Located on the edge of the city, Mount Rubidoux (1,331 feet) is one of Riverside's iconic landmarks. The oldest outdoor non-denominational Easter Sunrise service in the United States started here in 1909 and would draw 30,000 people at its peak in the 20's. The mountain features a famous cross dedicated to Mission founder Father Junípero Serra as well as a World Peace Bridge. It is now a city park with more than 3 miles of hiking trails providing stunning views of Riverside and the Inland Empire.
Mount San Jacinto State Park is the crown jewel above Palm Springs. Reached by the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, this alpine park provides stunning views of forested rocky peaks that drop to the Coachella Valley below along the Desert View Trail. Mount San Jacinto soars at 10,834 feet and is the second highest peak in Southern California. With most of the park designated wilderness, modern life will fade away as you enjoy the splendor of the wild.
Rim O' The World is a National Scenic Byway in the San Bernardino Mountains. This beautiful 100 mile stretch lives up to its name as it winds along panoramic mountains with gorgeous vistas. You will feel as if you are driving on the edge of the world as you climb to alpine peaks 7,000 feet and up. Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear Lake are just two of the many wonders awaiting discovery.
Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve is a park in Riverside County on the edge of the Santa Ana Mountains. The plateau preserves native plants, vernal pools, Engelmann oaks and the historic Moreno and Machado Adobes built in 1846. In the springtime, wildflowers surround the winding trails whose hills turn brilliant shades of green. The geology of the plateau contains rich volcanic history which created a landscape that has looked the same for millions of years.
California Citrus State Historic Park preserves one of the last remaining citrus groves in the Inland Empire, once known as the Orange Empire. The citrus industry of California was known as the 'second gold rush'. In the 1870's, the introduction of the navel orange created an extreme economic boom. The parallel boom of the railroad industry allowed the 'gold' to be shipped across the country and America went crazy. Though the boom today is only a fragment of its past, it is still a billion dollar industry in California. Park trails allow visitors a glimpse into the romanticized orange groves that made California famous.
The Orange Empire Railway Museum has been a railway paradise in Perris since 1956. With 90 acres of astounding locomotive history and more than 200 cars from Pullman, cable and streetcars, BNSF and the largest collection of Pacific Electric Railway stock in the world, the grounds will have you busy for hours. The museum is named 'Orange Empire' after the famous orange groves that once grew in the Inland Empire.
Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden is a beautiful landscaped garden in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. It contains 2,000 species of plants native to California and has 58 acres of beautiful trails. From Joshua Trees to Torrey Pines, there is great diversity for every interest.
Palms to Pines National Scenic Byway is one of the most scenic drives in Southern California. From the desert ecosystem of Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley to the snow-covered peaks of the San Bernardino National Forest, this winding road takes you from sea level to peaks more than a mile high in pristine wilderness. Beautiful overlooks offer dramatic views that soar for miles.
Box Springs Mountain is a beautiful reserve in Riverside. With its many hiking trails and rolling green hills in the wintertime, the 3,000 foot park provides sweeping views of the Inland Empire and its surrounding mountains. The City of Riverside as well as University of California Riverside manages the 1,155 acre reserve. Early Pioneers used this mountain for its natural spring and surrounded the spring with a box from which it got its name.
The Mission Inn is the grandest hotel in the west. Located in Riverside, once the richest city in the United States due to California's 2nd Gold Rush the Citrus Industry, Frank Miller envisioned the Inn so guests would have a luxurious place to stay while visiting. Mission-Revival is the architectural style and is the largest building of its type in the country.
Modeled after California's 21 Spanish Missions, the Inn contains more than 200 rooms that surround garden terraces, art galleries, decorated balconies, sculptures, ballrooms and one of the grandest staircases in the world. Celebrities and presidents have stayed and wed here including Theodore Roosevelt, Andrew Carnegie, Albert Einstein, Helen Keller, John Muir, Amelia Earhart, Ginger Rogers, Clark Gable, Barbra Streisand and Miss Piggy among many many more.
Today, the Mission Inn is a living museum that screams luxury and opulence. Ranked the best in the country year after year, the Annual Festival of Lights Christmas Celebration draws thousand of visitors each season. Whether touring the grounds or staying the night, the Inn will continue to delight.