Once a wild and wealthy mining town, Calico took off in 1881 when prospectors found a rich deposit of silver in the area, and by 1886 more than $85 million worth of silver, gold, and other precious metals had been harvested from the surrounding hills. Many buildings here are authentic, but the restoration has created a sanitized version of the 1880s. You can stroll the wooden sidewalks of Main Street, browse shops filled with Western goods, roam the tunnels of Maggie's
Mine ($2), and take an enjoyable ride on the Calico-Odessa Railroad ($4). Calico, 12 miles northeast of Barstow, is a fun and mildly educational place for families to stretch their legs on the drive between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Festivals throughout the year celebrate Calico's Wild West theme.