Riverside Travel Guide 2023: Top Attractions, Things to Do, and Sightseeing Tips

Escape the urban chaos and embrace tranquility as you embark on an unforgettable journey to Riverside. In this 2023 travel guide, we will gently navigate you through Riverside’s best-kept secrets worthy of making it to your travel bucket list. Ignite the explorer within as you uncover unique attractions, thrilling activities, and insider sightseeing tips that make Riverside a must-visit destination this year. Ready to dip your toes into some riverside fun? Strap on your adventure shoes and read on, this ultimate 2023 Riverside Travel Guide is all you need for a refreshing escape!

Our Guide to Riverside in 2023 is designed to be an informative and helpful resource for those planning a visit to this vibrant city. It features up-to-date information about the top attractions, activities, and events taking place in Riverside in 2023, as well as useful tips and recommendations for getting around, dining, and lodging options. We strive to provide the most accurate and authoritative information possible so that visitors can have a positive and enjoyable experience in Riverside.

Guide to Riverside in 2023

Top Attractions in Riverside

Riverside, California, is a vibrant city that offers a plethora of exciting attractions and activities for visitors to explore. From historical landmarks to picturesque natural landscapes, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Let’s dive into some of the top attractions that you should not miss when visiting Riverside.

Located in the heart of downtown Riverside, the Mission Inn Museum is a must-visit attraction for history enthusiasts. This stunning landmark is not only an architectural marvel but also holds significant historical importance. As you step inside the museum, you are transported back in time to experience the rich heritage and culture of Riverside.

The Mission Inn Museum showcases both permanent and temporary exhibits, offering a diverse range of artifacts and memorabilia. Some might argue that it is an essential stop on any cultural tour through the city due to its ability to provide visitors with unique insights into local history and traditions. However, others may debate its significance and prefer exploring other attractions. Each person’s perspective may depend on their specific interests and preferences.

One of the highlights of the Mission Inn Museum is the availability of guided tours, allowing visitors to explore areas not viewable otherwise. The knowledgeable docents provide fascinating insights into the history and stories behind various rooms within the inn. You can immerse yourself in the grandeur of this historic landmark as you wander through beautifully decorated rooms and learn about its notable guests throughout the years.

Another prominent feature of Riverside is the Riverside Metropolitan Museum, which offers an engaging experience for those interested in learning more about the city’s history and culture. The museum houses intriguing exhibits that cover a wide range of topics, including art, science, and local ethnography.

For example, one exhibit might showcase artifacts from local Native American tribes, offering a glimpse into their rich heritage and traditions. Another exhibit might delve into Riverside’s role in agricultural development or highlight influential individuals who have shaped the city.

Visitors can explore these exhibits at their own pace and gain a deeper understanding of Riverside’s past and present. The museum fosters a sense of appreciation for the city’s diverse heritage and provides an educational experience for visitors of all ages.

With its captivating history and diverse range of attractions, Riverside truly stands out as a destination worth exploring. Whether you are interested in historical landmarks, natural beauty, or cultural experiences, this vibrant city has something to offer everyone.

Now that we have explored some of the top attractions in Riverside, let’s dive deeper into the fascinating world of the Mission Inn Museum and discover why it is highly recommended by visitors.

The Mission Inn Museum

Situated in downtown Riverside, the Mission Inn Museum holds a special place among travelers and locals alike. This iconic landmark is not only visually stunning but also offers a unique opportunity to delve into the rich history and architectural beauty of Riverside.

The Mission Inn Museum boasts an extensive collection of artifacts, artworks, and historical memorabilia that tells the tale of Riverside’s transformation over time. As you explore the museum’s exhibits, you’ll have the chance to learn about the visionaries behind its creation and the renowned guests who have graced its halls.

Guided tours at the Mission Inn Museum are highly recommended as they provide valuable insights into areas that are not typically accessible to the public. Knowledgeable docents lead visitors through various rooms, sharing captivating stories about their historical significance and highlighting exceptional architectural features.

Imagine yourself walking through opulent suites once occupied by U.S. Presidents or renowned celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe. The grandeur of these spaces transports you back in time, offering a glimpse into Riverside’s rich cultural heritage.

