Nestled in the heart of the Inland Empire, Redlands, California, is a charming and picturesque city that often goes unnoticed amidst the hustle and bustle of Southern California. With its tree-lined streets, historic architecture, and a vibrant arts scene, Redlands offers a perfect blend of small-town charm and modern amenities. Whether you’re a local resident or a visitor passing through, here’s a guide to the must-see attractions and activities that Redlands has to offer.
1. Stroll Through Historic Downtown: Begin your journey by taking a leisurely stroll through Redlands’ historic downtown area. The streets are adorned with historic buildings, each telling a story of the city’s rich past. Explore boutique shops, art galleries, and antique stores that line the streets. Don’t forget to stop by the iconic A.K. Smiley Public Library, a historic treasure in itself.
2. Smudge Pot Stroll: For a unique experience, participate in the annual Smudge Pot Stroll, a self-guided walking tour that allows you to discover some of Redlands’ most charming neighborhoods. The event takes you through beautiful gardens, historic homes, and hidden architectural gems, providing insights into the city’s architectural diversity.
3. Kimberly Crest House and Gardens: Immerse yourself in the opulence of the early 20th century by visiting the Kimberly Crest House and Gardens. This historic mansion showcases stunning architecture and meticulously maintained gardens, making it an ideal spot for a leisurely afternoon visit.
4. Outdoor Adventures: Redlands is surrounded by natural beauty, offering various opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. Visit Prospect Park, located on a hill overlooking the city, for panoramic views of the area. Explore Oakmont Park for hiking trails and picnicking spots, or head to the Santa Ana River Trail for biking and walking.
5. Redlands Bowl Summer Music Festival: If you’re visiting during the summer, make sure to catch a performance at the Redlands Bowl Summer Music Festival. This free event features a variety of musical performances, from classical to contemporary, and provides a unique way to enjoy a summer evening in Redlands.
6. University of Redlands Campus: Take a stroll through the picturesque campus of the University of Redlands. The university’s stunning architecture and serene environment make it a peaceful spot for a walk or a moment of reflection.
7. Art and Culture: Redlands boasts a thriving arts and culture scene. Visit the Redlands Art Association to view works from local artists or attend art classes. Keep an eye out for public art installations scattered throughout the city that add a touch of creativity to everyday life.
8. Citrus History: Discover the city’s citrus heritage by visiting the San Bernardino County Museum’s Redlands Historical Museum. Learn about the region’s citrus industry, which played a significant role in the city’s growth.
9. Wine Tasting: Indulge in a wine-tasting experience at one of Redlands’ wineries. Sip on locally produced wines while enjoying the serene ambiance of the surrounding landscapes.
10. Foodie Delights: Redlands offers an array of dining options that cater to various tastes. From cozy cafes to upscale restaurants, you’ll find a diverse culinary scene that showcases fresh, locally sourced ingredients.
11. Lincoln Memorial Shrine: For history enthusiasts, the Lincoln Memorial Shrine is a must-visit. This museum is dedicated to Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War and offers a fascinating collection of artifacts, documents, and exhibits that provide insight into this critical period of American history.
12. Redlands Market Night: Experience the vibrant local community at Redlands Market Night, a weekly street fair that takes place on Thursday evenings. Explore the various stalls offering fresh produce, handmade crafts, live entertainment, and delicious street food.
13. Pharaoh’s Adventure Park: Perfect for families, Pharaoh’s Adventure Park offers a range of attractions, including go-karts, mini-golf, an arcade, and batting cages. It’s a fun-filled destination for a day of excitement and entertainment.
14. Historical Glass Museum: Delve into the world of glass art and history at the Historical Glass Museum. Discover an impressive collection of glass artifacts, from intricately crafted stained glass to delicate glassware that spans different eras.
15. Craft Breweries: Redlands has also joined the craft beer movement. Explore local breweries that offer a variety of unique and flavorful brews. Take a brewery tour, sample different beers, and enjoy the laid-back atmosphere.
16. Live Performances: Catch a live performance at the University of Redlands’ Frederick Loewe Performing Arts Center. From theatrical productions to music concerts, the center hosts a range of events that cater to different artistic tastes.
17. Meditation and Tranquility: Seek solace at the Redlands Meditation Garden, a serene oasis designed for reflection and relaxation. Surrounded by lush greenery and tranquil water features, it’s an ideal spot to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
18. Splash Kingdom Waterpark: Cool off during the hot summer months at the Splash Kingdom Waterpark. With water slides, wave pools, and lazy rivers, it’s a fantastic destination for families and thrill-seekers alike.
19. Historical Walking Tours: Expand your knowledge of Redlands’ history by joining one of the guided historical walking tours available. These tours provide fascinating insights into the city’s past, architecture, and notable landmarks.
20. Redlands Bowl Children’s Summer Music Festival: If you’re traveling with children, don’t miss the Redlands Bowl Children’s Summer Music Festival. This family-friendly event features interactive musical performances designed to engage and entertain young audiences.
21. Oak Glen Preserve: Just a short drive from Redlands, Oak Glen Preserve offers hiking trails, nature walks, and educational programs. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the surrounding wilderness and learn about the local flora and fauna.
22. Skydiving Adventures: For the ultimate adrenaline rush, consider experiencing skydiving over the stunning landscape of Redlands. Whether you’re a seasoned skydiver or trying it for the first time, the experience is sure to be unforgettable.
23. Redlands Art Walk: Art enthusiasts will appreciate the Redlands Art Walk, a self-guided tour that takes you through various art galleries, studios, and public art installations scattered around the city.
24. Biking Trails: If you’re a cycling enthusiast, explore Redlands’ biking trails that cater to riders of all skill levels. Whether you prefer leisurely rides or more challenging routes, the city’s scenic landscapes provide a perfect backdrop.
25. Historical Cemetery Tour: Discover the stories of Redlands’ past residents by joining a historical cemetery tour. Learn about the lives and contributions of those who have shaped the city’s history.
In conclusion, Redlands, California, might be a hidden gem, but it’s brimming with unique experiences and attractions. Whether you’re interested in history, art, nature, or simply relaxing in a charming setting, Redlands has something for everyone. So, the next time you find yourself in Southern California, make sure to venture beyond the well-trodden paths and explore the captivating city of Redlands.