Riverside is one of the many beautiful cities of Southern California, having one of the best climatic condition, this area is one of the best destinations for tourists who will love to explore the United States.
There are a lot of tourist attractions as well as fun things to do in Riverside which will keep you intrigued with the amount of fun this city has to offer.
Activities here span across visiting its numerous museums, amazing restaurants, historical areas as well as getting close to nature with its Botanical gardens.
As you take a tour through this city, you will meet some amazing stories that back up some of its historical sights, these will get you to enjoy your tour through this city more.
In this guide, I will be presenting to you some of the best things to in Riverside as well as notable Riverside attractions to make your stay here worthwhile.
Things to Do in Riverside, CA.
1. California Citrus State Historic Park
Now you might be wondering why Citrus trees are one of Riverside tourist attraction.
This does not make only an attraction but makes part of the United States economy with the introduction of Eliza Tibbets’ Washington Navel Orange Tree.
The growth of the “California Citrus State Historic Park” is one that tells the story of how the Citrus industry gets to become one to bring a rapid development to South California.
This industry began when two navel oranges trees, known to be the seedless oranges were sent to Eliza Tibbets by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to cultivate in California.
These trees were believed to be able to thrive here due to the healthy soil of this area and the good climatic conditions experienced within the area.
They became one of Riverside tourist attractions with time, however, one of them did not survive and efforts were made to conserve the second which developed a disease in the 1950s. Good thing is, it still lives on to this day.
On testing this sweet fruit, locals and visitors can not help liking it. So, this fruit today is part of California and could be found in major places in the state.
Make a visit to the California Citrus State Historic Park so you can take a walk through the grown and growing plants and of course have samples of this fruit to taste for yourself.
This park also features areas for picnics that you can rent for your loved ones at a small fee.
You can decide to visit the parent tree which is located just at a Riverside intersection.
It could be easily noticed with its plaque sign which was erected to show its importance, as efforts are continually made to see this tree thriving through time.
Address: 9400 Dufferin Avenue, Riverside, CA 92503
2. Riverside Botanic Gardens
Amongst the best places to visit in Riverside is the Botanic Gardens at the University of California.
The Botanic garden is a place to meet the vast number of horticultural collection, this includes collections of flowers, shrubs, grasses, and trees.
Some collections you will meet here are herb gardens, rose gardens, Alder canyon and Cactus garden.
At the geographical collection section, you will get to see some desert plants which were gathered from different parts of the world like South Africa and Australia.
Also towards the Sierra Foothills region, a large number of plants could be located. Its quite large because a large plot was dedicated to that.
If you are one who loves the Green part of life, this should be amongst your list of top things to do in Riverside.
Entering this garden is free, however you can decide to make a $5 donation or more to encourage the project.
Address: 900 University Avenue, Riverside, CA 92521.
3. Riverside Metropolitan Museum
A historic place to visit in Riverside is the Riverside Metropolitan Museum.
This museum date back to late 1924, it was opened by the Riverside City Council initially to host artifacts around America.
When opened, this museum was known to be home to some artifacts which were donated by the famous widow of Cornelius Earle Rumsey. She is popular for also opening the National Biscuit Company.
She donated some Native American Artifacts to this museum which are still housed to this day by this museum.
In the year 1987, the Riverside Metropolitan Museum was known to make the National Register as one of the most Historical places. In 2004, the famous Harada House which is known to be quite a historic one was acquired by this museum.
Visiting this museum you will get to meet its three collections which are mainly focused on history, nature, and the cultural background of Riverside.
You will also have the opportunity to meet its extensive archive which tells the history of the Riverside area through photographs, documents, and ephemera.
Address: 8193 Magnolia Avenue, Riverside, CA 92504,
4. Mission Inn Museum
Located in the Mission Inn Hotel is the famous Mission Inn museum which is one must visit place in Riverside.
The museum was founded by Frank Miller, who is a fanatic of aviation and art, he is also one known for his marketing brilliance. The Mission Inn Museum is focused on the art and artifacts of Frank Miller.
The Miller family is popular in Riverside, California as they have been known to contribute more to cultural and economic activities in this part of the world.
That said, you won’t have a problem locating this museum as it is popular amongst locals.
