Moving to San Bernardino

Welcome to the first page of your new adventure - moving to San Bernardino, CA! This sprawling SoCal city, located at the heart of the Inland Empire, pairs urban flavor with suburban charm, offering a unique blend of opportunities. Close to sunny beaches, snowy mountains, and glittering city lights - San Bernardino has it all! It's a place where you can reconnect with nature while staying plugged into the energetic vibrancy of city life. Ready for the ride? Fasten your seatbelt! This comprehensive San Bernardino relocation guide will navigate you towards a smooth transition into your new home.

Moving to San Bernardino, CA landscape image

What to Know Before Moving to San Bernardino

1. The City of Arts and Innovation

Landing in San Bernardino, you'll notice one thing quickly - this city loves its art. From the San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra to the Sturges Center for the Fine Arts, there's a creative outlet for everyone. But San Bernardino hasn't stopped at just being an art hub, it's also known as the "City of Innovation". Why? Because it prides itself on being future-focused and adapting to changes with gusto.

2. A Taste of San Bernardino

Your taste buds will never be bored in San Bernardino. The city boasts a variety of mouthwatering food choices. From the local favorite Mitla Cafe (which inspired the first-ever Taco Bell) to Korean BBQ gems, you're sure to find dishes that tantalize your palate. Oh, and don't forget about the local wineries and breweries that are sure to quench your thirst!

3. An Outdoor Enthusiast's Playground

If you're an adventurer at heart, San Bernardino will feel like home. There are countless hiking trails with breathtaking views. Less than an hour's drive and you're at Big Bear Lake, offering activities such as mountain biking, fishing, and skiing. And catch this, the city is home to the largest outdoor amphitheater in the US, the San Manuel Amphitheater!

4. The American Sports University - A Hidden Gem

Do you dream of a career in sports management? San Bernardino is the city for you! The American Sports University, the nation's only four-year college devoted entirely to sports education, is nestled right in the heart of the city! So if you're passionate about pursuing a niche degree in the sports world, this is the place for you.

5. The McDonald's Museum

Did you know that the birthplace of McDonald's is none other than San Bernardino? Yep! The McDonald's Museum stands on the site of the original McDonald's restaurant. It showcases a variety of historical McDonald's artifacts and memorabilia. So go on, supersize your knowledge of this global fast-food empire. More information for a visit can be found here.

6. Friendly Neighbors and Tight-Knit Communities

San Bernardino's real highlight, though, are its residents. Known for their friendliness and community spirit, the locals make the city more lively and welcoming. Numerous community events and festivals are held throughout the year, bringing people together to celebrate and build strong community bonds. Get ready for some block party invites!

To sum it up, moving to San Bernardino, CA means immersing yourself in a city that's bursting with creativity, delicious food, thrilling outdoor activities, sporty yet geeky educational opportunities, a dash of fast-food history, and above all, warmth. Sounds like quite the adventure, doesn't it?

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Pros and Cons of Living in San Bernardino

Pros of Living in San Bernardino

1. Access to Various Outdoor Activities

San Bernardino balances city life with a wealth of outdoor activities. Nestled near the San Bernardino National Forest, it offers a variety of activities such as hiking, camping, and fishing. It is also host to a number of parks with picnic areas, playgrounds, and sports facilities for public use.

2. Rich Historical and Cultural site

The city has a rich history and diverse culture visible in its many museums, theatres, and art galleries. The San Bernardino History & Railroad Museum and San Bernardino County Museum are great places to learn about the region's past. The city also hosts cultural festivals throughout the year.

3. Affordable Housing

Compared to many cities in California, San Bernardino is generally more affordable when it comes to housing. Whether you're looking to buy or rent, prices here are generally lower, making it a good place for families and individuals on a budget to put down roots.

4. Diverse Food Scene

San Bernardino boasts a broad range of cuisines thanks its diverse population. Whether you're looking for Mexican, Asian, American or some delicious In-N-Out Burger, you'll find numerous options to satisfy your taste buds.

5. Convenient Location

San Bernardino is conveniently located close to many of Southern California's most popular destinations. Cities like Los Angeles and beaches like Laguna Beach are only about an hour away. It's also within driving distance to other amenities, such as shopping and entertainment districts.

