Ontario is located 40 minutes east of Los Angeles in Southwestern San Bernardino County, California. It’s part of what is known as the “Inland Empire” (meaning it’s inland from LA and the coast), so tell your friends and family that if you want to impress them. One of the biggest perks of living in Ontario is its airport — you won’t need to sit in that LA traffic to get to and from home. Ontario has a population of about 170,000, and the city predicts it will double in the next 20 years. It boasts mountain views and a semi-arid climate, which means you get desert heat during the day and in the summer, and winters remain warm.
Living here isn’t exactly cheap — though it’s more affordable than living in Los Angeles: The median sales price of homes is $412,000 and median rent is $2,172. You can get a decent house for under $400,000, and if you bump your price range up you can live large with a pool. It’s a family friendly city, with about 80 percent of the population being married. It’s part of the Chaffey Joint Union High School District.
If you’re thinking this city stole its name from Canada, you’re right. In 1882, three engineer brothers, named George, William and Charles Chaffey, came to California from Canada to developed irrigation colonies on the Cucamonga Plain. One of those colonies was Ontario, which they named after their Canadian home.
Ontario is home to Cucamonga-Guasti Regional Park, where you'll find two lakes for fishing and a swim complex with water slides, which is perfect for kids (or adults) during those scorching summer days. For fun without the kids, you can travel about 15 minutes out of the city and find a ton of wineries in the San Bernadino area.
The Citizens Business Bank Arena is where you can grab concert tickets to see A-list musicians — Cher performed here. They also host basketball and hockey games and shows for kids; it’s actually the largest covered arena is the Inland Empire. Ontario is also home to California’s largest outlet mall, Ontario Mills. This indoor climate-controlled mall boasts more than 200 stores. One of the crown jewels of Ontario is its huge, modern convention center, which is used for conventions (naturally), trade shows and exhibits. It has even been used as a filming location for commercials and movies.
Other things to do: Tour the Graber Olive House, a historic olive cannery (it's so pretty that some people even get married here), check out the Planes of Fame Air Museum or roam around the Ontario Museum of History and Art.
Trivia fun fact: In 1941, the city’s annual Fourth of July picnic was recognized by Ripley's "Believe It Or Not!" for having the world's longest picnic table.