A tour through this museum will give you an insight through the history of Riverside as you will get to know some key events which took place in history.
Also you will get to see historic artifacts and also learn about the famous citrus industry of California.
Address: 3696 Main Street, Riverside, CA 92501.
5. California Museum of Photography
Pictures are worth a thousand words they say, and a place to meet “more than a thousand words picture” is the California Museum of Photography.
Getting to see these pictures can be added to your checklist of the best things to do in Riverside.
Here, you will meet exhibits which represent different forms of photography. Supported by the University of California, this museum has a huge collection of images from different photographers from different parts of the world.
This off-campus facility also houses varieties of photography technologies throughout history.
Visiting the California Museum of Photography you will also get to learn through the exhibits displayed how photography has greatly impacted culture and history.
The museum is known for its focus majorly on movies. And they are known to show several movies through history, produced by some major American directors as well as international directors.
They are also known to host events such as workshops, performances and lectures which tend to bring the public together.
If you are a fan of photography, this should be ticked on your checklist of what to do in Riverside CA. But, if you do not take much to photography, you could decide to see exhibits displayed and movies as the case may be.
Address: 3824 Main Street, Riverside, CA 92501
6. Castle Park
How about the best things to do in Riverside with kids?
Kids love amusement parks and a family-friendly one is located here in Riverside known as the Castle Park.
This park is rated by locals and tourists as one of the best parks in the area.
Within the year, this Park hosts events such as miniature golf courses championship, retail shops championships, water playground as well as a whole lot of carnival games hosted to bring the fun.
Furthermore, you can also have a good time with arcade games here as they have a collection of about 200 arcade games for all age grades.
Castel Park also allows rental of their space for hosting of parties and events of various kinds ranging from birthday parties, get together and cooperate events.
Looking for where to lodge, you have quite a lot of options close-by to make your stay in Riverside the best of vacations.
Address: 3500 Polk Street, Riverside, CA 92505.
7. Riverside Art Museum
Riverside Art Museum is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit on your trip to Riverside.
Located at the Mission Inn Districts part of Riverside. This museum has a lot of attraction which shows you works of artistic talents from around the world.
Housed in a building dating back to 1929, it possesses works from many professional artists both local and international, they also have great works from high school students too.
Its collection of art spans through different genre and you will not spend a minute without the fun as they always have something new to display.
Are you are a member of the military? Then, you can that’s get a free trip visiting here.
You would not want to miss the city sidewalk art presented by this museum on the first Thursday of each month. This displays a lot of cultural entertainment for free to the public.
Amongst many events, they also host art classes for interested parties.
A section in the Blue Door Museum sells art supplies, books and souvenirs. So, you can decide to pick your taste to make your visit a memorable one.
To gain admission into this Musuem, adults are charged $5, teenagers $3 and children under the age of 12 are admitted for free.
When planning your trip, do not plan your visit here on a Monday as they are closed every Monday.
Address: 3425 Mission Inn Avenue, Riverside, CA 92501
8. Whitewater Preserve
Meeting rear plants and endangered animals can be one of the fun things to do in Riverside, California.
This Whitewater Preserve is a 2,851-acre of land dedicated to the preservation of life in the environment around this area.
In this preserve, you will find rare plants such as the Bell’s vireo and the Southwest willow flycatcher. Also, you will find some endangered animals such as the fringe-toed lizard. This place is also home to animals such as the deer, bighorn sheep, bear and lots more.
Visiting here, you can decide to check out trails of these animals as you also enjoy the view of the environment. You can visit here from 8 am to 5 pm as they are opened daily.
Address: 9160 Whitewater Canyon Road, Whitewater, CA 92282
9. March Field Air Museum
One popular place to visit in Riverside is the March Field Air Museum. It is certainly a place to go if you are one who takes fun in the world of aviation.
The operation of this museum is known to date back to 1979 and is today known to be home to a collection of historic aircraft.
This is a museum whose main focus is to preserve the history of the aviation industry, one which has seen quite a several innovations over the years.
Some aircraft you will meet on this visit is the SR-71 ( an aircraft known to beat the record as the worlds taste airplane).
You also get to meet bomber jets which date back to the days of World War ll.
Amongst their collections are a vast number of unmanned aircraft, cargo planes and helicopters which will just get you amazed at these innovations of man.
