Riverside County, California, spans from the greater Los Angeles Area to the Arizona border. The rectangular-shaped county is the state’s largest, covering about 7,200 square miles. Riverside also is the state’s fourth most populated county. Cities such as Palm Springs, Palm Desert, La Quinta, Desert Hot Springs, Indian Wells and Rancho Mirage are popular destinations in the Coachella Valley.
Interestingly, Riverside County has 12 federally recognized Native American reservations, making it one of the second-largest counties in the U.S. for reservations.
Five Points of Interest
The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa
The Mission Inn is a National Historical Landmark, popular since the late 1800s. Steeped in history and elegance, past presidents and famous people have graced this historical resort. The Mission Inn hosts the Festival of Lights annually, sporting a grand Christmas light display, horse-drawn carriages and an outdoor ice-skating rink. The Mission Inn is said to be haunted and visitors can tour its catacombs, which run for several miles. It’s also featured in the Riverside Ghost Walk. If you are in Riverside County, this is a definite stop.
Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park is located between the Riverside County and San Bernardino County in California. This park is unique because it includes the Mojave and Colorado deserts, each with their own ecosystem determined by elevation. The park offers camping, hiking and backpacking along great nature trails. Recreation includes birdwatching, stargazing, mountain biking and horseback riding. The park also offers educational opportunities for kids, such as field trips, the Junior Park Ranger program and college graduate research programs.
The Cabazon Dinosaurs
Another great point of interest in Riverside County is the Cabazon dinosaurs. This is a great roadside attraction as well as a fun tourist attraction. It was started in the 1960s by Claude K. Bell to bring attention to his restaurant, which was called the Wheel Inn Restaurant. The first of the dinosaurs took 11 years to complete out of spare materials from a nearby construction of Interstate 10. To see more pictures, check out this blog: CaliforniaThroughMyLens.com.
Orange Empire Railway Museum
This historical museum in Perris, attracts railway enthusiasts to Riverside County. In 1956, a group of teenagers wanted to preserve some of the trolleys of Los Angeles, a rapidly dying commodity. In the years to follow, the Orange Empire Railway Museum gained momentum and added more to its collection, restoring morethan 200 streetcars and locomotives. They have the West’s largest collection of various railway cars, including locomotives, passenger and freight cars, buildings and other artifacts dating back to the 1870s. The weekends are a great time to visit as the museum run trains and trolleys, and open their display buildings.
Mount San Jacinto State Park
Mount San Jacinto State Park has the second-highest mountain range in Southern California with an elevation of 10,834 feet. Camping and hiking are popular activities in the park. Visitors can take the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway through the mountainous wilderness. They also can hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the park, which passes through five California State Parks.
Riverside County as an abundance of interesting and fun places and activities to enjoy. Check out this Google Search and find something that appeals to you.