Beaumont, whose name means beautiful mountain in French, is situated between two spectacular mountain ranges amidst beautiful Californian countryside.
This narrow pass was used to feed the Southern Pacific Railroad through otherwise impenetrable mountains towards the Pacific Ocean. It was only in the ‘20s and ‘40s that it was transformed into the peaceful tourist spot that it is today.
Replete with leafy orchards and local ranches, this idyllic area is a lovely place to relax and take in some mountain scenery. Known throughout California for its Cherry Festival and local agricultural shows, make sure you gorge yourself on fruit while you’re here.
Here are the 14 best things to do in and around Beaumont, California.
1. Pick the Cherries at B & R Cherry Orchard
The Beaumont area is famous for its fruit. Hundreds of cherry trees line the orchards of Cherry Valley just north of the city. If you’re lucky enough to be in the area in June, Beaumont transforms for the local cherry festival which features rides, games and mountains of the sweet fruit.
If you’re here any other time though, you do not have to miss out. Head to the B & R Cherry Orchard where you can pick your own for a small fee. The cherries grown here are unusually sugary, perfect if you have a sweet tooth.
Relax in the farm’s lovely patio and picnic area when you’re done to enjoy your harvest.
2. Get a Beer at the Craft Lounge
Rows and rows of beer taps line the walls at this cosy drinking establishment in Beaumont. Come here for the live sports, as well as its relaxed atmosphere which makes this place one of the best bars in town.
Stocking both craft beers and fine ales from across California, in addition to many international brews, you’re sure to find something you’ll love. Their sour beers and fruity meads are particularly popular among the more adventurous patrons.
On the weekends, the Lounge serves as a hub for local events, so watch their calendar to hear live music, get involved in craft activities or simply try some extraordinary beers.
3. Play Some Golf at the Morongo Golf Club
Beaumont’s local golf course is situated in and amongst some stunning scenery in nearby Tukwet canyon.
This extensive 36-hole golfing park is world class, and it has two separate courses (the Champions and the Legends) to suit a range of ability levels. The Champions course here is challenging for even very experienced golfers, so watch out for the rough.
When your done putting, their enormous clubhouse stretches has a bustling atmosphere along with a great restaurant and bar.
4. Follow the Historic Trails at Wildwood Canyon State Park
Visit Wildwood Canyon State Park to discover spectacular views of the local mountain scenery. This area of grassland is known for its diverse scrub and wild oak trees, both of which serve as a great natural habitat for a range of small creatures.
Sitting at the foot of the San Bernardino Mountains, several species of endangered animals live here. Watch out for the astonishingly rare San Diego pocket mouse that hides in the scrub.
This area has lots of history too, and it was once traversed by the local Cahuilla Indians. Ask a local guide for more information, or explore the trails yourself to find a range of buildings left by the old ranchers here.
5. Watch Some Sports at the Sand Trap Sports Bar and Grill
This local watering hole offers 16 different screens so that you can watch just about any sport your heart desires. With a mellow vibe and lots to do, you can easily spend a whole afternoon here drinking, watching games, or playing pool.
With regular trivia nights as well as pool tournaments, there‘s lots going on at this local bar. The food here is tasty, all-American fare including burgers, pizzas, and mountains of fries.
Try their great range of local beers or one of their superb cocktails while you catch a game.
6. Visit the Edward-Dean Museum and Gardens
Five minutes north of Beaumont in Cherry Valley, this small museum showcases some beautiful artifacts from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. Masterful old oil paintings, tiny, lacquered boxes, and antique fine china are among the objects you’ll encounter at this gorgeous tribute to the decorative arts.
The onsite antique library stores magisterial old volumes on subjects ranging from botany to art history. Look out for one of George Washington’s handwritten ledgers, one of the library’s highlights.
When you’re done, step out back to walk the winding manicured garden whose lovely beds of bright flowers are accompanied by a scattering of sculptures.
7. Hike through Mount San Jacinto State Park
When you are in Beaumont it may be difficult to choose which mountain range to explore, but the nearby San Jacinto mountains are some of the most popular. They’re renound for their great height and stunning panoramas over the desert and the Joshua Tree National Park.
Approach via luxurious and extremely cool Palm Springs from the north – or hike one of the many trails from the south – to experience the towering pine forests that surround these mountains’ snow-capped peaks.
The hiking here is difficult, but you’ll be rewarded with epic views over California 10,000 feet up.
8. Visit the Giant Cabazon Dinosaurs
Just 15 minutes east of Beaumont is one of California’s oddest attractions.
The Cabazon Dinosaurs are two enormous sculptures designed by the celebrated theme park artist Claude Bell.
Named Mr. T-Rex and Dinny the Dinosaur, these charming monsters are popular among passing tourists. You may recognize them from the wealth of film and television in which they have appeared.
Once used to promote the nearby diner, a group of local evangelicals set up a creationist museum inside the Brontosaurus. Whether you’re a believer or just find creationist beliefs to be an interesting and bizarre curiosity, this is one of the quirkier ways to kill a day in the Beaumont area.
9. Visit the Malki Museum in Banning
One of the first museums in America founded by Native Americans, this little museum just east of Beaumont in nearby Banning is stacked with history and interesting items created by America’s indigenous people. Come here for a class if you’d like to learn more about how the indigenous people once lived off the land.
In addition to the great museum displays, their incredible garden is an ethnobotanical masterpiece designed to teach the public how local plants and herbs can be used to heal the sick.
Their important library has many great books on Native American cultural history, and their rare artifacts are extremely valuable to those who care about America’s past.
10. Shop for Treats at Dowling Fruit Orchard
This legendary fruit shop is the ideal place to pick up fresh produce or snacks and treats sourced from the lush agricultural country that surrounds Beaumont.
Taste their unusual preserves like Peach jalapeno jam, or pick up some of the area’s famous cherries. Their crystalised and dried fruit selection make some great healthy alternatives to chocolatey snacks. They’ll even make a gift basket up for you if you looking for a souvenir for friends and family.
In addition, you’ll find plenty in the way of nuts and candies here too if you prefer the unhealthy option.
11. Visit the Gilman Ranch
Beaumont and the surrounding area was once filled with local ranches, first for farming and later for leisure activities.
Gilman Ranch in Banning just east of Beaumont is one of the few ranches that still operates both as a working ranch and a museum.
The owners of this museum have a brilliant collection of antique wagons as well as many other farming implements and paraphernalia from the 18th and 19th centuries.
The best thing about this museum is its range of regular shows and displays which include demonstrations at the old blacksmith shop and extremely entertaining shootouts, wild west style.
12. Make a Day Trip to the Whitewater Wilderness Preserve
Thousands of acres of wilderness – including craggy canyons, towering forests, sandy desert, and churning white waters – make up this pristine wildlife preserve wedged between the San Jacinto and San Bernardino mountains.
The famous aquamarine pools here are surrounded by sandy white desert, and they make an extremely beautiful spot to watch the world go by.
Pitch a tent or head to one of the park’s great picnic spots or wildlife-watching zones to really immerse yourself in nature.
13. Play Some Pinball at the Banning Pinball Museum
Just east of Beaumont on the edge of Banning, the Haunted Arcade and Pinball Museum displays the history of this classic arcade game. A surreal, 1,400 pinball machines line the walls here, and they vary from old retro models to more modern constructions.
True pinball wizards make the trip here to play in national tournaments and special one-off events, but amateurs are free to try the machines as well.
The games here are free to play, no quarters required.