5 Cool Things to Do in Newberry Springs, California

Plants of desert near Newberry Springs, California

The real estate slowdown following the COVID-19 prompted investors to search for bargains in more remote communities. One such hot spot is Newberry Springs — an unincorporated community in the Mojave Desert in San Bernardino County that initially was a camping place. Nowadays, it’s home to less than 3,000 people spread out in homes on large parcels. 

One of the main reasons for the increasing popularity of Newberry Springs is that the far-out desert remains inexpensive by California standards. Moreover, competition is low in the area, with homes often selling up to 10% below the asking price. 

The climate and underground water supply make Newberry Springs ideal for farming some crops such as tomatoes and peppers. In addition, the community is close to refreshing lakes and neighboring mountains, making it an immensely versatile place. 

If you are looking for peace and tranquility in a desert-like background, Newberry Springs CA, might be just the right place to settle down. But, before you start looking for the perfect plot of land, learn more about this booming community and its surroundings. 

Experience the Rock-A-Hoola Waterpark

Rock-A-Hoola Waterpark is a haunting ruin that stands as a reminder that putting a water park in a desert is not the best idea. Rock-A-Hoola Waterpark was an oasis in the middle of the desert until shutting down and leaving behind ruins that speak to the absurdity of such an enterprise. 

The park was designed as a getaway on Lake Dolores in the Mojave Desert for Bob Byers, a local businessman, and his family. The park was initially finished in the early 1960s and featured steel slides riders could ride down, landing in the artificial lake. Afterward, a campground was built, and the park became open to the public. In the next couple of decades, the park continued to grow. They added more attractions to satisfy the needs of the growing number of visitors. Finally, however, attendance began to decrease, and by 1990, the park had closed.

The park was renovated in 1998. A collection of modern waterslides and attractions were installed, and the structures were designed to look like a retro-future wonderland. Unfortunately, soon after the reopening, there was an accident. One of the employees slid into the partially-filled pool and was left paraplegic following a disastrous landing. The settlement that followed cost the park millions of dollars. Rock-A-Hoola never fully recovered from it, making the park finally close in 2004.

Since closing, the architecture still stands. Visitors and passersby can experience its mysteriousness and time-frozen artificial objects that have lost the battle against nature. The park now provokes feelings of nostalgia, remorse, and surreality. It’s offering photographers and urban explorers a unique experience. 

Eat Out at the Bagdad Cafe

Bagdad Cafe was a set location of German filmmaker Percy Adlon’s 1987 indie classic. The establishment catapulted Newberry Springs to fame. But, before the producers chose it to be a location for their film, it was known as Sidewinder Cafe. The name was changed as a reference to a ghost town located 50 miles east on Route 66. 

Roger Ebert, the famous American film critic, had his thoughts on the picture. He wrote that the film “sets us free from the production line of Hollywood’s brain-damaged ‘high concepts’ and walks its own strange and lovely path.” European audiences were particularly drawn to the one-of-a-kind cinematic place. It prompted them to come and pay homage.  

The cafe’s interior stands as a reminder of the numerous visitors who have seen it over the years. Flags from countries worldwide hang from the ceiling, and guest books overflow with comments. And as you admire the building, you can enjoy the roadside classics such as burgers, fries, sandwiches, and coffee. 

Visit the Annual Pistachio Festival

California is best known for its almonds and walnuts. Nevertheless, Newberry Springs CA, has become known for ripe pistachio farms thriving thanks to its unique access to water. 

As a salute to that year’s harvest, a small group of local growers gathered. Theyorganized the inaugural pistachio celebration in 1997 at Big Al’s Pistachios in Newberry Springs. In the years afterward, the event has grown in size. It has drawn new merchants from Southern California, earning it a regional reputation. Not only you can try diverse pistachio-based dishes but you’ll also enjoy the numerous entertaining events.  

Check Peggy Sue’s 50’s Diner and Diner-Saur Park

Peggy Sue’s 50’s Diner seems like a retro oasis in the middle of the Mojave desert. It’s located on the highway between Las Vegas and Southern California. The park is only a 30-minute ride away from the heart of Newberry Springs. Peggy Sue’s is the epitome of American diners. It’s featuring a vintage ice cream counter, classic diner, and paraphernalia from the pop culture in the ‘50s. 

Once home, the building was converted into a pie shop in 1954 which turned into a diner in 1987. Using the film memorabilia they had collected through the years, the owners turned the place into a kitsch palace. The interior will initially attract you, but after experiencing the authentic American diner, you can wander through the Diner-Saur Park. This is a garden featuring dour 10-foot tall dinosaurs made from metal. A lone human statue features a man attempting to run from a stegosaurus by climbing over a turtle pond filled with real turtles. It’s truly a unique and cool experience! 

Cliff House

The Cliff House is located on the cliffs of the Newberry Mountains in a shady spot among the trees. It was built in the 1930s. The Cliff House was initially a gas station featuring a cafe and cabins for travelers. Moreover, the building had a general store and a post office. Later on, it was known as “The Post Office” or the “Newberry Market.”  

You can take a short walk around the building’s east side and up the drive. One of the remaining stone water tanks used to service the facility may be seen on the side of the hill. Indian Petroglyphs and an Ancient cave can be found in the hills to the south and east of the Cliff House. 

Final Thoughts

Newberry Springs is a town that offers desert living, peace, and proximity to nature. The town takes pride in its self-sufficiency, rural living, and tight-knit community. It maintains a huge community park, a volunteer fire department, and a resident-built community facility. Moreover, there are numerous organizations that provide citizens with versatile opportunities to participate in community life and initiatives. If this sounds appealing to you, contact Discount Lots to find the perfect plot of land. 

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