Chino Hills is a medium-sized city of about 83,000 people situated in San Bernardino County. While rolling hills and pristine park areas surround the city, and it maintains a look and feel of years gone by, it’s actually only 32 miles from the bustling major city of Los Angeles.
In fact, it’s considered a suburb of the city. Its central location – not far from other major centres such as San Bernardino and Anaheim – means Chino Hills is only a short drive away from many of the region’s top attractions, including the Disneyland Park and Resort.
Within the stunning natural areas in and around the city are 44 parks and 48 miles of hiking trails.
The city is also known for its abundance of restaurants, cultural attractions, and shopping areas, including The Shoppes at Chino Hills, Commons at Chino Hills Shopping Center, and Chino Spectrum Marketplace.
A number of festivals and events take place in the Chino Hills area, including the Harvest Festival and the Multicultural Festival.
Below are 15 of the best things to do in and around Chino Hills, California.
1. Learn About Local History at The Old Schoolhouse Museum
The first schoolhouse in the Chino Hills area was built in 1888, and the original building, used for different purposes over the years, still stands. In 2016, the city re-opened the historic building, which now houses the Old Schoolhouse Museum.
Members of the local historical society collected loads of artefacts, documents and photos related to the history of the school and Chino Hills; many of them are on display in the exhibits on site.
2. Spend the Day Surrounded by Nature at Chino Hills State Park
You don’t have to drive very far to find a pristine, natural area with wide-open spaces, spectacular views and an abundance of things to do.
Chino Hills State Park, spreading across 31 miles from the Santa Ana Mountains to Whittier Hills, is the perfect escape from the city. With its oak trees and rolling hills, you’ll have no problem finding the ideal spot to have a picnic or simply relax and enjoy the scenery.
Some of the outdoor activities visitors participate in while visiting the park include biking, horseback riding and camping.
Hiking is also popular: there are more than 60 miles of trails and gravel roads where it’s common to spot a variety of wildlife. Also on site are a picnic area and washrooms.
3. Satisfy Your Cravings at Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill
Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill is known for its fantastic service and incredible food options. This award-winning, family-friendly eatery in Chino Hills has an extensive menu featuring a range of options, so there’s something suitable for every taste.
While the restaurant is most widely known for its BBQ, which includes smoked brisket, Carolina pulled pork, and baby back ribs, there’s also a variety of appetizers, salads, burgers, desserts and sandwiches available.
Main courses include a salmon dinner and steak dinners. The bar area hosts happy hour throughout the week, and meals can be enjoyed on the outdoor patio.
4. Book a Tee Time at Green River Golf Course
Green River Golf Course is an 18-hole, par 72 course situated in nearby Corona that features a wide range of amenities to ensure you have the best day possible on the greens.
Before you start your game, head to the practice facility, where you’ll find a driving range, putting green, chipping green, and practise sand bunker. If you need to brush up on your skills, lessons are available. There’s a golf shop on-site if you need to purchase any supplies.
The Pub & Grille serves a variety of food, including salads, burgers, wings, and beverages.
5. Visit BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir is a traditional Hindu Mandir situated in Chino Hills. Since 2012, it has served the community both as a place of worship and a place where one can learn more about Hinduism.
Inside, there’s an exhibit featuring information about the wisdom, culture, values, beliefs and history of Hinduism, and how the religion continues to be widely practised around the world. Visitors can also watch a film about the construction of the building.
6. Learn About Aviation History at the Planes of Fame Air Museum
Since 1957, the Planes of Fame Air Museum has impressed visitors with its vast collection of expertly-restored antique aircraft and aviation memorabilia.
The museum aims to conserve the history of flight and educate visitors about the past, present and future of aviation. Today, the museum houses 150 planes, 50 of which are still able to fly.
7. Shop the Day Away at The Shoppes at Chino Hills
While the Chino Hills area has many shopping areas, The Shoppes at Chino Hills is where you’ll find more than 70 premier shops and eateries.
This huge 375-foot property is an open-air, pedestrian shopping destination featuring stores such as Victoria’s Secret, Jared’s Jewelers, H&M, and Barnes and Noble Booksellers.
8. Explore the Great Outdoors at Prado Regional Park
At Prado Regional Park in Chino, you’ll be able to wander around a vast 2,000-acre green space – the perfect place to get away from city life and enjoy nature without having to leave the city.
The beautiful surroundings are home to a golf course. Other activities, such as fishing, archery and hiking, can be enjoyed in the park.
9. Embark on an Adventure with Xscape Pods
Fun for the whole family awaits at Xscape Pods, where you and your party have 60 minutes to escape a room.
Whether you choose to be locked up in the Government Secret room, Defenders of the Galaxy, or Forgotten Pharaoh, the goal is the same.
You’ll need to work together to search for clues and solve puzzles that will lead you to the code to unlock the room.
10. Get an Interactive Learning Experience at the Chino Youth Museum
Since 1994, The Chino Youth Museum has been educating children and visitors of all ages about the history of Chino Hills and its surrounding areas.
Inside, you’ll learn about the past and present of the city and hear about the hopes for a prosperous tomorrow. This is done through a variety of hands-on exhibits.
11. Dine on Traditional Japanese Fare at Ojiya Sushi
At Ojiya Sushi in Chino Hills, visitors are served classic Japanese dishes made using traditional cooking styles.
Lunch and dinner are served, and the extensive menu includes a variety of appetizers, salads, sushi plates, Japanese beer, and sake. Chicken teriyaki, tempura, and salmon shio yaki are just some of the delicious main courses served.
All dishes are made using healthy, natural ingredients. Outdoor dining is available.
12. Visit the Buddhist Temple of Chino Hills
The Buddhist Temple of Chino Hills consists of five buildings, including a kitchen area, dormitory, classroom, mediation building, and Buddha Hall.
The serene location that’s a bit removed from the beaten path makes for a great escape. You can learn about Buddhism and purchase unique items and food from the vendors that are there on certain days throughout the week.
13. Spend a Fun Afternoon at The Chapparal 300 Bowling Center
On rainy days or days when you just don’t feel like doing any exploring around the city, why not head to The Chapparal 300 Bowling Center and spend an afternoon playing a wide range of games.
This modern, high-tech amusement centre features 34 bowling lanes, several pool tables, shuffleboard, dartboards, and an arcade. When hunger strikes, head to the on-site snack bar or full sports bar, where you can choose from a wide variety of tasty options.
14. Spend a Day Outside at Chino Creek
If you’re looking for a relaxing and interesting place to explore during your time in Chino Hills, Chino Creek has just what you’re looking for.
This 12-mile-long creek drains into a massive basin, and the surrounding wetlands are an ecological wonderland of protected flora and fauna. There are trails around the creek area, and many other outdoor activities are available in this beautiful natural area.
15. Enjoy a Feast of Seafood at The Kickin’ Crab
When you’re craving seafood, The Kickin’ Crab in Chino Hills has just the feast for you. This laid-back, nautical-themed eatery serves the best Cajun-style seafood around. Only fresh seafood is used in the various dishes.
On the menu, you can find many delicious items, including appetizers, soups, combos and seafood entrees such as Seafood Scampi, Seafood Alfredo Pasta and KC Trout. Enjoy any meal with a side order of one of the restaurant’s signature sauces.