Cons of Living in San Bernardino

1. High Crime rate

San Bernardino's crime rate is higher than the national average. While efforts are being made to improve safety, it's important to research the neighborhoods and stay informed about the crime rates in your area.

2. Below Average School System

The city's school district has been struggling with performance and funding issues, making it a less desirable choice for parents with school-age children. Before settling in, families might want to look into the quality of the local schools.

3. Employment Opportunities

While the city is working to attract new businesses, the current job market in San Bernardino is not the strongest. Depending on your profession, it might be more challenging to find a job in your field.

4. Environmental Concerns

San Bernardino, like many parts of California, experiences periods of drought and is prone to wildfires. These environmental factors can have an impact on the quality of life and may be a real concern for potential residents.

5. Traffic and Commuting

Due to its location and population size, traffic within the city and commuting to surrounding areas during peak hours can be tedious. If you commute to work, you might need to factor in extra travel time.

Modern day picture of San Bernardino, CA highlighting pros and cons of living in San Bernardino, CA

Is San Bernardino a Good Place to Live?

San Bernardino, CA is a great place to live because of its rich history, beautiful mountain views, and its close proximity to several popular tourist destinations like Los Angeles and Santa Monica. Additionally, the city offers affordable housing options, making it an appealing choice for families and millennials. Plus, with consistently sunny weather and a variety of outdoor recreational activities, every day feels like an adventure in San Bernardino!

What Is San Bernardino Famous For?

Route 66

The legendary Route 66, the famed main street of America, runs right through San Bernardino. This highway stretches from Chicago to Santa Monica, California and is a notable part of the city's history, lending it a vintage charm that enchants residents and travelers alike.

San Bernardino National Forest

A significant chunk of the beautiful San Bernardino National Forest resides within the city's borders. The forest is well-known for its breathtakingly scenic landscapes, offering numerous opportunities for hiking, camping, and bird watching, making it a haven for nature lovers.

McDonald's Site and Museum

The site of the original McDonald's restaurant, which is now a museum, is located in San Bernardino. The museum is decked with memorabilia that represents the fast-food chain's history, giving visitors a fun and interesting glance into the beginnings of one of the biggest food franchises in the world.

National Orange Show Festival

San Bernardino proudly hosts the National Orange Show Festival, an annual celebration held since 1911 that pays tribute to the region's citrus industry. The festival is an absolute treat, filled with colorful parades, exquisite food, arts and crafts, and fairground attractions, making it a must-see event for both tourists and locals.

Capital building of San Bernardino, CA in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

The property tax rate in San Bernardino, CA as of 2023 is approximately 1.07% of the home's assessed value, which is below the national average of around 1.07% to 1.20%. This makes San Bernardino relatively more affordable in terms of property tax compared to other counties in the US.

Sales Tax

The sales tax in San Bernardino, CA as of 2023 is 8%, a little higher than the average US sales tax which is around 7.12%. Hence, residents pay slightly more sales tax in San Bernardino compared to other states.

Income Tax

As of 2023, the income tax rate in San Bernardino falls within California's state-wide progressive tax system, with rates ranging from 1% to 13.3% depending on income. This is significantly higher than the national average, making it amongst the highest in the US.

Housing Market

The housing market in San Bernardino, CA, is generally more affordable when compared to other parts of the US. As of March 2022, the median home value stands at $390,000, significantly lower than the national median. It offers a significantly lower cost of living for those seeking to buy. For renters, the median monthly rent is roughly $1,700, also comparatively lower. Therefore, San Bernardino presents viable budget-friendly options for both renters and homeowners, with potential for home value appreciation, given its growing market trend.

Cost of Living

San Bernardino, CA, offers a lower cost of living compared to other Californian cities. The living expenses are largely influenced by housing costs, which are significantly below the state's average. However, the costs for utilities, healthcare, and transportation are slightly above the national average. Nonetheless, when compared to neighboring cities like Los Angeles or San Diego, San Bernardino provides a more economical lifestyle. The city's affordability makes it an attractive choice for families and individuals seeking the Californian experience without the high price tag.

