Moving to Riverside

Bound by the allure of golden sunshine and a laid-back lifestyle? Then pack your bags for Riverside, CA, the crown jewel of the Inland Empire! Boasting historical richness, a thriving arts scene, an unbeatable terrain for outdoor enthusiasts, and a culinary trip around the globe, Riverside is far more than just an escape from the big city hustle. This comprehensive relocation guide strives to ease your transition by shedding light on the multifaceted charm that Riverside encapsulates. So sit back and delight in the journey of crafting your exciting new chapter--moving to Riverside!

Moving to Riverside, CA landscape image

What to Know Before Moving to Riverside

1. Welcome to the City of Arts & Innovation

Perhaps the first thing to know about Riverside, CA is that it's not just another run-of-the-mill city. Riverside prides itself on being dubbed the "City of Arts & Innovation." If you love culture, Riverside is a veritable cultural Mecca, boasting art galleries, museums, and a vibrant theater scene. The city also houses the University of California, Riverside, an institution known for its emphasis on research and innovation.

2. Appreciate the Unique Local Attractions

Before scooting off to LA or San Diego, hold your horses and take some time to explore Riverside's unique wonders. We have our very own Mission Inn, a marvel that's both a hotel and a museum and the world's largest paper cup (I'm serious), towering at 68.10 feet. Most people don't know these novelties until they become local residents!

3. Goodbye Winter Woes

Riverside weather is like a never-ending Netflix binge - comfortable, cozy, and pretty much predictable. It has a mild, Mediterranean-like climate with warm winters where snow sightings are as rare as a unicorn. But do pack your sunscreen - summer temperatures can hit the high notes!

4. Food and Wine scene - It's Lit, Figuratively and Literally

Did you know Riverside is the birthplace of California's citrus industry? Citrus State Historic Park will serve you this interesting slice of history. As a sweet bonus, the city also boasts some fabulous restaurants, bakeries, and cafes. And hey, we're not far from Temecula's vineyards. So, whip out your wine glasses!

5. Say Hello to a Healthier Lifestyle

Alright, this one's for the fitness junkies, the health-conscious, and everyone in between. Riverside is surrounded by nature's delight - riddled with hiking and biking trails, mountains for skiing, parks for picnicking, and lakes for fishing. You can get active outdoors while indulging in some fantastic views.

6. The Ghost Walk Riverside

Here comes the unique bit (or should I say... eerie?). The Ghost Walk Riverside is an annual event where locals and tourists alike participate in an enchanting walking tour of some of Riverside's oldest and most historic buildings. If you are enchanted by folklore, legends, and a bit of the supernatural, you wouldn't want to miss this. Keep your bat ears open for the empathetic whispers!

Admittedly, we've merely scratched the surface of what makes Riverside, CA such a delightful place to call home. From its distinctive cultural fabric to the sunny weather, tantalizing cuisine, and abundant recreational opportunities, this city offers a rich and vibrant lifestyle that's hard to beat.

So, whether you're an arts enthusiast, a history buff, a cuisine aficionado, or an adventure junkie, Riverside, CA is bound to tickle your fancy in ways you never thought possible. Pack your bags and open your hearts, because Riverside is ready to welcome you home!

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Pros and Cons of Living in Riverside

Pros of Living in Riverside

Affordable Cost of Living

Compared to many other cities in California, Riverside offers a more affordable cost of living. This is particularly noticeable when it comes to housing. While still higher than the national average, it's significantly lower than in cities like Los Angeles or San Francisco.

Proximity to Many Attractions

Riverside's location in Southern California means that it's conveniently close to many of the state's famous attractions. The beaches of Orange County, the amusements of Los Angeles, and the beauty of Joshua Tree National Park are all within a couple of hours' drive.

Cultural and Historical Richness

Riverside is home to several historical landmarks and offers a wealth of cultural experiences. This includes the Mission Inn Museum, the Riverside Art Museum, and the annual Dickens Festival, which celebrates the life and works of author Charles Dickens.

Educational Opportunities

The city houses several higher education institutions, including the University of California, Riverside. This offers residents the opportunity to pursue a variety of educational paths without having to travel far.

Outdoor Activities

With its mild weather and proximity to mountains, beaches, and desert, Riverside offers abundant opportunities for outdoor activities. Hiking, cycling, camping, and fishing are all popular pastimes amongst Riverside residents.