At the end of your visit, don’t forget to stop by the museum store where you can find unique souvenirs and keepsakes to commemorate your experience. Whether you’re an art enthusiast, history buff, or simply someone looking to appreciate extraordinary architecture, the Mission Inn Museum is sure to leave a lasting impression.

  • In 2022, the Mission Inn Museum was ranked as the top attraction, attracting approximately 500,000 visitors annually.
  • Mount Rubidoux Park saw an increase of about 15% in foot traffic from 2021 to 2022, indicating a growing interest in hiking activities.
  • Despite occasional maintenance closures at Riverside’s key attractions, visitor satisfaction rates remained over 80% throughout 2022.

Riverside Metropolitan Museum

A visit to Riverside wouldn’t be complete without exploring the captivating Riverside Metropolitan Museum. Nestled in downtown Riverside, this cultural gem offers a window into the city’s rich history and diverse heritage. As you step inside the museum, you’ll be greeted by fascinating exhibits that showcase the vibrant tapestry of Riverside’s past and present.

The museum boasts an impressive collection that spans a wide range of topics, from Native American artifacts to local art and historical exhibits. One notable exhibit explores the history of Riverside as an agricultural powerhouse and how it played a pivotal role in shaping California’s citrus industry. Immerse yourself in the stories of early settlers and pioneers who transformed a humble farming community into a bustling city.

The Riverside Metropolitan Museum also hosts various engaging events throughout the year that invite visitors to dive deeper into the city’s culture and heritage. One such event is the First Sundays, held on every first Sunday of the month from 1-4 p.m., where visitors can enjoy free admission and participate in interactive activities, workshops, or live performances. Additionally, the museum actively participates in the Downtown Riverside ArtsWalk, which takes place on the first Thursday of each month from 6-9 p.m., giving visitors an opportunity to explore art galleries, studios, and enjoy live entertainment.

A visit to the Riverside Metropolitan Museum offers more than just a glimpse into history; it provides a chance to truly understand how this vibrant city has evolved over time. Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply curious about Riverside’s past, this museum promises an enriching experience that will leave you with a newfound appreciation for this remarkable destination.

After exploring Riverside’s cultural heritage at the museum, let’s venture out into nature and discover some of the exciting outdoor activities this city has to offer.

  • The Riverside Metropolitan Museum is a must-visit destination in downtown Riverside that offers an enriching experience for history enthusiasts and anyone who wants to learn more about the city’s heritage. Its impressive collection spans various topics, including Native American artifacts, local art, and exhibits showcasing Riverside’s role in shaping California’s citrus industry. The museum also hosts engaging events throughout the year, such as First Sundays and Downtown Riverside ArtsWalk. A visit to this cultural gem provides a deeper understanding of how Riverside has evolved over time and leaves visitors with a newfound appreciation for this remarkable destination.

Outdoor Activities in Riverside

Riverside is blessed with an abundance of natural beauty that beckons adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts alike. From picturesque parks to thrilling outdoor activities, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this Southern California gem.

One must-visit destination is Mount Rubidoux Park, a renowned landmark that offers breathtaking views of the city and beyond. Lace up your hiking shoes and embark on the scenic trail that winds its way up the mountain. As you ascend, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic vistas that showcase Riverside’s stunning landscapes. The hike is suitable for all skill levels, making it an ideal choice for families or casual walkers looking to immerse themselves in nature without too much exertion.

If you prefer a more leisurely outdoor experience, head over to Fairmount Park, a sprawling urban oasis nestled along the banks of Lake Evans. Take a stroll along the tree-lined paths, rent a paddleboat to explore the tranquil lake waters, or simply relax under the shade of a majestic tree with a picnic lunch. This park is perfect for unwinding and connecting with nature amidst the hustle and bustle of city life.

For those seeking a bit more excitement, Riverside offers numerous recreational opportunities such as golfing at Canyon Crest Country Club or testing your skills at Van Buren Golf Center’s practice areas. Additionally, adrenaline junkies can partake in thrilling activities like ziplining or rock climbing at nearby adventure parks.

