Outer Ontario/Rancho Cucamonga – Ontario, CA

Convenience describes Ontario and Rancho Cucamonga in San Bernardino County. Found 42 miles east of Los Angeles, this Inland Empire region falls where Interstates 10 and 15 intersect. The area locals simply call "Cucamonga" or "Rancho" rests northeast from its neighbor, Ontario. Ontario and Cucamonga residents enjoy two major malls, multiple parks and contemporary houses. You find numerous restaurants at every turn, along with heavy-hitter retail stores such as Bass Pro Shops for outdoor enthusiasts. The flat terrain makes nice cycling routes, with the San Gabriel Mountains in the backdrop. Singles and families have ample choices for entertainment in this neighborhood, making it a popular hangout year-round.

Schools in Outer Ontario/Rancho Cucamonga

School data provided by GreatSchools

Restaurants & Nightlife

When you're hungry, it can be hard to make up your mind in Cucamonga. Driving down Foothill Boulevard, you pass dozens of choices for home-style buffets, burgers, tacos and sushi, among others. For the best old-fashioned deli sandwiches, locals flock to Old Town Baking Company on Baseline Road. This family-owned Cucamonga staple serves everything from turkey and salami on garlic cheese bread to blueberry loaves and tiramisu. Old Town Baking Company garners new fans at farmers markets, where samplers taste their food for the first time. For the best Thai meal, drive down Archibald Avenue in Ontario to Ontar Thai Restaurant. Appropriately named, Ontar remains a neighborhood favorite for their authentic fare. Try the pad see ew noodle dish or the red curry. According to locals, the beef jerky entree is "delish." When night falls, head to Spectators sports bar, also found on Archibald. Residents favor this dive bar for its pool tables and dart board surrounded by TVs. The drink specials boost entertainment, and the jukebox remains legendary. Cucamonga locals hail Sixty6 Sports Lounge on Foothill Boulevard as a top spot. The lounge area draws people to the couches, and the cool vibe calls dancers to the floor. Whether you order a beer and chili cheese fries, or just watch a game on the TVs, you find a good time at Sixty6.

History & Culture

Around 1200 A.D., the Cucamongan Native Americans set up a village in Red Hill. After Spanish rule diminished in the 1800s, the land controlled by Mexico fell to American forces. In 1850, California became a state, and eight years later John Rains of Alabama purchased the Rancho de Cucamonga. President Abraham Lincoln approved the first post office in Western San Bernardino County in 1864, located in Red Hill. The Rancho Cucamonga area flourished through the late 1800s, welcoming irrigation tunnels and the Santa Fe Railroad. Chinese and Mexican laborers helped shape the land, and in the 1970s the region experienced massive growth. Los Angeles residents fled for cheaper housing inland, which led Rancho Cucamonga locals to vote for incorporation in 1977, making it a city. Ontario incorporated in 1891. Its Museum of History & Art displays its cultural diversity, proudly noted by the Black Wings exhibit, celebrating the Tuskegee Airmen.


In the vast area, most residents travel by car. Four main highways cross the region: Interstates 10, 210 and 15 and State Route 60. Plenty of free parking surrounds Ontario and Cucamonga. With multiple bike lanes and paved sidewalks, you can cycle and walk safely through the neighborhoods. For taxis or Uber service, call ahead. Public transportation reliably services the area. Omnitrans buses travel to multiple cities, and the Metrolink trains carry commuters to Greater L.A., as well as outlying counties. Both Ontario and Rancho Cucamonga have Metrolink stations, where you also find Amtrak. The nearest Greyhound station lies in Claremont, 11 miles west.


Residents pay a bit more to live in Ontario and Rancho Cucamonga. The median cost for a one-bedroom averages $1,207, which is comparable to sought-after apartments in downtown Los Angeles. Other regions of the Inland Empire, such as Moreno Valley located 15 miles east, cost approximately $300 less for a one-bedroom. Fortunately, public transportation remains reasonable. For $1.75 base fare on Omnitrans, riders can travel throughout Ontario and Cucamonga. Metrolink and Amtrak trains average $8 and up, depending on the destination. Drivers pay roughly 10 percent above the national average for gas. A pint of beer runs about $3.50 at a local bar.


Victoria Gardens in Rancho Cucamonga features more than an ordinary mall. This outdoor shopping villa on North Main Street has almost 200 stores set in front of pedestrian-friendly sidewalks. With a town-center feel, Victoria Gardens houses a stand-alone food court and the Lewis Family Playhouse inside the cultural arts center. The playhouse attracts community theater acts, as well as eminent artists such as the Alvin Ailey dance company. Next door you find the Paul A. Biane Library, which draws families from the mall to the lovely structure. Whether you're shopping for home decor at Crate & Barrel or trendy fashions at Lucky Brand Jeans, Victoria Gardens satisfies all tastes. Ladies looking for stylish clothes at reasonable prices should visit ANGL. Here you can pick up anything from rompers and vintage-inspired dresses to outerwear and special occasion dresses. Ontario provides another shopping experience at the Ontario Mills outlet mall. This indoor venue, located at One Mills Circle, draws residents to the great deals found on expensive brands. Stores such as Nike Factory Store and Off Broadway Shoe Warehouse attract shoe addicts, while the Coach Factory Store and Neiman Marcus Last Call appeal to richer tastes. If you can't afford the full-price items found in Beverly Hills, head to Last Call. For groceries, Cucamonga and Ontario residents have Stater Bros. Markets, Ralphs and Cardenas Market. In Cucamonga, you also find two specialty grocery chains, Sprouts Farmers Market and Red Tomatoes Farmers Market. Both stores sell fresh, organic items.


Locals head to the Cucamonga-Guasti Regional Park on North Archibald Avenue for the best in leisurely activities. On 150 acres, this Ontario park provides patrons an outdoor getaway in an urban setting. Paddleboaters hit the lake, while others fish or ride the water slides. Bring your family for a picnic and enjoy the lush surroundings. The park welcomes dogs but charges a fee for each pet. Pedestrians and drivers pay a cost for admittance as well. Day Creek Park on Banyan Street in Cucamonga remains a favorite with residents. The baseball fields and tennis courts inspire games, while the gazebo makes a perfect party location. Children can ride bikes, enjoy the playground or fly kites. Described as "safe" with "no riffraff," the park makes an ideal setting for family outings. Contact the City of Rancho Cucamonga to reserve picnic shelters or to bring a children's inflatable bounce house for an event.
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