Visitors to Southern California are most familiar with the city of Los Angeles and Orange County for its many attractions. However, visitors may be pleasantly surprised to discover the various different attractions found in the lesser-known city of Riverside and Riverside County region. Although not as flashy as its neighboring counties, Riverside County is full of places to explore, discover, and enjoy. For the visiting senior, Riverside County has many attractions and activities that will make for a great day trip. Here is a list of our favorites sites:
City of Riverside
March Field Air Museum
One attraction in the city of Riverside is the March Field Air Museum, which holds a collection of historic military aircraft from the early 20th century to World War II and the Cold War. The museum is a fantastic place for aircraft enthusiasts and history buffs to explore and learn more about the history of aviation. The March Field Air museum also has plenty of military artifacts and exhibitions on display.
California Museum of Photography
The California Museum of Photography is a museum showcasing the history of photography as well as the current landscape of the medium in today’s art. University of California Riverside’s (UCR) art department and art students manage the California Museum of Photography and are heavily involved in shaping the direction of the exhibitions. The museum is also well known for its research as well as having the largest public collection of photographic technology in the American West. The museum is located downtown Riverside.
The Mission Inn, also the Mission Inn Hotel & Spa, is Riverside’s historical landmark hotel founded in 1876, where it first began as a small adobe boarding house. The hotel stands out for its Mission Revival Style architecture and its varying designs and styles from different architects. The Mission inn has hosted many visits from U.S. presidents, world leaders, as well as a long list of entertainers and celebrities. The Mission also has an adjacent museum, the Mission Inn Museum, which preserves and displays the history of the Mission Inn.
UCR Botanic Garden
The University of California Riverside is also home to a 40-acre botanical garden with over four miles of trails and a large collection of flora and fauna. The gardens have over 16 themed collections and features, with over 3,500 plant species from around the world, and a primary focus on plants that thrive in Riverside’s Mediterranean climate. The UCR Botanic Garden also hosts fundraisers and events, as well as morning bird walks for avid birdwatchers. The gardens are open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m, with exception to major holidays, special garden events, and UCR academic and administration holidays.
California Citrus Historic Park
The California Citrus Historic Park tells the history of the citrus industry’s boom and development in Riverside. The park features exhibits at its museum where visitors can read about the agricultural roots of Riverside and California. There are also guided tours of the park’s orange groves and although visitors are not allowed to pick fruit from the park’s orange groves, visitors will get to sample free fruit tastings on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. The park and museum are open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For seniors who enjoy fishing and rest by a lake, Riverside’s Lake Hemet is an excellent place to spend the day or weekend. This water reservoir was created in 1895 and offers plenty of recreational activities such as biking, camping, fishing, hiking, horse riding, hunting, picnicking, winter sports, and more. Avid fishers can catch sight of a large population of rainbow trout, largemouth bass, blue gill, and catfish.
Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
Riverside county is home to San Jacinto Mountains and San Jacinto Peak, which is the highest peak in the San Jacinto Mountains at 10,804 feet high. The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is the best way for seniors to access San Jacinto Peak. The tramway takes riders on a ten-minute journey from the bottom of Valley Station all the way up to Mountain station, a distance of 2.5 miles. The tramway is the largest rotating aerial tramway in the world.
Joshua Tree National Park
Seniors who enjoy the national parks will have an inspiring visit to the desertlands at Joshua Tree National Park. The park is named after the yucca plant species, which resembles a tree and is planted everywhere in the park. Joshua Tree National Park has a few key landmarks where visitors can enjoy awe-inspiring views. Keys View is a favorite for panoramic views of the desert valley and San Jacinto peak. Skull Rock is also another favorite stop; the enormous rock fomations resemble a large skull.
Located in Rancho Mirage, Sunnylands is a historic site that has become the “Camp David of the West,” hosting diplomats, political and world leaders for summit meetings and retreats. The center was formerly known as the Annenberg Estate, after its owners Walter and Leonore Annenberg. Sunnylands Visitor Center offers visitors an insight into the Annenbergs’ relationships with important leaders and the center’s vital role in establishing a location that has become the quintessential Camp David of the West. The center also has garden featuring a collection of sculptures and works by famous artists such as Rodin.
Seniors visiting Riverside and Riverside County will find plenty of outdoor attractions, gardens, and museums to explore and visit. We highly recommend these attractions to get the most out of your visit and suggest incorporating them into your itinerary. However, seniors should also be aware of the weather as temperatures in Riverside County can peak up to 110 degrees.
Located in Southern California, Riverside is the most populous city within the Inland Empire, which spans east of Los Angeles. The city is the 12th most populous city in California and has a population of 303,871. Riverside was founded in the 1870s and is most known as the birthplace of the California citrus industry, which boomed in the late 19th century. The city is also home to many institutions for higher education such as the University of California Riverside and California Baptist University. If you’re trying to find the best assisted living in Riverside for you or your loved one, Senior Care Center is able to help you. Read more on assisted living and other senior care options on our Help & Advice page.