Collen Cassel

Collen Cassel

Published: 29 Jul 2023


Riverside, California, known for its picturesque landscapes, vibrant culture, and rich history, is a city brimming with fascinating facts. Situated in the heart of the Inland Empire, Riverside is not just a thriving urban center, but also a city with a charm and character all its own. From its stunning architecture to its diverse population, Riverside is a place that captivates both residents and visitors alike.

In this article, we will delve into 37 captivating facts about Riverside, shedding light on its notable landmarks, renowned institutions, and unique characteristics that make it stand out. Whether you are a resident looking to deepen your knowledge of the city you call home or a traveler seeking to learn more about this Southern California gem, these facts will provide you with a better understanding and appreciation of Riverside’s rich tapestry.

Table of Contents

Birthplace of the California citrus industry

Riverside played a pivotal role in the growth of the California citrus industry. It was here that the first successful commercial citrus grove was established in 1871, leading to the city being known as the “Birthplace of the California citrus industry”.

Home to the iconic Mission Inn Hotel

The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa, located in downtown Riverside, is a National Historic Landmark and a cultural icon of the city. It boasts stunning Spanish architecture, exquisite artwork, and has hosted numerous famous guests over the years.

UC Riverside – a top-tier university

The University of California, Riverside (UCR) is one of the top-tier universities in the United States. It is renowned for its research programs in various fields, including science, engineering, humanities, and social sciences.

The March Field Air Museum

Riverside is home to the March Field Air Museum, which houses a vast collection of aircraft and aviation artifacts. It offers a fascinating glimpse into the history of aviation, from World War I to the present day.

Riverside National Cemetery

The Riverside National Cemetery is a solemn and beautiful final resting place for many veterans. It is one of the largest cemeteries managed by the National Cemetery Administration and hosts memorial services honoring fallen heroes.

Historic Downtown Riverside

Downtown Riverside is a bustling hub of shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions. Its historic buildings, such as the Riverside Municipal Auditorium and the Fox Performing Arts Center, add to its charm.

The Riverside Metropolitan Museum

The Riverside Metropolitan Museum offers a fascinating exploration of the region’s natural and cultural history. From indigenous artifacts to exhibits on local pioneers, it provides a comprehensive look into Riverside’s past.

The Parent Washington Navel Orange Tree

Riverside is home to the Parent Washington Navel Orange Tree, the original navel orange tree that started the citrus industry in California. It is considered a living monument to the city’s citrus heritage.

The California Citrus State Historic Park

Located in Riverside, the California Citrus State Historic Park allows visitors to experience the sights, scents, and tastes of the citrus industry’s heyday. It features groves, interpretive exhibits, and a citrus packinghouse.

The Riverside International Automotive Museum

Car enthusiasts will delight in the Riverside International Automotive Museum, which showcases a collection of rare and unique vehicles. From classic cars to race cars, it offers a captivating journey through automotive history.

The annual Riverside Dickens Festival

Each year, Riverside hosts the Riverside Dickens Festival, a lively celebration of Victorian-era author Charles Dickens. Visitors can immerse themselves in the world of Dickens through live performances, parades, and costume contests.

The historic Mission Inn Avenue

Mission Inn Avenue is a charming street in downtown Riverside that is lined with historic buildings, quaint shops, and delicious dining options. It is the perfect place for a leisurely stroll and to soak in the city’s ambiance.

Destination for outdoor enthusiasts

Riverside offers numerous opportunities for outdoor activities. From hiking in the nearby Box Springs Mountain Reserve to boating and fishing in Lake Evans, there is something for every outdoor enthusiast.

The Jurupa Mountains Discovery Center

The Jurupa Mountains Discovery Center is a treasure trove of fossils, minerals, and geological wonders. It provides educational programs and hands-on exhibits for visitors of all ages.

The Riverside Art Museum

The Riverside Art Museum showcases a diverse range of artworks, including contemporary pieces and collections that highlight local artists. It is a vibrant hub for artistic expression and community engagement.

The Riverside Festival of Lights

During the holiday season, the Riverside Festival of Lights transforms downtown into a magical wonderland. With dazzling lights, festive decorations, and live entertainment, it is a must-see attraction for locals and visitors alike.

The iconic Mission Gorge

Mission Gorge offers breathtaking views of the city and is a popular spot for hiking and nature walks. It allows visitors to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and reconnect with the beauty of the natural surroundings.

Birthplace of California’s first naval orange

In 1873, Eliza Tibbets planted the first two Washington Navel orange trees in Riverside, marking the birth of California’s naval orange industry. This significant event helped put Riverside on the map as a citrus powerhouse.

The Riverside Sport Hall of Fame

The Riverside Sport Hall of Fame celebrates the achievements of local athletes who have excelled in their respective sports. It pays homage to their contributions and inspires future generations of athletes.

The Victoria Avenue Historic District

Victoria Avenue is a picturesque and historic street that is lined with stunning mansions and lush greenery. It is a popular spot for leisurely walks, bike rides, and picnics.