Weather & Natural Disasters

San Bernardino, California, boasts a semi-arid climate with hot summers and mild, wet winters. Temperatures during the summer often exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit, while winter temperatures hover in the 40-degree range. Rainfall is limited, with the majority falling between November and March. San Bernardino experiences its fair share of Californian sun, boasting over 300 sunny days each year. Regarding natural disasters, the city is prone to earthquakes, given its location within the San Andreas Fault zone. Additionally, wildfires, a common hazard in the dry Californian landscape, may occur, particularly during the hot and dry summer and fall. Droughts and occasional severe storms are also part of San Bernardino's environmental profile. Despite these, the region's warm, sunny climate rewards with an outdoors lifestyle encompassing hiking, biking, and other recreational pursuits.

Typical weather in San Bernardino, CA

Economy & Job Market

Healthcare & Social Assistance

Retail Trade


Educational Services

Accommodation & Food Services

San Bernardino, CA has a long and storied history as a booming trade and travel hub due to its advantageous geographical location. Historically, the city's economy was driven by industries such as railroads, aviation, and the military. The wind of change has since blown the city to new directions. Today, the Healthcare & Social Assistance sector takes the lead, trailed by Retail Trade, Manufacturing, Educational Services, and Accommodation & Food Services. Though the city's economy has been beleaguered by some challenges, it stands strong and resilient, echoing the fighting spirit of its hardworking citizens.

Looking to make a move to San Bernardino? Welcome aboard! When it comes to the job market, San Bernardino has an employment rate on par with the national average, though it does offer a cornucopia of opportunities in different sectors. Check out the healthcare and social assistance sector if you're in the mood to make a difference in people's lives. If you have an itch for sales, the retail trade industry might be your perfect fit. Manufacturing has a firm hold as well, making things happen from the ground up. If you're the scholarly type, the educational services sector is always looking for bright minds. Fancy a fast-paced working environment you can eat in? Try your hand in the accommodation and food services sector - the smell of opportunity is cooking!

Traffic and Transportation

San Bernardino, California, seems to have an uncanny relationship with traffic. With an average commute time of 30.8 minutes, it top beats the national average! Is your destiny awaiting at the end of a freeway? Fear not! With a robust public transportation network, you're covered. The San Bernardino Transit system is a spectacular amalgamation of buses and trains, ensuring you navigate the city with ease. The Metrolink train system spans Southern California, connecting San Bernardino to neighboring counties, oh so efficiently! Feathering the transportation cap, is air travel. San Bernardino International Airport, flutters in the heart of the city, connecting air voyagers to the world. So whether you're a roadrunner, a bus hopper, a train traveler, or an aviator, San Bernardino has your travel desires covered. Make a grand entrance or an illustrious exit in the throbbing city of San Bernardino!

What is the traffic like in San Bernardino, CA?

Best Neighborhoods in San Bernardino

1. Rancho West

The first neighborhood on our list is Rancho West, a charmingly tranquil and superbly located area right in San Bernardino. If you're seeking a neighborhood filled with lush tree-lines, verdant parks, and a peaceful community, this might just be your perfect pick. The area is known for its well-kept walking trails, a dream for those who love outdoorsy activities. After your stroll, grab a coffee from one of the many cozy local cafes and watch the world go by. There's never a dull moment in Rancho West, with community events calendared throughout the year, creating a close-knit and amiable community vibe.

2. Verdemont

For the fans of suburban living, Verdemont, located on the city's northern side, stands out as one of the best neighborhoods in San Bernardino, CA. This region offers large yards and open spaces, providing a sense of escape from urban life without giving up the convenience of city living. Verdemont Park is a favorite spot for family picnics and their annual summer concerts are a hot ticket.

3. University

The University neighborhood is not just for students. Yes, it's home to California State University, San Bernardino, but it also offers much more. With a diversity of parks, restaurants, and shops - it attracts people from all walks of life. Whether you're on a pursuit of higher education, or perhaps looking for a dynamic and vibrant place to settle, this neighborhood offers a blend of educational, cultural, and leisure pursuits like few others in the city.

