There's a Lot More Than Oranges to Riverside, CA

Real Estate Agent with Inland Empire Real Estate

Riversde ca

Located 57 miles east of Los Angeles, Riverside is named for its location next to the Santa Ana River. Known as the City of Arts and Innovation, Riverside, California is the largest city in one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the United States. It is the largest city in the Inland Empire,  61st most populous city in the country, and the 12th most populous city in California. In addition to being home to the University of California-Riverside, the city's attractions include the California Museum of Photography, the Fox Performing Arts Center, and the Parent Washington Navel Orange Tree (one of the two original navel orange trees in California). Though Riverside is famous for its contribution to the citrus industry, there is a lot more than oranges to Riverside

The History 

A vital part of what makes Riverside a special place to live is its abundance of historic resources, and the preservation of those resources. The city of Riverside was founded in 1870, by a group of utopian-minded explorers from the east coast led by John North, searching for the perfect spot to establish a colony dedicated to education and beauty. Riverside was built on land that was once a Spanish rancho.

Mission Inn, Riverside CAInvestors from England and Canada transplanted traditions and activities enthusiastically adopted by its prosperous citizens: the first golf course and polo field in southern California were built in Riverside. The first orange trees were planted in 1871, but the citrus industry in Riverside began in earnest two years later, when a local woman received two Brazilian navel orange trees sent to her by a friend at the Department of Agriculture in Washington. The trees thrived in the southern California climate, and the navel orange industry grew rapidly. By 1882, there were more than half a million citrus trees in California, almost half of which were in Riverside.


The Mission Inn, which is the largest Mission Revival Style building in the US, was built by expanding  what was originally the Glenwood Tavern. The Tavern was owned by Captain Christopher Columbus Miller, who moved to Riverside in 1874. His son, Frank, developed a lasting interest in culture and the arts, and took over the expansion of the Inn. Over the years, he embellished and expanded it into a unique and world-renowned resort. It has played host to numerous movie stars, musicians, and heads of state.

Riverside is associated with the Raincross symbol, which appears on the city flag and throughout RiveRiverside CA, raincrossrside in the form of architectural elements, street signs and lighting standards. The symbol was designed by Frank Miller of the Mission Inn, and architect Arthur Benton. The bell of the Raincross is inspired by the mass bell of Father Junipero Serra, founder of the California missions. The double-cross is said to be an ancient Native American symbol for the dragonfly which emerged each year after the summer rains.  

The Arts in Riverside

The arts are also central to Riverside's community culture, and downtown Riverside's concentration of unique, eclectic architecture and distinguished cultural institutions is renowned throughout California.

The Riverside Art Museum was designed by America's most successful woman architect, Julia Morgan, (best known for William Randolph Hearst's Castle in San Simeon). It was originally constructed for the YWCA on land donated by Frank Miller. Benedict Castle was built as a private residence by Henry Jekel, and is now occupied by Teen Challenge. Like many of Riverside's historic homes and neighborhoods, it is frequently used for filming by the nearby Hollywood entertainment industry.

Other integral pieces of Riverside's artistic culture include: a concert band which has a history of over 100 years of performing; the Riverside County Philharmonic; the Riverside Ballet Theater; Riverside Community College's Civic Light Opera; Riverside's Performing Arts Program; the Riverside Children's Theater, and the Riverside Community Players (the oldest continuously-active theater group in the US). 


Riverside has a static population of approximately 300,000 (an increase of 16.7% since the 2000 census), with an additional student population of over 40,000. Forty-nine percent of Riverside residents are Hispanic, 36% are white, 7% are black, and 5% are Asian.

riverside caThe estimated median household income in 2009 was $56,552. As of 2009, the top employers in Riverside were the University of California, the Riverside Unified School district, and the Kaiser Permanente health system. The median resident age in Riverside is 30 years, compared to 33 years in the state of California. 

Housing in Riverside largely single family homes with some multi-family dwellings, condos and townhouses in the mix.  The estimated median house or condominium value in 2009 was $254,000, and the mean price for all housing units was $293,267.  Currently, the median home value is $199,000, with an average list price is $247,071.  Over 75% of the homes currently for sale are in short sale or  bank owned.

There's a lot more ot Riverside than oranges, and it is a great place to live.  Hugo Balorezo is your Riverside Realtor® of choice, whether you interested in buying, or selling, a home in our community. Although the overall economy is slowly rebounding, Hugo specializes in handling short sale transactions. If you need assistance, Hugo can help you avoid foreclosure by smoothly maneuvering through the waters of the California short-sale process. 

Stacey Smith
Keller Williams Realty - Aliso Viejo, CA
Your Orange County Beach Cities Realtor

Riverside is a great city.. I love the Mission Inn at Christmas time.. Very beautiful and not to mention there is a great mexican restraunt there called Las Campanas which is quite delightful...

Jan 29, 2011 05:01 AM
Cynthia Larsen
Cotati, CA
Independent Broker In Sonoma County, CA

What a great blog about your City! I have to admit I've driven through Riverside, but didn't have the time to stop. Very pretty!

Jan 29, 2011 05:01 AM
Hugo Balarezo
Inland Empire Real Estate - Riverside, CA

Thanks for your comments. Riverside is a real gem in great area.  Ah. Las Campanas - that is ia good place.

Make sure to stop by & enjoy next time, Cynthia.

Jan 29, 2011 06:00 AM
Letitia Stevenson
BHHS Fox & Roach | - Greenville, DE
Listing Agent DE/PA/MD, Digital Marketer & Coach

Hugo, Thanks for Sharing & Welcome to the Rain! Active Rain is a great place to share your knowledge, expertise and thoughts, as well as network and learn so much from the vast pool of talent already onboard. If you would like to connect with me on ActiveRain, please subscribe to my blog!

Welcome Aboard and Much Success!

Jan 29, 2011 05:15 PM
Kristal Wilson
KB Home - Fontana, CA
Cause We Like 'Em New ~ New Home Specialist!

Hugo, beautiful description of Riverside. I love living & working here!

Jan 30, 2011 05:44 AM
Hugo Balarezo
Inland Empire Real Estate - Riverside, CA

Thanks for your comments. Letitia & Krystal. We live in a beautiful city that we are anxious to show off to the world.

Jan 30, 2011 09:59 AM
Sergio Rebollo Jr.
Real Estate TeamMates - Miami, FL

Welcome to ActiveRain. This is a great community to network with others as well a great place to learn from other's experiences and knowledge. I've enjoyed it; I hope you enjoy it as well.

Jan 31, 2011 03:52 PM
Hugo Balarezo
Inland Empire Real Estate - Riverside, CA

Thanks, Sergio. It's been great so far.

Feb 01, 2011 06:14 AM