Map of Riverside California Area | What is Riverside Known for?

Evening view of downtown Riverside, California, skyline
Evening view of downtown Riverside, California, skyline

Map of Riverside California Area







Located sixty miles away from Los Angeles, Riverside is a city that takes its name from the nearby Santa Ana River. Although not as famous as San Francisco, San Jose, or L.A., Riverside is still a city with a lot going for it and one definitely worth visiting if you’re in Southern California. 

Where is Riverside Located on the US Map?

Riverside is located in Southern California and is less than an hours’ drive from Central Los Angeles. Due to its location, Riverside boasts a Mediterranean climate with warm temperatures and plenty of sunshine. Due to its proximity to the flowing Santa Ana River, the city is subject to cool, refreshing breezes that help temper the heat. This is especially welcomed in the summer months, where temperatures regularly exceed 90 degrees. 

Riverside is also part of the Inland Empire metropolitan area, which also includes San Bernardino and Ontario. To find Riverside on a map of California, remember that is located adjacent to Los Angeles

How Big is Riverside in Terms of Size and Population?

Riverside is home to over 326,000 people and covers an area of 81.4 square miles. Although substantially smaller than other Californian cities, Riverside is still a thriving and diverse metropolis that boasts plenty of attractions. 

The city is the twelfth-largest in California in terms of population and is the most populated city within the Inland Empire.

Is Riverside a Good Place to Live?

Declaring Riverside as a good or bad place to live completely depends on what you want out of a city. Whilst it can’t compare with Los Angeles in terms of worldwide fame or population density, Riverside is still a city with plenty of charm and character.

Perhaps Riverside’s primary draw is its famous agricultural industry. The city was built off the navel orange trade and the state’s first-ever navel orange tree can still be found here. This has resulted in Riverside becoming somewhat of a hub for local produce and mouthwatering fresh fruit. 

Pro – There Are Lots of Historical Attractions in Riverside

There’s a host of other historical sites in Riverside, too. The Jensen- Alvarado Historic Ranch and Museum is a wonderful place to immerse yourself in 19th-century life and you can even try your hand at making handmade tortillas and brewing coffee the old-fashioned way.

Indeed, Riverside boasts a lot of attractions that will appeal to a history buff and has many other family-friendly tourist destinations that aren’t overly expensive or busy. Sites like the Trujillo Adobe and the Mission Inn Museum are other fascinating destinations that you can visit, providing an insight into the lives of California’s early inhibitors. 

Pro – Riverside Boasts a Strong Music Scene and Nightlife

If you think Riverside is full of museums and suburban tranquility, then think again. The city has a rich musical history and is chock-full of bars, clubs, and restaurants. 

Being the home of a major university, Riverside has a young and active population. That, combined with its great weather, makes it an ideal location for those seeking a vibrant, exciting alternative to other major cities in California.

Pro – Riverside is Very Affordable

California may be the country’s most expensive state to live in, but Riverside is somewhat of an exception to that fact. Even a moderately large house in San Francisco or Los Angeles can cost millions, whereas Riverside’s cost of living is substantially more affordable – and it’s only 50 minutes away from L.A.!

Con – The Air Quality in Riverside is Less Than Ideal 

Although this could be said for many places in California, it remains true that Riverside’s air quality is pretty poor. With the smog of Los Angeles only sixty miles away, Riverside is caught in the crossfire of its overcrowded, unhygienic neighbor.

Riverside’s traffic doesn’t help, either. With so many of its residents working and commuting to L.A. every morning, it’s not uncommon to see traffic queues stretching for miles on end. If you’re really concerned about air quality, then Riverside may not be the city for you.

Con – The Job Market in Riverside is Hardly Thriving

Living in Riverside may be much cheaper, but it’s a city with limited opportunity. In fact, the city’s employment rate is almost on par with Detroit (9%). The big tech companies of the state’s major cities have created a hegemony, leaving smaller cities with less opportunity and businesses. 

What Are the Best Areas to Live in Riverside?

Riverside is a diverse, multi-faceted city with plenty of neighborhoods to suit every need.

Downtown Riverside

Those who appreciate food, history, and education will feel right at home in Downtown Riverside. With affordable housing prices and over a dozen historical landmarks, Downtown is one of Riverside’s true gems.

Canyon Crest

Featuring modern homes, palm trees, and stunning panoramic views, Canyon Crest is quintessentially Californian. Though it may be a little more expensive than Central Riverside or even Downtown, the area is great for up-and-coming families and seasoned professionals. 

The average family home in Canyon Crest will cost you around $500,000, but you’ll soon see why this area is so sought-after.

What is Riverside Known For?

Like all Californian cities, Riverside is well-known for its great weather and rolling, picturesque hills. 

However, unique to Riverside is its rich history in the citrus trade. In fact, a whole empire was constructed around the fruit, and California has become synonymous with oranges due to Riverside’s exploits. 

People from all over the country flocked to the City hoping to partake in the boom of the navel orange. Farmers became wealthy and traders built empires off the back of this zesty fruit, and the historical landmarks in Riverside all share a connection to the orange boom.

The University of California, Riverside, is a world-famous university that students from all over the world dream of studying at. The establishment has a long history of pioneering pest control research and boasts a successful women’s basketball team. 

Overall, Riverside is a city that is definitely worth visiting and offers a refreshing change from the overcrowded, expensive cities that neighbor it. 

See Also


What is Riverside, California Known for?

What makes Riverside special?

Hi and welcome to my travel blog! Based in London, I work in investment banking in a quantitative field and although I am not part of the travel industry, I have a ton of passion for travel. My blog is a reference guide for my fellow travelers with the same passion as me. Hopefully the blog is easy to navigate and my aim is to bring the most relevant and interesting information before you begin your journey!