Located in pretty San Bernardino County in California, the city of Rialto has a population of around 100,000 inhabitants, making it a small yet delightful place to take in some of the local culture.
The area both in and around Rialto is packed full of places of interest and, whatever your hobbies, there is something for everyone to enjoy here.
Choose from quirky attractions like a motel full of tee pees, or go for a stroll in one of the many green areas that surround Rialto.
There are museums to pique all interests as well as live music events and fun outdoor activities like visits to a local vineyard and a historical ranch.
The city of Rialto is said to date back to the year 1500, and you can learn all about its history with a trip to the Rialto Historical Society.
Certainly, if you are in California then San Bernardino County and Rialto are well worth a stop.
Let’s explore the best things to do in Rialto:
1. Ferguson Park
No trip to Rialto would be complete without a visit to Ferguson Park, one of the city’s premier green spaces.
Visitors to the park will find a football field and stadium as well as a fully equipped baseball field where, if you are lucky, you might just be able to catch a local game.
For younger visitors there is also a playground that offers hours of fun and if you get hungry there is a snack bar as well as some splendid picnic areas.
As if that wasn’t enough there is also a skate park on site.
2. Lincoln Memorial Shrine
Twenty-five minutes away from Rialto in Redlands lies the Lincoln Memorial Shrine, which is a museum in honor of Abraham Lincoln and the history of the America Civil War.
The building itself is something of an icon, having been built in 1932 in the shape of an octagon and has inscriptions with Lincoln’s speeches on the outer walls.
There are also picturesque fountains, seating areas and patios around the museum and this is definitely the place to come for those who want to know all about this amazing period in American history.
3. Hangar 24 Craft Brewery
Less than half an hour away in Redlands, Hangar 24 developed when the founder of this craft brewery would meet with his friends at an aircraft hanger after indulging his love of flying.
As part of the weekly ritual, they would celebrate by drinking some beer that had been freshly brewed by owner Ben Cook, and this love of aviation and beer led him to open Hanger 24. Nowadays the brewery is no longer housed in an actual aircraft hanger but you can still enjoy the fresh beer that is made with care on the premises and this is a great place to spend an afternoon with friends.
4. Frisbee Park
Known for being clean and well maintained, Frisbee Park is the perfect place for a few games of Frisbee.
The park also hosts Little League softball games so if you are in town during the season you might just catch an all-American match in progress.
There is also a separate softball field that is open for all visitors to use throughout the year and the grassy areas that run through the park are perfect for relaxing with friends or family, or simply taking in the local scenery.
5. Stewarts’ Vineyard
Wine lovers should head straight for Stewarts’ Vineyard which is located about an hour away from central Rialto, and is known for its Mediterranean red grapes.
All wines are made on the premises and you can enjoy a visit to the vineyard’s tasting room where you can sample the best vintages on offer.
Stewarts’ Vineyard is a family business and the vineyards were founded in 2000, with the winery opening in 2004. With over ten years in the wine making business, visitors here can enjoy the delicious local wines that are made by mixing cutting edge techniques with age-old fermentation processes to create something truly memorable.
6. Rialto Park
Rialto Park is known for being the central park in Rialto and also has a Little League Field attached to it that has a range of games throughout the baseball season.
The park also has lush grounds and leafy seating areas that are perfect for a mid-afternoon stroll, and there are several scenic picnic areas if you want to have lunch here.
For younger guests there are several playground areas and there is even an outside gym if you want to do some exercise when you visit the park.
7. Rialto Recreation
If you are in the Rialto area and you want to do some exercise then look no further than Rialto Recreation, a fitness center that has everything you need for a successful workout.
There is a large swimming pool where you can do some laps and a weight room for those who want to work on their muscles.
If you prefer you can enjoy a game of tennis here and there are a variety of exercise classes that you can sign up for if you want to make sure that you keep fit during your time here.
8. Rialto Historical Society
History buffs should make sure not to miss the Rialto Historical Society which is the organization that is responsible for the preservation of a number of buildings in Rialto.
