San Bernardino, California, with a population of almost 200,000, is the 18th-largest city in the state and the seat of San Bernardino County. The city is one of the oldest in California (celebrating its bicentennial in 2010) and is located about 65 miles east of Los Angeles. Instead of being merely a suburb of that larger city, San Bernardino has thrived for years as a ranching, agricultural, military and transportation center for southern California. Opportunities continue to exist for those visiting or moving to San Bernardino.
San Bernardino's earliest economy depended on ranching and agriculture, but the city's primary employers today focus on government and service-related industries (especially retail and education). In industry, San Bernardino is a major logistics and transportation hub. The city's location at the junction of three major highways (Interstates 10 and 215 and State Route 210) led the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway, as well as several major truck lines, to open freight transit centers in San Bernardino. Similarly, the city is home to warehouse distribution centers for retail companies including Kohl's, Mattel and Stater Brothers. The biggest single employers in San Bernardino are led by the California State University-San Bernardino, Caltrans District 8, the City of San Bernardino, Community Hospital and the San Bernardino City Unified School District.
The first European settlers in the San Bernardino Valley were Spanish missionaries, arriving in the early 19th century. On May 20, 1810, Father Francisco Dumetz arrived and erected an altar in honor of Saint Bernardino of Siena (the patron saint of that day). A permanent mission, called Rancho San Bernardino, followed in 1819 and operated until 1834, when the mission was replaced by a trading post along the Spanish Trail. A group of 500 Mormon settlers arrived and began farming in 1851, leading to the incorporation of the City of San Bernardino in 1854. The arrival of the railroad in 1886 led to a population explosion throughout the valley, and San Bernardino became the railway hub for all of southern California. From a population of 1200 at the time of incorporation, the city's population grew to 6150 in 1900 and to 12,779 in 1910. Today, many new residents are relocating to the area, so it's no wonder why San Bernardino moving companies are so busy.
Due to a cluster of mineral springs (both hot and cold) in the mountains bordering the San Bernardino Valley, the city has been a tourist destination for a long time. The Arrowhead Springs Hotel and Spa, built on 1916 acres to the north of downtown San Bernardino, has offered hot springs, mineral baths and steam caves for a century. Permanent modern attractions include museums (including the Robert V. Fullerton Art Museum, with the largest collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts was of the Mississippi), music venues and theaters. Several festivals throughout the year also attract visitors to San Bernardino. Among the largest are the National Orange Show in May and the Stater Bros. Route 66 Rendezvous classic car show in September. While the San Bernardino International Airport only operates for private flights and cargo, the closest major airport to San Bernardino is the LA/Ontario Airport, offering more than 500 flights per day. Local transit in and around the city is available from Omnitrans and the Mountain Area Regional Transit Authority. Light rail service to Los Angeles on the Metrolink service also runs daily.