Riverside is part of the Los Angeles metropolitan area, and it's a diverse city that's been steadily growing since its founding. The city was the starting point of California's booming citrus industry, though its once-dominant agricultural industry has since been overtaken by the large manufacturing sector.
The city is home to a number of unique landmarks, including the World's Largest Paper Cup and one of California's original navel orange trees. Another point of interest is the Mission Inn, a landmark hotel in downtown Riverside. It's the largest example of the Mission Revival architectural style in the country; it took nearly 30 years to build and it hosted many public figures.
Riverside offers a warm climate, scenic natural areas and a variety of family-friendly amenities, making it a popular choice for relocation.
The History of Riverside
John North founded Riverside
, intending it to be a colony to help further culture and education. After it was established in 1870, his unique idea attracted investors from Canada and England, and a number of affluent settlers moved to the area.
The first orange trees in Riverside were planted in 1871, and were the catalyst for California's booming citrus industry. Within a year, the state had over half a million citrus trees, with nearly half of these located in Riverside. By 1895, the city had an innovative irrigation system and refrigerated railroad cars, furthering its growing economy. Riverside bloomed into a prosperous destination for the country's rich and famous, with visitors including President William Howard Taft.
Things to Do in Riverside
Thanks to the year-round sun and warm weather in Riverside, many of the most popular activities in the city are focused on enjoying the great outdoors. The University of California-Riverside features a 40-acre botanical garden that draws many visitors. It offers four miles of walking trails where you can see many different unusual native plants.
If you're interested in learning more about the city's history, the California Citrus State Historic Park provides a peek at Riverside's early citrus industry beginnings. Or you can visit the Riverside Fox Theater, the site of the very first showing of "Gone With the Wind."
Riverside also hosts a number of festivals and special holiday events. One such event is the Riverside Dickens Festival, an annual celebration of literature that features educational workshops, lectures, children's plays and musical acts.
Here are a few of the neighborhoods you'll want to check out in Riverside:
Orangecrest is one of the newer communities in Riverside, and it's home to many young families who are attracted by the highly-rated schools and family-friendly amenities. Orange Terrace Community Park is a major recreational destination in Orangecrest and features a library, a community center and green spaces.
Magnolia Center was originally developed as a mix of family homes and orange groves, though it changed significantly when its population grew after World War II. However a nod to the community's agricultural roots still stands: the Parent Washington-Navel Orange Tree is the one surviving tree from which all of the West Coast's navel orange trees are descended.
Canyon Crest is home to one of Riverside's major protected natural preserves, Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park. This 1,500-acre preserve has over 25 miles of hiking trails, a nature-focused preschool and educational lectures.
The downtown area of Riverside is unique to other downtown districts in that a large portion is set aside for natural conversation. As a result, apartment buildings and offices are located very near natural areas like Fairmount Park and Lake Evans.
Schools in Riverside
Two main districts, the Riverside Unified School District and Alvord Unified School District, manage the public schools. In additional to traditional elementary, middle and high school schools, you can also enroll your child in the districts virtual or magnet schools. There are a number of private schools in Riverside as well, including both faith-based and secular institutions.
If you're planning to pursue higher education in Riverside, there are several colleges, universities and vocational schools in the area.
Resources for Moving to Riverside
Here are a few helpful resources to make your move to Riverside as easy as possible:
Utilities: Riverside Public Utilities is the central utilities provider of both water and power.
Garbage and Recycling: The city provides curbside collection of trash and recyclables, as well as options for bulky item pick-up.
Transportation: The Riverside Transit Agency manages several public transit options, including bus and commuter routes, in and around the city.
Although the median home price in Riverside is significantly higher than the national average, it's quite a bit lower than in other major cities in California. There are a variety of housing options to choose from, ranging from single-family homes to multi-family communities.