10 Best Things to Do in Riverside, California (2023)

Wanna visit Riverside, CA? In this blog, we’ve mentioned the 10 best things to do in Riverside, CA that you should definitely experience to make the most of your trip.

One of the biggest municipalities within the Inland Empire, to the east of Los Angeles, is Riverside. Palm trees line the walkways in this 300,000-person metropolis, and the spacious frontage roads are framed by gorgeous Southern California architectural style.

More than 100 heritage landmarks, gardens, and galleries may be found in the county that surrounds Riverside. Additionally, there are theme parks, cafes, theatres, water slides, and historical hotels.

The distance between Riverside and the Pacific Ocean, as well as the coastlines in Southern California, is around 50 miles.

Interesting Facts about Riverside, CA

  • Riverside, which is a city in southeast California, is a part of the Inland Empire, a region renowned for its varied topography and extensive past. 
  • The historic Mission Inn, the biggest structure of its sort in the world, is located in Riverside. 
  • The World’s Biggest Paper Cup, which is actually the enormous concrete Dixie Cup, may be found in Riverside, California. 
  • There are fifteen museums there, each of which is well-kept and provides a wide range of exhibitions and activities. 
  • Filmmakers seeking a distinctive backdrop for their productions frequently travel to Riverside, which is close to Los Angeles.

Here are a few of the well-known locations that anyone exploring Riverside, California, will undoubtedly love.

Best Things to do in Riverside, California

Let’s go deep into the article and know what exactly are the best things to do in Riverside.

1. Visiting the Mission Inn Museum

At the intersection of Main Street as well as Mission Inn Avenue, the renowned Mission Inn Hotel houses the Mission Inn Museum.

The inn’s creator and proprietor, Frank Miller, donated a number of objects to the museum.

Mission Inn Museum

Miller was really well recognized for his passion for flight, interest in great art, and advertising genius.

The museum is well recognized for its daily lodging visits, but it also sells goods made by regional artists and craftspeople in conjunction with providing tourist assistance and information.

  • Location: 3696 Main St., Riverside, CA 92501, United States.
  • Opening Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Famous For: The Mission Inn Museum is basically a tour of the enormous and opulent ancient hotel located in the heart of downtown Riverside, known as the Mission Inn.

2. Mount Rubidoux Park

In Riverside, California, just west of the city center, is Mount Rubidoux. It is recognized as a park and an attraction for the city.

The mountaintop is a well-liked tourist attraction in Southern California and continues to be the location of the country’s earliest outdoor worship service, the Easter Sunrise Ceremony.

Mount Rubidoux Park

Every 4th of July, the city fires its most impressive fireworks display from the summit of the mountain.

The cross honoring Father Junipero Serra at the mountain’s summit is the most prominent of the numerous historical monuments that have been erected there.

  • Location: 4706 Mount Rubidoux Dr., Riverside, CA 92501, United States
  • Opening Hours: 24/7.
  • Famous for: The location of the country’s first nondenominational public Easter Dawn provider.

3. Exploring the beauty of the Botanic Garden

Countless varieties of blooms, meadows, bushes, and woods may be found inside the University of California, Riverside Botanic Gardens.

Tourists to the regional collection may view displays containing vegetation from both Australia and South Africa, as well as a variety of desert species.

Botanic Garden

It has a six-meter-wide, two-way roadway that is segregated for cyclists and pedestrians, an observation platform, and a link to the river center. It is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Riverside, California.

  • Location: UCR, Riverside, CA 92507, USA
  • Opening Hours: 8:00 Am to 3:30 PM
  • Famous for: its variety of shrubs and herbs.

4. Watching a movie in the Van Buren Drive-In Theater

Family members and movie buffs alike enjoy going to the Van Buren Drive-In Theater.

It’s one of the very few functioning drive-in cinemas left in the country and is located in Riverside’s historical Arlington neighborhood, next to the California State Citrus Historic Park.

Van Buren Drive-In Theater

While presenting the newest in popular amusement, the Van Buren Drive-In Theater maintains its originality. Seven evenings a week, movies are shown, and entry costs are far lower than those of large theatre chains.

  • Location: 3035 Van Buren Boulevard, Riverside, CA 92503, United States
  • Opening Hours: 12:00 AM to 12:00 PM
  • Famous For: The Van Buren Drive-In Theater is one of the best-known theatres in Riverside.

5. Visiting March Field Air Museum

Visiting March Field Air Museum is one of the best things to do in Riverside for any kind of traveler. The March Field Air Museum, which opened its doors in 1979, is located next to the March Air Guard Station.

This museum is well worth a visit if you have someone with you who likes flying or aviation.

March Field Air Museum

This premier California gallery is among the top Riverside, California, theme parks not only because it is packed with amazing, unusual planes but also because the museum’s staff and interpreters are well-informed about the airplanes and their backgrounds.

  • Location: 22550 Van Buren Boulevard, Riverside, CA 92518
  • Opening Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • Famous For: It is famous for its variety of unusual airplanes.

6. Enjoying Castle Park

Since 1976, Castle Park has drawn both residents and out-of-towners to Riverside. It is a family-friendly amusement park.

There are 27 different kinds of activities in the park, including merry-go-rounds, drop towers, water log slides, and roller coasters.

Castle Park

Four premiere mini golf facilities, a water recreation area, commercial stores, and a wide variety of carnival activities are also available at Castle Park.

  • Location: 3500 Polk Street, Riverside, CA 92505
  • Opening Hours: 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • Famous For: It is well-known for its amusing rides and a variety of enjoyable activities.