Home to the Riverside Shakespeare Festival

Riverside hosts an annual Shakespeare Festival that brings the works of the iconic playwright to life. The festival features outdoor performances and allows audiences to enjoy Shakespeare in a unique setting.

The Fox Riverside Theater

The Fox Performing Arts Center, also known as the Fox Riverside Theater, is a beautifully restored Art Deco building that hosts a variety of performances, including concerts, plays, and musicals.

The Riverside Municipal Museum

The Riverside Municipal Museum offers a glimpse into the city’s history and development. It showcases artifacts, photographs, and exhibits that highlight Riverside’s growth over the years.

The California Museum of Photography

Located at UCR, the California Museum of Photography houses a vast collection of photographic works. It explores the art, science, and history of photography through its diverse exhibits and educational programs.

The largest meteorite ever found in California

Riverside is home to the largest meteorite ever found in California, known as the “Old Woman Meteorite.” It is on display at the UCR Geology Museum for visitors to marvel at.

The Riverside County Fair and National Date Festival

Every February, Riverside hosts the Riverside County Fair and Date Festival, a fun-filled event that celebrates the region’s agricultural heritage. Visitors can enjoy rides, live entertainment, and indulge in delicious date-based treats.

Home to the historic Riverside Municipal Auditorium

The Riverside Municipal Auditorium is an iconic venue that has hosted countless concerts and events over the years. It continues to be a popular destination for live music lovers.

The California Baptist University

California Baptist University is a private Christian university located in Riverside. It offers a wide range of academic programs and is known for its emphasis on faith-based education.

The beautiful Mount Rubidoux Park

Mount Rubidoux Park offers stunning views of the city and is a favorite spot for hikers and nature enthusiasts. It also features the Peace Bridge, a symbol of unity and peace.

The vibrant Riverside Farmers Market

Every Saturday, downtown Riverside comes alive with farmers, artisans, and local vendors at the Riverside Farmers Market. Visitors can sample fresh produce, browse unique crafts, and enjoy live entertainment.

Home to the Riverside Aquatics Complex

Riverside is home to the Riverside Aquatics Complex, a state-of-the-art facility that hosts swimming and diving events. It has been a training ground for many Olympic athletes.

The lively downtown music and arts scene

Riverside’s downtown area is known for its vibrant music and arts scene. From live music venues to art galleries, there is always something happening to cater to creative minds.

The Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park

Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park offers picturesque hiking trails, stunning views, and a chance to reconnect with nature. It is a hidden gem for outdoor enthusiasts.

The California School for the Deaf, Riverside

Located in Riverside, the California School for the Deaf is a renowned institution that provides education and support for deaf and hard-of-hearing students.

The Riverside Convention Center

The Riverside Convention Center is a premier venue that hosts a wide range of events, from conferences and trade shows to concerts and exhibitions.

The California Air Resources Board Headquarters

Riverside is home to the California Air Resources Board Headquarters, which plays a crucial role in addressing air pollution and developing environmental policies for the state.

A gateway to outdoor adventures

Riverside’s prime location allows easy access to various outdoor adventures. From hiking in the nearby Santa Ana Mountains to exploring the beauty of Joshua Tree National Park, the city offers a gateway to remarkable natural wonders.

These 37 facts about Riverside (CA) are just a glimpse into the rich history, vibrant culture, and natural beauty that this incredible city has to offer. From its citrus heritage to its thriving arts scene, Riverside has something for everyone to enjoy.


Riverside, California is a rich and vibrant city that offers a diverse range of attractions, history, and culture. From its stunning natural landscapes to its bustling downtown area, Riverside has something for everyone. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast looking to explore the scenic beauty of the surrounding mountains and parks, a history buff interested in the city’s historic landmarks and museums, or a food lover eager to indulge in a variety of culinary delights, Riverside has it all.

With its beautiful weather, thriving arts scene, and numerous recreational opportunities, Riverside is a city that continues to grow and flourish. Its strong sense of community and welcoming atmosphere make it an ideal place to live, work, and visit. So whether you’re a local resident or a curious traveler, make sure to explore all that Riverside has to offer. You won’t be disappointed!


1. What is the population of Riverside?

Riverside has a population of approximately 330,000 people.

2. What is Riverside best known for?

Riverside is best known for its citrus industry, historical landmarks, and its vibrant arts and culture scene.

3. Are there any famous attractions in Riverside?

Yes, Riverside is home to several famous attractions, including the Mission Inn Hotel and Spa, the Riverside Metropolitan Museum, and the California Citrus State Historic Park.

4. What is the weather like in Riverside?

Riverside enjoys a Mediterranean climate, characterized by hot summers and mild winters. It is known for its sunny weather throughout the year.

5. How far is Riverside from Los Angeles?

Riverside is located approximately 60 miles east of Los Angeles, making it a convenient location for those who want to explore both cities.