They also dedicated a section of their space to host events, parties and lots more. So this is a place to add to your list of what to do in Riverside CA.
Address: 22550 Van Buren Boulevard, Riverside, CA 92518
10. Heritage House
This historic building dates back to 1891 and is known to be owned by Riverside Metropolitan Museum and is today amongst Riverside attractions.
This is an exquisite house and one of the best museums to visit in Riverside. Featuring the Victorian style architecture, it was known to be owned by a Mr. and Mrs. James Bettner in the 1800s.
The Bettners were a rich family and is evidently seen by the preserved items in this historic home. Visiting the Heritage House is free of charge but a $5 donation will be appreciated by the museum.
Address: 8193 Magnolia Avenue, Riverside, CA 92504
11. Jurupa Mountains Discovery Center
One of the best educating places to visit in Riverside is the Jurupa Mountains Discovery Center. This center features lots of Riverside attractions which will give the best to your visit to Riverside.
Located around Jurupa Valley -deep into its hills- this area is known to be a vast land of about nine acres which shows the sight of a beautiful botanical garden.
Carved here are statues of dinosaurs and they are just mind-blowing.
They also have some number of animals such as turtles, goldfish and tortoise. Talk about the best places to visit with family in Riverside, here gets the top of the list.
During the year, children also visit this place for excursions, they also host paid expeditions, private parties as well as community events all thanks to their extra landmark of about 82 acres.
Visit their gift store to purchase some fun materials and souvenirs to keep the memory of this visit.
Address: 7621 Granite Hill Drive, Riverside, CA 92509
12. Van Buren Drive-In Theatre
Want to take some time for some old fashion family fun time, then Van Buren Drive-In Theatre is the place to go in Riverside.
Launched in 1964, this theater offers varieties of movies to bring that fun time at the movies. You can purchase a ticket here for as low as $9 per individual, however children pay as low as $1.
You can also decide to listen to audio of this movie from your car as they broadcast these movies through FM radio too. Sounds old fashioned right?.
Here you get to meet lots of people, a perfect spot to make new friends from around town. You get into the theaters showing up with snacks, pillows as well as blankets to have a fun time here.
The theater is opened every day of the week, even during a bad weather. So, you can also catch a show in the Van Buren Drive-In Theatre.
Do add this amongst your checklist of things to do in Riverside today, definitely one of the best places to visit.
Address: 3035 Van Buren Boulevard, Riverside, CA 92503.
13. Fox Performing Arts Center
Would you love to visit a place where the world of performance hits its edge?
You should not miss the Fox Performing Arts Center during your visit to Riverside.
This theater is one popular place in Riverside known to host many special events and shows within the year.
This art center is a historical one having the capacity of holding more than 1,650 visitors. History has it that they were the first to give a screen display of Gone with the Wind in early 1939.
Event hosted her range across musical performance, comedy, dance events and lots more. They show up to about 3-5 events each month, hence you will have to catch one of them on your visit.
Events at Fox Performing Arts Center cut across various age groups, so do well to get your hands on their schedule of events to see their list of upcoming events. This could also be seen in their online newsletter.
Visit their website to purchase your ticket for upcoming shows to make your vacation worthwhile.
Address: 3801 Mission Inn Avenue, Riverside, CA 92501
14. Gourmet Detective
One of the best places to get the best meals in Riverside is the Flabob Airport Café. Here you won’t want to miss shows from Gourmet Detective who gives an interactive murder mystery show.
Guests come to get meals at this diner as they watch performances by well-trained actors putting up the show to give a fun time to their meal.
These mystery shows are thought-provoking and entertaining too, and as the show continues you see these mysteries unravel to make things clearer.
You won’t catch the same show twice as they change the play to make this a perfect place to repeat daily.
The Gourmet Detective also hosts special events, private parties as well as get-togethers. You can decide to catch any of these to have a fun time.
You can search for full details about their events and tickets online.
Watching one of these shows makes one of the top places to visit in Riverside.
15. Oak Quarry Golf Club
Are you a lover of golf and would like to have a good time playing golf in Riverside?
The perfect place to visit is the Oak Quarry Golf Club.
This golf course is known to be one of the most recognized and rated grounds in Southern California.
