Upland lies on storied Route 66 in the shadows of 10,000-foot Mt. Baldy, and while the significance of “America’s Main Street” (now known locally as Foothill Boulevard) has faded, this Inland Empire community retains its pioneering spirit. Upland is typically described as more quaint than glamorous, but like so many locales along the historic “Mother Road” it is flush with fun places to discover. Here are 10 uplifting detours.
1. Stroll along Euclid Avenue
A grand thoroughfare with a broad median lined with leafy trees, Euclid Avenue features a central bridle path ideal for leisurely hikes. This route provides a glimpse of turn-of-the-century Upland, where stately Victorian, Craftsman, and Spanish-style homes support the nickname “City of Gracious Living.”
2. Check out the Madonna of the Trail
Public art creates a sense of place, and Upland’s most significant piece is Madonna of the Trail, dedicated to the spirit of pioneer women. Sculptor August Leimbach portrayed a frontier mom, bravely facing west, clutching an infant and a rifle while a toddler clings to her skirt.
3. Reflect at the Upland Veterans Monument
Local monuments can be powerfully emotional places when the sacrifice they honor hits close to home. City Hall–adjacent Upland Veterans Monument is a series of black granite walls bearing the names of military heroes, with a 14-foot obelisk crowned with a bronze eagle. Solemn thoughts are interrupted only by a gently rippling water feature and the ruffling of flags.
4. Spend a Saturday at Upland Farmers Market
The Upland Farmers Market is held every Saturday in the parking lot of City Hall. In addition to fresh produce, the market’s 40 vendors offer flowers, tacos, and artisanal foods. There's also live music and a petting zoo for the kids.
5. Go Deutsche at Upland German Delicatessen
Grab lunch at Upland German Delicatessen, serving authentic bratwurst, sauerbraten, and schnitzel. The popular deli includes a little market stocked with imported Deutschland delicacies from wine to marzipan, and even German-language magazines to enjoy with your strudel.
6. Enjoy a hot dog at Bombdiggity Dogs Burgers and Brew
An all-American dining option is Bombdiggity Dogs Burgers and Brew, a brick-and-mortar eatery that evolved from a couple of modest hot dog stands. Consider items like the PBJ burger (with bacon jam) or the “Oinker’s Revenge” hot dog (with pulled pork, coleslaw, onion crunch, and barbecue sauce) paired with Buffalo fries and a local craft brew.
7. Shop for souvenirs at Eagle’s Nest Gallery and Tradin’ Post
After refueling, explore Upland’s historic downtown district, home to Marion and Jolene Houser’s Eagle’s Nest Gallery and Tradin’ Post, a shop inspired by Marion’s Choctaw heritage. Occupying eight rooms in an 1896 structure, the shop specializes in Native American, Western, and wildlife items such as jewelry, apparel, kachina dolls, Western-themed paintings (many by Jolene herself), and craft supplies.
8. Embrace skate culture at Badlands Boardshop
Once home to the legendary Pipeline skate park, Upland is known as “Badlands” in SoCal skateboarding culture, and downtown’s community-oriented Badlands Boardshop is keeping the spirit alive. Its inventory includes vibrant art-emblazoned boards, accessories, and clothing, all very cool even if you’ve never surfed the sidewalks.
9. Throw an ax at Axe Lair
Ax throwing is no longer confined to lumberjack competitions, but Upland’s Axe Lair is still one of the rare Southern California venues for enthusiasts of this rapidly growing, internationally sanctioned sport. There are snacks and beer at this safety-conscious establishment, a unique destination for family outings or team-building events.
10. End your day at Nuno’s Bistro and Bar
Finish your day in Upland with a culinary tour of the Iberian Peninsula at Nuno’s Bistro and Bar. Portuguese specialties like cataplana (seafood stew) or piri-piri chicken, plus Spanish classics like paella Valenciana (pictured), can be washed down with Portuguese sangria or vinho verde.
Free Pomona-Ontario Area city maps are available at your Auto Club branch.
Be sure to designate a driver if you plan to drink alcohol.
AAA Travel Alert: Many travel destinations have implemented COVID-19–related restrictions. Before making travel plans, check to see if hotels, attractions, cruise lines, tour operators, restaurants, and local authorities have issued health and safety-related restrictions or entry requirements. The local tourism board is a good resource for updated information.