The Inland Empire is perhaps the only place in the US where you are 45 minutes from the ski slopes and 45 minutes from the beach. During certain times of the year the weather encourages you to both skiing and surfing on the same day. With many other attractions and outdoor activities you’ll never be hard pressed to find something to do, here are some of our favorites.
California Citrus State Historic Park tells the story of the citrus industry's rapid development in Southern California. The citrus economy began in 1873 when the U.S. Department of Agriculture sent two little navel orange trees to Eliza Tibbets, a Riverside local. The trees thrived due to Southern California's temperate climate and healthy soil.
Once locals tasted the sweet fruit grown in Eliza Tibbets' yard, groves of oranges, lemons, and grapefruits began popping up all over the state. At the California Citrus State Historic Park, visitors can join a free guided tour that includes samples of freshly-grown California oranges. The park also has an amphitheater and picnic areas that groups can rent out for a small fee.
The Botanic Gardens at the University of California, Riverside contain vast amounts of flowers, grasses, shrubs, and trees. The horticultural collection is comprised of rose gardens, herb gardens, a cactus garden, and Alder Canyon, a shady area with California riparian trees.
At the geographical collection, visitors can see a selection of desert plants and displays with plants from Australia and South Africa. There is also a large plot of plants that grow in California's Sierra Foothills region. Altogether, the park contains hundreds of different plant species from all over the world.
Big Bear Mountain Resorts, Snow Summit, and Bear Mountain offer two distinct mountains to suit your style of recreation so it's easy to see why we are Southern California's favorite winter resort.
Whether you spend the day, weekend, or week you will find tremendous value by visiting one or both of Big Bear Mountain Resorts. What you really get is two mountains in one – at a single rate. One interchangeable lift ticket is valid at both Snow Summit and Bear Mountain. Together, the two resorts offer more than 436 developed acres, 26 lifts, four high-speed chairs, 1,800 vertical feet, and more than 200 park features packed with thrilling jumps, rails, and funboxes. A free ground shuttle links the two resorts.
Opened in 1964, the Van Buren Drive-In Theatre is the perfect place for old-fashioned family fun. Tickets are $9 per adult and $1 per child, but each ticket admits visitors to two movies. Audio for the movies is broadcast over FM radio so that each guest can listen from inside their cars.
Oftentimes, theater-goers will show up with pillows, blankets, lawn chairs, and snacks from home. Popcorn, candy, nachos, and other treats are sold on-site. The shows go on at the Van Buren Drive-In Theatre even if the weather is bad, and the theater is open 365 days a year. All showings begin after dark.
1218 Spring Street
Riverside, CA. 92507