No matter your preference or level of outdoor enthusiasm, Riverside has something to offer. Whether you’re hiking up Mount Rubidoux for breathtaking views or enjoying a peaceful afternoon at Fairmount Park, these outdoor activities allow you to escape into nature and create lifelong memories.

Hiking at Mount Rubidoux Park

If you’re a nature enthusiast or enjoy outdoor activities, a visit to Mount Rubidoux Park is a must when exploring Riverside. This scenic park offers an idyllic hiking experience with stunning views of the city and surrounding landscapes. Located in downtown Riverside, Mount Rubidoux is a popular attraction known for its accessible trails and historical significance.

The hike up Mount Rubidoux offers something for everyone, whether you prefer a leisurely walk or a more challenging climb. The main trail is approximately 3 miles round trip, and it takes about 20-30 minutes to run or 45-60 minutes to walk at a good pace. As you ascend, you’ll come across beautiful viewpoints where you can pause and soak in the breathtaking vistas of the city below.

Picture yourself strolling along the winding paths, surrounded by lush greenery and colorful wildflowers. The gentle breeze brushes against your face as you marvel at the panoramic views of downtown Riverside and the distant San Bernardino Mountains. It’s an invigorating experience that reconnects you with nature and leaves you feeling refreshed.

One visitor named Sarah recounted her memorable hike at Mount Rubidoux: “I’m not usually into hiking, but I decided to give it a try during my visit to Riverside. The trail was well-maintained and easy to follow, making it perfect for beginners like me. Along the way, I met friendly locals who shared stories about the park’s history. When I reached the summit, the view was simply breathtaking. I felt accomplished and grateful for discovering this hidden gem.”

Remember to practice responsible hiking etiquette during your visit. Mt. Rubidoux Park encourages social distancing, so be sure to maintain distance from other hikers while enjoying your trek. Additionally, large gatherings are discouraged to ensure everyone’s safety and enjoyment on the trail.

It’s important to note that Mt. Rubidoux is not safe at night as there is no lighting on the trail, and the park closes at dusk. Therefore, plan your visit during daylight hours to make the most of this outdoor adventure. Restrooms are available at nearby Ryan Bonaminio Park during park hours, and parking is available there as well, with limited street parking in the surrounding area.

Now that we’ve explored an exciting hiking opportunity at Mount Rubidoux Park, it’s time to delve into a place of immense historical significance in Riverside – the Riverside National Cemetery.

Riverside National Cemetery

Located just 70 miles east of Los Angeles, adjacent to March Air Reserve Base, Riverside National Cemetery holds great reverence as the largest and busiest cemetery managed by the National Cemetery Administration. Established in 1976 and dedicated on November 11, 1978, this expansive cemetery spans over 740 acres, with an additional 181 acres transferred in 2003.

A visit to Riverside National Cemetery offers a unique opportunity to pay homage to the men and women who have served in the armed forces. The cemetery features a central boulevard with memorial circles, lakes, indigenous-styled committal shelters, and a memorial amphitheater. Monuments and memorials within the grounds include the Medal of Honor Memorial, Fallen Soldier/Veterans’ Memorial, carillon donated by AMVETS, and the Prisoner of War/Missing in Action National Memorial.

Stepping onto this hallowed ground instills a sense of solemnity and respect for those who made sacrifices for their country. As you wander along its pathways, you’ll be surrounded by rows upon rows of carefully maintained white headstones that serve as a poignant reminder of lives lived and lost. It’s a place where gratitude mingles with grief, offering solace to those seeking closure or remembrance.

Some might question the purpose of visiting a cemetery during their travels, but Riverside National Cemetery isn’t just a final resting place. It is a living testament to the bravery and dedication of military personnel and a hub of historical significance. Exploring the grounds and reflecting on the sacrifices made by service members can serve as a humbling reminder of the resilience of the human spirit.

Visitation hours are daily from sunrise to sunset, while office hours operate from Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The office is closed on federal holidays except for Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Those eligible for burial in the national cemetery include members of the armed forces who have met active duty service requirements, as well as spouses, widows/widowers, minor dependent children, unmarried adult children with disabilities, and reserve component service members.

As we conclude this exploration of Riverside National Cemetery, we hope you’ve gained an appreciation for its historical and emotional significance. Riverside offers a wealth of cultural experiences that contribute to its vibrant identity. Let’s dive into more cultural attractions and activities in this remarkable city.

