Top Things to Do in Riverside – Explore & Enjoy!

things to do in riverside

Riverside, California, is a vibrant city with a wide range of activities to offer its visitors. Whether you’re looking for historical landmarks, outdoor adventures, or cultural experiences, Riverside has something for everyone. Let’s dive into the top things to do in Riverside and make the most of your visit.

Key Takeaways:

  • Explore Riverside’s historic landmarks
  • Enjoy outdoor activities in Riverside
  • Immerse yourself in arts and culture
  • Discover Riverside’s botanical gardens
  • Experience Riverside’s unique attractions

Explore Riverside’s Historic Landmarks

Riverside boasts a rich history preserved in its numerous historic landmarks. One standout destination is the Mission Inn Museum, nestled within the iconic Mission Inn Hotel. things to do near riverside ca

The Mission Inn Hotel is an architectural masterpiece that combines various styles influenced by the founder’s world travels. Step inside and be captivated by its grandeur, from the ornate decor to the stunning courtyards. The Mission Inn Museum offers a glimpse into the hotel’s past and showcases its significance in Riverside’s history.

Another must-visit landmark is the California Citrus State Historic Park, a testament to Riverside’s vibrant citrus industry. Here, you can explore the groves, learn about the citrus heritage, and even pick your own oranges. It’s a delightful experience that showcases the city’s agricultural roots.

For a truly meaningful visit, make your way to the Riverside National Cemetery. This somber and serene site pays tribute to the brave men and women who have served the United States. Take a contemplative walk through the cemetery’s beautifully manicured grounds, honoring the sacrifices made by our military personnel.

The historic landmarks in Riverside serve as reminders of the city’s past and provide opportunities for visitors to learn and appreciate the rich heritage. Whether you’re interested in architecture, agriculture, or paying respects, these landmarks offer meaningful experiences to all.

Enjoy Outdoor Activities in Riverside

Riverside offers plenty of outdoor activities for nature enthusiasts. Whether you’re looking to hike, explore parks, or enjoy scenic bike paths, this city has it all. Get ready to soak up the sun and embrace the beauty of the outdoors in Riverside.

1. Mt. Rubidoux Park

Experience the breathtaking views of Riverside by hiking up Mt. Rubidoux Park. This popular spot offers well-maintained trails for hikers of all skill levels. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced hiker, you’ll be rewarded with stunning panoramic views of the city and beyond.

2. Fairmount Park

Escape to Fairmount Park and immerse yourself in its picturesque surroundings. Take a leisurely stroll around the park’s scenic ponds and admire the beautiful foliage. Enjoy a peaceful picnic by the water or let the kids have fun at the playgrounds. With its tranquil ambiance, Fairmount Park is the perfect outdoor oasis.

3. Santa Ana River Trail

For a more adventurous outdoor experience, head to the Santa Ana River Trail. This expansive trail offers a network of bike paths that meander along the river, showcasing the natural beauty of Riverside. Take a bike ride and explore the many parks and scenic spots along the trail. It’s a great way to stay active and discover Riverside’s hidden gems.

Immerse Yourself in Arts and Culture

Riverside is a hub of arts and culture, offering a diverse range of attractions for visitors to explore. Whether you’re a fan of traditional or contemporary art, theater performances, or historic sites, Riverside has something for everyone.

1. Riverside Art Museum

The Riverside Art Museum is a must-visit for art enthusiasts. Located in the heart of the city, the museum showcases a variety of exhibits that highlight both local and international artists. From paintings and sculptures to photography and installations, there’s always something new and exciting to discover.

2. Fox Performing Arts Center

If you appreciate live performances, make sure to catch a show at the Fox Performing Arts Center. This beautifully restored theater hosts a wide range of events throughout the year, including Broadway musicals, concerts, dance performances, and more. Immerse yourself in the magic of live entertainment and create unforgettable memories.

3. Main Street Mall

For a dose of history, culture, and shopping, head to Main Street Mall. This vibrant pedestrian corridor is lined with charming shops, restaurants, and historical landmarks. Take a leisurely stroll, indulge in some retail therapy, and savor delicious local cuisine.

Immerse yourself in the arts and culture of Riverside, and you’ll discover a world of creativity waiting to be explored.

riverside landmarks

Explore the rich cultural heritage of Riverside at the Riverside Art Museum, enjoy captivating performances at the Fox Performing Arts Center, and discover the vibrant atmosphere of the Main Street Mall.

Explore Riverside’s Botanical Gardens

The University of California Riverside Botanic Gardens is a hidden gem within the city. It features over 3,500 plant species and offers a serene setting for a leisurely stroll. Nestled amidst nature, these gardens provide a tranquil escape from the bustling city life. As you wander through the well-manicured pathways, you’ll encounter a diverse array of flora, from vibrant flowers to towering trees. Whether you’re a botany enthusiast or simply seeking a moment of tranquility, these gardens are a perfect destination.

