Because of its proximity to the San Ana River, Riverside, California was founded in 1870. East of Orange County and Los Angeles County is Riverside County. It generally receives less media attention than other popular Southern California destinations.
However, the county that surrounds Riverside and the city itself is home to more than a hundred museums, parks, and historic attractions. In addition, there are theme parks, restaurants, theaters, water parks, and historic hotels.
Contrary to popular belief, Riverside, which built an entire city on the economic success of the citrus industry, stands out as the birthplace of the Southern California citrus industry.
Think of free things to do in riverside California and you’ll instantly know what Riverside, California, is famous for!
The Coolest Free Things To Do In Riverside California
Mission Inn Museum
What are the coolest free things to do in riverside California? Back in 1876, the Mission Inn was first an adobe inn. The history of the famous Mission Inn, as well as the airline and citrus industries, California Missions, and more, are all presented in the Mission Inn Museum.
Families can join the 75-minute tour that includes the Museum and areas of the Inn that are generally off-limits to the public. You should make a reservation in advance; the internet source for the date and time is accessible.
Stroll Through Fairmount Park
This is another of the free things to do in riverside California. Fairmount Park, with its magnificent rose garden, is one of the best places in the area to go when you want some peace and quiet in Riverside, California.
The Rose Garden is a favorite wedding photography spot and is conveniently located near highways 91 and 60. Although it only takes a few hours to get around the park’s attractions, you can easily spend the whole afternoon there.
There’s a pond for geese and other small creatures, along with a children’s playground, tennis courts, chairs, and shelter to relax.
The park is quite pastoral and open, right near the country club and golf course. You can find shade trees ideal for resting during a day of sightseeing on a hot day.
In addition to water slides, lawn bowling alleys, basketball courts, and numerous sports fields, the park also has pathways that wind through.
If it’s a hot day and you have young kids, you definitely have to visit the Universal Playground at Fairmount Park. The water splash game is fun in the summer and has sensory features for the blind.
Explore The Phenix Technology, Inc. Firefighter History Museum
What are the best free things to do in riverside California? Are you curious about the tools and foundations of firefighting? You can add the Firefighters History Museum to your list; it is located inside Phenix Technology’s manufacturing headquarters.
A sizable permanent collection of fire-related items is housed in the museum. When you visit the museum, be sure to talk to the owner or one of the staff. They are extremely knowledgeable about almost all the artifacts there, from the helmets to the paintings.
Although small, the museum is a great place to learn something new. Although the museum is located in the industrial headquarters of a private company, Phenix is not promoted by it. Instead, the museum represents the passion of the museum staff, who really enjoy teaching others about the history of firefighting.
The 18th-century fireman’s helmets worn by Europeans are some of the museum’s most fascinating artifacts.
Carefully examine each shelf and exhibit in detail. The museum is filled with fascinating artifacts from the past as well as informative signage detailing each piece of antique firefighting equipment.
Visit the Van Buren Drive-In Theatre
What are the best free things to do in riverside California Consider spending a quiet evening in your car at the Van Buren Drive-In Theater after you’ve enjoyed your hiking, boating, and outdoor experiences?
Summer, when production companies release all the high-budget movies, is one of the best seasons to go to theaters as it regularly welcomes new blockbusters to theaters.
It is one of the best free things to do in riverside California, with kids because admission is only $10 for adults and $1 for children, and that includes the cost of two movies.
You have to tune your car to the right station to hear the sound from the movie because it is broadcast on FM radio. Having a car with a good sound system is beneficial.
You can also bring a battery-powered radio if your car doesn’t have an FM receiver to listen to movies. While it doesn’t sound like much, you’ll still have a good time. All the typical snacks from the movie, including popcorn, candies, and nachos, are available at the cinema’s snack bar.
One of the distinctive aspects of the theater is that customers are allowed to bring their own snacks, which is not usually allowed in regular theatres. The theater is always open and will not normally close unless it rains heavily!
Wander Through California Citrus State Historic Park
While you might assume that Orange County produces all of the oranges in Southern California, Riverside actually claims to be the state’s largest producer of citrus.
However, the citrus trees and groves that helped shape Riverside decades ago have declined due to the tremendous change and development Riverside has undergone over the past 50 years.
The 300-acre California Citrus State Historic Park helps convey the story of the citrus business and how it shaped the development of the region, serving as an important reminder of its historic beginnings. by Riverside. You should spend at least a few hours exploring this open-air park and museum.
This open-air museum’s visitor center is free to enter and parking costs just $5 per vehicle. You can take a guided tour of the park to discover more about horticulture, citrus orchards, and the history of the citrus business.
You shouldn’t miss visiting California Citrus State Historic Park if you’re interested in free things to do in riverside California. Buy tickets before visiting the park to ensure a spot if you want to visit.
Visit the March Field Air Museum
Opened since 1979. This museum is definitely worth a visit if you have someone with a similar interest in flying or aeronautics.
This top California museum is one of the top tourist attractions in Riverside, California not only because it’s filled with amazing, rare planes, but also because the museum’s staff and guides The museum is provided with complete information about the aircraft and their history.
Because the runway is close to the museum, you can occasionally see F-35 Lightning II fighter jets flying nearby.
The museum isn’t too big so it doesn’t take long to explore the free things to do in riverside California, but it’s packed with information, making it a great history lesson for military history enthusiasts. and anyone who wants to learn more about US aviation history.
A Boeing B-29A Superfortress, a Lockheed SR-71A Blackbird and an Aero Commander U-9A are among more than 80 aircraft on display outside the museum.
Visitors to the museum can see a model of the Wright Flyer and part of the Boeing B-47 cockpit used as props in the 1955 Jimmy Stewart movie “Strategic Air Command”.
If you’re a veteran or traveling with a veteran who might be interested in visiting the museum, check the museum’s calendar as they occasionally offer free admission to veterans.