We decided to take a slight detour on our way to Death Valley...I saw the signs for Calico Ghost Town off the freeway and figured, Why not?
There is an inexpensive admission fee. If you want a tour of the mine and a train ride, those also require a small fee per person.
The town features gorgeous views of the desert, educational information on the town's history, shops, a restaurant, a real cemetary, small museums and clean, maintained restrooms.
Exploring the town is almost a hike in and of itself. While we were there it became very windy. One local said it was 70mph winds! It certainly felt like it.
My kids all enjoyed the town. We stayed longer than I expected. The town was bought by Walter Knott, of Knott's Berry Farm fame and later donated to the county of San Bernardino. It is comparable to the Calico Ghost Town in Knott's Berry Farm, even featuring a house made of bottles.
Since we were visiting on a week-day, a few of the buildings were closed and locked, including shops. There were still many vendors open and a lot to see and learn about.
You can take a self guided tour, exploring the town, following steps and trails to breath-taking vistas for a photo opp. This was definitely worth a one stop visit, possibly more if you are a Western history buff and for special events. There is also an adjacent campground and off-road vehicle area, for those who like to camp and prefer to stay in the area longer.