Not only are the Riverside Botanic Gardens a feast for the eyes, but they also provide unique experiences for visitors. Throughout the year, the gardens host various events and fundraisers, allowing you to engage with the community and support a good cause. Imagine attending a garden party while surrounded by nature’s beauty or participating in a botanical workshop led by expert horticulturists.

places to visit riverside

Whether you’re taking a leisurely stroll, attending an event, or participating in a workshop, the Riverside Botanic Gardens promise a rejuvenating experience for all. Immerse yourself in the captivating sights, soothing sounds, and the fresh scent of blooming flowers. These gardens are not only an excellent outdoor activity in Riverside but also an opportunity to connect with nature and appreciate the beauty of the world around us.

Enjoy Riverside’s Unique Attractions

When visiting Riverside, there are some unique attractions that you won’t want to miss. These hidden gems offer a taste of the city’s eccentricity and provide memorable experiences for all. So, let’s dive in and explore these one-of-a-kind spots!

1. Tios Tacos

If you’re looking for a truly quirky and captivating experience, make sure to visit Tios Tacos. This charming spot is not your average restaurant. It’s filled with eccentric artwork made from recycled materials, creating an artistic atmosphere like no other. Indulge in their delicious Mexican food while immersing yourself in the artistic wonders that surround you. Tios Tacos is a must-see destination for art lovers and food enthusiasts alike.

2. Riverside Food Lab

Riverside Food Lab is a food paradise that will satisfy every craving you have. This vibrant and bustling food hall is home to various local chefs, showcasing their extraordinary culinary talents. From gourmet burgers and artisan pizza to vegan delights and craft beer, there is something for everyone here. Enjoy a diverse range of flavors and cuisines, making each visit a unique gastronomic adventure.

3. Van Buren Drive-In Theater

Step back in time and experience the nostalgia of the Van Buren Drive-In Theater. This iconic venue allows you to enjoy movies under the stars, just like in the good old days. Grab some popcorn, settle into your car, and let the big screen transport you to a world of cinematic wonders. Whether you’re a film enthusiast or looking for a different kind of movie night, the Van Buren Drive-In Theater is a Riverside gem that promises an unforgettable evening.

These unique attractions add another layer of excitement to Riverside’s vibrant tourism scene. Don’t miss the chance to explore these hidden treasures and create lasting memories during your visit.


Riverside, California is a treasure trove of tourist attractions, entertainment options, landmarks, and outdoor activities. Whether you’re a history buff, nature enthusiast, art lover, or simply seeking unique experiences, this vibrant city has something for everyone.

Immerse yourself in the rich history of Riverside by exploring its iconic landmarks such as the Mission Inn Museum and the California Citrus State Historic Park. These sites offer a glimpse into the city’s past and the influence of its citrus industry.

For those who love the outdoors, Riverside provides ample opportunities for adventure. Hike to the top of Mt. Rubidoux Park for breathtaking views or enjoy a leisurely stroll through Fairmount Park’s scenic ponds and walking paths. If cycling is your passion, the Santa Ana River Trail will take you on a picturesque journey along the river, making it perfect for outdoor enthusiasts.

When it comes to arts and culture, Riverside dazzles with its offerings. Visit the Riverside Art Museum to admire a diverse range of exhibits, or catch a live performance at the Fox Performing Arts Center. Take a stroll along Main Street Mall, where you can shop, dine, and soak in the city’s charming vibes.

Don’t forget to explore the hidden gem of the University of California Riverside Botanic Gardens, where over 3,500 plant species await your discovery. And if you’re seeking unique attractions, Tios Tacos will captivate you with its eccentric art and mouth-watering Mexican cuisine, while the Van Buren Drive-In Theater offers a nostalgic movie experience under the stars.

So, whether you’re planning a day trip or an extended visit, Riverside promises an unforgettable experience. From tourist attractions to entertainment, captivating landmarks, and invigorating outdoor activities, Riverside truly has it all. Pack your bags and embark on an adventure to this charming city. Your Riverside journey awaits!


What are some popular outdoor activities in Riverside?

Riverside offers a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking at Mt. Rubidoux Park, boating and picnicking at Fairmount Park, and biking along the Santa Ana River Trail.

What are some must-visit historic landmarks in Riverside?

Visitors to Riverside should make sure to explore the Mission Inn Museum, the California Citrus State Historic Park, and the Riverside National Cemetery.

What cultural attractions can I visit in Riverside?

Riverside has a vibrant arts and culture scene. Don’t miss the Riverside Art Museum, the Fox Performing Arts Center, and the Main Street Mall for a taste of local creativity.

Are there any beautiful gardens to visit in Riverside?

Yes, the University of California Riverside Botanic Gardens is a hidden gem with over 3,500 plant species and a tranquil atmosphere perfect for a leisurely stroll.

What are some unique attractions in Riverside?

For a unique experience, check out Tios Tacos for eccentric art and delicious Mexican food, the Riverside Food Lab for a variety of culinary delights, and the Van Buren Drive-In Theater for a nostalgic movie night under the stars.

What can I expect to find in Riverside for entertainment and events?

Riverside offers a range of entertainment options and hosts various events throughout the year. Keep an eye out for concerts, festivals, and other exciting happenings in the city.

Is Riverside a good destination for tourists?

Absolutely! Riverside has plenty to offer tourists, with its rich history, beautiful outdoor spaces, vibrant arts scene, and unique attractions. There is something for everyone to enjoy in this city.