Riverside, California’s 11th biggest and 12th most populated city, is a place that frequently goes unnoticed.
Situated in the metropolitan region of the Inland Empire It gets its name from its proximity to the Santa Ana River.
Riverside is a vibrant city with plenty to see and experience.
As you take a trip around this city, you will come across some great anecdotes that tell the story of its historical landmarks; they will make you appreciate your journey through this city even more.
From strolling through the historic downtown to picking your own fruit at a local farm, there’s something for everyone in Riverside.
With that in mind, here are 23 Can’t-miss riverside attractions for your California vacation.
1. Visit the Riverside Art Museum
The Riverside Art Museum is a great place to visit if you’re looking for something fun and cultural to do.
The museum has a variety of exhibits that rotate regularly, so there’s always something new to see. In addition, the museum offers a variety of educational programs and events that are perfect for all ages.
Whether you’re interested in art history or just want to learn more about the works on display, the Riverside Art Museum is sure to have something for you.
So next time you’re in town, be sure to stop by and check it out!
2. Stroll Through the Mission Inn Hotel & Spa
Nestled in the heart of Riverside, the Mission Inn Hotel & Spa is a historic landmark that beckons visitors from near and far.
The hotel dates back to the late 19th century when pioneering businessman Frank Miller built it.
Today, the Mission Inn is a popular destination for travelers who appreciate its old-world charm and AAA Four-Diamond rating.
While the inn offers a variety of modern amenities, its architecture and decor retain an air of elegance from another era.
You can explore the inn’s many fascinating nooks and crannies, including the spacious lobby with its soaring ceilings, intricately carved fountains, and stunning stained glass windows.
Or you can wander through the lush gardens, which feature meandering paths, bubbling fountains, and hidden corners perfect for relaxing with a good book.
No matter how you choose to spend your time at the Mission Inn Hotel & Spa, you’re sure to create memories that will last a lifetime.
3. Attend a Show at the Fox Performing Arts Center
The Fox Performing Arts Center in Riverside is one of the most popular venues in Southern California.
Constructed in 1929, the Fox has a rich history of hosting some of the biggest names in entertainment.
Today, the theater continues to draw top talent, with a wide range of shows to suit every taste.
Whether you’re a fan of Broadway musicals or rock concerts, there’s sure to be a show at the Fox that you’ll enjoy.
So why not grab a ticket and experience the excitement of live theater? You’re sure to have a memorable night out at the Fox Performing Arts Center.
4. See a Show at the Riverside Municipal Auditorium
The Riverside Municipal Auditorium is the perfect place to see a show.
The historic venue has hosted some of the biggest names in entertainment, from John Phillip Sousa to the Beach Boys.
Today, the auditorium continues to attract top talent, with a wide range of shows to suit every taste.
Whether you’re looking for a night of laughter or a chance to dance the night away, you’re sure to find a show that’s just right for you at the Riverside Municipal Auditorium.
So don’t miss your chance to see a piece of history in action. Check out the Riverside Municipal Auditorium’s calendar of events and start planning your next night out today.
5. Shop at the Galleria at Tyler Mall
The Galleria at Tyler Mall Riverside is the perfect place to find all of your shopping needs in one convenient location.
With over 150 stores, including Macy’s, JCPenney, and Forever 21, there is something for everyone.
The mall also features a food court with a variety of options, as well as a movie theater for an afternoon of entertainment.
And if you’re looking for a unique gift, check out the galleries and shops in the mall’s arts district.
From fashion to art, the Galleria at Tyler Mall Riverside has it all. So next time you’re in Riverside, be sure to stop by and explore all that the mall has to offer.
6. Visit Mount Rubidoux Park
Riverside’s Mount Rubidoux Park is one of the city’s hidden gems.
Tucked away in a quiet neighborhood, the park offers stunning views of the cityscape. On a clear day, you can see all the way to the snow-capped mountains in the distance.
The park is also a great place to get some exercise. There are miles of hiking trails, as well as a playground and a basketball court.
