When traveling around the country people have either heard of Riverside, CA or they haven’t. Based on my own experience, I would say about 65% of the time people from other states have heard of Riverside but do not consider it a “must visit” destination. I’m here to convince you why it truly is worth a visit, especially if you’re planning to visit Southern California for a few weeks.
To the people who live in Riverside, or close to it, I encourage you to take a good look at the city around you when driving down Mission Inn Avenue and take in the beauty. There are not many cities in the country that offer such a cozy feeling while also being surrounded with so many opportunities for adventure. Luckily for us, California has a very diverse landscape, geographically speaking. So we have hills and mountains along with rather flat regions. We have beautiful landscapes to view and perch our houses on as opposed to dry flat land that some of the other states in the southwest have to live with. We honestly don’t realize how spoiled we are, not only in SoCal but also in Riverside.
To anyone planning on travelling to Southern California, let me recommend that you choose to stay in Riverside. Not only are there plenty of things to do in the city or immediately outside of the city limits, Riverside is less than an hour from the mountains, less than an hour from the beach, less than an hour from the desert and about an hour from downtown Los Angeles. All of these destinations and the city of Riverside are worth visiting absolutely any time of the year.
Aside from the places you can visit in close proximity to Riverside, the city itself has things going on year round! If you’re in town between Thanksgiving and New Year’s the WORLD FAMOUS Festival of Lights at the Mission Inn is a tradition you should take part in at least once in your life! But even if it isn’t the holiday season, The Mission Inn has the best hotel and spa and has several dining options. Downtown is full of fun little businesses to visit and along with that, it has tons of nice little coffee shops. My new personal favorite is Molino’s Cuban Coffee Shop across the street from the Historic Mission Inn, if ever in town THAT’S where you should get your coffee after a morning or evening hike at Mount Rubidoux.
There’s a reason Forbes listed Riverside as the 8th coolest place to live in America. The city is filled with art and culture from the Fox Performing Art Center to the Riverside Metropolitan Museum. It is home to one of the best public universities, UC Riverside. And the best place to find authentic Mexican cuisine in a restaurant, Olivia’s. All these things and more make Riverside a special place to live. Whether it’s the beautiful Victorian houses that capture your heart or the perfect antique book you find at Downtowne Bookstore, you’re sure to love Riverside just as much as I do.
And to my family in Lubbock in the big TX, you may get mentioned on TV and in movies more than us, but we’re right down the road from where those TV shows and movies are made.