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Exploring Riverside's Hidden Gems: Off-the-Beaten-Path Attractions

By Sarah Johnson, Posted on 15 Sep, 2023 at 10:28 am

Riverside's Hidden Gems

Riverside, California, is not just about its famous landmarks; it's also about the hidden gems that lie off the beaten path. While attractions like the Mission Inn and Mount Rubidoux are must-see destinations, this city has so much more to offer for those willing to explore a bit deeper.


1. Discover the Historic Heritage House

Nestled in the heart of Riverside, the Heritage House is a hidden gem that transports you back in time. This beautifully preserved Victorian mansion offers guided tours, allowing you to step into the past and experience life in the late 19th century.

  • Explore the elegant rooms filled with period furnishings and décor.
  • Learn about the fascinating history of the house and its former residents.
  • Enjoy the serene garden, perfect for a leisurely stroll or a picnic.


2. Wander Through the California Citrus State Historic Park

For a taste of Riverside's agricultural history, head to the California Citrus State Historic Park. This hidden gem celebrates the citrus industry that once thrived in the region. You can explore groves of citrus trees, visit the museum, and even sample some freshly squeezed orange juice.

  • Take a guided tour to learn about the citrus industry's role in Riverside's development.
  • Stroll through the fragrant orange groves and enjoy the scenic beauty.
  • Pack a picnic and enjoy a meal in the park's designated picnic areas.


3. Find Peace at the Meditation Garden

If you're seeking tranquility and spiritual reflection, the SRLA Vegetation Management Project, also known as the Meditation Garden, is a serene oasis hidden within the University of California, Riverside's Botanic Gardens. This peaceful escape is adorned with statues, walking paths, and lush greenery.

  • Practice meditation or yoga amidst the garden's serene surroundings.
  • Admire the beautiful sculptures and water features that enhance the ambiance.
  • Take a leisurely stroll and immerse yourself in the calming atmosphere.


Off-the-Beaten-Path Dining

Exploring Riverside's hidden gems extends to its culinary scene. While you're in town, don't miss the opportunity to savor some delightful dishes at local eateries that are tucked away from the main streets.


1. Riverside Food Lab

The Riverside Food Lab is a hidden culinary gem that brings together a diverse selection of gourmet food vendors under one roof. Located in the heart of downtown Riverside, this food hall offers something for every palate.

  • Sample a variety of cuisines, from Mexican street food to artisanal ice cream.
  • Enjoy a vibrant atmosphere with communal seating and live music.
  • Discover unique flavors and support local chefs and entrepreneurs.


2. Simple Simon's Bakery & Bistro

Simple Simon's Bakery & Bistro is a charming hidden gem known for its delectable baked goods and savory dishes. Tucked away in the historic Brockton Arcade, this quaint bistro offers a cozy dining experience.

  • Indulge in freshly baked pastries, cakes, and artisan bread.
  • Try their signature quiches, sandwiches, and salads for a satisfying meal.
  • Experience the warm hospitality and welcoming ambiance.


Exploring Riverside's Hidden Treasures

Riverside's hidden gems aren't limited to just attractions and dining. There are more unique experiences and places to uncover in this vibrant city.


1. Riverside Art Walk

Every first Thursday of the month, Riverside comes alive with creativity during the Riverside Art Walk. This event showcases local artists, galleries, and businesses, offering a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the local art scene.

  • Stroll through downtown Riverside and explore various art galleries.
  • Meet local artists, see their work, and even make a purchase to take home a piece of Riverside's artistry.
  • Experience live music, street performers, and a vibrant, artistic atmosphere.


2. Sip Local Wines at Canyon Crest Winery

For wine enthusiasts, Riverside has a hidden gem in the Canyon Crest Winery. This family-owned winery offers a relaxed and intimate setting where you can enjoy wine tastings and even create your own custom blend.

  • Taste a variety of locally crafted wines, from reds to whites.
  • Learn about the winemaking process and the art of blending.
  • Relax in the charming tasting room or on the outdoor patio with scenic views.



Riverside, CA, is a city with much more to offer than meets the eye. By exploring its hidden gems, you'll gain a deeper appreciation for its history, culture, and unique experiences. Whether you're into history, nature, or culinary delights, Riverside's off-the-beaten-path attractions have something special to offer every traveler.

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About Author

Sarah Johnson

Sarah produces creative and informative content based on her travel experience. She keeps her blogs up-to-date with the latest information. 

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