The quaint city of Rancho Cucamonga sits at the base of the magnificent San Gabriel Mountains in California.
The area is close to the downtown district of Los Angeles, so with that in mind you can easily visit this city for a day trip, or spend a little longer if you prefer.
Rancho Cucamonga was first inhabited by Native American settlers before a land grant was given to Mexico and then to John Rains, an American who is credited as being the founder of the modern city.
You can learn more about the history of Rancho Cucamonga at the John Rains House that still stands proud to this day.
As this was a strategic location on the Santa Fe Railroad, the city flourished, but despite its modern touches the site is still known for its beautiful scenery.
To that end, this area is perfect for nature lovers, and there are a range of parks to explore as well as a plethora of hiking trails.
Many of these end with scenic views across this majestic part of the United States, and there are also several beautiful waterfalls in Rancho Cucamonga.
In the evenings, you also won’t be bored, as there is a great sense of nightlife here that includes breweries and wineries, as well as live music venues, eateries, and malls.
Lets explore the best things to do in Rancho Cucamonga:
1. Pacific Electric Inland Empire Trail
The Pacific Electric Inland Empire Trail is the place to come if you want to enjoy over 21 miles of scenic countryside that stretches from Claremont to Rialto.
There are a selection of ways that you can enjoy the trail from Rancho Cucamonga, and you can either hike, bike, or even ride a horse here.
No motorized vehicles are allowed on the trail, so you can take in the serenity and tranquility of the area without being disturbed, and nature lovers can enjoy some of the best flora and fauna in all of California.
2. John Rains House
The John Rains House is one of the most historical sites in Rancho Cucamonga and was central to the story of how this city evolved.
Situated on leafy Vineyard Avenue, the house was built in 1861 and was owned by John Rains who bought the original land from Rancho Cucamonga.
The house is now on the National Register of Historic Places and you can visit to get an idea of how people would have lived in this district in the 1800s.
There are tours available with friendly docents who will fill you in on everything you need to know about the house and its period memorabilia.
3. Victoria Gardens
Victoria Gardens is actually the name of one of the most famous malls in Rancho Cucamonga and also one of the best loved in the local area.
The mall has a plethora of activities and has both outdoor and indoor sections, so you can come here rain or shine.
There is a main street design here that lets you browse in a range of shops at your leisure, and there is also a food court if you want to stop for a quick bite.
If you are traveling with children then they won’t be bored here as there is a large carousel as well as a train that takes children around the mall.
4. Sapphire Falls
If you want to go hiking in Rancho Cucamonga then look no further than Sapphire Falls where, as the name suggests, you will find gorgeous blue waters and foaming waterfalls.
You will need to trek here from Cucamonga Canyon, and this is known for being one of the most scenic hikes in the area that takes you past majestic gullies and ravines before reaching the dazzling waterfall.
5. Bass Pro Shops
Bass Pro Shops in Rancho Cucamonga is known as the place to come if you love all things angling, and you will find 180,000 square feet of fishing, boating, and camping related equipment and attractions here.
If you want to go hiking or camping in the local area, then you can buy all the gear that you need and you will also find over 3,500 antiques and collectibles on show.
There are 400 trophy fish on display and the real jewel in the crown is an 8,000 gallon fresh water aquarium where you will find catfish, striper, and blue gill.
You can have a go at fishing for trout at the shop, or there is also a shooting range if you want to practice your aim.
6. Farmers’ Market
The Farmers’ Market at Terra Vista Town Center in Ranch Cucamonga operates every Saturday morning, so if you are in town then make sure not to miss out on this amazing attraction.
All the produce sold here comes from local growers, so you will be getting the freshest bites and ingredients, such as fruit and vegetables or products like homemade pies and arts and crafts.
7. Central Park
Central Park spans an amazing 103 acres and was dedicated in 2005 in the city of Rancho Cucamonga.
Despite being relatively new, the park is one of the best loved green spots in the city and has a wealth of walking trails and grassy areas for visitors to enjoy.
There are also playgrounds here as well as other attractions like convention centers and recreational areas.
8. Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
The Rancho Cucamonga Quakes are a minor league baseball team in the city and are an affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Quakes play at LoanMart Field in Rancho Cucamonga and if you want to take in an All-American baseball game then you need to come here to catch them in action.
As you would expect, you can try a range of typical baseball snacks here at the same time, and this is one experience not to be missed if you are in town.
Make sure that you check the local listings to see when the Quakes are playing next.
Septembers actually started life in Italy before finding a new home all the way in Rancho Cucamonga in the United States.
This bar was set up by two friends, and the spirit of this low key operation is as a place to come to enjoy some delicious beers and good food.
Septembers also operates as a brewery and you can tour the tap room here and find out how the beers are made, before proceeding on to a tasting session.
Here you will find a range of local beers that are famous across all of Inland Empire.
10. 24 Hour Fitness
If you want to get in a workout when you are in town then look no further than 24 Hour Fitness.
As the name suggests, this gym is open 24 hours a day, so whatever your schedule you will be able to get in a workout.
As well as a fully equipped gym here there is also a lap pool if you want to do some swimming as well as a children’s pool that is perfect for younger guests.
11. Terra Vista Town Center
Terra Vista Town Center is the place to come in Rancho Cucamonga if you are looking for some food and retail therapy in the same place.
The town center operates as a kind of outdoor mall, and you can walk from shop to shop and take in the gorgeous California scenery at the same time.
The town center is lined with palm trees, and you can also grab a bite to eat here at one of the many local eateries that dot the landscape.
12. Etiwanda Falls
Etiwanda Falls is located on the North Etiwanda Preserve in Rancho Cucamonga and is often said to be one of the prettiest hikes in the region.
This trek is most suitable for beginner or intermediate hikers and takes about 30-40 minutes depending on how fast you walk.
Once at the falls, you will see why this is one of the prettiest trails in the area, as the views here are spectacular and you will be able to look out over wider Inland Empire.
The trail to the falls is just over 3 miles long, and many people choose to bring some food and picnic at the falls after the hike.
13. Sierra Lakes Golf Club
If you want to fit in a golf game and enjoy some of the best scenery around at the same time, then head for the Sierra Lakes Golf Club.
Opened in 2000, the club is well known in Inland Empire and has stunning views over the neighboring San Bernardino Mountains.
Many people come here just for the mountain vistas alone, but you can also enjoy a well designed golf course that is the perfect place to play a few holes.
You can use the course using a daily pass, which means that you don’t have to be a member to play here, and the green is known for suiting all levels of ability from beginner onwards.
14. Joseph Filippi Winery
The Joseph Filippi Winery is a fourth generation winery that is owned by the Filippi family.
They have been in operation for over 90 years, so you know that they know what they are talking about when it comes to wine.
The current Jospeh Filippi Winery has been in its location since 1994 and you can find a delicious range of blends here including port and syrah.
The winery features acres of gorgeous vineyards and you can take a tour of the winery and also visit their tasting room at the same time.
Here you will get to sample some of the bottles on offer and even take some of the wines home with you as a souvenir of your trip.
15. Lewis Family Playhouse
The Lewis Family Playhouse was founded in 2006 and has a capacity of over 500 spectators at one time meaning that this is a great place to come if you want to check out the arts scene in Rancho Cucamonga.
The space here spans an amazing 90,000 square feet and you can take in a range of shows including musical concerts, dance recitals, and theatrical pieces for both adults and children alike.