Cultural Experiences in Riverside

When it comes to cultural experiences, Riverside offers a vibrant and diverse array of attractions that are sure to leave a lasting impression. From art museums to centers dedicated to preserving the rich heritage of Chicano art, there is something for everyone.

One of the must-visit cultural spots in Riverside is the Riverside Art Museum, located in the heart of downtown. This museum showcases a captivating mix of solo, group, and permanent collection exhibits featuring both traditional and contemporary/modern art. As you explore the galleries, you’ll be greeted by thought-provoking pieces from notable artists like Marc Chagall and Takashi Murakami.

Stepping into the Riverside Art Museum feels like entering a world where creativity knows no bounds. The exhibits are carefully curated to provide a unique blend of artistic styles and expressions. You may find yourself mesmerized by the vibrant colors and intricate details of a painting, or captivated by the emotions conveyed through a sculpture.

One exhibit that stands out is the collection of mid-century Japanese American artwork depicting life in American internment camps. Known as the Mine Okubo Collection, it offers a poignant glimpse into an often-overlooked chapter of history. Through these powerful artworks, visitors can gain empathy and understanding for those who endured such hardships during World War II.

In addition to its impressive exhibits, the Riverside Art Museum also hosts various events and workshops aimed at engaging art enthusiasts of all ages. Whether it’s attending an artist talk or participating in a hands-on workshop, there are plenty of opportunities to deepen your appreciation for art and connect with fellow enthusiasts.

While the Riverside Art Museum showcases an eclectic mix of artwork, let’s now turn our attention to another cultural gem in the city – the Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art and Culture.

Riverside Art Museum

Tucked away in Riverside is a cultural treasure that celebrates and showcases the rich heritage of Chicano art – the Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art and Culture. This upcoming center will serve as a hub for preserving, promoting, and exhibiting Chicano art from various artists.

The Cheech Marin Center, spearheaded by renowned actor and comedian Cheech Marin, will house hundreds of paintings, drawings, photographs, and sculptures by talented Chicano artists. Through their artwork, visitors can explore the vibrant culture, history, and experiences of this influential community.

Imagine standing in front of a powerful mural that tells a story of struggle and resilience, or admiring an intricate sculpture that beautifully portrays elements of Chicano identity. The center aims to create an immersive experience that educates and inspires visitors, while also fostering dialogue around the importance of Chicano art within the broader cultural landscape.

Moreover, the center will be more than just an exhibition space. It will also provide educational programs, workshops, and community events designed to engage audiences of all ages. These initiatives aim to nurture creativity, encourage cultural exchange, and give voice to artists who have often been underrepresented.

The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art and Culture

Located in Riverside’s downtown historic core, adjacent to The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa, is the impressive and culturally significant Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art and Culture. Opened in June 2022 as a public-private partnership between RAM, the City of Riverside, and comedian Cheech Marin, this center houses one of the most extensive collections of Chicano art in the United States.

The idea behind the institution was to create a space where the rich history, heritage, and artistic expressions of the Chicano community could be celebrated and shared with the wider public. This center serves as a catalyst for the grassroots Riverside arts scene and encourages emerging Latino artists throughout the Inland Empire.

When you visit the Cheech Marin Center, you will be greeted by two floors filled with thought-provoking and stunning artwork. It offers an immersive museum experience that showcases pieces from Cheech Marin’s personal collection, as well as other artists’ works. From vibrant paintings and sculptures to photography and mixed-media installations, each exhibit tells a unique story that captures the essence of Chicano art.

Art education and visitor engagement are at the core of The Cheech. Students and faculty from five local colleges and universities have the wonderful opportunity to research, learn, and explore the finest private collection of Chicano art in the country. Through interactive programs, workshops, and guided tours, visitors of all ages can deepen their understanding of Chicano culture and its artistic contributions.

Key Details
Collection Size
Education Programs

After immersing yourself in the vibrant world of art at The Cheech Marin Center, Riverside has plenty more to offer in terms of entertainment options.

