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  1. Default Vegas to San Diego Next January- Need Advice for Halfway Stop


    My wife and I will be celebrating our 5 year anniversary in 2012 and we're taking a trip to Vegas/San Diego. I have been to Vegas many times, as I have family there but this time I want to see San Diego. Our plan is to fly into Vegas and head right for San Diego. I would normally just drive straight through, but after a 4 hour flight, I want to go about halfway and stop overnight in a city.

    I work in the travel industry, so I'm able to easily find hotels in cities between Vegas and San Diego. The "logical" halfway point would be Barstow. But, after reading reviews about the crime and how economically depressed the town is, I really don't feel that's a good option.

    After researching, there really aren't many cities to choose from. I've looked into these 3 cities:


    I realize were in the desert and there won't be much to see/do. We're simply looking for which one of these cities is the nicest and safest. We just want a place to lay our head for the night and maybe grab a bite to eat.

    We're pretty much ruling Barstow out, so it's between these 3 most likely. I need any advice/opinions you guys can give. I've read that Hesperia has some good areas and some bad, I mean I think it would be fine to stay right off of 15 but you guys probably know better than I do.

    Also, as far as Barstow goes. I would like to drive the small stretch of route 66 that runs through there. Do you think we'd be okay to do that? I simply think Barstow is not a place to sleep for the night but should be okay to pass through.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO

    Default Why not Barstow?

    I don't see any problem spending the night in Barstow. I think you are reading a bit too much into the town's reputation. As far as not driving old 66 through town, that's being way too cautious if you ask me. Just do it in daylight so you can see things.

    I wouldn't hesitate to stay in one of the better hotels either right near the Route 66 exit on the east side of town or by the factory outlets on the south side of town. I would probably not stay in any of the fleabag motels downtown, even though they are historic Route 66 motels.

    Your other option, of course, is spend the night in Vegas and drive straight to San Diego the next morning. I don't think Victorville or Hesperia are any worse or any better than Barstow.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I completely agree that you're overreacting to Barstow, and frankly, I'm not sure why you think the other towns you mentioned would be dramatically better.

    I can tell you that I have stayed in a Route 66 motel in Barstow and didn't think anything of it at all. And there are also plenty of newer chains also available in town. Because of Barstow's location at I-15 and I-40, you're just not going to find nearly the lodging options in any of the other places you mentioned.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Victorville does have a decent selection of hotels, but I don't think it's any better than Barstow. The economy has affected them just as much. You are also getting to the point where you might as well just keep going to San Diego, it's only a little over 2 hours farther.

    I suppose I shouldn't have referred to the old Route 66 motels as "fleabags" - that wasn't very considerate.

  5. Default

    I suppose maybe I am being a little too cautious. I suppose the other towns I mentioned won't be much better or much worse, so it's probably six of one, half dozen of the other. We may spend the night in Hesperia for the simple fact that it's closer to San Diego and we'd have less to drive the next morning.

    The only reasons we're not driving all the way through from Vegas right away are the 4 hour flight to Vegas to begin with (if we end up having a layover we're looking closer to 5 1/2 hours). We simply don't want to drive 5 1/2 hours after being in the air/airports for 4-6 hours.

    The second reason is we have a few small stops we want to make in Primm, NV. (a quick 20 on the craps table lol) and Baker, CA for lunch. so that will add on to our "road time" once we get our car in Vegas. We love taking our time and visiting small towns whenever we take a road trip.

    I did a google search on Barstow and was reading about the crime rate there, and it is substantially higher than other cities in California. But, on the flip side if your over cautious and keep reading every town your visiting you'll read good stuff and bad. Besides, I live near Detroit, MI. so Barstow will probably look like heaven compared to that lol. (Please no one get offended I'm poking fun at my own home area! lol.)

    Also, have any of you been to Temecula? It looks like they have some great cheese and wine tasting options in Old Town. Might be a nice stop on our way back to Vegas.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Temecula is a great place to stop and spend some time. My sister lives in the San Diego area and she and her friends go there to shop and fart around all the time.

    Here's another option for your overnight that may be more in your comfort zone - it's only about another 30 minutes from Hesperia down into the LA basin. There is a wide choice of hotels right around the I-15/I-10 interchange in Ontario. There's a big mall and a busy airport there with all the corresponding amenities.

  7. Default

    Ontario is another place I wouldn't mind making at least a stop in. I see that their outlet mall has the only U.S. Kenny Rogers Roasters location left lol. I love visiting little quirky things like that.

    I had already planned on stopping in Rancho Cucamonga, for nostalgic reasons. When I first started in the travel industry and was looking over a California map with a co-worker we thought it was one of the "weirdest yet coolest" names for a city. Now that I'm finally going to CA. and will be near it, my wife and I will probably have lunch there on our way back to Vegas.

    Geez, with all these cities I keep adding on, we may need to extend the California portion of our trip to 4 nights instead of 3.
    Last edited by dmoore268; 01-20-2011 at 07:27 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    You going to head up to Julian and have some apple pie? If you want to stay off the Interstate, there's a decent set of state highways from there to Palm Desert, and you can cut through Joshua Tree and/or the Mojave Preserve on the way back to LV. This would also take you through 29 Palms and Amboy.

  9. Default

    Have you taken that drive? It looks pretty scenic on the map. As far as terain though is it pretty good?

    So Julian is known for good apple pie?

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