Our Calico Ghost Town day trip

You know how they say that the mountains or the beach is only an hour away when you live in Southern California? Well, as it turns out, if you go just once more hour you can also get to a real ghost town! We took the kids on a Calico Ghost Town day trip last month and we had such a great time. It was adventurous, educational and we caught picturesque moments that we wouldn’t have seen if we hadn’t ventured out further into California.

Visiting Calico Ghost Town in Calico, California - Calico Ghost Town - Living Mi Vida Loca

Calico Ghost Town is known as California’s Silver Rush Ghost Town. It’s located off of Route 66 somewhere between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. First established during the largest silver strike in California, it was a bustling town around the 1881 until about 12 years later when the price of silver dropped and everyone left town. Interestingly enough, it was Walter Knott (of Knott’s Berry Farm) that bought the town and refurbished some of it. Since then, Calico has received State Historical Landmark 782 and became “California’s Silver Rush Ghost Town” by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Calico lives again sign - Calico Ghost Town - Living Mi Vida Loca

Calico Ghost Town restaurant with vintage rocking chairs - Calico Ghost Town - Living Mi Vida Loca

Dad and young boys walking down the bridge near the restaurant - Calico Ghost Town - Living Mi Vida Loca

Calico Ghost Town makes for a great family trip because there’s something for everyone, kids of all ages can enjoy it, and you’ll come across tons of unique places to discover and peek into to. There are plenty of restrooms, eateries, and spots to just chill out and relax.

Main street that runs down Calico Ghost Town - Calico Ghost Town - Living Mi Vida Loca

Family travel plans to Calico Ghost Town - Calico Ghost Town - Living Mi Vida Loca

Ice cream shop at Calico Ghost Town - Calico Ghost Town - Living Mi Vida Loca

Family sitting on front porch of restaurant rocking chairs - Calico Ghost Town - Living Mi Vida Loca

One of our favorite spots was the old school house at the top of the hill. You have to cross this little bridge to get to it, and inside it’s set up as school houses used to be. The kids got a kick out of learning about what school was like, and looking inside to see all the desks set up like they were. They couldn’t believe that kids of all ages were put in the same classroom! And a chalkboard? Yeah, that had to be explained.

School bridge leading to the old Calico Ghost Town school house on the hill - Calico Ghost Town - Living Mi Vida Loca

Old Calico Ghost Town school house on the hill - Calico Ghost Town - Living Mi Vida Loca

Inside of the old Calico Ghost Town school house on the hill - Calico Ghost Town - Living Mi Vida Loca

We also took them to the top of another hill that overlooks Calico. You can see the train passing through the mountains, the restaurants, cemetery, school house – basically everything. It’s a great place to take pictures too. The top of the mountain is a bit rocky and uneven, so make note of that and make sure to bring your closed-toe shoes.

Walking up the stairs to the Calico Ghost Town hill - Calico Ghost Town - Living Mi Vida Loca

Latino Kids TV boys standing atop of Calico Ghost Town hill - Calico Ghost Town - Living Mi Vida Loca

Railroad train tour at Calico Ghost Town - Calico Ghost Town - Living Mi Vida Loca

Calico Ghost Town overview - Calico Ghost Town - Living Mi Vida Loca

We picked up a few souvenirs at their gift shops, enjoyed treats like their old fashioned sodas (and yeah, I picked up a coffee too) and headed out after a day at Calico Ghost Town happy to have discovered a location that we hope to return to one day. As we drove out, we saw many people camping in their RVs out by the front of the town. They also have a KOA available for travelers. We went in April, so the weather was perfect. When you visit, I recommend dressing comfortably and bring a light sweater. It does get warm. Also, it’s a popular spot for tourists (and tour stops) as well as school groups, so definitely try to get there early.

Abandoned silver mine at Calico Ghost Town - Calico Ghost Town - Living Mi Vida Loca

Silver mine tunnel at Calico Ghost Town - Calico Ghost Town - Living Mi Vida Loca

p.s. many of the silver mines are closed off – but you can view them through the wired fence. The town is also known for ghost sightings, and if that’s your thing, I suggest you check out the Calico Ghost Town ghost tour.

To get a more detailed account of our visit, visit Travelocity.com where we share our stop-by-stop itinerary.

What to expect at Calico Ghost Town in Yermo, CA

Calico Ghost Town

36600 Ghost Town Road
Yermo, CA 92398

I-15 at Ghost Town Road Exit

Open daily 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. except Christmas Day

Phone: 800-TO-CALICO
Fax: (760) 254-2047
email: calicotown@parks.sbcounty.gov

Online Camping Reservations: http://www.sbcountyparks.com
Central Reservation: 1-877-387-2757

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