Riverside Attractions: The 10 Best Tourist Attractions In Riverside

Nestled in the heart of Southern California, Riverside is a hidden gem that’s brimming with cultural, historical, and natural attractions. It’s a place where the past meets the present, offering a unique blend of experiences for any traveler. Whether you’re a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, or simply looking for a peaceful retreat by the water, Riverside has something special in store for you.

1. The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa

Let’s kick things off with a bang at The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa. This isn’t just any hotel; it’s a living museum, a Spanish Gothic architectural masterpiece that has been gracing Riverside since the 19th century. Stroll through its grandiose halls, and you might just feel like you’ve stepped back in time. The hotel’s Festival of lights during the holiday season is a sight to behold, with thousands of twinkling lights that transform the place into a winter wonderland.

2. Mount Rubidoux Park

For those who love a good hike with a rewarding view, Mount Rubidoux Park is a must-visit. The trails are perfect for a morning jog or a leisurely walk with your furry friend. Once you reach the Summit, you’re greeted with a panoramic view of Riverside that’s worth every step. It’s a popular spot, so you’ll be in good company with fellow nature lovers.

3. Riverside Metropolitan Museum

History buffs, rejoice! The Riverside Metropolitan Museum is where the city’s rich heritage comes alive. With exhibits that delve into the natural and cultural history of the region, you’ll leave with a newfound appreciation for Riverside’s past. The museum’s collection is both diverse and engaging, ensuring there’s something to pique everyone’s interest.

4. California Citrus State Historic Park

Did you know that Riverside played a pivotal role in California’s Citrus industry? The California Citrus State Historic Park is a living, open-air museum that pays tribute to this juicy history. Take a guided tour, and you’ll get to taste some of the sweetest oranges around. It’s a tangy trip down memory lane that’s both educational and delicious.

5. Fox Performing Arts Center

For a night out on the town, the Fox Performing Arts Center is the place to be. This restored 1920s theater is a cultural hotspot, hosting everything from Broadway shows to concerts. The ambiance is vintage chic, and the performances are always top-notch. It’s an experience that art lovers and casual theatergoers alike will adore.

6. Riverside Art Museum

Art enthusiasts, take note! The Riverside Art Museum is a treasure trove of creativity. Housed in a former YWCA building, the museum showcases a mix of contemporary and traditional art. Their rotating exhibits mean there’s always something new to discover. It’s a space that celebrates artistic expression in all its forms.

7. Fairmount Park

Looking for a serene escape? Fairmount Park is Riverside’s answer to Central Park. With its expansive green spaces, tranquil lake, and rose garden, it’s the perfect spot for a picnic or a peaceful afternoon. The park also offers activities like fishing and paddle boating, making it a hit with families and couples alike.

8. University of California Riverside Botanic Gardens

Botany lovers and those seeking tranquility will find solace in the University of California Riverside Botanic Gardens. This 40-acre oasis is home to thousands of plant species from around the world. Wander through the themed gardens, and you’ll forget you’re in the middle of a bustling city. It’s a breath of fresh air, quite literally!

9. March Field Air Museum

Aviation enthusiasts, get ready for takeoff at the March Field Air Museum. With a collection of over 70 historic aircraft and plenty of artifacts, the museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the world of military aviation. The stories of those who served are both humbling and inspiring, making this a poignant stop on your Riverside journey.

10. Riverside Food Lab

Foodies, we haven’t forgotten about you! The Riverside Food Lab is the city’s culinary playground. This artisanal food hall features a diverse array of eateries, from gourmet burgers to vegan delights. It’s a place where you can indulge in a smorgasbord of flavors while soaking up the lively atmosphere.


  • What’s the best time of year to visit Riverside?

    Spring and fall offer the most pleasant weather, but Riverside’s attractions are enjoyable year-round. The Festival of Lights at The Mission Inn is particularly magical during the winter holidays.

  • Are Riverside attractions suitable for children?

    Absolutely! Places like Fairmount Park and the California Citrus State Historic Park offer plenty of fun and educational experiences for kids.

  • Do I need a car to explore Riverside?

    While having a car provides convenience, many attractions are accessible via the Riverside Transit Agency (RTA) buses. The downtown area is also quite walkable.


Riverside is a city that’s rich in history, culture, and natural beauty. From the grandeur of The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa to the lush landscapes of the UC Riverside Botanic Gardens, there’s a wealth of experiences waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re savoring the local flavors at the Riverside Food Lab or taking in a show at the Fox Performing Arts Center, you’re in for a treat. Each attraction offers a unique slice of what makes Riverside so special. So pack your bags, and get ready to explore the best tourist attractions Riverside has to offer. Trust me, it’s an adventure you won’t soon forget!

Kurby Team

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