The Historical Society also aims to showcase local period relics from the Rialto area and as such the headquarters of the organization also operate as a museum.
Staffed by friendly and knowledgeable local volunteers, make sure you drop by for a fact-filled tour if you are in town on a Wednesday or a Saturday.
The museum is housed in a former church school, itself a period artifact, and the permanent exhibitions here feature a treasure trove of historical items.
These include delightful depictions of homes that date from the turn of the century as well as a doctor’s office and a packing house office.
For those interested in military history there is a special exhibition of medals and uniforms and you will even find a range of historical artwork on display.
9. Raquel’s Jazz Lounge
If you want to take in some music while you are in town and you love jazz then head down to Raquel’s Jazz Lounge.
This chic club in Rialto hosts live music events including the best local jazz singers as well as full jazz bands.
If you prefer there are also stand up comedy nights and themed evenings throughout each month.
Signature drinks at Raquel’s Jazz Lounge include martinis and you can enjoy premium cigars on the patio area.
The club is small with an intimate feel that is perfect if you want to enjoy some of the best local talent in Rialto.
10. San Bernardino History & Railroad Museum
Just ten minutes outside of Rialto you will find the San Bernardino History & Railroad Museum that still stands in the Santa Fe Depot that dates from 1918. The mission of the museum is to educate visitors about railroad history in the region and there are a number of exhibits that feature antique trains.
Aside from the actual period vehicles themselves visitors will also find a model of a railroad station that dates from 1910 and there are also collections of model trains.
To complete the experience there are also period pieces such as the original clocks that would have hung in the Santa Fe Depot.
11. Brunswick Foothill Lanes
If you like bowling then the Brunswick Foothill Lanes in Fontana are just ten minutes outside of Rialto and offer fun for all the family.
This premier bowling alley is home to 40 lanes and also has its own bar and restaurant on-site for if you get hungry or thirsty during a game.
If you fancy some more fun after bowling then there are billiard tables available as well as an old-school gaming arcade.
12. Miller Fitness Center and Park
For a great workout in Fontana, just outside of Rialto, head for the Miller Fitness Center and Park.
Conveniently located in the central downtown area, the center has a wide range of equipment and even features racquetball courts if you want to get a game in.
There are even walking tours that you can go on every week through the Fontana area with an emphasis on keeping fit while taking in the local scenery.
13. Wigwam Motel
If you want to explore the quirky side of Rialto then come to the Wigwam Motel, something of a local attraction and oddity in the region.
The motel is situated along historic Route 66 and is famous for having rooms in the shape of Native American tee pees instead of conventional bedrooms.
Even if you are not staying at the motel these are an impressive and unusual sight, and many visitors flock here to take pictures of this iconic motel.
Should you choose to check in here then in addition to the tee pees you can also expect fun features like outdoor barbecue pits and a swimming pool.
14. Mary Vagle Nature Center
Twenty minutes outside of Rialto in neighboring Fontana you will come to the Mary Vagle Nature Center.
The center lies at the base of the spectacular Jurupa Hills and is known for being a much needed burst of greenery in the city.
Popular activities here include walking along the rambling nature trails and taking in the pretty water features such as ponds and fountains.
There are also flower gardens in the park that provide a pop of color and this is a great place to take in the beauty of the local flora and fauna.
Inside the actual center itself you will find exhibits dedicated to showcasing the best of the local geology and there are also explanations about plants and animals that are native to the San Bernardino area.
15. Parrish Pioneer Apple Ranch
Forty minutes away from Rialto in Yucaipa, California is the Parrish Pioneer Apple Ranch which has the claim to fame of being the oldest wooden structure in all of San Bernardino County.
The ranch used to be the home of the Parrish family before being turned into a school and then an antique shop, and now the ranch has an onsite shop, restaurant, and artist’s studio.
Visitors to the ranch can see the original horse barn that was built in 1867 as well as local sequoia tress that were first panted in 1905. Aside from the historical buildings on the ranch you will also find residents animals such as miniature sheep, goats, donkeys, horses and chickens.