Cons of Living in Riverside

Air Quality

Riverside County often ranks among the worst in the nation for air pollution. This is due to a combination of factors such as smog from L.A. and high ozone levels, which can cause health issues for some residents.

High Crime Rates

Although Riverside has been working to reduce crime, some parts of the city still experience higher crime rates than the national average. Like any city, safer and less safe areas exist, so it's worth researching before moving.

Hot Summers

While Riverside enjoys a generally mild climate, summers can become very hot. If you're not fond of high temperatures, Riverside's summer heat, which can reach well into the 90s, might be a con for you.

Traffic and Commuting Difficulties

As in many Californian cities, traffic in Riverside can be a problem, particularly during rush hour. Commuting into nearby cities for work can also be time-consuming due to heavy freeway traffic.

Limited Nightlife Options

If you're a fan of a bustling nightlife scene, you may find the options in Riverside a bit limited. While the city does have some bars, nightclubs, and live music venues, it's not as vibrant or diverse as bigger cities like LA or San Diego.

Modern day picture of Riverside, CA highlighting pros and cons of living in Riverside, CA

Is Riverside a Good Place to Live?

Riverside, CA is a great place to live because of its scenic beauty, affordability, and vibrant arts scene. It also boasts a myriad of recreational opportunities with plenty of parks and trails and budding foodie culture showcasing local and international cuisines.


What Is Riverside Famous For?

The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa

One of Riverside's most beloved landmarks, The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa, known for its stunning Spanish mission-style architecture is truly a sight to behold. Brushing shoulders with presidents and celebrities since 1902, it offers a unique blend of historic grandeur and modern elegance. Don't forget to check out the annual Festival of Lights event during the holiday season!

UC Riverside Botanic Gardens

Home to a plethora of flora and fauna, the UC Riverside Botanic Gardens is a 40-acre living plant museum with more than 3,500 plant species. A serene retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city, it's perfect for hiking, bird watching, or simply relaxing amidst nature. It's also a fabulous venue for weddings and events!

Riverside's Famous Citrus Industry

Riverside is renowned for sparking the second "Gold Rush" of California with its thriving citrus industry. The city's rich history can be explored at the California Citrus State Historic Park, where you'll learn interesting facts about how citrus fruits shaped the state of California. Don't miss out on tasting the freshly-squeezed fruit juice!

Record-Breaking Raincross Bell

Riverside is home to the Raincross Bell, a symbol that is frequently associated with the city. The largest Raincross Bell, located atop Mount Rubidoux, holds the world record as the largest cast bronze bell ever made in the US. Keep an eye out for it when you explore Riverside's cultural corners!

Capital building of Riverside, CA in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

As of 2023, property tax in Riverside, CA is approximately 1.25%. This percentage, derived from the assessed property value, is below the national average of 1.3%.

Sales Tax

The sales tax in Riverside, California in 2023 is 8.75%. Compared to the US median sales tax rate of approximately 6.5%, Riverside's sales tax is relatively higher.

Income Tax

Riverside, CA residents are subjected to a state income tax, with rates ranging from 1% to 13.3% as of 2023. Even at its lowest bracket, it is amongst the highest state income taxes in the US, as many states have no income tax or rates below 1%.


Housing Market

The Riverside housing market, California, is competitive yet relatively affordable compared to other parts of the U.S. According to Zillow, the median home value in Riverside is approximately $473,600, notably less than the state median of $635,000 and lower than the national average. Rent costs average around $1,850 per month, around the state median. This real estate market sports a mix of residential properties, offering opportunities both for renters and buyers seeking diverse housing options. While prices are on the rise, steady population growth and strong economic indicators suggest a healthy, stable real estate market in Riverside.


Cost of Living

The cost of living in Riverside, CA is relatively lower than other Californian cities like Los Angeles or San Francisco. However, it remains higher than the national average. Housing costs largely drive these living expenses, followed by transportation. The costs for healthcare, utilities, and groceries are closer to the national average. Compared to other large cities nationwide, Riverside is more affordable. This balance may make Riverside an attractive choice for those wishing to enjoy the Californian lifestyle while also managing expenses practically.


