Redlands, also known as The Jewel of the Inland Empire, is a small city of about 69,000 people situated in San Bernardino County.
The city is known for its many historical buildings, its small-town feel, and stunning natural surroundings, including the San Bernardino Mountains, the San Bernardino National Forest, and the red-coloured earth that the city is named after.
Redlands is home to many parks, museums, restaurants, and shopping areas, such as Mountain Grove Shopping Center, Citrus Plaza, and North Redlands Shopping Center. The cities of Los Angeles and Palm Springs are about an hour’s drive away.
A number of festivals and events take place in Redlands throughout the year, including the Redlands Bowl Summer Music Festival, Redlands Oktoberfest, and The Redlands Theater Festival.
Below are 15 of the best things to do in and around Redlands, California.
1. Learn About Local History at the San Bernardino County Museum
The San Bernardino County Museum is where visitors to Redlands can learn about the history of the city and surrounding region.
This museum features a wide variety of exhibits showcasing the area’s culture, nature, and history, including Hall of History, Hall of Earth Science, Hall of Biodiversity, and the Schuiling Gallery.
As you make your way through these exhibits, you’ll see many interesting items, including artefacts, pottery, photos, fossils, and minerals. A live animal exhibit and cacti gardens are also on site.
Throughout the year, many educational events – including workshops and talks – are held at the museum.
2. Sample Local Brews at Hangar 24 Craft Brewery
At the Hangar 24 Craft Brewery in Redlands, visitors are welcome to sample a wide range of aviation-inspired brews.
The brewery is located in an actual aircraft hangar and features a modern, laid-back tasting room with the perfect ambience to kick back and enjoy some local craft beer.
Orange Wheat, Aventura, Peak Blonde, and Betty IPA are just some of the beers you’ll have a chance to sample.
Delicious food supplied by local restaurants is also available to go with your drinks, and live music is featured on the patio during select times.
3. Spend an Afternoon Outdoors at Caroline Park
Situated in Redlands, Caroline Park is a perfect escape from city life; you can relax in a natural setting or explore the 16 acres of green space.
You’ll find a beautiful botanical garden featuring native plants, a walking trail home to a variety of wildlife species, and a meadow area that is a popular spot to enjoy a picnic. You’ll also enjoy stunning views of the nearby mountains.
4. Enjoy a Live Performance at the Redlands Bowl
If you love live theatre, you’ll love watching a live performance at the beautiful Redlands Bowl. This outdoor amphitheatre first opened in the 1920s and now features theatre and music performances throughout the year.
The Redlands Shakespeare Festival and the Redlands Bowl Summer Festival are just two of the many events held here.
5. Satisfy Your Hunger with a Quick and Casual Meal at McDuff’s
If you’re looking for a quick, tasty meal in a casual environment, McDuff’s is the place for you. Situated in the centre of downtown Redlands, friendly staff serve a wide variety of meals suitable for the whole family, including salads, soups, burgers, and sandwiches.
6. Admire Beautiful Art at the Historical Glass Museum
The Historical Glass Museum is home to a vast collection of glass art. The museum’s purpose is to gather and collect this art so visitors can enjoy it for generations to come.
Inside the historic Victorian home that houses the museum, you’ll see rare glassworks and glassworks produced by local artists. Guided tours are available.
7. Visit the Lincoln Memorial Shrine
Built in 1932 to honour Abraham Lincoln, The Lincoln Memorial Shrine has grown over time into a vast complex filled with items related to the late president of the United States and his role in the Civil War.
Guided tours are available; during a tour of the property, you’ll see artefacts, memorabilia, art, documents, and many books.
8. Cool Off at Splash Kingdom Waterpark
When the days start getting hot, the best place to be in Redlands is at the Splash Kingdom Waterpark.
This Egyptian-beach-inspired water park has attractions suitable for all ages, including a trampoline park and a waterpark with several splash pools, swimming pools, water slides, and thrilling rides.
The on-site sports lounge serves a variety of tasty food and beverage options, and there are many lounging areas around the park where you can relax. There are also more than 200 certified lifeguards to ensure the safety of guests.
9. Spend a Day on the Greens at the Redlands Country Club
As one of the oldest and best golf courses in the region, Redlands Country Club has had plenty of time to perfect what it has to offer to its guests.
This 18-hole championship course in a scenic area of Redlands is beautifully-manicured and features stately oak trees and stunning mountain views.
Golf lessons are available, and a pro shop and snack bar are also on site.
10. Enjoy Fun for the Whole Family at Open Door Escape Games
Open Door Escape Games offers the perfect, fun-filled way to spend time with family and friends.
This interactive game involves you and your group being locked in a room. With the clock ticking, you have to solve puzzles and find clues that will help you unlock the room before your time is up.
There are three unique games available to choose from, and each one has a different level.
11. Visit a California Historic Landmark at The Asistencia
Established in the early 1800s, The Asistencia started as a cattle outpost known as Mission San Gabriel. The buildings you see on the site today are replicas of the original structures constructed in the 1930s, and the property is now a museum dedicated to preserving the history of the property.
As you browse the grounds, you’ll see historic rooms with various artefacts, lovely gardens, a chapel, and a beautifully-maintained courtyard.
12. Sit Down to a Lavish Meal at the Citrone Restaurant and Bar
A meal at the Citrone Restaurant and Bar in downtown Redlands is always a special treat; the experience is quite different than the one you get at your typical family diner.
This upscale, fine dining bistro-type eatery serves Californian and Mediterranean cuisine in a beautiful dining area.
Everything on the menu is made fresh, and you have plenty of options to choose from, including a variety of appetizers, salads, pasta dishes, and main entrees, such as wild mushrooms asparagus risotto, manicotti, loch duart salmon, and French onion chicken. A selection of vegetarian dishes is also available.
The restaurant has more than 400 Californian and West Coast wines on-site and serves an array of premium craft beers, liquors, cognacs, and cocktails.
13. Take a Tour of the Kimberly Crest House & Gardens
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Kimberly Crest House & Gardens is a stunning Chateauesque-style Victorian Estate.
The beautiful three-story mansion is more than 7,000 square feet. It was constructed for Mrs Cornelia A. Hill in the late 1890s and features stunning architecture and interior decor.
The exterior of the property showcases Italian gardens with koi ponds and hand-crafted sculptures. Guided tours are provided.
14. View Inspiring Artworks at the Redlands Art Association
The main goal of the Redlands Art Association in downtown Redlands is to show support for visual arts and promote it while inspiring budding artists and art enthusiasts to follow their own creative endeavours.
Since 1964, the organization has featured exhibits of various artworks. A gallery showcasing pieces for sale is also on site.
Throughout the year, a wide variety of events are held at the Redlands Art Association, including art classes, workshops, and lectures. Visitors are welcome to attend these events.