INSIDER’S » TIP
Settled in the 1840s, Louis Robidoux’s Jurupa Rancho property eventually became a city park, the MT. RUBIDOUX TRAIL AND MEMORIAL PARK. West of downtown Riverside, this local favorite has a 2.7-mile paved trail ascending the 1,399foot-high mountain amid historical plaques. The climb, lined with spring wildflowers or views of the snow-dusted San Bernardino Mountains in winter, rewards hikers with expansive Riverside valley views. mt-rubidoux.org
City & Town
Foodies and oenophiles should explore Old Town Temecula’s historic district of 1880s buildings for wine tasting and sampling local fare in a friendly, Old West ambience. Or visit Redlands, the “City of Beautiful Homes,” and its opulent Victorians and Arts and Crafts style homes of yesteryear.
North of Temecula, play in the mud or soak in the soothing mineral waters of the 157-year-old Glen Ivy Hot Springs, dating from early stagecoach days. Get in on the action at the gaming tables at the Pechanga Casino. Or soar in a hot air balloon over Temecula Valley’s 35,000-acre wine country, dotted with B&BS and luxury resorts amid vines and citrus groves. Afterwards, relax with a glass of local wine on a winery portico or play golf in this quiet oasis of the California good life.
Heritage & Culture
Riverside harbors a wealth of California history. On Magnolia Avenue, the state’s first and oldest navel orange tree, planted in 1873, stands on the spot where California’s multimillion-dollar citrus industry began. Since 1880, the iconic Mission Inn has hosted U.S. presidents and delighted travelers with a Hearst Castle-like eclectic mix of Spanish and Moorish architecture, adorned with priceless Italian and Spanish treasures, as a church bell tolls on the hour.
The San Bernardino Museum explores local history by exhibiting a covered wagon that crossed the Mojave Desert from Salt Lake City and a Wells Fargo stagecoach. The Hall of Anthropology showcases local native cultures, the Mojave, Serrano and Gabrielino. Within the citrus groves surrounding the museum, the Zimmerman Citrus Kiosk explores the area’s citrus heritage.
The fun begins with rides on the locomotives and trolleys of the Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris. At Tom’s Farm in Corona, kids can mine for emeralds and rubies, ride a pony, board the 1800s steam train or drive a tractor. In the summertime heat, take cool water rides on the Alpine Slide’s twisting curves at the Magic Mountain Recreation Area at Big Bear Lake.