Upland is a city situated in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains in San Bernardino County. The city of around 75,000 people is actually a suburb of Los Angeles.
Upland is known for its skateboarding culture and beautiful weather throughout the year. It’s also known for its central location that allows easy access to the world-class attractions of the region.
Tree-lined streets and historic homes give Upland a more down-to-earth, small-town feel, and the downtown district is where you’ll find most of the boutique shops, restaurants, and cafes.
The Upland Shopping Center, Mountain Green Shopping Center, and Upland Town Square are a few of the shopping areas around the city.
Many festivals and events occur in Upland throughout the year, including The Upland Lemon Festival and A Taste of Upland.
Below are 15 of the best things to do in and around Upland, California.
1. Learn about Upland’s History at the Cooper Regional History Museum
Visitors to Upland can learn all about the history of the city and its surrounding communities at the Cooper Regional History Museum in downtown Upland.
This museum’s primary goal is to gather and preserve items related to the culture and history of the region and share it with the public.
An entire room at this museum is devoted to the region’s wine and citrus history; another is devoted to Native American history, and the hallways feature antique furniture. As you wander past the exhibits, you’ll see many items related to the history of the area, including photos, tools, and documents.
2. Feast on Delicious Italian Cuisine at Allegro
Situated in downtown Upland, Allegro has been serving traditional Italian dishes with a contemporary spin since it opened its doors in 1998.
Your culinary experience at Allegro starts with the ambiance of the restaurant, which features dim lighting and cosy dining areas. You can also take your meal on one of the sidewalk tables or the patio. Start your meal with a homemade pastry baked right on site.
Choose from a wide variety of items, including appetizers, soups, salads, pasta dishes, and main courses, such as Salmone Con Due Salse, Capesante, and Gamberi Alla Scampi.
Happy hour is every weekday; various Italian wines and cocktails are served along with tasty snacks.
3. Admire the Madonna of the Trail
There are 12 statues place at various locations on this trail, which spans several states. Upland is home to one of these Madonna statues. The statues were produced by artist August Leimbach and represent the country’s pioneering women from the 19th and 20th centuries.
Today, the statue is an important figure in Upland’s culture and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
4. Enjoy Live Entertainment at The Grove Theater
The Grove Theater in downtown Upland was constructed in 1947 but was revamped in 1990. With this renovation came great changes and a commitment to maintaining some of the original elements, including its Art Deco design.
Today, this fairly small and intimate theater hosts a variety of performances throughout the year. Most of these are suitable for the whole family and feature local acts, but from time to time, touring artists from other areas of the country perform.
Be sure to check out their calendar to see if there is a musical or theatrical performance you’d like to see during your time in Upland.
5. Aim High at Hangar 18 Indoor Climbing Gym
Whether you’ve never tried climbing before or are a seasoned climber, Hangar 18 Indoor Climbing Gym has an array of exciting climbing walls suitable for all ages and levels.
There’s 12,000 square feet of climbing area in this facility. The expertly-created walls feature various paths, so it’s never boring. There are also bouldering and top-rope areas.
Yoga and various fitness classes are offered on-site throughout the week.
6. Visit the American Museum of Ceramic Art
Ceramic Art has been around for a long time, and visitors to nearby Pomona can see a wide variety of beautiful ceramics dating back to ancient times through to modern times.
The museum has both permanent and rotating exhibits, and you can expect to see many amazing artworks from all over the world. Throughout the year, the museum hosts a variety of events, including family days, where visitors of all ages get hands-on lessons in Ceramic Art.
7. Sample Local Craft Beer at Last Name Brewing
Last Name Brewery is a small and lively microbrewery in Upland that serves various popular craft beers.
The cozy taproom is open every day. This is where you can sample some of the beer they brew, including Red Between the Lines Imperial Red Ale, Runway IPA, and Pomona Queen California Amber Lager.
While you’re there, you can take a tour of the brewery and see how the beer is made from start to finish. Throughout the year, various events are held at the brewery, including trivia nights.
8. Unwind at Cloud Nine Day Spa
Cloud Nine Day Spa in Upland is the perfect place to unwind after a busy morning or week. The spa might be small, but its chic interior offers a relaxing environment where you enjoy a wide variety of treatments, including body scrubs, massages, and facials.
9. Take a Stroll Through the Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Garden
Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Garden is only a short drive away from Upland but is worth the trip if you’re looking for a peaceful, beautiful place to relax in a natural setting.
The garden is dedicated to protecting California’s native plants through a variety of fun and educational activities, including guided tours and workshops. As you wander through the garden, take note of the many birds around and admire the pretty plants and beautifully-manicured grounds.
10. Play a Round of Golf at Whispering Lakes Golf Course
At the 18-hole, par-72 Whispering Lakes Golf Course in nearby Ontario, golfers get a relaxing golfing experience on a beautiful, recently-renovated course. This popular municipal facility features holes with tree-lined fairways and flat terrain for easy walking.
The on-site practice area has a driving range and three chipping greens with bunkers. Lessons are available. The clubhouse has a spacious balcony and offers a variety of snacks such as sandwiches and burgers.
11. Beat the Clock at Trapped Escape Room
The clock is set for 60 minutes. Clues are laid out, and the puzzles are waiting to be solved. If you succeed, you’re free. This is what a typical visit to Trapped Escape Room is like.
Upon arrival, you and your group pick a room you would like to try to escape from. Each room features an interactive setting with realistic sound effects.
You can choose between three rooms, including The Puzzlemaster, Sector 13, and Down the Rabbit Hole. Each room is different, and there are rooms suitable for the whole family.
12. Take to the Water at Raging Waters San Dimas
On hot days in Upland, the best place to be is in the water. In nearby San Dimas, people of all ages can have fun in the sun and the water at Raging Waters San Dimas.
This 50-acre water park features many slides and rides. Whether you’re adventurous and looking for excitement or just seeking a place to relax, there’s something here for you.
On-site, you’ll find a rafting adventure like no other that drops 52 feet in total darkness. Neptune’s fury takes you on a 600-foot ride of a lifetime at 30 miles per hour. Splash Adventure Island is home to wave pools and rivers, and you can learn how to surf at Flowrider.
At Kid’s Kingdom, the little ones enjoy a playground, miniature water slides, and wading pools.
13. Learn About Local Firefighting History at the Upland Fire Department Museum
Upland has a long history of firefighting, and that history is laid out at the Upland Fire Department Museum.
This museum is situated in the building that was once the first fire station in the city, built in 1915. Inside, you’ll find firefighting equipment used through the years, photographs, and the original fire truck used in the town as far back as 1916.
14. Enjoy a Fun Family Day Out at Boomers
Fun for all ages awaits at Boomers. This indoor amusement facility in Upland has tons of fun attractions. Mini-golf is one of the main attractions, with several courses featuring a variety of themes and challenges, including water features and windmills.
A rock wall, bumper boats, go-karts, Ferris wheel, and a number of other rides are also on site.
15. Hang Out in Downtown Upland
The historic downtown district in Upland is the place to be. There are more than 200 businesses here, including breweries, restaurants, cafes, boutique shops, and galleries.
Search for the perfect gift to take back home, enjoy some craft beer, dine on delicious food, sip on a hot caffeinated beverage, or simply stroll along the pretty streets admiring the old buildings.