7. Shopping at Main Street Mall

The primary central pedestrian thoroughfare, Main Street Mall, links local eateries, ancient landmarks, and small stores.

Many places to relax and soak up the day are provided by landscaping, which includes parks, water features, and a large number of trees that cast shade.

  • Location: Main Street, Riverside, California
  • Opening Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
  • Famous For: It is famous because it connects various tourist attractions in the city.

8. Walking around Lake Hemet

Idyllwild is home to Lake Hemet, which is located in the San Jacinto Foothills. The lake is well-liked by residents for its campsite and fishing possibilities, as well as for summertime sunbathing and rowing.

 Lake Hemet

Summertime in Riverside and the nearby areas can be pretty hot, so taking a dip in the lake to cool down is a delight.

  • Location: Mountain Center, Riverside Country, California
  • Opening Hours: Open 24/7
  • Famous for: Camping & Fishing

9. Visit the Riverside Memorial Cemetery to pay your condolences

A solemn and significant place to memorialize individuals who have fought for their country is Riverside National Cemetery.

There are almost half a million burials in the 1,250-acre cemetery. The graveyard was built in the middle of the 1970s and started accepting graves on November 11, 1978.

  • Location: 22495 Van Buren Boulevard, Riverside, CA 92518
  • Opening Hours: 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM
  • Famous For: It is a cemetery for people who fought for their nation.

10. Blessing your eyes at the Riverside Art Museum

The Riverside Art Museum features a national gallery of more than 1,500 pieces of art in addition to changing exhibits. It is only a couple of blocks away from the famed Mission Inn and offers plenty to see.

Riverside Art Museum

Additionally, a variety of media are on display, including lithographs, billboards, and watercolors. Believe me, it is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Riverside that you should not miss out on while visiting the city.

  • Location: 3425 Mission Inn Avenue, Riverside, California
  • Opening Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Famous For: This museum is well-known for displaying the best of Riverside’s arts.

Where to Stay in Riverside, California

Riverside is a picturesque city in California that is located on the Santa Ana River’s banks.

With a wide variety of attractions, excellent places to eat, several shopping malls, and housing alternatives suitable for all travel needs, it provides a lovely setting for an amazing holiday.

Below are some of the best hotels for your stay in Riverside! 

1. Overall Best hotel in Riverside – Hampton Inn Riverside Downtown 

A 6-story hotel with a prime position in Riverside’s historic Downtown District and access to the best facilities the Inland Southern California region has to offer is the city’s top hotel overall. Guests can settle into a contemporary guest room or suite.

  • Location: 3505 Market Street, Riverside, CA
  • Amenities: Swimming Pool, Parking, Free WiFi, Tea/coffee maker in all rooms. 
  • Food Information: Snack Bar, BBQ. 

2. Best Luxury Hotel in Riverside – Marriott Riverside at the Convention Center

It is among the best luxury hotels and has 293 relaxing rooms, including 24 roomy suites that are ideal for both business and pleasure tourists.

Popular locations like the University of California, Riverside, the historic Mission Inn, and the Fox Performing Arts Center are only a short distance from the front doors.

  • Location: 3400 Market Street, Riverside, CA
  • Amenities: Swimming Pool, Wifi, Bar. 
  • Food Information: Breakfast in the room, Vending machine (snacks), Vending machine (drinks). 

3. Best Cheap Hotel in Riverside – Raincross Hotel Riverside

Riverside isn’t like other cities in Southern California. You may experience a charming little town vibe here while still being close to several big metropolitan attractions.

In many ways, the Raincross Hotel Riverside in Downtown Riverside resembles the place we call home.

  • Location: 4045 University Avenue, Riverside, CA
  • Amenities: Free Parking, Family Rooms, Tea/coffee maker in all rooms. 
  • Food Information: Vending machine (snacks), Vending machine (drinks). 

Where to Eat in Riverside, California

Although the citrus business in Riverside, California is well-known, this region is home to a lot more than just oranges, lemons, and limes.

You may find the meal you’re craving at one of Riverside’s greatest restaurants, whether it’s French or Italian.

1. The Backstreet LLC

With a menu that features a traditional roast beef sandwich, mashed potatoes, and mac and cheese, this place is a great lunchtime stop.

Location: 3735 Nelson St, Riverside, CA 92506

2. Mario’s Place

The best place to go for a group meal or a date is Mario’s Place. Famous Italian meals including risotto, fritti, and Caesar salads are served at this restaurant.

Location: 3646 Mission Inn Avenue, Riverside, CA 92501

3. The Salted Pig 

The menu at The Salted Pig is extensive and full of choices. For individuals who have small children, eating there is made simple by the availability of a children’s menu.

Location: 3750 Main St STE 103, Riverside, CA 92501

Conclusion -Things to Do in Riverside, California

So, these are the 10 best things to do in Riverside, California. If you are planning to visit there, add these things to your bucket list to make the most of your trip.

FAQs on Best Things to Do in Riverside, California

1. What are the most popular tourist attractions in Riverside, California?

There are various places in Riverside that one might love visiting, such as Fairmount Park, Castel Park, Van Buren Drive-In Theater, California Citrus State Historic Park, and many more.

2. What is the best time to visit Riverside, California?

The best time to visit Riverside, California, is during the winter.

3. What are the best restaurants in Riverside, California?

The best restaurants in Riverside are The Salted Pig, Le Chat Noir French Restaurant, Mario’s Place, etc.

4. What are the best accommodation options in Riverside, California?

The best accommodation options in Riverside, California, are Days Inn by Wyndham, Mission Inn Hotel & Spa, Marriott Riverside at the Convention Center, etc.

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