Home to an 18-hole course, this golf course was launched by Dr. Gil Morgan and Schmidt-Curly in the year 2000.
Visiting here you get to meet its clubhouse which is about 7,200 square feet, its many training areas and also you could decide to have lunch or breakfast in its exquisite restaurant.
Would you like to host cooperate meetings, weddings and get together, then their elegant clubhouse got you covered featuring perfect areas for your events.
If you will like to save the memory, you can decide to have a look at its onsite shop which features a lot of gears and merchandise you will love to have.
They also offer golf training to newbies on an individual basis or a decision to train with professionals in golf.
Get involved in sports on your visit to Riverside at the Oak Quarry Golf Club.
Address: 7151 Sierra Avenue, Riverside, CA 92509
16. Visit Fairmount Park
Offering some of the best recreational opportunities, Fairmount Park is one place to visit to have a fun time with loved ones.
With lots of things to do for all ages, activities around her span across golfing, playing tennis, picnic, bowling and lots more.
This park also features water bodies such as Brown Lake, Lake Evans as well as Fairmount Lake to give you a good peaceful view.
These lakes are perfect fishing spots for those who will wish to go fishing, go on a boat ride or take on other water sporting activities.
Meet special events at a boathouse close to Lake Evans.
Amongst additional recreational activities you might decide to engage in is playing on the renovated golf course which features a snack bar.
This golf course is opened every day of the week. Visiting Riverside, you should pay a visit to this historic Park.
Address: 2601 Fairmount Boulevard, Riverside, CA 92501
17. Grier Pavilion
One of the best things to see in Riverside is the Grier Pavilion.
Launched in 2008 in the honor of Barnett and Eleanor Jean Grier, the Grier Pavilion is known to be a 10-foot width art work.
Barnett and Eleanor Jean Grier are known for their works in civil rights in Riverside and this artwork is just the perfect thing to remember them.
Located in the City Hall, Grier Pavilion to this day attracts quite a several tourists who would love to see this cool piece of art.
The pavilion also features quotes from some popular civil rights leaders such as Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., Cesar Chavez, Mahatma Gandhi and Rosa Parks.
In June 2008, this pavilion was said to be a symbol of togetherness for the Riverside people by Mayor Ronald O.
This is a place worth the visit as get the opportunity of paying your respect to some civil rights activists here.
Address: 3900 Main Street, Riverside, CA 92501
18. Ballet Folklorico de Riverside
A look at the Mexican style dance can be one of the fun things to do in Riverside today and a place to meet this culture is at the Ballet Folklorico de Riverside.
This is a company which focus on making performances through the year of the Mexican culture.
Founded in 1977 by Ana de la Tejera, its goal has since been centered around preserving the Mexican culture in this area through dances, songs as well as Mexican cultural costumes.
Ballet Folklorico now has about 75 members and talented teachers of the art.
Their highly decorated dancers make performances with distinct and exciting moves performing in several parties, festivals and events.
Throughout the year, Ballet Folklorico de Riverside hosts about four special performances at the Cinco de Mayo, Calabaceado Festival, UCR and the Dia de los Muertos.
You can visit this school of art to get the best of the Mexican culture.
Address: 7115 Arlington Avenue, Suite F, Riverside, CA 92503,
19. Tio’s Tacos
Located at the heart of downtown Riverside is this spot which is just the perfect place to get your meal as well as meet the arts.
At Tio’s, you get to meet folk art collection gathered by its owner Martin Sanchez.
Its courtyard will keep you amazed as you get to meet quite some old appliances which have been remodeled for decorative properties.
You won’t miss the view of a bicycle cemented into the ground as well as the construction of fountains using glass and scrap metals. You also get to meet the view of the statue constructed with chicken wire and stuffed with varieties of material.
A walk towards the back of this building opens you to views of other smaller properties which include a chapel made of concert and glass.
This is a place to get a good meal in Riverside as well as meet fascinating arts.
20. Riverside Live Steamers
Riverside Live Steamers is a place to visit the old days of steam locomotives.
Founded by a locomotive enthusiast, Joe Hunter in the 1950s. This place maintains and operates a railroad where you can decide to go on a ride on a steam engine train.
Steam locomotives where once the backbone of the American economy, but as time pass on, these locomotives may soon become history.
