Top Attractions for First-Time Visitors

Historic Landmarks

History buffs will delight in Riverside’s well-preserved historic buildings and neighborhoods. Be sure to tour the famous Mission Inn Hotel, listed on the National Register of Historic Places and renowned for its Spanish Colonial Revival architecture. Also walk through Riverside’s mile-long, palm tree-lined Victoria Avenue to admire stately Victorian and Craftsman homes dating back to the late 1800s.


Expand your knowledge at one of Riverside’s fine museums. The Riverside Metropolitan Museum showcases art, history, and culture through diverse exhibits and programs. The March Field Air Museum appeals to aviation enthusiasts with its massive collection of historic aircraft. Kids and adults alike will enjoy the interactive exhibits at the Riverside Children’s Discovery Center.

Outdoor Activities

With over 50 public parks, Riverside is a recreational paradise. Hike scenic trails through the Box Springs Mountain Reserve, or meander through the lovely Japanese Garden at Fairmount Park. Cool off with a swim at Fairmount Park’s Olympic-sized pool, or rent a paddleboat for cruising around Lake Evans.

Farmers Markets

Sample the region’s bounty at Riverside’s weekly farmers markets. The Downtown Riverside Farmers’ Market, open every Saturday, features farm-fresh produce, artisanal foods, and live music. For an authentic Mexican mercado experience, visit the Casa Blanca International Marketplace on Fridays and Sundays.

Arts and Culture

Discover Riverside’s vibrant arts scene at venues like the Riverside Art Museum, Riverside Community Players theater, and Landis Performing Arts Center. Festivals like the Festival of Lights switch-on event and the Long Night of Arts & Innovation celebrate community talent and creativity.

Family Fun

Entertain kids of all ages at destinations like Castle Park (with mini-golf and arcade games), Riverside Sports Center (with ice skating and laser tag), and Skate Express (boasting SoCal’s largest indoor skatepark). Older kids will also get a kick out of hiking Mount Rubidoux or riding the antique carousel at Fairmount Park.


Riverside offers plenty of retail therapy for shopaholics. Browse high-end boutiques along trendy University Avenue, or grab discounted deals at Inland Center mall’s major department stores. The open-air Riverside Plaza has specialty shops and eateries in an ideal downtown setting. Antique lovers should head straight to Brockton Arcade, packed with vendors selling rare collectibles and vintage goods.


When the sun goes down, Riverside heats up. Sip craft cocktails at retro-chic hangouts like The Salted Pig and Prohibition. Catch laughs at the Comedy Club, live music at Romano’s Concert Lounge, or indie films at the Fox Theater. For clubbing, thump to DJ beats at Back To The Grind or heat up the dance floor at Tropics Sports Bar & Grill.


Treat yourself to pampering at Riverside’s renowned spas. Restore your glow with custom facials at Face & Body Emporium Day Spa, or ease muscle tension with therapeutic massages at Glen Ivy Hot Springs Spa. The iconic Mission Inn Spa channels the hotel’s Spanish-Moorish elegance through luxe experiences like couples’ caviar facials.

Golf Courses

Swing into vacation mode on Riverside’s spectacular golf courses. Test your skills at the challenging par-72, 18-hole layout of the city-owned Fairmont Park Golf Course. Or play a quick nine holes at scenic Andulka Park Golf Course, located right along the Santa Ana River.


Riverside lies at the heart of Southern California’s emerging wine region. Sip award-winning vintages like Syrah and Tempranillo at Oak Mountain Winery, set amidst scenic hillside vineyards. Sample Portuguese-style wines at Galleano Winery, a family-owned vineyard and tasting room in Mira Loma. Many wineries offer tours and food pairings.

Culinary Scene

Foodies flock to Riverside to explore its diverse dining scene. For Mexican flavors, try family-owned Molcajetes Restaurant or Ricardo’s Place. VIP Restaurant dishes out Southern soul food like fried catfish, oxtails, and mac ‘n’ cheese. At Build Sandwiches, pair custom-crafted sandwiches with craft beers on tap. And don’t miss beloved institutions like Sweet Lucy’s Smokehouse and Mario’s Place.

Nature Parks

Immerse yourself in Riverside’s natural beauty by exploring its nature parks and gardens. Stroll through the Sherman Indian Museum Gardens, featuring Native plant species and a serene pond. Wander the fragrant rose garden at Riverside Municipal Rose Garden, displaying over 200 rose varieties. Or observe wildlife along the self-guided trail at Martha McLean Anza-Narrows Park.

Getting Around Town


Having your own set of wheels makes it easy getting around Riverside and taking day trips outside the city. Drive times are generally manageable, but beware of rush hour traffic on major arteries like the 91, 215, and 60 Freeways. Street parking in downtown areas has a two-hour limit without a permit.


Riverside is very bikeable thanks to its flat terrain and expanding network of bike lanes and trails. Many neighborhoods feature dedicated bike lanes, while scenic routes like the Santa Ana River Trail cater to recreational riders. The city also has a bike share program with stations around downtown and UCR.


Riverside’s Metrolink station serves Amtrak and Metrolink trains, providing easy access around SoCal. The Inland Empire-Orange County line connects Riverside to Oceanside, while the 91/Perris Valley line reaches LA’s Union Station. Fares vary by destination, and trains generally run on weekdays.

How to Get Around Riverside

Public Transportation

Riverside’s public bus system, Riverside Transit Agency, offers an affordable way to travel around the city and surrounding areas. The agency operates 30 fixed routes with stops at popular attractions. Route maps and schedules are available online.

Taxis and Rideshares

Taxis and rideshares like Uber and Lyft offer easy on-demand transportation in Riverside. Average fares are reasonable, though prices can spike during peak hours. Be sure to download the apps and set up accounts ahead of time. Also note that wait times are usually shortest in the city center.

Charter Buses

For group travel or special events, consider a charter bus rental. Charter buses allow large groups to stay together while a professional team navigates to destinations. Riverside Party Bus Company offers luxury charter buses equipped with amenities like WiFi and entertainment systems. Contact us at 951-425-4851 for a group quote.

Start Planning Your Trip!

Now that you know about the top things to do, getting around, and hidden gems in Riverside, it’s time to start planning your Southern California getaway! Contact Riverside Party Bus Company at 951-425-4851 to bookgroup transportationfor your upcoming travels. We can’t wait to show you the time of your life in Riverside!