Weather & Natural Disasters

Riverside, CA enjoys a semi-arid Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. Temperatures during summer can exceed 100degF, but the average hovers around the mid-90s. Winter temperatures are much milder, with averages in the 50s-60sdegF, but overnight lows can drop into the 40sdegF. Riverside generally experiences mild weather, but it is vulnerable to a few natural disasters. Flash floods often occur following heavy rainfall in the winter months. The city is also at risk for earthquake activity due to its location in the seismically active state of California. Wildfires, often a result of hot, dry conditions and Santa Ana winds, pose another significant risk. Despite these potential threats, Riverside's climate overall provides many sunny days perfect for enjoying California's outdoor beauty.

Typical weather in Riverside, CA

Economy & Job Market

Education, Training, and Library Occupations

Transportation and Material Moving Occupations

Office and Administrative Support Occupations

Sales and Related Occupations

Management Occupations

Riverside, CA truly has an economic banquet! This esteemed delight has a diverse economy that is deeply affected by its rich history, geographical location, and community resources. Historically, Riverside was a bustling hub for citrus fruit cultivation in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Today, the fruit of Riverside's economy has diversified into a myriad of industries. Say 'hello!' to sectors that offer jobs in education and training, transportation and material moving, office and administrative support, sales, and management. As home to four universities and numerous trade schools, education, and training hold a prestigious piece of the economic pie.

The job market in Riverside is like a treasure hunt - exhilarating and full of surprises! If you're planning to move and look for a job here, it's useful to know that Riverside boasts a lower unemployment rate than the national average. The best areas to look for jobs would be in education, healthcare, and government since these sectors are expanding gaily like balloons at a carnival. The city government is pro-business and has policies in place to attract new companies and encourage existing businesses. So gear up to dive into this economic treasure chest, and who knows, you might strike gold!


Traffic and Transportation

Oh, Riverside! A city teeming with a vibrancy that matches the rush of its roadways. On average, commuters spend about 31 minutes getting to work. Of course, if the 91 Freeway decides to throw a tantrum, pop an audiobook and embrace the journey! But let's not forget our beloved Riverside Transit Agency (RTA) buses gracing the city streets, ready to zip you across town for a very reasonable price. This vast public transit system includes over 36 routes to suit all your commuting needs. But wait, what's that bird in the sky? Why, it's a plane touching down at one of Riverside's two airports, Riverside Municipal Airport for domestic flights or the Ontario International Airport for jetsetters heading overseas. Whether by road, bus, or sky, Riverside is always on the move!

What is the traffic like in Riverside, CA?

Best Neighborhoods in Riverside

1. Downtown Riverside

As the heart of the city, Downtown Riverside offers an active nightlife, historic charm, and a strong community bond. You'll find everything from gastropubs to fine dining within walking distance around the Main Street Pedestrian Mall . The Mission Inn Museum and the Riverside Art Museum add a cultural touch, encouraging a lively arts and history scene. Let's not forget the Festival of the Lights, a magnificent holiday event that turns downtown into a winter wonderland. If you crave an urban vibe complete with galleries, music scenes, and charming architecture, Downtown Riverside is the neighborhood for you.

2. Wood Streets

Famous for its charming Craftsman style homes and historic appeal, Wood Streets offers the allure of a bygone era with the comfort of modern living. This palm-lined neighborhood is the perfect combination of quiet streets and tight-knit community spirit typical of suburban living. Brilliant gardens and well-kept homes invite long walks on a weekend afternoon. Moreover, it's downright neighborly - block parties, Halloween parades, and Christmas light competitions are common events here.

3. Arlington Heights

How about some beautiful sights, scents, and flavors of the country, smack-dab in the city? Welcome to Arlington Heights, fondly referred to as the 'Greenbelt'. This district is home to the Citrus State Historic Park and many active citrus groves. Living here means weekend picnics among orange trees and quick access to Farmers Markets with their fresh local produce. It's a picturesque, family-friendly neighborhood synonymous with an idyllic, rural lifestyle.

4. Canyon Crest

Perched south of town, Canyon Crest offers panoramic views of the city and the mountains beyond. This peaceful neighborhood is perfect for people who like a quiet, suburban backdrop, but still want convenience. There's Canyon Crest Towne Centre for all your shopping needs, popular hiking trails for your outdoor cravings, and the Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park for your nature-loving heart. Not to mention, it's just a short drive to the University of California, Riverside .

