The unincorporated community of Newberry Springs is located approximately 20 miles west of Barstow and has a population of just under 3,000. Surprisingly, the consistent climate and underground water supply make it an ideal location for farming some crops, and it hosts an annual pistachio festival in November.

The German-released, English-language film Bagdad Cafe was shot at the then-named Sidewinder Cafe and released in 1987. It’s them song “Calling You” was nominated for an Academy Award, it returned Jack Palance to prominence, and is still considered a cult-classic in Europe. Andree Pruett, her husband Harold, and their son purchased the cafe in November, 1995, and soon after renamed it the Bagdad Cafe to capitalize on the film. Although her husband and son have both died, Andree still owns the cafe and estimates that 75% of her customers are French and only approximately 5% are American.

Another location of note in Newberry Springs is the Cliff House, which was once a market, gas station, cafe, and post office, and hosted cabins for Route 66 travelers. The location was also a great spot for the overheated with its pool to cool down in! Also in Newberry Springs is the Volcano House, a former home of “California’s Gold” host Huell Howser. And the Audubon Society considers the area a great location for spotting the nearly extinct tricolored blackbird.

By Scott Piotrowski