4. North Park

Nestled into the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains, the North Park neighborhood offers both incredible views and access to outdoor activities such as hiking and mountain biking. Plus, the nearby Shandin Hills Golf Club is always a hit among golf enthusiasts. North Park is also appealing for its family-friendly feel, with a high-rated school system and community-focused events for the whole family to enjoy.

5. Carousel

As the name suggests, Carousel is a fun and exciting place to live! The neighborhood is conveniently situated near both downtown and the freeway, making it accessible and exciting, yet surprisingly serene. Here you'll find a spirited community consisting of quaint homes, public art, and local businesses. The annual Christmas Lights Display is a joy for residents and visitors alike, lighting up the neighborhood with a heart-warming community spirit.

In conclusion, San Bernardino, CA, offers a wide variety of neighborhoods for you to choose from, all with their unique vibes and attractive features. Whether you prefer a peaceful, suburban area like Rancho West and Verdemont or the more dynamic buzz offered by University and Carousel, you'll definitely find a place to call home in this diverse city. And if it's stunning views and outdoor activities you're into, North Park might just steal your heart. Each of these neighborhoods presents a different slice of life in San Bernardino, making this city a great place to relocate to no matter what you're looking for.

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Things to Do

Congratulations on your impending move to San Bernardino, CA! This charming city nestled against the San Bernardino Mountains offers a rich history, diverse activities, and boundless recreational opportunities. Cultivate your curiosity, ignite your spirit of adventure, and dive headfirst into the seven top things to do in San Bernardino, CA!

1. Discovery Frontier Life at the Original McDonald's Museum

Make your first pit-stop at the original McDonald's site, currently home to a fascinating museum. Explore the history of the world's largest fast-food chain, and harbor a newfound appreciation for the beloved Golden Arches. The museum is chock-full with fun memorabilia and intriguing artifacts, making it a must-visit for anyone new to the city.

2. Unleash Your Inner Historian at the San Bernardino History and Railroad Museum

The San Bernardino History and Railroad Museum offers a unique look into San Bernardino's rich past. From its involvement in the California Gold Rush to its significant place in railroad history, your time here is sure to be an educational whirlwind. Challenge yourself to learn something new and dive into the past in this captivating spot.

3. Hike to An Outdoor Wonderland at San Bernardino National Forest

Please, do yourself a favor and commune with nature at the San Bernardino National Forest. It's home to some of the state's most breathtaking scenery and wildlife. Whether hiking, biking, camping, or bird-watching, you'd find no shortage of recreational activities in this nature haven.

4. Revel in the Arts at the San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra

A fresh experience to try is catching a performance by the San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra. This talented ensemble regularly charms audiences with their passionate and stirring renditions of classical music. Whether you are a seasoned classical music connoisseur or dipping your toes in for the first time, a night here will surely enchant you.

5. Explore San Bernardino's Unknown: A Visit to The Mitla Cafe

Take a gastronomic leap of faith and visit the iconic Mitla Cafe, a hidden gem serving up delicious Mexican cuisine since 1937. This eatery played a pivotal role in the tale of taco history (think: Taco Bell) and is an equally tasty and historically rich slice of San Bernardino.

6. Step into the Paranormal at the Heritage House

Try something truly off the beaten path and embark on a ghost hunt at the Heritage House. Built in 1891, it is rumored to be home to numerous friendly spirits. Who knows, you might just encounter the resident ghost, Millie!

7. Hear the Roar at the Auto Club Speedway

Finally, for the thrill seekers, try out the Auto Club Speedway, and feel the adrenaline rush as you watch high-performance cars race in a blaze of speed. For those seeking extra adventure, a Ride-Along experience offers the ride of a lifetime, hurtling around the track with a professional racing driver.

Engaging history, arts, outdoor beauty, culinary adventures and even a touch of the supernatural - San Bernardino truly has it all. As you embark on your new journey, embrace the charm of your new city. Adventure is out there - go and find yours in San Bernardino, CA!

Things to do in San Bernardino, CA?

Find Movers for Your San Bernardino Relocation

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