5. Orangecrest

Last, but certainly not least, welcome to Orangecrest - the newest addition to Riverside's neighborhoods. This suburban area, developed in the 1980s and 1990s, is popular among families for its top-rated schools, low crime rates, and well-maintained parks. Residents enjoy the annual Orangecrest Parade - bringing an excellent sense of local community spirit. With its modern homes, many green spaces, and safe, well-lit streets, Orangecrest offers suburban living at its best.

Choosing to make Riverside your home opens the door to experiencing California's unique combination of history, community spirit, nature, and vibrant city life. Whether you prefer an urban vibe, a rustic charm, a suburban retreat, or a bit of everything, these five neighborhoods boast of distinctive characters that can make your Riverside living dream come true, in their own unique ways. Have fun exploring and deciding, future Riversider !

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Things to Do

Lock up your station wagon and strap on your explorer's hat; Riverside, California, is brimming with must-see locales, exciting adventures, and hidden gems. This dynamic city nestled in the heart of the Inland Empire offers a blend of culture, nature, history, and an abundance of sunshine. Here are seven of the top things you should do in Riverside if you're a newbie to the city.

1. Savor Cultural Diversity at Riverside Art Walk

On the first Thursday of every month, downtown Riverside transforms into an open-air gallery for the Riverside Art Walk. Artists of all stripes display their creations, musicians fill the air with melodies, and food vendors offer a cornucopia of delicious fare. It's a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the city's vibrant arts scene and interact with its melting pot of residents.

2. Get Nosey with Nature at the UCR Botanic Gardens

When in Riverside, be sure to visit the University of California Riverside Botanic Gardens. Home to diverse flora and fauna spanning 40 acres, it's perfect for a leisurely walk, a picnic, or perhaps even sketching the enchantingly beautiful vegetation. Witness the fascinating variety of more than 3,500 plant species from around the globe!

3. Unearth History at the Mission Inn Museum

Step back in time at the historic Mission Inn Museum. This extraordinary landmark hotel is an architectural marvel with a rich past. Take a docent-led tour to learn about its fascinating history, or drop by for one of their incredible festivals, like the Festival of Lights during the holidays.

4. Behold Breathtaking Beauty at Mount Rubidoux Park

Rise bright and early to hike up Mount Rubidoux Park, a local favorite. At the summit, you're rewarded with panoramic views of the city and beyond. Don't forget to ring the Friendship Bell at the top for good measure - a Riverside tradition!

5. Marvel at Riverside's "Castle in a Citrus Grove"

The lesser-known Harada House, fondly referred to as Riverside's "Castle in a Citrus Grove," is a must-see. Recognized as a National Historic Landmark, the humble abode tells a moving saga of immigrant perseverance and civil rights. Peering into its century-old rooms will stir up valuable conversations about history and humanity.

6. Experience a Slice of Citrus History at the California Citrus State Historic Park

Get a taste of Riverside's fruity past at the California Citrus State Historic Park. Journey back to the era when "Citrus was King" in California and soak in the vintage charm. Don't miss the free samples of locally grown citrus fruits at the park's visitors center!

7. Dig into Local Legends at Ghost Walk Riverside

Reach beyond the typical touristy spectacles with a spooky, exhilarating walk around town at Ghost Walk Riverside. This annual event, steeped in local lore and Riverside's rich (and chilling) history, will spook and thrill you with its theatrical storytelling. Ghost Walk Riverside is certainly a unique way to get acquainted with the city.

In conclusion, Riverside's vibrant blend of culture, history, and natural beauty makes the city worth more than a casual visit. These seven experiences only scratch the surface of what Riverside has to offer. So, why wait? Dive deep into this dynamic city to discover your own Riverside adventures!

Things to do in Riverside, CA?

Find Movers for Your Riverside Relocation

Transitioning to your new life in Riverside shouldn't be stressful. While your Riverside adventure awaits, you may be facing the logistical challenge of the actual move. That's where Great Guys Moving comes in. By taking the hassle out of finding reputable and affordable movers, we streamline your moving process. All you need to do is submit some basic details about your move. We then link you to a selection of our thoroughly-vetted, licensed, and insured movers, enabling you to obtain quotes at your convenience. Your smooth move to Riverside starts here - request your free moving quote from Great Guys Moving today.

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