Barstow is centrally located in California's Inland Empire of San Bernardino County, conveniently situated midway between Las Vegas and Los Angeles. The city is a major transportation corridor, with more than 60 million people passing through Barstow on interstates 15 and 40 or highways 58 and 247 each year. It is easy to access world-class shopping from Barstow apartments for rent by taking a short drive to major outlet centers that together include more than 100 retail stores. The city's location at the entrance of the Mojave National Preserve makes it an ideal location for nature lovers, and sunny skies year-round provide the perfect climate for outdoor exploration of the vast Mojave Desert.
Skateboarding is a popular activity enjoyed by Barstow residents, and the Barstow Skate Park provides 12,000 square feet of ramps and rails geared toward mid-level skaters. The park's signature feature is a pyramid in the center of the arena along with a skate bowl.
Residents in Barstow rentals have easy access to numerous popular natural attractions. Located just 31 miles northwest of Barstow, Black and Inscription canyons are home to an extensive collection of Native American rock carvings known as petroglyphs. Afton Canyon, located 36 miles northeast of Barstow, is known as the "Grand Canyon of the Mojave." The Mojave River reappears in Afton Canyon after flowing 50 miles underground. While visiting the Mojave National Preserve, Barstow residents can hike, bike or camp in the historic park district.
The fact that Barstow is a hub of transportation within the Inland Empire has contributed to its growth and economic success. Barstow is home to a diverse mix of industries, and the largest employment sectors in Barstow are retail trade, services and public administration. Barstow's top employers include Ft. Irwin National Training Center, Marine Corps Logistics Base, Northrop Grumman, BNSF Railroad and Barstow Unified School District.
Barstow students in grades K-12 are served by the Barstow Unified School District, which has approximately 6,000 students. It also operates alternative education programs that service an additional 300 students. Barstow Community College offers degrees and certificates, and its Associate of Science program includes a variety of occupational majors such as automotive technology, drafting and electronics technology. Highly ranked four-year colleges and universities within 60 miles of Barstow include California State University, San Bernardino, University of Redlands and Loma Linda University.
Barstow residents enjoy a low cost of living, and the real estate market is reasonably priced. The California Association of Realtors, DataQuick Information Systems reported that the median price for a home in Barstow was only $95,000 in 2009, which is markedly lower than the statewide median cost of a house. Because the Barstow community is rapidly growing, there is a demand for new development within the city. Developers have submitted tract maps for more than 6,000 new residential home sites within the city. According to city-data.com, the median gross rent for Barstow apartments was $763 in 2009.
Just outside of Barstow in the neighboring town of Yermo, the Calico Ghost Town is now a popular tourist attraction. The former mining town includes shops, restaurants and facilities for camping and outdoor recreation. Barstow's Route 66 Mother Road Museum includes a collection of historic photographs and artifacts related to Route 66 and Mojave Desert communities that include displays of Route 66 development from early pioneer trails to its rise to fame as one of the most important parts of automotive history in the nation.
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