Riverside is a major city in California and the largest city in the Inland Empire with a population of nearly 300,000. But although Riverside struggles with big city problems like smog, urban sprawl and traffic, it still boasts enough leafy stems to keep its nickname: the city of trees. Victoria Avenue, which plunges through Riverside's middle, offers an example of the city's tree-oriented side, though you might have to look a little harder to locate the river which originally lent it a title.
Should you find yourself in town with time to seek out area sights, consider a short walk up Mount Rubidoux, equipped with a signed trail and informative historic plaques. The California Citrus State Historic Park preserves orange groves much as they were in the turn of the century and still producing. Downtown, the renovated Mission Inn Hotel & Spa is the city's star architectural attraction, a historic building that now houses restaurants, a spa and accommodations. Annually there is also a clutch of festivals to consider, including the Riverside International Film Festival in April and The Mission Inn Festival of Lights starting the day after Thanksgiving through the beginning of January.
Riverside is about 10 miles south of San Bernardino and 32 miles east of Orange County.