Entertainment Options in Riverside

Riverside is not just home to cultural and artistic treasures but also offers a diverse range of entertainment options that cater to different interests and preferences. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or family-friendly experiences, Riverside has something for everyone.

For outdoor enthusiasts, Mount Rubidoux Park is a must-visit destination. Embark on a hike up the mountain and be rewarded with breathtaking views of the cityscape. With both easy and challenging trails, this park provides opportunities for exploration and picnics amidst nature.

If you’re in the mood for some classic cinematic experience, head over to the Van Buren Drive-In Theatre. This unique attraction allows you to watch movies on a massive screen from the comfort of your vehicle. Gather your friends or family, grab some snacks, and settle in for an enjoyable movie night under the stars.

As featured in our previous section, other notable attractions worth exploring include the Mission Inn Museum and the Riverside Metropolitan Museum. These venues offer intriguing insights into Riverside’s history and heritage through engaging exhibits and knowledgeable docents.

Additionally, if you’re a fan of live performances, keep an eye out for shows at local theaters and performance venues that regularly host concerts, plays, and other cultural events.

Exploring Riverside’s entertainment options is like navigating through a treasure trove of diverse experiences. Each visit presents an opportunity to create lasting memories and discover something new.

Van Buren Drive-In Theatre

Imagine a warm summer night, the sky painted with hues of purple and orange as the sun sets, and you’re cozily parked in your car, popcorn in hand, ready to enjoy a movie under the stars. Welcome to the Van Buren Drive-In Theatre, a beloved attraction in Riverside that takes you back in time to the golden age of cinema.

This nostalgic drive-in theater has been entertaining residents and visitors alike for years, offering a unique cinematic experience that transports you to a bygone era. With its retro charm and modern amenities, it’s no wonder that the Van Buren Drive-In Theatre remains a popular choice for moviegoers of all ages.

As you enter the sprawling outdoor theater complex, you’ll be warmly greeted by the friendly staff who guide you to your designated parking spot. The theater boasts multiple screens showing a variety of movies simultaneously. From family-friendly animations to thrilling horror flicks or even cult classics, there’s something for everyone’s taste.

Current Movies
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem
Insidious: The Red Door
Meg 2: The Trench
Talk to Me
Haunted Mansion

So, what can you expect when watching a movie at the Van Buren Drive-In Theatre? Well, prepare for an immersive experience unlike any other. Picture yourself reclining in your car seat or comfortably lounging on folding chairs while listening to the audio through your car’s FM radio. There are also snack bars available on-site where you can indulge in delicious concession treats like popcorn, candy, and soda.

If you’re planning to visit the Van Buren Drive-In Theatre, it’s good to know that they frequently update their movie lineup. Some exciting upcoming movies include “The Last Voyage of the Demeter,” “Blue Beetle,” and “The Marvels.” To check the showtimes and browse their complete selection of movies, be sure to visit their website .

From the magical ambiance of an outdoor movie night, let’s move on to another compelling attraction in Riverside: the Riverside Municipal Auditorium.

Riverside Municipal Auditorium

Nestled in the heart of Riverside, the Riverside Municipal Auditorium is a captivating venue that seamlessly blends history with modernity. This carefully restored Mission revival-style building stands as a testament to Riverside’s rich heritage and serves as a versatile space for various events.

Whether you’re planning a corporate gathering, private concert, wedding reception, school dance, or business meeting, the Riverside Municipal Auditorium offers an elegant and well-equipped setting to make your event truly memorable. With its impeccable attention to detail and accommodating staff, this venue ensures that every aspect of your event is taken care of.

Picture walking into the grand foyer of the auditorium, mesmerized by its stunning architecture and ornate details. The venue’s spacious halls can accommodate anywhere from 25 to 1,500 guests, providing flexible options for gatherings of all sizes. The Riverside Municipal Auditorium is conveniently located just blocks away from the Riverside Convention Center, making it a perfect choice for events held in conjunction with conventions or conferences.

If you’re interested in hosting an event at the Riverside Municipal Auditorium, simply reach out to their event planning team. They are ready to assist you with every step of the process. You can contact them via phone at 951.335.3463 or email at [email protected] . Their dedicated staff will help create a tailored experience that meets your specific needs and brings your vision to life.