With that in mind, Joe Hunter decided to live on this history by purchasing a vast area of land to build a 4,300-foot railroad which would be used to operate miniature locomotives.
He also constructed three steam locomotives that would be used on these rail tracks. These rail tracks were run by him till he passed away in 1965.
Today these rail tracks have been seen to be expanded and renovated after ownership was turned to RLS. Now having a track which spreads above 10000 feet, this place hosts visitors from all around the world.
Visit the Riverside Live Steamers to take memory walk through the days of the Steam locomotives.
Address: 1421 Iowa Avenue, Riverside, CA 92507
21. Hangar Trampoline Park.
Amongst the fun things to do in Riverside CA. is paying a visit to Hangar Trampoline Park which makes one of Riverside activities.
This is a fun center where you can take your kids to, featuring lots of open jump areas and wall trampolines, kids will love it here.
Hangar Trampoline Park also features areas with protective foam pits, bubble soccer, basketball courts, dodgeball courts as well as some obstacles activities which aims to keep the fun in a family timeout.
After playing, you could decide to have some hot served meals at the parks cafe.
This cafe serves varieties of meals not limited to hot dogs, nachos, pretzels, ice creams and pizza.
Would you like to have a rest time, do visit one of its several comfortable lounge featuring free internet connections to give you that calm rest?
They also offer options to host events here. You can visit the rental options center to find out more on rental-related services.
Have a fun time with family on your visit to Riverside, definitely one of the best things to do in the area.
Address: 12125 Day Street, Riverside, CA 92557
22. California Riverside Ballet
Known for so many outstanding performances, the California Riverside Ballet (CRB) is a company with a focus on training the best dancers in this region.
Would you love to see some beautiful choreography? Do plan your visit to Riverside on one of their two major events held each year.
They have quite the best of dancers as well as directors who instruct to get the best of performance.
CRB also features some outreach efforts as well as fundraising events to keep its members busy.
They hold auditions for dancers of all ages and these dancers have the opportunity to earn scholarships through their career.
Visiting Riverside to see some of the best performances by the CRB is for a fact one of the best Riverside activities and should make your checklist of things to do.
Address: 3700 6th Street, Riverside, CA 92501.
23. Ark of Citrus
You could find a dozen of citrus fruits in the grocery store, fruits ranging from Grapefruits, oranges, lime, lemons, and lots more.
However, the perfect place to meet a habitat of over 1000 citrus fruits is at the Citrus Variety Collection of the University of California also known as the Noah’s Ark of citrus.
This groove is home to different kinds of citrus trees mainly fo research purposes. On each tree you will meet two trees, surprising?
Here you will find unusual fruits such as heart-shaped grapefruit, green-striped lemon and lots more which will just keep you amazed.
Taking a tour with Tracy Kahn, you will get to know the history behind these citrus fruits.
This citrus ark is one of the best attractions to see at Riverside. You will love its sight and be marveled at the science behind these plants.
24. Entomology Museum
How would you like meeting some of the oldest collection of insects as one things to do in Riverside?
A visit to the Entomology Research Museum which is located at the University of California is just the perfect place to go to during your vacation.
This place houses just more than insect collections. They are also known to have different types of specimens collected from different parts of the world which will just give you the best of time knowing about.
History has it that this museum began in the year 1933 and to this day have been well preserved by university researchers and private donors who contribute towards getting the best of specimen.
Today, it is known to house about 3 million specimens of insects.
Visit here to get the opportunity of a good education on insects and how they live and survive with humans.
This place also serves as a place to turn to for research purposes, as it gathers both graduate and undergraduates for this purpose.
Before visiting, do make an appointment with them because they are opened on an appointment basis.
Address: 900 University Avenue, Riverside, CA 92521
25. The Cove Waterpark
A place to get the best of a family fun time in Riverside, CA. is The Cove Waterpark which is one of the best of Riverside activities.
This park is famous amongst locals and tourists as many have lots of good things to say about here.
Riverside attractions in this park include a FlowRider, lazy river, waterslides as well as a very large swimming pool to get everyone wet.
It’s pool is a competition-sized one which is used for both diving and swimming championship. Also within the week it is opened to the general public.
You can decide to get swimming lessons in this pool as well as a feature in its aqua Zumba classes.
