Riverside and San Bernardino Counties

First Time Guide to the Inland Empire

skydiving So Cal's Inland Empire - consists of San Bernardino and Riverside counties. Riverside-San Bernardino was ranked first in the country (among large cities) for top U.S. cities to do business (Inc. magazine, May 2005) and many people have moved to the area to take advantage of housing 'deals'. The area boasts of more than 27 colleges and universities resulting in a highly skilled workforce. Located an hour inland from LA or Orange counties the climate is much warmer and drier. The mountains are literally minutes away and mid summer many locals drive to higher elevations to escape the heat! We are usually driving through this area on our way to Big Bear, Arrowhead or to Las Vegas but there are some really great activities you might enjoy while you are in the area:

skydiver Perris Valley Airport - offers a skydiving school, indoor skydiving and expert skydiving. triplane You need to book ahead at skydiveperris.com or call them at 1-800-skydive.

sky dive jump simulator indoor skydiving
indoor sky diving tunnel flying We have taken JJ and his friends to the indoor tunnel diving and it is a blast. It is about $50 for a one hour experience…but that is actually 2 - one minute flights along with the training and gearing up. Additional 2 minutes are available for $35. What is so cool about tunnel diving is that it is something kids can do too! It is harder than it looks and everyone really thinks they are doing a great job and come out feeling very successful!

Temecula Hot Air Balloon rides - offered by California Dreamin' begin at La Vindemia (off I-15) in the middle of the Temecula wine country shortly before sunrise. You skim vineyards and fruit trees as you sip mimosa and watch the sun rise. Breakfast is served when you return to La Vindemia and if it is your anniversary they will provide you with a complimentary bottle of wine! The cost varies and they offer specials but plan on about $130-160 per person for this unforgettable adventure. Or…maybe you would prefer….

Biplane Adventures - touring the Temecula Valley wine country are also offered by the good folks at California Dreamin'. You fly in a 1928 Travel Air biplane, NC5433 wearing the provided leather helmet and goggles as you listen to a guided tour through your headphones. You can book different types of flights depending on your interests but if it is a special occasion - let them know so you get your free bottle of Temecula wine! Plan to spend at least $250 per person. You can reach California Dreamin' at 1-800-373-3359 to make reservations or get updated information.

Orange Empire Railway Museum -located at 2201 A Street in the city of Perris, has the largest collection of trains, street cars and associated artifacts in the West. The museum is open daily from 11-5 and admission is free. Weekends are the best because then you can ride the trains and trolleys. Thomas the Tank Engine is making a guest appearance the weekend of April 26 and 27 - tickets are on sale now for $18 and are available through Ticketweb.

Glen Ivy Hot Springs -is a historical natural hot springs originally used by the Native Americans and then welcomed weary Overland Stage travelers. The Glen Ivy Hotel was built in 1879 and a swim in the hot springs cost 25 cents! You can reach the spa off of I-15 taking the Temescal exit and you absolutely need reservations. Weekdays are the best as it is less crowded and provided a calmer, quieter experience. There is an admission ($35 weekdays to $48 weekends and holidays) which includes use of the pools, saunas, steam rooms, roman baths, red mud clay bath and of course there are extra delightful services available. Go to their web site at glenivy.com and see more information about this fabulous day away from it all. You can even pay for and print your tickets at the site.

California Speedway -is located in Fontana, San Bernardino and is the largest sporting facility in So Cal. The Speedway offers a 2 mile D shaped track and non stop racing events. Check out the scheduled events, buy tickets or purchase items from their well stocked on line store at californiaspeedway.com.

Planes of Fame Museum - is located in Chino at 7000 Merrill Ave and dedicated to the preservation of World War II aircraft. The museum was founded by Edward Maloney who was determined to save at least one example of as many types of aircraft as possible when they were being cut into scrap and disappearing forever. Many of the planes displayed here are the sole surviving example of their type in the world. Admission is $11.00 for adults and kids 5-11 are $4.00. This years Planes of Fame Airshow is scheduled for May 17 and 18. Don't miss it!!

March Airfield Museum -is located off of the I-215 at the Van Buren exit in Riverside and is dedicated to preserving and celebrating aircraft history and to inspire current and future generations. Admission is $5-8 and the Tomcat simulator is $5.00 extra. Passengers experience 3Gs of weight force during the ride!

California Route 66 Museum -is located in Victorville on Route 66 and is loaded with pictures and artifacts celebrating the Mother Road. It is a quirky little museum and the folks who volunteer are as interesting as the exhibits. If you are nostalgic over the 'good ole days'…stop by and see their unusual exhibits.

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