Hemet is a small city in Southern California that has a handful of attractions worth visiting. Although Hemet is certainly not the epicenter of tourism within California, this is not necessarily a bad thing. The city has a laid back vibe with plenty of charm and some stunning scenery thanks to its location within the San Jacinto Valley. Any recreational visit to Hemet City should include some of the following attractions:
1. Ramona Bowl Amphitheatre
The Ramona Bowl Amphitheatre is home to Ramona, America’s longest running outdoor drama. The amphitheater is located in the beautiful hills of Hemet, which provide a stunning natural backdrop. As well as performances of the long-running drama Ramona, the bowl is also home to various musical and theater performances throughout the year. The amphitheater itself has a capacity of 5,400 set on three tiers. It is worth a walk around this stunning location even if you don’t plan on seeing a performance.
2. Western Science Centre
The Western Science Centre in Hemet can be found close to Diamond Valley Lake. The museum focuses on archaeology and paleontology with permanent exhibits including a giant fossil t-rex skull as well as a fossil collection of a local collector. The museum also houses an open-air life on earth timeline, which shows just how small a part the human race has played in the long history of the planet. Temporary exhibits on show currently include an investigation into the life and inventions of Leonardo Da Vinci. Every Saturday, the museum runs “Science Saturdays” which allow certain hands on exhibits and investigations to be experienced for free.
3. Simpson Park
Simpson Park covers an area of 483 acres in the Santa Rosa hills and sits at an elevation of 2500 feet. The park has covered picnic areas and barbecues as well as cycling and hiking trails for those wishing to experience the beauty of the park whilst keeping active. The hiking and cycling trails vary in difficulty and length but the dry ground here makes navigation easy in general. The park has places to park and the opening hours vary depending on the time of the year.
4. Diamond Valley Lake
The Diamond Valley Lake is a man made reservoir near Hemet City and is one of the newest and largest in the Southern California area. The reservoir cost around $1.9 billion to make and has a huge surface area of 4,500 acres. The reservoir is a great place for pursuits such as fishing and boating while the surrounding terrain suits cyclists and hikers. At the western end of the lake, a viewpoint is available for those wishing to take in views of the entire lake in one go.
5. Hemet Museum
This small but insightful museum, located in the former Santa Fe Depot in Hemet, offers an insight into the past of the city. Exhibits include exploration of the life and work of Hemet’s citizens in past decades as well as Hemet’s military past. The Hemet Museum, alongside the numerous permanent exhibits, also houses a temporary, rotating exhibit. If you find yourself enthralled by the history of Hemet City, the bookshop at the museum is a perfect place to buy an educational souvenir.
6. Diamond Valley Golf Club
This lovely golf course is a must for any golfers visiting Hemet City. The course is set in the quiet Hemet Valley and, due to the desert climate, offers great gold all year round. There are no housing developments to spoil the view from the course, just the beautiful and natural California landscape. The snack bar on the course offers a chance to refresh with a drink and some food after a day of golfing and walking around the stunning course.
7. Cabazon Dinosaur Museum
This unusual but educational attraction offers a great chance to stretch your legs and take a break if driving through the Cabazon area. The museum here focuses on the world’s biggest dinosaurs and includes impressive models built over thirty years ago. The museum is set on four stories and not only attracts a large number of tourists but also the LA media who have been known to use the dinosaur models in commercials and other broadcasts.
8. March Field Air Museum
This museum has recently moved and was formerly housed in the theater of the March Air Base. The museum features photographs, aeroplanes and military equipment within 2,000 square foot of educational space. There are more than 70 aircraft to see at the museum and an impressive and extensive collection of over 70,000 aviation artifacts. The museum can be found in Riverside on the March Air Reserve Base.
9. Zebras R Us
Zebras R Us is an unusual but fun attraction near Hemet. Zebras R Us breed zebras for sale as well as Zonkeys and Zorses. Zebras are also rescued by the owner of the attraction and brought here to be rehabilitated. Zebras R Us offers a meet and greet, which is a great opportunity to get close to these interesting creatures. A guided tour for groups is also available and not only shows off the animals but also explains the work undertaken here.