Perris is a city of about 80,000 people situated in the Perris Valley area of Riverside County. Although it’s considered a suburb of the bigger urban centre of nearby Riverside, Perris has a much less crowded feel and more space to enjoy an abundance of outdoor activities including the aerial sports the area is known for.
The city is also known for beautiful Lake Perris and for having a pleasant climate with hot summers and short, mild winters.
There are many parks, museums, restaurants, and shopping areas, such as Plaza de Perris and Perris Crossing. The major cities of Los Angeles and San Diego are less than a two-hour drive away.
Several festivals and events take place in Perris throughout the year including the Southern California Fair and the Halloween Harvest Festival.
Below are 15 of the best things to do in and around Perris, California.
1. Relax in nature at Lake Perris State Recreation Area
Travel can be exhausting and the last thing you’ll want to do upon arrival in Perris is anything that requires more than relaxing and recuperating from your journey. Lake Perris State Recreation Area is the perfect spot to kick back and relax or participate in a wide range of outdoor activities.
Spend a low-key day boating on the calm waters of Lake Perris or head to the Bernasconi Beach area to spend the day sunbathing or floating on the calm waters of the lake.
If you’re up for something a little more adventurous, spend the day hiking the many trails in the park and keep an eye out for wildlife. Head to Big Rock where you can go rock climbing.
2. Get a history lesson at the Perris Valley Historical Museum
At the Perris Valley Historical Museum, visitors can learn all about the history and culture of Perris and the surrounding area. The museum’s goal is to acquire and preserve this history for both the residents of the region and visitors who wish to learn about it.
During a visit, you can either explore the museum on your own or go on a guided tour. As you make your way through exhibits, you’ll see many artifacts, artworks, documents, and photos that tell the story of the Perris Valley and its people.
3. Enjoy a delicious all-American meal at Jenny’s Family Restaurant
There’s something for everyone in the family to enjoy from the menu At Jenny’s Family Restaurant.
For more than 15 years, this eatery has been serving some of the best comfort food around in a friendly, comfortable environment.
You can order something from their popular breakfast menu any time of the day or choose from a wide variety of appetizers, sandwiches, salads, soups, and entrées such as fried chicken, ground beef steak and chicken strip dinner. Desserts are also available.
4. Go on the ultimate adventure at Skydive Perris
Visitors to Perris can embark on a one-of-a-kind, adrenaline-pumping adventure high above Perris with a skydiving excursion through Skydive Perris.
This centre has one of the world’s biggest skydiving facilities and for more than 40 years, this family-run business has been providing people of all ages and skill levels with the opportunity to fulfill their dreams of soaring high above the land. Staff are passionate about what they do and are experts at delivering this service safely.
If you are not quite ready to do a real jump, Perris Indoor Skydiving has a skydiving simulator where you can experience what it’s like to free fall from a plane. If you fancy neither the real thing nor the simulator, you can always just watch others’ skydives safely from the ground.
5. Check out the races at the Perris Auto Speedway
Since 1996, the Perris Auto Speedway has been hosting a variety of car races at its high-tech, modern racetrack.
The half-mile clay oval track has a raised back so viewers can watch the races safely. Whether you enjoy watching Sprint Cars or American Factory Stocks, this is the place to head to if you are looking for some fun and excitement.
6. Cool off on hot days at Diamond Valley Lake Aquatic Center
The days can get hot during the summer so visitors and residents alike head to the Diamond Valley Lake Aquatic Center in nearby Hemet to cool off in the large outdoor swimming pool. The pool itself is suitable for the whole family and features water toys and a slide.
Also available are water fountain sprayers, pickle-ball courts, and picnic areas. Several walking trails are also on site, passing through scenic areas that are home to a variety of plants and wildlife.
7. Learn About trains at the Southern California Railway Museum
It doesn’t matter if you are obsessed with trains or not, the Southern California Railway Museum is a fun, interactive learning experience for everyone.
This museum features the region’s biggest collection of railway-related items, some of which date as far back as the 1870s.
As you make your way through the exhibits, you’ll see a wide variety of artifacts related to trains and the history of rail travel. Also on site are more than 200 real locomotives, streetcars, freight cars, passenger cars, and interurban electric cars. The best part is you can take a ride on some of the working ones on the museum railway.
8. Feast on authentic Mexican cuisine at Casa Jimenez
At Casa Jimenez in Perris, even the pickiest of eaters will find something delicious to enjoy in this comfortable, friendly eatery.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served daily and the menu mostly consists of seafood and authentic Mexican dishes made with the freshest and highest-quality ingredients available.
The extensive menu features a wide variety of appetizers, salads, burritos, tacos, and enchiladas. There are also entrées such as bistec ranchero, bistec y huevos, and fajitas de camarón.
9. Enjoy live entertainment at the Hemet Theater
The Hemet Theater is a beautiful venue in downtown Hemet that was constructed in 1921. It features unique architecture, stunning decor, and many of the original features. Many events are held at this theater throughout the year including plays, concerts, community events, and classic film viewings.
10. Visit the Ya’i Heki’ Regional Indian Museum
The Ya’i Heki’ Regional Indian Museum is where visitors to Perris can learn about the Native American history of the area and southern California’s native tribes.
The on-site exhibits provide a look into the culture of the area’s native people through artifacts and documents that tell the story of their long history.
Also on site is an exhibit showcasing the region’s native plants and animals. This exhibit resembles the bio-region that early settlers would have experienced upon their arrival. A guided tour of the museum includes a comprehensive walk through the exhibits and a Native American craft-making session or game.
11. Learn About rural living at Mr. Joe’s Farm
Mr. Joe’s Farm is many things. It’s a family home, a sanctuary for animals, and an educational experience for those who wish to learn more about rural living.
On site, there are many attractions including a petting zoo and interactive opportunities for younger visitors. As you make your way around the property, you’ll learn about small-space gardening, healthy living, and the rural way of life. You’ll also get to meet Mr. Joe and his wife and hear about their lives on the farm.
Before you leave, you have the opportunity to purchase eggs, goat milk, sheep wool, and alpaca fibre.
12. Enjoy a unique learning experience at the Western Science Center
Visitors of all ages have fun and learn at the same time with a visit to the Western Science Center. This modern complex features many interactive attractions and exhibits.
As you make your way through the museum, you’ll see a wide variety of fossils that were uncovered at nearby Diamond Valley Lake, Max the Mastodon, Xena the Colombian Mammoth, and a recreation of a fossil dig site. You’ll even have the opportunity to make your own fossil at the hands-on exhibits.
Many events are held at the museum throughout the year including Science Under the Stars.
13. Admire classic airplanes at the Wings of Valor
Wings of Valor is a fascinating museum dedicated to the history of flight and the aircraft that made it possible.
The on-site hangars are home to a large fleet of antique aircraft including a Great Lakes Aircraft Company 2t-1A Sport Trainer and a PT-17 Boeing Stearman.
The best thing about this museum is visitors have the chance to book a flight on a plane of their choice. You can choose from several different kinds of aircraft and while on board, you’ll learn about the mechanics of the plane and how it’s flown.
14. Sample local craft beer at the Mason Jar Brewing Company
The Mason Jar Brewing Company, which is situated in nearby Menifee, offers visitors a taste of award-winning craft beers.
Try a wide variety of unique brews including a dark chocolate raspberry stout called Raz-Ma-Taz or the Howling Cow Coffee Pumpkin Spice Stout. Enjoy your selection in mason jars while you kick back in the laid-back taproom.