Located 54 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, Colton prides itself on being "A place for fun, a place for commerce." Found in the Inland Empire region of San Bernardino, this small town lies where Interstates 10 and 215 intersect. The easy freeway access makes Colton an ideal place for hard-working residents and families looking for urban convenience. To embrace the community, Colton hosts a spring Easter egg hunt and preschool storytime at the public library along with a senior dance at the Hutton Community Center. Locals enjoy the Christmas tree-lighting ceremony, and recreational enthusiasts hit the Santa Ana River Trail, which spans 110 miles from San Bernardino to Huntington Beach. Against the backdrop of the San Bernardino mountains, Colton draws people to its community for simple Southern California living.
You find a host of dining choices such as pizza, burgers and sushi along East Valley Boulevard and North Mount Vernon Avenue. To eat like a local and stop by The Original El Burrito Drive-In 1 on North Mount Vernon. A community staple, this low-cost Mexican eatery serves enchiladas, burritos and tacos prepared with homemade tortillas and fresh ingredients. Colton residents devour the chicken rolled tacos and Big G burrito topped with El Burrito's signature sour cream/guacamole dipping sauce. Grab a seat on the outdoor benches while you savor your meal. For the best all-you-can-eat sushi, visit Sushi Miguel's Style on East Valley Boulevard. The popular place has been known to convert nonsushi eaters with favorites such as the popcorn lobster roll and the spicy yellowtail hand-rolls. One trip to Sushi Miguel's proves its motto: "Friendly atmosphere, fresh ingredients, beautiful presentations, and a passion for sushi." Valley Boulevard provides a number of options for the bar scene. Check out The Hub on West Valley on Wednesday evenings for comedy night, and for the cheapest beers, follow locals to Linko's Cocktail Lounge. Located on East Valley Boulevard, Linko's creates an igniting atmosphere that makes residents "glad to live in Colton." Dance clubs and other nightlife options lie outside the neighborhood in nearby San Bernardino.
In the early 1800s, the first permanent settlement was established in Colton as the Jurupa and San Bernardino ranchos. Granted to private owners, the Mexican land flourished with agricultural activity that supported the region. The Southern Pacific Railway entered the area in 1875, and a formal town took shape. Activity associated with the railroad, as well as surrounding citrus orchards, made Colton a busy place. Many railroad workers lived in south Colton along with increasing numbers of residents. The Carnegie Library was built in 1891, which now exists as the Colton Area Museum. Proudly displaying the town's commerce influences, the museum stands as a reminder of Colton's survival during the Great Depression and World War II era. Every December, the Chamber of Commerce hosts the tree-lighting ceremony and festive Christmas parade. Colton takes pride in celebrating country music with its own "K-Frog" radio station, found at KFRG FM.
Colton residents use a combination of walking, driving and public transportation to get around. Bikes also serve well with Omnitrans buses providing bike racks for commuters. Metrolink trains conveniently service the area through the nearby San Bernardino station. Pedestrians and cyclists can move about the neighborhood in relative safety but should use caution on the busier thoroughfares such as Valley Boulevard. San Bernardino County provides many cycling trails around Colton with limited bike lanes on city streets. Drivers take advantage of easy access to Interstates 10 and 215. Simply called "the 10," this east-west freeway carries commuters west to Santa Monica and east past state boundaries. Interstate 215 connects with Interstate 15 to the north — a popular route for Vegas road trips. Around town, Colton provides ample free parking. To utilize taxis, call ahead for a pickup, and allow extra time for Uber service in the Inland Empire.
Compared to other Inland Empire neighborhoods, such as nearby Riverside, Colton offers lower-cost housing and overall cost of living. A one-bedroom averages $825 per month in the neighborhood. With a median resident age of 28 years, Colton's discount shopping options and affordable public transportation appeal to locals with modest earnings. Residents can ride an Omnitrans bus for $1.75 base fare to travel to the center of town. Drivers pay approximately 10 percent above the national average for gas, and a pint of beer averages $4.
Grocery stores conveniently lie on West Valley Boulevard and North Mount Vernon Avenue. Here you find Stater Brothers Markets and Cardenas Market along with Dollar Tree. Although the neighborhood has no farmer's markets, residents may visit farmers' booths in Grand Terrace and Loma Linda found approximately 5 miles away. With no real boutiques or a major shopping mall in Colton, locals head to Inland Center Mall in San Bernardino for clothing. Located less than 1 mile east, the Inland Center has been a retail staple for years. Macy's, Forever 21 and Wet Seal top the list for women and teens, while GameStop and Sports Mania attract male shoppers. You find only lower-cost shops in the mall, such as Torrid, a community favorite. Selling fashions for sizes 12 to 28, Torrid draws Colton ladies to its trendy styles made to fit an array of body types. Thrift shoppers also head to the local Goodwill location on East Washington Street for the best deals.
Elizabeth Davis Park on West Laurel Street caters to family outings. Across 6.34 acres, the park has baseball fields, basketball and tennis courts and a children's play area. Picnic shelters and barbecues make the locale perfect for birthday parties. This free park provides restrooms and public parking, and leashed pets are welcome. Each spring, Colton families head to Veterans Park for the community Easter egg hunt. Children love a full day of games, craft-making and pictures with the Easter bunny. Found on East O Street, Veterans Park features fields to play softball, handball and basketball along with horse shoes to challenge skill. During summer, the "splash pad" refreshes Colton kids with tall streams of cool, shooting water. Veterans Park provides convenient parking along the street and in adjacent lots.