historic California Theater, which opened its doors in 1928, hosts Broadway plays and musicals that light up the stage each year. The theater is also the home of the San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra. Today, the Orchestra, one of the oldest and most prestigious in the region, consistently reaches unmatched standards of musical performance under the dynamic leadership of Music Director and Conductor Frank Fetta. One of the city’s most popular events is the annual Return to the Route 66 Rendezvous. In the 1930s, Historic Route 66, which runs through downtown San Bernardino, was the first highway to link Chicago and the Midwest to Southern California. Today, the event coordinated by the San Bernardino Area Chamber of Commerce, unites the region’s car culture community and draws thousands of people. This event is complete with exhibits, vendors, food booths, live entertainment and a Cruisin’ Hall of Fame.