Blake Walsh

17 Best Things to Do in Norco, CA

  • Published 2022/07/13

The best thing about Norco, California, often known as “Horsetown USA,” goes beyond equestrian and animal-keeping culture.

Hitch posts, corrals, and horse pathways are all part of a low-profile, rustic, Western-inspired design that permeates this city in Riverside County.

According to developer Rex Clark, Norco was supposed to be a community of self-sufficient farmers.

In 1923, people referred to these farms and ranches as the “Vale of Dreams Come True.”

Farmers expected to enjoy the benefits of their hard labor.

Clark’s vision of it as a sanctuary for city residents was having no commuters, bosses, or small apartments.

With its big horse community and rural, family-oriented lifestyle, Norco is a resounding echo of days gone by.

In addition to the equestrian lifestyle, you have many more attractions to consider.

Here are the best things to do in Norco, CA:

Catch Various Sports Events at SilverLakes Equestrian and Sports Park

Signage of SilverLakes Equestrian and Sports Park

The Image Party /

Discover why people have dubbed Norco as “Horsetown USA” by visiting the SilverLakes Equestrian and Sports Park.

SilverLakes’ goal is to provide tournament players and their family the “Wimbledon experience” at its best level.

You may find major sporting events, concerts by well-known country performers, equestrian arenas, restaurants, and a café at the facility.

SilverLakes is also close to a variety of additional entertainment and lodging options, making it an ideal location for your next event or competition.

There is something for everyone at the SilverLakes Equestrian and Sports Park, combining family entertainment into one unique experience.

Learn Horseback Riding at S&D Horseback Riding

S&D (Sunshine and Daydreams) Horseback Riding is built on the foundation of safe and unrestricted riding.

It is the purest kind of trail riding.

For those who want a more hands-on experience, S&D Horseback Riding offers trail rides directed by a professional trail guide.

Riders learn to ride side-by-side while controlling the horse’s directions and pace.

When making decisions, it’s essential to keep your past experiences in mind.

During a ride, everyone must show consideration for the abilities of their fellow riders.

Ride at a similar speed as the slowest group member.

A private or semi-private journey allows you to get individualized service and enjoy yourself with your loved ones.

Go Trekking at Pumpkin Rock

Daytime view of the iconic Pumpkin Rock

Kris Clifford /

Pumpkin Rock is a 1.7-mile circle in Norco that’s popular on the AllTrails app.

This path is suitable for equestrian riding, birdwatching, and trekking, although its 380-foot elevation rise is quite demanding.

Although there are a few steep sections, the vistas are worth the effort.

You won’t have to worry about diversions or getting lost since the route is a circle.

Completion times may vary depending on your means of transportation, but tourists typically spend roughly 50 minutes here.

Pumpkin Rock is a great place to visit if you have an hour to spare or are looking for a change of scenery.

Practice Your Swing at Hidden Valley Golf Club

Play a round of golf at Hidden Valley Golf Club before your next sporting event.

Golfers of all ability levels will enjoy this Riverside County course.

It offers a variety of exciting course layouts while preserving the lush Southern California nature.

The Hidden Valley Golf Course is a hidden treasure with 18 holes and stunning vistas of the Norco Hills.

Visit Hidden Valley Golf Club’s pro shop, driving range, and restaurant on the grounds to accommodate your golf and dining needs.

You may watch a video tour of each hole on their website before booking a tee time, making it easy to schedule your trip.

Play with Your Kids at Pikes Peak Park

Pikes Peak Park features a 1.1-mile (2,500-step) hiking route classed as easy, with an elevation increase of roughly 19.7 feet.

You may play football or soccer on the large open grass field.

It also has a playground for your children to enjoy.

Likewise, it has well-maintained bathrooms for your personal needs.

See events like the Norco Concerts in the Park, dog exhibitions by the Norco All Breed Obedience Club, and the Norco Fair at the Park.

