If you’re ready to enjoy California, in an authentic and leisurely style, consider stopping by Riverside. It’s the perfect break from big-city thrills, right outside Los Angeles. The city boasts a myriad of museums, outdoor adventures, food and local attractions, made for every taste. If you’re ready to live in the sunshine, take a look at these fan-favorites. Learn about spots to hike, tan, and explore, in historic Riverside and maybe even indulge in a taco and margarita, along the way.
There are no shortages of things to do in Riverside! Read on to find out the 10 best ways you can spend your vacation here.
1. A leisurely hike in Mount Rubidoux Park
Whether you’re hoping for a sunset walk with friends or an afternoon stroll with your favorite pup, this hike provides relaxation for all. As the path is paved, it’s the perfect way to destress, while looking at the natural California landscape. The view from the top is a fan-favorite and gives you the perfect photo-op.
Mount Rubidoux Park
Address: 4706 Mount Rubidoux Dr, Riverside, CA 92501
Website: Mount Rubidoux Park
2. Not a nature lover? Check out the Fox Performing Arts Center
If a hike isn’t your scene, consider checking out the Fox Performing Arts Center, nestled in bustling downtown Riverside. From concerts to Broadway shows, to magicians, this venue accommodates it all. Locals and visitors alike love the quality of service, in-house bar, and reasonable prices, for a range of performances.
Fox Performing Arts Center
Address: 3801 Mission Inn Avenue, Riverside, California 92501
Website: Fox Performing Arts Center
3. Get your Vitamin C fix at California Citrus State Historic Park
Once you’ve got your fill of art and sun, why not go orange picking in a tree-lined, sweet-smelling oasis? This park dedicates itself to preserving the agricultural landscape that made California famous. Not to mention the beauty of the park itself – perfect for a photo-op!
The tours are free and offered on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, at 10:30 am, 12:00 pm, and 2:00 pm. Learn from native Californians and leave with a full bag of delicious, fresh picked oranges.
California Citrus State Historic Park
Address: 9400 Dufferin Ave. Riverside, CA 92504
4. For your pick of food favorites, in a Spanish style mansion, visit the Mission Inn Hotel and Spa
An awe-inspiring sight, the Mission Inn is a great stop for every kind of visitor. Swing by to sip a margarita in the courtyard restaurant Las Campanas and doze underneath a ceiling of palm trees. Or, maybe stop in for tea-time in the signature Mission Inn Restaurant, after booking a few spa treatments. Consider indulging in a champagne brunch, hosted every Sunday from 9:30 am to 2:00 pm.
The options are endless, including just a tour around the hotel to snap a few pictures and whisk yourself away to an imaginary Latin American city for the afternoon.
Mission Inn Hotel and Spa
Address: 3649 Mission Inn Avenue, Riverside, CA 92501
Website: Mission Inn Hotel and Spa
5. Picnic underneath a canopy of swaying trees in Fairmount Park
Tuckered out from sightseeing? Then, stop by Fairmount Park for a scenic picnic with the potential for live music. With jasmine trees and palm trees, a lake and balmy weather, there is no place quite as pretty. An easy place to sunbathe or relax in the shade, give yourself a much-needed break and check out Fairmont Park.
Address: 2601 Fairmount Blvd, Riverside, CA 92501
Website: Fairmount Park
6. A moment of tranquility at Whitewater Preserve
Locals and visitors alike love a pit-stop at Whitewater Preserve. From hiking to the top of the 500 foot (152.4 meter) hill to relaxing in an inner tube, floating down the lazy creek, there’s no going wrong at this natural wonder. Pro-tip: Bring your water, sunscreen, and swimsuits! Folks love to jump into the water, but the California sun is famous for a reason.
Address: 9160 Whitewater Canyon Rd, Whitewater, CA 92282
Website: Whitewater Preserve
7. Escape the heat at the Riverside Art Museum
Not in the mood to bask in the sunshine? Enjoy the varied art of the Riverside Art Museum. Families will particularly enjoy the dinosaur exhibit. For the rest of the art junkies, take special note of the Hispanic artists, so valuable to the California region.
Riverside Art Museum
Address: 3425 Mission Inn Avenue, Riverside, CA 92501
Website: Riverside Art Museum
8. Go back in time at Heritage House
An impeccably preserved home, from the 1800s, Heritage House will take you back to a calmer time. Take a tour of this beautiful wonder and learn exactly what it was like to live in Riverside, during the turn of the century. This museum is open Friday through Sunday, from 11:30 am to 4:00 pm.
Address: 8193 Magnolia Avenue Riverside, CA 92504
Website: Heritage House
9. Learn about the California desert at the Jurupa Mountains Discovery Center
For children and adults alike, the Discovery Center will help you learn about cacti and the natural beauty of California, away from the coast. And the best part? Admission is free and you can explore all nine acres (3.6 hectares) of this amazing place.
Jurupa Mountains Discovery Center
Address: 7621 Granite Hill Dr, Jurupa Valley, Riverside, CA 92509
Website: Jurupa Mountains Discovery Center
10. Explore the military history of California at the March Field Air Museum
Have you always wondered what army planes look like, up close? Are you interested in the history of California’s military? Now’s the chance to get up close and personal. The experience will last about two to three hours and will put you face to face with these iron birds.
March Field Air Museum
Address: 22550 Van Buren Blvd, March Air Reserve Base, Riverside, CA 92518
Website: March Air Reserve Base
An off-the-beaten path Californian experience for every taste
If you’re looking for a place to live the California lifestyle of relaxation, fine dining, and sunshine, Riverside is it. With a range of activities for every person, there’s no way to go wrong with a visit to this getaway town, in the valley.
Frequently asked questions about best things to do in Riverside, California
1. What are the top attractions to visit in Riverside?
A city in California you shouldn’t forget to stop by, Riverside, offers many things to do, from visiting museums to exploring nature reserves. Some of the best attractions here include Mount Rubidoux Park, March Field Air Museum, and Whitewater Preserve.
2. What are the best outdoor activities in Riverside?
One of the best and relaxing outdoor activities here is hiking at Mount Rubidoux Park that overlooks California’s beautiful landscapes. Other must-try activities include visiting Jurupa Mountains Discovery Center to learn about California’s desert and having a picnic under a shade of a tree in Fairmount Park.
3. What are the most popular things to do in Riverside with kids?
For popular child-friendly activities, you should visit the Jurupa Mountains Discovery Center and California Citrus State Historic Park. Other options for older kids are swimming at Whitewater Preserve and going back in time at the Heritage House.
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