The Ultimate List of Summer Activities in Riverside
Summertime in Riverside, CA, with its beautiful scenery and temperate weather, is a magical time. We’re so in love with Riverside summers that we’ve assembled this list of summer activities, complete with local outdoor destinations, landmarks and museums, food, and events. Once you’ve experienced them for yourself, we’re sure you’ll fall in love with this city just like we have.
Ameal Moore Nature Center
For those wishing to get outdoors and into nature this summer, there are a number of fantastic parks, hikes, preserves, and nature centers. One can find the Ameal Moore Nature Center at the entrance to the Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park, a 1,500-acre preserve and home to the endangered Stephens’s kangaroo rat.
The center offers a wide array of experiences for visitors of all ages, including naturalist-led nature walks, exhibits, opportunities for hands-on learning, and more. Entry to the park and nature center is free, making the Ameal Moore Nature Center a fantastic resource for all nature lovers in and around Riverside. Click here to view the center’s upcoming events and start your outdoor adventures!
Mount Rubidoux is located just west of the city and provides a breathtaking view of Riverside. It is the perfect hike for almost anyone, as it is a relatively short, paved trail to the top. Along the way, visitors can experience various Riverside historical landmarks, including the Peace Bridge and the famous cross. A few trails lead to the top, with the longest route clocking in just around three miles.
For those seeking a more strenuous experience, Mt. Rubidoux also offers good bouldering and is popular among Southern California rock-climbers.
Finally, Mount Rubidoux is home to the annual Fourth of July fireworks show. The trails are closed that day, and people gather at the surrounding parks to soak in both the fireworks and the beauty of Riverside.
Fairmont Park is the perfect location to take a family on a warm summer day. The universal playground offers modern facilities and contains a sand play area, a sensory play area, and a splash pad. These areas were designed with sensory features for the visually impaired and built to be 100 percent accessible to children in wheelchairs.
Visitors can also rent pedal boats, which are fun for the whole family and are a great way to explore the historic park. The boats can be rented for $10.50 per half hour and are operational from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Finally, the park is also host to the Fairmont Golf Course, a nine-hole course with a putting green. The course offers affordable golfing for both novice and experienced players and is a great place to enjoy a summer day outdoors.
University of California Riverside Botanic Gardens
Nature lovers are in for a treat when visiting the University of California Riverside Botanic Gardens, located on the east side of the campus. Covering approximately 40 acres, the gardens contain more than 3,500 plant species from around the world. However, they focus on plants from Mediterranean climates and arid lands, as these climates reflect the climate of California and the desert southwestern US. Still, numerous microclimates within the gardens allow for an incredible diversity of plants and wildlife.
Specific themed collections include the butterfly garden, the Native American plants garden, and a subtropical fruit garden. Because they are connected to the UCR campus, the Botanic Gardens have numerous purposes, including teaching, research, and the appreciation of nature. The gardens have a variable schedule, being open Monday through Wednesday, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., and Thursday to Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. They are also open on the first and third Sundays and second and fourth Saturdays of the month from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Entrance is free, but parking is $2 an hour. The gardens are the perfect place to enjoy nature on a warm summer day in Riverside!
Landmarks and Museums
Riverside has much to offer history buffs. For starters, the city is home to the historic Mission Inn, which played a key role in the development of Riverside and was a center for Riverside civic life for over a century. The inn has now been converted into a museum, with a collection that documents the development of the Mission Inn and its evolution throughout the years. Tickets for the landmark walking tour are $20 for adults and $15 for local residents of Riverside county.
The March Field Air Museum
For those interested in aircraft, flight history, and innovations in flight technology, the March Field Air Museum is the perfect destination. The field houses more than 80 aircraft and 30,000 individual artifacts that highlight the airfield’s aviation pioneers and emphasize humankind’s inspiring voyage into the skies. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults and $6 for children.
Located downtown, Tio’s Tacos offers tasty Mexican cuisine, affordable prices, and an unforgettable atmosphere. It is best known for its eclectic collection of recycled art, with a cathedral made from empty bottles and hundreds of fascinating sculptures. Additionally, the collection of art is always changing, so the Tio’s experience is different every time you visit. Tio’s Tacos is open 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on weekdays and 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on weekends.
Riverside Food Lab
The Riverside Food Lab is another fun place to eat and houses over a dozen eateries. There are options for every preference, from pizza to poke, beer to burgers, and creole to coffee. Hours for the Food Lab are 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, and 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m., Friday through Saturday.
Riverside hosts music concerts every summer in the Fox Performing Arts Center and the Riverside Municipal Auditorium. People of all musical inclinations will find something to love—as a wide range of artists, such as Boz Scaggs, Primus, cover bands, and Weird Al Yankovic—will be playing. These smaller, intimate venues allow music fans to experience their favorite artists up close and comfortably. Tickets sell out fast due to the limited seating capacity, so pick one up ASAP so you don’t miss out on the fantastic artists playing this summer.
Reunion Jazz Festival
In addition to the fantastic concerts that will be taking place in these venues, the Reunion Jazz Festival will be held at Riverside’s historic White Park the first week of September. This event will bring together local jazz and blues musicians, businesses, and organizations and will include live music, food vendors, local restaurants, and nonprofit organizations. A portion of this event’s proceeds will go toward scholarships for nearby students, supporting local musicians, and providing meals for the homeless. If you are a fan of good music, tasty food, and supporting the local community, make sure that you attend this fantastic event!
Riverside is a wonderful place to spend a weekend or a season, and this summer is sure to be unforgettable. If you’re thinking of becoming a local and need a new place to call home, visit us at The 3900 and see how we can make coming home the best part of your day!
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3900 Fir Tree Dr., Riverside, CA 92505