Fontana is nestled in San Bernardino County in sunny California and was founded in 1913, although it didn’t really start to develop until after the Second World War. The town boomed as a result of the steel mill that was built here by one of its founders, Henry J. Kaiser, and from there it grew into the regional center that it is today. If you come for a visit to Fontana now, you will find that it is covered in historical buildings such as period homes and theaters, but you will also find modern exciting touches like the Auto Club Speedway, which is most notable for sitting on the site of the original Kaiser Steel Mill where it all started.
This part of the United States is known for its beautiful scenery, and you will also find yourself in the shadow of the gorgeous Jurupa Mountains, but if you don’t want to venture outside of Fontana, then you will still find parks, nature centers, and scenic trails all over the city.
Lets explore the best things to do in Fontana:
1. Fiesta Park
Fiesta Park is known for being one of the best loved parks in the area and although it is small in size, there are plenty of attractions to keep visitors here busy.
At Fiesta Park, you will find fun for all the family as there are a range of playgrounds here with equipment suitable for children of different ages.
There are also benches all over the park so that you can enjoy an afternoon stroll to take in the beauty of the California scenery, and you can enjoy a picnic here at the same time.
2. Artist Showcase at City Hall
The Artist Showcase is a program that is run by the Fontana City Hall with the aim of introducing the local population to art in the area.
The program also aims to give budding local talent the chance to exhibit their works which are displayed at the City Council Chamber Foyer which sits inside the City Hall building.
Artists chosen to take part in the program have their works shown here for a period of three months, so if you are interested in the arts in this part of California then make sure to check out who is showing when you are in town.
3. Smoke Stack Trail
If you are feeling in the mood for some adventure when you are in Fontana then consider a trip to Smoke stack Trail where you will find dirt trails that lead into the mountains and desert areas that encircle this city.
The trails are known for being the place to come if you are looking for a peaceful and serene way to take in the natural beauty of this area, and they are usually quiet, especially on weekdays.
You can hike along the trails or there is also the option to bike here if you prefer.
4. Center Stage Theater
Center Stage Theater is one of the most famous buildings in Fontana and dates back to 1937 when it was built.
The building is designed in the Art Deco style and used to be a movie theater in days gone by before falling into disrepair.
Center Stage Theater was then lovingly restored from 2004 until 2008 when it reopened and is now known not only as a movie theater but also as a live performance theater which also features live dinner theater.
The theater also now hosts Tibbies Cabaret shows and guests can choose from a variety of delicious menus including appetizers, entrees, and deserts to enjoy while they take in the song and dance numbers, making this one of the most unique experiences to be had in Fontana.
5. Mount Jurupa
Mount Jurupa overlooks scenic Fontana, and if you are looking for a short trip then this makes a delightful day out.
There are hiking trails that lead to the peak of Mount Jurupa, and from here you will be able to take in the stunning vistas and observe Fontana from a completely different perspective.
If you love the great outdoors and want to do something active when you are in town then this is a great chance to embrace the natural beauty of California.
6. Steelworkers’ Auditorium
Steelworkers’ Auditorium is the place to come if you want to participate in the arts in Fontana.
The auditorium runs a number of different events and programs throughout the year and is dedicated to celebrating the arts in the Fontana region.
There are theater, acting, and music programs available here, as well as Performance Tuesdays when you can take in a show by the local community.
There are also other fun events like movie nights, talent shows, dance classes, and musical recitals, so make sure you check out what’s on when you are in town.
7. Fontana Park
Fontana Park opened in 2008 and is perhaps the best known and most visited park in this city.
The park is also the home of the Jesse Turner Health and Fitness Community Center and has a skate park and a dog park as well as a number of different playgrounds for children of different ages.
There are sports pavilions doted around the park as well as scenic trails where you can witness the pretty scenery of Fontana Park firsthand.
8. Auto Club Speedway
Auto Club Speedway is the place to come if you love racing and fancy a few laps trying to beat the clock or competing against friends and family.
The racetrack here is famous as the location of the Xfinity, IndyCar Series, and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
The track is located on the site of another famous landmark in Fontana, the Kaiser Steel Mill, and you can come here and choose from a selection of different packages that will all see you speeding around the track in no time.
If you don’t want to participate yourself, then you can always come here to watch a race instead.
9. Martin Tudor Hills Regional Park
Martin Tudor Hills Regional Park is a must-visit if you want to take part in a whole host of activities in one place.
If you want to relax and take in the flora and fauna of the region then there are grassy knolls and fields here as well as delightful picnic areas dotted around.
If you want to get active then there are volleyball courts where you can take in a game, and there are also playground areas so that younger visitors will also find plenty to do.
If you are really looking for a challenge, then there is also an incline trail situated here you can hike along for almost a full hour.
The trails allow you to get a full workout in while also enjoying the greenery of this part of Fontana.
10. Sluggerville Batting Cages
For a fun all-American activity look no further than the Sluggerville Batting Cages.
This batting cage facility in Fontana is equipped with both baseball and softball cages where you will get the chance to practice your batting skills, and if you get tired then there are also a range of other fun activities available for visitors.
These include old favorites such as air-hockey and foosball, and there are also arcade games on offer for those who want to keep playing.
11. Jessie Turner Health and Fitness Community Center
The Jessie Turner Heath and Fitness Community Center first opened in 2008 and sits in the middle of picturesque Fontana Park.
The community center is open to the general public and is known for its range of fitness activities such as inbuilt gyms where you can come if you fancy a workout.
There are also community programs here and classes held here that are dedicated to keeping Fontana residents fit, as well as special holiday events.
12. Fontana Park Aquatics Center
If you want to cool down in the Fontana heat, then head to the Fontana Park Aquatic Center where you will find a large swimming pool and splash park.
If you are travelling with children then you will find a children’s pool where little ones can swim safely, and the center is known for being one of the best loved spots in the city.
There are slides that provide a fun element to the proceedings, and the pools are heated in the winter months.
13. Art Depot
The Art Depot is a great location for those who want to take in the arts scene in Fontana as well as learning all about some of the historical background of this city.
The Art Depot is a community project dedicated to promoting the arts in this city, and is now housed in what used to be a former freight depot.
The depot belonged to the Pacific Electric Railway in 1915, so it is a historical and cultural relic in its own right.
Nowadays the Arts Depot that uses the depot has art class, studio sessions, and cultural events, so make sure to take in a class or see what is on when you are in town.
14. Coyote Canyon Park
If you like softball and want to catch a game, then the Coyote Canyon Park has it all.
The park is equipped with softball fields for both adults and children, and there are also playground areas here so that youngsters will be entertained.
As well as play areas, the park also has scenic paved walking trails so that you can stroll around and take in the local landscapes here.
If you are hungry, then there are also picnic areas, and barbecuing is a popular pastime thanks to the grill areas that can be hired here.
15. Mary Vagle Museum and Nature Center
To experience the great outdoors in Fontana, a visit to the Amy Vagle Museum and Nature Center is not to be missed.
The center sits at the base of Mount Jurupa and has a mission to educate visitors about the local environment.
There are reptile viewing areas as well as interactive displays and a range of wildlife related programs.
Trails cross all over the center and this is one of the best showcases of flora and fauna in the region.
Anyone interested in geology, history, and paleontology should definitely not miss the chance to visit.