100 Things to do in Riverside, CA Before You Die
Welcome to Riverside! I wrote this book to celebrate and share what makes Riverside an Inland SoCal destination for the millions traveling through the city and across California each year.
Riverside is a city founded by abolitionists, teetotalers, and other advocates of social justice. Their ambitious hopes for humanity created a place that was forward-thinking, artistic, technologically progressive, and different from the status quo. What I put together here was designed to illustrate the achievement of that vision. Driving it is an economy that came into its own by creating and sustaining a citrus industry with the navel orange as its cornerstone. The selections here are designed to give you a slice (look, I could have gone pun-heavy with “a-peeling slice”) of that history, plus plenty of new stuff. Many of the festivals, galleries, bars, and parks highlighted inside have been staples of the entertainment landscape for decades. Which means your time spent experiencing those will be a wise investment of your energy. On the newish front, places like the Curiosity Shop – part maze, part word puzzle, all fun – have not made it to nearby communities, yet. In Riverside, we love our open spaces and our military. It shaped the community, which is why you should stop at the Riverside National Cemetery to experience the memorials or attend the 4th of July Concert for Heroes. It’s why we have the largest urban open space set inside city limits west of the Mississippi at Sycamore Canyon. It’s why we have a vast, protected greenbelt (Victoria Avenue) that hosts food, drivers, and tens of thousands of outdoor enthusiasts each year. It’s why we hold an annual Military Picnic that brings in nearly as many volunteers as it does service members! Finally, I wanted to provide you with options that would not only help you experience the place that is Riverside, but the people as well. If you get lost, ask anyone for directions (and a lunch tip of your own). Take that cup of coffee to the patio and ask an artist, “What’s new around here?” Chat up the band and discover that hush-hush after-hours spot. Sit at the community table whenever possible…that’s my #1 Tip.
About Larry Burns (Inland Empire, California Author)
Larry Burns is a writer, artist, and teacher who draws inspiration and ideas from the heady mixture of sights, sounds, peoples, and places of his hometown, Riverside CA. A SoCal native, Larry enjoys writing that employs simple themes and language, allowing the reader to participate by establishing for themselves what the writing means. Living and creating from this part of the world has it’s pros and cons - “As a lifelong resident of the Inland Empire, sometimes my lungs seize from the diesel fumes and my eyes tell me there are no mountains to the north. But beneath the dirt lies treasure. And that treasure is mine, mine all mine!”
For over two decades, Larry Burns has been an active community leader, booster, and all around fan of the recreation and art hidden across the (82-square mile) small town he calls home. He holds leadership positions with the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce, and was a founding member of the Inlandia Institute, a non-profit publishing house. He teaches writing and humanities courses as an adjunct professor at Riverside City College and University of Phoenix. Most days you can find him in Riverside CA, chasing his daughter along Main Street or keeping her on the trail up Mt. Rubidoux.