Tour the Historic Lake Norconian Club

During the 1920s, Norco saw the construction of the Norconian Resort Supreme as a naval camp and jail.

After more than 70 years, the building remains mostly intact.

The “Lake Norconian Club” started on February 2, 1929, in a rural area where the primary industries were chicken, rabbits, and agriculture.

It was a popular tourist destination from the 1920s until the 1940s.

When it first opened, it was a huge hit; movie stars and famous athletes visited there regularly.

A few films were also shot at the Norconian.

From 1941 until 1957, it was used as a war survivors hospital.

Additionally, the hospital was designated as the Navy’s national tuberculosis/malaria center and Naval Pacific Coast Polio unit.

In 2000, the National Register of Historic Places included the grounds’ 19 sites, buildings, and features in its record.

However, the building stood on seismically unstable ground, so they abandoned it in 2004.

The main building is California’s finest example of Mission Revival Style architecture.

Priceless chandeliers dangle from handpainted ceilings, and the Catalina floor tile contains wildcat droppings.

Unfortunately, water steadily eats away at this one-of-a-kind structure.

This location is off-limits to the public.

Before going there, you must get permission from the landowner or the Lake Norconian Club Foundation.

Go Fishing at the Santa Ana River

The waters of Santa Ana River

Scottthezombie at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Rainbow trout, largemouth bass, and channel catfish are the most often captured species in the Santa Ana River.

Additionally, wild rainbow, brown, and brook trout live there year-round.

To fish in the Santa Ana River, you must have a fishing license, which you may get at any time at the Santa Ana River Fishing License.

Prices and options for non-resident fishing permits are included.

Be careful to follow the state’s fishing restrictions for your safety.

Remember that restrictions are placed to safeguard fish species and allow fishing for future generations.

Play Bowling at Bowlero Norco

Bowlero Norco has a unique ambiance that will please everyone who visits.

Kids’ birthdays, business events, and social gatherings of all types can add the bowling alley and arcade to the festivities.

Guests may relax and have a good time in the modern arcade and bowling alley, which feature cutting-edge technology.

No two visits to Bowlero Norco are ever the same because of its daily specials and themes.

You may even join one of their leagues if you want to play bowling on a more regular basis.

Check out Bowlero the next time you’re looking for a change of pace.

Complete Your Cowboy Outfit at Boot Barn

Boot Barn is the perfect place to let loose your inner cowboy.

This Norco, California retail business provides more than just shopping.

It’s a one-on-one experience facilitated by a team of professionals who are on hand to assist you at every step of the way.

This establishment also cleans and shapes new or used cowboy hats.

They also offer in-person boot fitting.

The company’s in-store experience also features WHIP (We Have It Promise).

Whether you’re looking for western accessories, work gear, or western fashion, you’ll find it here.

Enjoy Breakfast at Scramblers Café

Eating breakfast at Scramblers Café is bound to be one of the best things you can do in Norco.

With a wide variety of selections, they are also known for their pancakes.

Its fusion dishes include Korean Kalbi Ribs, Japanese fried rice omelets, French crepes, and standard American faves like eggs benedict.

Even after 11:00 a.m., customers may get lunch from their menu.

At Scramblers Café, you can always find something to whet your appetite.

Dine at Badlands BBQ

Smoked beef and pork meals are popular at Badlands BBQ in Norco.

Many delectable dishes are available, including its smokehouse salad and beef brisket alongside cornbread and zesty coleslaw on the menu.

Every BBQ fan will find something to satisfy their taste buds with the extensive menu.

Badlands BBQ is a star in the BBQ world, rivaling the likes of Memphis, Kansas City, and Austin for both quality and friendliness of service.

One of the restaurant’s most popular menu items, the Carolina pulled pork, is always a hit with guests.

Taste the Local Beer at GreyWolf Brewing Co.

GreyWolf Brewing, like a grey wolf, strives to maintain harmony in the natural world, and its artisan beers do the same.

