Inside on the Eastside: Top Ten Things to Do When You Can’t Be Outside | Bishop Visitor Information Center
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Bishop Visitor's Center

With well over 300 sunny days a year, you won’t get too many chances to pull out this list, but when you need it you need it! An inside day in Bishop need not mean a day stuck in your hotel room desperately looking for something to watch on the telly – we’ve got ten things to go do right here:


Bishop is fortunate to be home to an independent bookstore, locally owned and operated. Spellbinder Books first opened its doors in March of 1970  and is truly a Bishop institution. Located at 124 South Main Street and open every single day (yep, you read that right!). For hour, special events, and more:


Inyo Council for the Arts has a small gallery and theater featuring local artists. 137 South Main Street. Open Monday – Friday 10 am – 5 pm. Owens Valley Paiute Shoshone Cultural Center is located at 2300 West Line Street and is open Tues – Sat 10 am – 5 pm. See more information under Museums (below) and check out the website: Independent Project Press is located at 186A Willow Street and hosts The Project Room with ongoing exhibitions of painting, photography, installations and letterpress. Open Saturday 10-3 and weekdays by appointment.


Owens Valley Paiute Shoshone Cultural Center. Experience the unique and beautiful cultural heritage of the indigenous people of the Owens Valley. close up image of beaded basketThe Cultural Center Museum reflects the history, culture, and living history of the Nuumu (Paiute) and Newe (Shoshone) People.  Included are cultural displays, Memorial Hall paying tribute to Native American Veterans and their families, Environmental Displays, and collections of artifacts, historical archives and media. There is also a wonderful Native Garden and a Walking Trail through the tribe’s COSA (Conservation Open Space Area). The Museum Gift Shop offers visitors the opportunity to purchase arts and crafts as keepsakes made by local tribal artisans as well as publications that pertain to native culture. Laws Railroad Museum has a lot of outside exhibits but on a rainy day you may prefer to see the many authentic buildings, relocated here from their original sites throughout the Owens Valley, and filled with objects of antiquity.  Visitors can see the actual tools used by dentists, physicians, newspaper publishers, gold miners, and blacksmiths, all displayed in historic buildings throughout the museum grounds. Open every day but Thanksgiving and Christmas. Just a few miles south, in Independence, is the Eastern California Museum; a gem founded in 1928, and operated by the County of Inyo since 1968. The mission of the Museum is to collect, preserve, and interpret objects and information related to the cultural and natural history of Inyo County and the Eastern Sierra, from Death Valley to Mono Lake. Open daily and weekends (except holidays); check the website for more information. Not to be missed if you are making a day of museums is the Museum of Western Film History in Lone Pine. Explore the museum’s extensive collection of real movie costumes, movie cars, props, posters, and other memorabilia. This collection tells the story of filming in the area in and around Lone Pine from the early days of the Round Up to the modern blockbusters of today such as Iron Man.

Coffee Tour

While away a rainy day experiencing Bishop’s coffee culture. Each coffee shop has its own devoted clientele, specialties, and charm. From the south end of Main Street: Great Basin Bakery, Pupfish Cafe, Black Sheep Coffee Roasters, Looney Bean Bishop, Erick Schat’s Bakkery, and Starbucks. We love ’em all!


Inyo County Library is located one block off Main Street, at the corner of Warren and Academy Streets. The Inyo County Free Library was formed in 1913, serves a population of about 18,000, and has six branches. Open Tues – Saturday, check website for times.
Back Alley Bowling Fun for the whole family – there’s nothing like a good bowling date! Rent shoes at the Alley, select your bowling ball and perfect your slide. Open every day – check the website for times and more information, including the dynamite menu at the Grill.

Paint It Away and Chalky Paint

Discover the artist in you with these guided paint adventures. Classes are geared towards both the complete painting novice and the painter who’s held a brush or two. Children’s classes available as well. Check the websites or call for specific times and upcoming classes. and

Art Supply Stores

Bishop Art Supply and Ben Franklin are on Main Street, Bishop, and each offer a wide range of supplies for your creative endeavors. From fabric to paint, jewelry-making to printmaking, yarn to sketchbooks – you are sure to find something that’ll turn an afternoon indoors into a spontaneous art camp!

image of paintbrushes


It just so happens that often the best fishing is during the worst weather, so outfit yourself and get out there! Locals will help you with gear and tackle, and clue you in on where to fish and how to catch the big one (or just enjoy being out on the water). We’ve got many fishing resources on our fishing page, including where to fish, where to get your gear, and links to a couple of great blog posts on fishing locally.


We’ve got a movie theater in town, and we have live theater too! The Bishop Twin offers movies every day of the week, with matinees on the weekend. Watch for special events as well! Playhouse 395 is our local theater group and if you are in town for one of their performances, well, count yourself lucky!

image of downtown Bishop's Main Street

There’s even more to do during a rainy day…  send us your favorite rainy day activity in or around Bishop!

About the Author: Vickie Taton

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Since taking a chance summer job in 1980, I've lived in and loved the eastern Sierra. Sometimes home is a place you've never been before, and that is how I felt driving north into Inyo and Mono Counties so many years ago. It really doesn't matter the activity; fishing, hiking, skiing, riding my horse or mountain biking, I love the clean air, the cobalt blue sky, the constantly changing weather. Welcome! I'm happy to share a little piece of this place with you.

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12 hours ago

Visit Bishop

YARTS for free next Saturday! Great time to visit Yosemite. Take ESTA to Mammoth Lakes, and catch the YARTS bus to the valley.GOOD MORNING YOSEMITE TRAVELERS....

Mark your calendars, because FREE YARTS to YOSEMITE is happening on Saturday, August 25th!

Now that the park has reopened, what better way to enjoy it than with a ride on YARTS.... for FREE?

From Sonora, Merced, Mammoth Lakes and Fresno, let YARTS get you to Yosemite to begin your adventure.

No reservations or tickets will be accepted and boarding is based on first-come, first served. We recommend that you arrive at least 45 minutes prior to the scheduled departure times and wait in line for a seat. Please make note of the dro-off and pickup locations inY osemite Valley. Those are the only locations that YARTS will stop at. Our schedules are online at

See You In The Park!

Your BEST Yosemite Experience STARTS on YARTS!
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1 day ago

Visit Bishop

So fun! New this year at the Tri-County Fair; just a few weeks away!Eastern Sierra Tri-County Fair is August 30-Sept 2! BUG OLOGY is new this year!

Make sure you get your tickets early to save $
Daily specials on Fair Admission.
Thursday- Canned Food Drive- bring 2 canned goods and receive Free Fair Admission.
Friday- Sports Jersey - wear your favorite Sports Jersey and receive Free Fair Admission.
Saturday- kids day- all kids 12& under receive Free Fair Admission!

See you soon!
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4 days ago

Visit Bishop

Great opportunity to get involved in the care of our local waterways - lend a hand on September 15th for the Great Sierra River Cleanup! You can RSVP with Ryan at Save the date for 2018’s Great Sierra River Cleanup on Saturday, September 15th at 9am! Our partners at the Bishop Paiute Tribe, the Sierra Club, and Eastern Sierra Land Trust are leading the charge this year to clean up our rivers. To RSVP or for more information, please contact Ryan with Eastern Sierra Land Trust at or (760) 873-4554. ... See MoreSee Less

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