Cove Waterpark is open for rental services, so you might want to have birthday parties of special events here.
This is one of the best things to do in Riverside today with loved ones and is perfect for your checklist of what to do in riverside CA.
Address: 4310 Camino Real, Jurupa Valley, CA 92509.
26. Center for Social Justice & Civil Liberties
This is one popular place in Riverside and is recommended as a place to see on a visit to this amazing city.
Dedicated to educating the public on politics and culture of the 20th Century, the Center for Social Justice and Civil Liberties is a place to know historic stories that will make a good time of your visit.
This center contains quite a lot of interactive displays which tell stories about Civil liberty as well as Japanese camps.
Here, you will also meet a good collection of drawings and paintings from Mine Okubo Collection collections. These paintings are known to be dated to the days of World War ll.
However, you can only visit here during the week on an educational and research basis.
Regardless of this, Sundays sees them opening the center to the general public. This is within the timeframe of 10 am to 4 pm.
You can decide to schedule a group tour in advance if you would like to learn about here in groups.
Address: 3855 Market Street, Riverside, CA 92521
27. Box Springs Mountain Preserve
Get close to nature at Box Springs Mountain Preserve.
This is an easily accessible area where you can decide to go hiking and see nature at its peak. The district is managed by the Riverside County Regional Park as they oversee the preservation of this area.
Having a height of about 3000 feet, this mountain is home to various wildlife and rear plants.
Going on a trip up this mountain, a recommended route to the top will test your leg muscles and reaching the top will give you a good view of the Moreno Valley as well as Riverside.
However, there exist several routes to go up this mountain. Users of these routes are advised to be cautious of activities along here to keep the preservation of wildlife in the area.
Visiting this district, you can decide to go on a picnic on one of the tables provided by the Park, enjoying natures view.
This is a good place to go with friends and family in Riverside and one to add to your checklist of Riverside things to do.
Address: Hidden Springs Drive, Moreno Valley, California
28. Mount Rubidoux Park
Adding hiking on your checklist of what to do in Riverside CA can be fun. A perfect place for that is Mount Rubidoux, one of the famous Riverside attractions.
This landmark is known to be a popular place for hiking amongst locals and tourists as its paved routes are directed to take you to the mountain top.
This 3-4 mile walk could be a task, so be sure to bring the perfect hiking kits to reach the goal.
Its routes feature some wildflowers and cacti which you will love to see on your journey to the top. As you journey you will also meet historical markers along the way which are quite historical.
Reaching the top of Mount Rubidoux, you will meet a large historic American flag. Its view is perfect and one you will enjoy seeing giving a good view of the city.
Stone steps are available to take a sit on and rest, you will also notice a massive cross sign which is quite a historic one, known to date back to 1909 during an Easter service in Riverside.
This view also shows the Inland Empire, giving a perfect spot to have your lunch as you enjoy the view of Mount Rubidoux.
Address: 4706 Mount Rubidoux Drive, Riverside, California.
29. Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park
Another place to go hiking and enjoy the view of a wilderness is the Sycamore Canyon, Wilderness Park.
Having a vast area of land of about 1,500 acres, it is always fun time engaging in activities such as running, biking and hiking as you explore this vast land.
Here is also home to some wildlife. On exploration of this park, you might come across wildlife such as rattlesnake which is however known to be in abundance here, hence you will have to be careful.
You will also find some rear plants within the area. Plants such as the Fremont cottonwood and the monkeyflower have been sighted across here.
Visiting here with kids, you might want to check out the Ameal Moore Nature Center which is located at the entrance of this park, they provide good educational resources for kids.
Address: 400 Central Ave, Riverside, California
30. Main Street Mall
Would you like to take a seat after the days walk and enjoy the view of the city, you can visit the Main Street Mall.
This is a place in downtown Riverside which happens to connect historic sites, shops as well as give a good view of the local downtown Riverside.
Its landscape features fountains, gardens as well as trees to take shades on a sunny day.
Main street mall also features the view of some historical Riverside cultural attractions such as the California Museum of Photography and the Mission inn which you will love to see simultaneously during your visit here.
Here, you will also find places to have a meal such as local eateries or upscale spots to give you a delicious meal.
Address: Main Street, Riverside, California