And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even try your hand at rock climbing.
So next time you’re looking for something to do, be sure to check out Mount Rubidoux Park. You won’t be disappointed.
7. Take a Hike Through Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park
Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park is a hidden gem in Riverside, California.
The park is home to miles of hiking trails, as well as a river that runs through the canyon.
You can also enjoy stunning views of the surrounding mountains. The best time to visit Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park is in the springtime when the wildflowers are in bloom.
However, the park is open year-round and is worth a visit any time of year.
So put on your hiking shoes and head to Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park for an unforgettable experience.
8. Go on a Hot Air Balloon Ride
If you’re looking for an unforgettable experience, a hot air balloon ride is a perfect choice.
There’s nothing quite like floating above the stunning scenery of Riverside, taking in the sights and sounds of nature from a bird’s-eye view.
Whether you’re admiring the verdant vineyards or enjoying the gentle breeze blowing through the palm trees, a hot air balloon ride is an enchanting way to spend an afternoon.
And with several companies offering rides, it’s easy to find one that suits your budget and schedule.
So why not take to the skies and see Riverside from a whole new perspective?
9. Play a Round of Golf at one of Riverside’s Many Courses
Riverside is home to a variety of golf courses that offer something for everyone, from beginners to seasoned pros.
Whether you’re looking for a challenging round of 18 or a leisurely 9-hole game, you’ll find a course to suit your needs. And with Riverside’s sunny weather, you can enjoy a round of golf any time of year.
If you’re new to the game, Riverside’s golf courses offer lessons and clinics to help you get started.
And if you’re already an avid golfer, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to improve your game.
So no matter your level of experience, you can tee off with confidence at one of Riverside’s many golf courses.
10. Visit the Riverside Metropolitan Museum
Riverside is home to a hidden gem—the Riverside Metropolitan Museum.
This museum is dedicated to the history and culture of Riverside County, and it features a wide variety of exhibits and programs.
You can learn about the region’s Native American heritage, its role in the American Civil War, and its development into a thriving agricultural center.
The museum also houses a research library, which contains an extensive collection of documents and photographs relating to Riverside’s history.
Whether you’re a lifelong resident of Riverside or just passing through, a visit to the Riverside Metropolitan Museum is sure to be a memorable experience.
11. Learn about Riverside’s History at the Heritage House Museum
The Riverside Heritage House Museum is the perfect place to learn about the city’s rich history.
The museum is housed in a Victorian-style home that was built in 1892, and it features a wide variety of exhibits on Riverside’s past.
you can learn about the city’s founding fathers, see pioneer-era artifacts, and even explore a replica of a 19th-century classroom.
The Heritage House Museum is also home to a research library, making it the perfect resource for anyone interested in learning more about Riverside’s history.
Best of all, admission to the museum is free, so there’s no excuse not to visit!
12. Pick Your Own Fruit at one of Riverside’s U-Pick Farms
Riverside’s U-Pick farms offer a unique opportunity to experience the joys of harvesting your own fruit.
Whether you’re looking for fresh berries, peaches, or apples, you’re sure to find a farm that offers what you’re looking for.
And there’s nothing quite like picking your own fruit and enjoying the taste of ripe, juicy fruit picked straight from the tree.
Best of all, U-Pick farms typically charge by the pound, so you can pick as much or as little as you like.
So next time you’re in Riverside, be sure to take advantage of this unique opportunity and visit one of our U-Pick farms!
13. Attend a Farmers’ Market
Riverside’s Farmers Market is the perfect place to find fresh, local produce.
Held every Saturday morning, the market features a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, as well as eggs, cheese, and honey.
There’s also a selection of prepared foods, including bread and pastries. In addition, to produce, the market also features a variety of artisanal items, such as pottery and jewelry.
The market is a great place to support local farmers and businesses, and it’s also a great way to meet your neighbors.
So be sure to head to Riverside’s Farmers Market this Saturday morning!
