In 1851, under direction of Brigham Young, a group of Mormons left Utah to colonize southern California due to reports of agricultural and financial possibilities. Brigham Young also thought there should be a way-station for those traveling from the Pacific Islands. After a very arduous journey through treacherous mountain passes and scorching desert, the group found a place to settle. The area was the abandoned San Bernardino Rancho. The land, 35,000 acres, was purchased for $77,500. This made the pioneers the first group of colonists to settle in Los Angeles County after California became a state. Although it took a lot of hard work and sacrifices, the pioneers that settled in this area lived here successfully for a number of years. In 1857, several families made the hard decision to return to Utah to help fight off an invasion from the federal army per President Young's request. The Mormons played a critical role in establishing San Bernardino valley. The Redlands California Temple now sits on the original landholdings of this San Bernardino colony. The land once consisted of orange groves. It's a beautiful area full of significant history.
Redlands is one of the oldest communities in southern California. It is considered a small town, but has grown quite significantly since 1851. It's a community full of strong values, family and responsibility. Although you won't find major attractions here, The Lincoln Memorial Shrine is one of the best respected memorials in the west. Kids will love being hands-on at the San Bernardino County Museum. If you're visiting during the summer, it's always a treat to cool off at Splash Kingdom Adventure Water Park. The Kimberly Crest House & Gardens is a great example of a French chateau style home and happily offer guided tours.
For it's small size, the area does have quite a few restaurants. You will find good Mexican food and lots of seafood choices at La Costa Mariscos. Dinner, a cultural show and Creole food await you at Dhat Island. If you're a lover of Thai Food, you can find some good Green Curry at Benjarong Thai. If Croissant French Toast sounds too delectable to pass up, head to The Eating Room. If you're in the mood to splurge, Caprice Cafe is an excellent choice for French American fare.