DISCOVER THE INLAND EMPIRE
With its inviting destinations and uncrowded wilderness, this region feels like an insider’s secret amid the bustling excitement of Southern California.
Mount San Gorgonio—nicknamed “Old Grayback”—is the tallest peak in Southern California, at 11,502 feet/3,506 meters.
Surprising alpine scenery around Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear beckons, with pine-scented trails in summer and winter sports when the snow flies. Free summer concerts in the historic citrus town of Redlands or experience first class entertainment at the open air plaza Yucaipa Performing Arts Center. If you’re into action, get the adrenaline rush of seeing the world’s best NASCAR racers compete at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana. For a dreamier escape, float in a hot-air balloon above rolling Temecula Valley wine country.
Summer concerts in a historic citrus town. Flanked by cypress and palm trees, this graceful, 1923 amphitheatre—a treasured structure in this surprisingly elegant city—stands out as one of the most appealing venues in the region.
With its arched, red-tiled bandstand the site hosts the country’s oldest continuous free concert series, offered every summer since Redlands Bowl first opened.
You’ll hear everything from classical music to foot-thumping bluegrass bands—all free. Bring a blanket and pack a picnic to enjoy on the bowl’s sloping lawns (there are benches too, if you’re not feeling quite so kickback.) Summer evenings don’t get much more California-classy than this.
THE REDLANDS BOWL
YUCAIPA PERFORMING ARTS CENTER
Opening in Spring of 2019 YPAC offers a state of the art indoor/outdoor venue that has a 14,000 sq. ft. open air plaza for audiences with a stunning backdrop of the San Bernardino Mountains. In addition, a 16,200 sq. ft. facility with a 10,500 sq. ft. multi-purpose indoor theater which has retractable seating for up to 291. The versatile space allows for audiences of up to 500 standing as well as configurations for receptions and meetings.
YPAC strives to collaborate, create, and cultivate dynamic experiences that enrich and deepen awareness and opportunities in the arts.
The YPAC is intended to provide space for all types of performing arts including concerts, dance, theatre, galas, and major events. Throughout the year the City also hosts a number of festivals, which include live performances, in the Historic Uptown district where YPAC is located.
It’s called Oak Glen with good reason. With an elevation that’s nearly a mile high, this town, 80 miles east of Los Angeles, is home to extensive oak groves, plus apple farms, berry ranches, and plenty of old-fashioned country twang.
The seasons may not seem to change elsewhere in L.A., but here, autumn is palpable in the brilliant oaks dotting the hillsides.
Visit Oak Glen’s historic schoolhouse museum, surrounded by bright red maple trees, then take a hike at the Wildlands Conservancy’s Oak Glen Preserve. The preserve sits side-by-side with century-old Los Rios Rancho, Southern California’s largest apple farm. At Riley’s Farm, pick your own heirloom apples, press apple cider on a wooden cider press, or dine in an 18th-century colonial public house. At Los Rios Rancho, get lost in the corn maze or take a horse-drawn wagon ride. As autumn wears on, apple-picking gives way to pumpkin-picking, so be sure to take home a few of those lovable bright orange squashes.
OAK GLEN APPLE FESTIVAL
Escape to Southern California’s mountain wonderland. Just two hours from Los Angeles, the San Bernardino Mountains offer a cool, pine-scented escape. At an altitude of 6,759 feet (2,060 meters), Big Bear Lake is a hub for alpine recreation. Known for its famed Snow Summit and Bear Mountain resorts in the winter and its seven-mile lake in the summer, Big Bear serves as a year-round Southern California escape
Known for skiing and snowboarding, but there’s a lot to do up here in the summertime as well for those who like to hike, bike and fish.
When the snow melts, Snow Summit’s Scenic Sky Chair transforms into a mile-long ride to 8,200-foot panoramic views. Whether you’re seeking single-track climbs or flat lakeside paths, .2-mile strolls or rugged 15-mile loops, Big Bear offers a collection of recreational trails for every level—many of which offer incredible views of the lake below.
BIG BEAR LAKE
Taste your way through Southern California's leading wine region. For many visitors, the Temecula Valley wine country is a surprise. After all, a lot of people don’t expect to see gently rolling hills blanketed with rows of vineyards so close to the California desert. But the Temecula area has been producing top wines since the late 1960s. And like the best vintages, this wine country just gets better with age.
It’s a diverse growing region, home to everything from cooler-climate grapes like Chardonnay to such warm-weather varieties as Syrah and Grenache.
How does wine grow so close to the desert? It begins with a rich, granite-based soil that plays host to the vines. Then it continues with a unique microclimate in which the grapes thrive: crisp mornings coated in mist, a warm daytime sun, and cool ocean breezes that welcome the clear night sky.