Once a health resort and a citrus farming hotspot, Ontario, 50 miles east of Los Angeles, is a destination that mixes the city thrills of LA with the chance to escape to the wilds of the Californian desert.
Known as the gateway to southern California, Ontario is within striking distance of attractions including Disneyland, Palm Springs, San Diego Zoo and Lake Arrowhead. And while it makes the perfect base for a SoCal adventure it also has attractions of its own, with museums, malls, culture and good weather all year round.
There is no bad time to visit Ontario, the summers are warm and the winters mild. The area is busiest between June and September and November and December, so think ahead if you want to visit then.
Spring is a good time to travel, with average temperatures above 70°F and fewer visitors.
Ontario is busy around Thanksgiving, Christmas and July 4th. It also hosts a popular quilt festival in January and the Route 66 Cruisin’ Reunion classic car show in September.
With regular flights to more than a dozen US cities, finding cheap flights to Ontario should not be difficult and when booking with Orbitz there are plenty of ways to find the best deals
You can search for flights to and from different locations using the ‘Nearby airports’ option. With Los Angeles International just a few miles from Ontario, there may be cheaper deals to and from there.
Being flexible can also pay dividends and using the ‘Show flexible dates’ option allows you to look at the cost of fares on different days.
The ‘Show options’ button and menu on the left of the results screen allow you to filter and sort your results, so you can search by airlines, flight duration, price, ticket type and look for direct or connecting flights.
Optimal flight times from US cities to Ontario include:
Ontario International Airport is just moments from downtown Ontario. It lies around 38 miles east of Los Angeles and 22 miles west of San Bernardino.
It handles more than 4 million passengers and year and is served by 10 domestic carriers flying to cities around the USA. There are two terminals with shops, restaurants, ATMs and tourist information. Car rental companies can be found at the main ground transportation center.
Among the airlines that fly to Ontario International are:
It is easy to get from the airport into the city nearby. There are shuttle buses, public transport and taxis. You can also travel from Ontario into LA by bus and train.
The best way to get around Ontario and the surrounding area is to hire a car, and the major companies have a presence at the airport. From Ontario the delights of southern California are just a short drive away, from the Joshua Tree National Park to San Diego Zoo.
With southern California beckoning it could be easy to overlook the attractions in Ontario itself, but the city is worth exploring. Foodies will love the Graber Olive House, the oldest operating facility in the country, founded in 1894. Canning season runs for two months during fall, but the facility is open all year round.
Ontario’s Museum of History and Art has fascinating displays that shine a light on the farming and industrial heritage of the area and runs a regular program of workshops and outreach events.
If it’s retail therapy you are after, then visit Ontario Mills Mall, which is one of the largest on the west coast.
If you are heading out of Ontario by car try to find a way to take in the ‘Mother Road’ – Route 66 – which passes just north of the city. There are also several wineries north of the city that are worth stopping off at.
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