Its brewers start with the freshest and best ingredients and turn their homebrewing passion into multi-awarded craft beer.

A husband and wife who are well-versed in Norco’s rural, family-oriented culture own this brewery.

Beers, including India Pale Ales (IPAs), lagers, and stouts, are regularly rotated on the GreyWolf Brewing tap roster.

Weekends include live music, food trucks, and a wide variety of rotating taps for beer enthusiasts.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Have a Blast at Sky Zone Trampoline Park

Exterior of Sky Zone Trampoline Park

The Image Party /

Look no further if you’re looking for a great spot to have a party for kids, teenagers, or adults.

Sky Zone Trampoline Park is the ultimate destination for family enjoyment.

You’ll find this park in Riverside, California, only 14 minutes away from Norco.

Its centerpiece is a giant trampoline park.

You can also ply u ltimate dodgeball, the “ninja warrior” obstacle course, the air court, and sky slam basketball sets.

Pump your adrenaline while flying through the air.

A venue that includes all this and more is a no-brainer for organizing group activities.

Make your next family vacation or celebration memorable, thanks to the enormous range of attractions available here.

Have Some Retail Therapy at Galleria at Tyler

The Galleria at Tyler is also in Riverside, 15 minutes from Norco.

Likewise, every self-respecting shopper must stop by.

There are hundreds of charming shops in their directory, from small booths to mall classics that you’ve grown to know and love.

If shopping isn’t your thing, there’s a movie theater nearby, so you’re not entirely without options.

You’ll have to build up an appetite in any situation.

Stay a little longer and try one of their numerous fine dining or quick casual alternatives while you’re there.

The Galleria at Tyler is a safe bet if you’re looking for a new favorite item.

Play with Your Friends at SC Village Paintball and Airsoft Park

Visitors to SC Village’s Paintball and Airsoft Park, just 11 minutes away from Norco, will have a good time.

It’s in Corona, California.

Admission to the Park includes access to airsoft and paintball courses, where you may use spherical missiles to destroy your opponents.

It has 25 outdoor fields, each with various terrains taken from real-world places.

This park can accommodate groups of up to ten people in group packages.

The park provides multiple options for you, whether you have your gear or need to rent it.

Before arriving, you may also check their website to see the property’s 100 acres.

See Vintage Aircraft at Planes of Fame Air Museum

Airshow at Planes of Fame Air Museum

Angel DiBilio /

Planes of Fame Air Museum, dedicated to the history of planes, is a dream come true for plane enthusiasts.

You’ll find it in Chino, California, 19 minutes from Norco.

The museum is home to a wide range of working aircraft.

You can also join the museum’s aviation exploration that takes guests through the industry’s history.

The museum aims to preserve, educate, and inspire an appreciation for aviation history.

Aircrafts displayed in Planes of Fame Air Museum

Alan Wilson from Stilton, Peterborough, Cambs, UK, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The museum’s enormous collection displays a wide range of aircraft from different eras.

In addition to guided tours and unique programming events, guests may expect to learn and have fun at the facility.

An aircraft in Planes of Fame Air Museum

Ducatipierre, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Expand Your Knowledge at the World Museum of Natural History

Do you have an insatiable need for knowledge?

Drive 15 minutes from Norco to Riverside and arrive at the World Museum of Natural History.

See various artifacts, including sculptures, taxidermied animals, and other organized exhibits at the museum.

The university provides free tours of Cossentine Hall, located on La Sierra’s campus.

This museum features an array of creatures, including reptiles and amphibians, birds, mammals, and even mineral spheres and jewels and minerals.

For those who enjoy the history of nature and its creatures, the World Museum of Natural History provides an immersive experience.

Final Thoughts

During your vacation in Southern California, you should also visit Norco and its neighboring towns.

Amidst the warm weather, you and your family will have a blast experiencing the best things to do in Norco.

Book your trip today!

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