14. Take a Walk Through Riverside’s Historic Downtown District
Riverside’s Historic Downtown District is a great place to take a stroll and learn about the city’s history.
The district is home to several historic buildings, including the Mission Inn, which was built in the late 19th century.
You can also explore the Riverside Metropolitan Museum, which houses artifacts from the city’s early days.
The district is also home to a variety of shops and restaurants, making it a great place to spend an afternoon.
Whether you’re interested in history or just looking for a place to relax, Riverside’s Historic Downtown District is worth a visit.
15. Have Fun at Castle Park amusement park
Riverside is home to many tourist attractions, but one of the most popular is Castle Park.
This amusement park has something for everyone, from rides and games to food and entertainment.
You can enjoy classic rides like the carousel and Ferris wheel or test your courage on more adventurous options like the Dragon Coaster and Pirate Ship.
There are also a variety of games available, ranging from simple carnival games to more challenging options like the ring toss and basketball shoot-out.
And no visit to Castle Park would be complete without indulging in some delicious fair food, including cotton candy, popcorn, and ice cream.
With so much to see and do, it’s no wonder that Castle Park is one of Riverside’s most popular attractions.
16. Visit the California Citrus State Historic Park
The California Citrus State Historic Park is a great place to learn about the state’s rich citrus history.
The park is home to a variety of citrus trees, as well as a museum and educational exhibits.
You can take a self-guided tour of the park to see the different types of citrus trees and learn about their cultivation.
The park also offers many ranger-led programs, including hikes, educational talks, and citrus tastings.
The California Citrus State Historic Park is a great place to enjoy a day in the outdoors and learn about California’s agricultural heritage.
17. Check out UC Riverside Botanic Gardens
The UC Riverside Botanic Gardens are a hidden gem in Riverside.
Nestled at the foot of Mount Rubidoux, the gardens offer a tranquil oasis amid the city.
With more than 3,000 different plant species on display, the gardens are a veritable rainbow of color and texture.
You can stroll along winding paths, relax in serene courtyards, and explore a variety of gardens, including an herb garden, a cactus garden, and a wildflower garden.
The UC Riverside Botanic Gardens are a must-see for any nature lover or gardener.
And best of all, admission is free! So take some time to enjoy the beauty of nature at the UC Riverside Botanic Gardens.
18. Beat the heat at The Cove Waterpark
The Cove Waterpark in Riverside is the perfect place to beat the heat this summer.
With a wide variety of slides, pools, and activities, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
The would-be pirate can try their hand at navigating the Buccaneer Bay lazy river, while the thrill-seeker can take on the Tangled Sea wet/dry slide.
For those who want to relax, there is a spacious sun deck with plenty of lounge chairs.
And when you need to refuel, the Cove Café offers a variety of refreshing snacks and drinks. So come on down to The Cove Waterpark and make a splash this summer.
19. Experience the historic Van Buren Drive-In Theatre and Swap Meet
Looking for a fun, historic way to spend a weekend in Riverside? Then be sure to check out the Van Buren Drive-In Theatre and Swap Meet!
The drive-in first opened in 1949 and was a popular spot for moviegoers for decades.
In recent years, it has been restored and now features a vintage 1950s-style concession stand and screening area.
The Swap Meet is held in the adjacent parking lot and features dozens of vendors selling everything from antiques to handmade goods.
Whether you’re looking for a fun night out or a unique shopping experience, the Van Buren Drive-In Theatre and Swap Meet are worth a visit!
20. Visit March Field Air Museum
The March Field Air Museum is one of the best places to learn about the history of aviation.
The museum has a wide variety of aircraft on display, ranging from early Wright Brothers’ planes to modern military jets.
In addition to the planes, the museum also has several interactive exhibits that help to bring the history of flight to life.
You can learn about the science of life, experience what it was like to be a WWII pilot, and even take a simulated flight in a historic plane.
The March Field Air Museum is a must-see for anyone interested in aviation history.