Blake Walsh

25 Best Things to Do in Redlands, CA

  • Published 2023/04/05

Redlands, California, is a great tourist destination for travelers who love immersing themselves in history, different cultures, natural attractions, and foreign cuisines.

This cultural city celebrates various forms of art such as performance theater, glass art, architecture, and a whole lot more.

Tourists will fall in love with Redlands’ botanical gardens and vast parks, indoor and outdoor theaters, historical monuments, and stunning museums.

Many events are conducted in Redlands throughout the year, including exciting music festivals and an annual Shakespeare Festival.

Want to know what else this city has in store for its visitors?

These are the best things to do in Redlands, California:

Commemorate the Great Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial Shrine

Front view of Lincoln Memorial Shrine

BZK Photos /

Built in 1932 by the great businessman Robert Watchhorn, this beautiful structure was designed by the eminent architect Elmer Grey.

The shrine was initially built as an octagon and is set in limestone.

Fountain at Lincoln Memorial Shrine

BZK Photos /

In 1998, two new wings were added to enhance its beauty.

There are guided tours available all around the building, which you can undertake to get detailed information about the life of the renowned Abraham Lincoln.

The shrine is also dedicated to studies on the Civil War.

Library at Lincoln Memorial Shrine

BZK Photos /

Stroll around Kimberly Crest House and Gardens

Beautiful architecture of Kimberly Crest House and Gardens

inkknife_2000 (7.5 million views +), CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A vast mansion set in the château-style, this Victorian beauty is a must-visit place.

It is spread over a sprawling 7,000 square feet.

This three-story villa was originally built in 1897 for the very wealthy Mrs. Cornelia A. Hill.

The design is also set in a typical Victorian theme and was designed by eminent architects Oliver Perry Dennis and Lyman Farwell.

Opulent and rich Italian-style gardens surround the exquisite villa, perfect for those looking for a destination wedding venue.

The house is often rented out for private weddings and other events.

For those who are visiting, there are public guided tours available.

Catch a Performance at the Redlands Bowl

Stage at Redlands Bowl

Felipe Sanchez /

Enjoy free music performances at the Redlands Bowl.

Held every May, the Redlands Shakespeare Festival is one of the main events that take place at this amphitheater.

Aerial view of Redlands Bowl

Brian Karczewski /

Another notable event conducted here is the Redlands Bowl Summer Music Festival, which occurs in June and August.

What makes it special is that it is the oldest continuous music festival in the United States.

Empty benches at Redlands Bowl

Felipe Sanchez /

As many as 20 programs catering to various genres are held here, so you can take your pick and attend at least one of them.

Sample Some Beer at Escape Craft Brewery

Who doesn’t like to make merry and have a glass of craft beer every now and then?

This exceptional brewery is locally owned and ensures that all its brews are well crafted with the maximum taste.

With a sprawling 5,000 square feet of space and five barrels involved in the production, Escape Craft Brewery‘s beer is delicious and well-produced.

They have a tasting room where customers can sample a variety of beers.

Their beers range from the typical rich English brown beer to a coffee chocolate version, along with some different seasonal beers.

Escape Craft Brewery also offers sodas crafted using locally produced fruits, herbs, or spices.

On the menu, you’ll find various other signature cocktails and brews as well.

Look at Glass Art at the Historical Glass Museum

An extensive collection of American-made glass art is available at this historical museum.

The works of art at the Historical Glass Museum are preserved very well to give you a complete feel about the glass arts.

The museum showcases various art forms by famous and local artists alike.

Its special attractions include a virtual tour of the facility that you can watch online.

You can check it out before visiting to get an idea of what to expect at this beautiful museum.

There is also a guided tour available on-site for those who prefer the traditional form of walking and exploring tourist attractions.

See Live Animals at the San Bernardino County Museum

People strolling around San Bernardino County Museum

Joseph Sohm /

One of the San Bernardino County Museum‘s major attractions is the live animal Discovery Center, where you can look at actual live animals and observe them and their natural habitat.

It is called an exploration station, and there are also beautiful cactus gardens around.

Built by the San Bernardino County Museum Association in 1952, the museum focuses mainly on Redlands’ natural history.

Entrance of San Bernardino County Museum

inkknife_2000 (7.5 million views +), CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It provides an educational insight into the rich and abundant flora and fauna in this city.

The museum is popular among students and adults because of its various workshops and educational programs organized by the Association.

Families looking to educate their kids about conservation and nature foster a particular interest in this museum.

Attend a Comedy or Musical Performance at the Redlands Footlighters Theatre

A women-run organization and venue established in 1945, the Redlands Footlighters Theatre hosts various performances throughout the year.

There are many shows that you can choose to attend, from comedy to drama, to classical and even theatrical performances.

The Redlands Footlighters Theatre was solely established to provide an active platform for budding actors or directors to perform and sharpen their art.

It has come a long way since its inception in 1945 and remains one of Redlands’s most packed theatrical venues.

Tickets to your chosen show can be purchased online or at the theater itself.

Visit Redlands Art Association

Redlands Art Association (RAA) is an exhibition center that was built in 1964 to display different types of art forms.

One of its other primary purposes was to create a gallery where people could purchase affordable and beautiful art pieces.

The association itself stands for causes like visual arts and creativity.

They also host art classes, educational programs, and small workshops for children and adults.

Some of these lectures are conducted by well-known artists.

Meet Furry Friends at Redlands Dog Park

Pavement at Redlands Dog Park

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If you also love dogs, Redlands Dog Park is the place for you.

The park is located in the northwest corner of Ford Park and is a great place to make some dog friends.

Dogs playing at Redlands Dog Park

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What makes it special is that dog owners are allowed to remove their dogs’ leashes so their pets can play freely.

There are parks specifically for small dogs and big ones.

People walking dogs at Redlands Dog Park

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For those looking for other forms of outdoor fun, there is also a garden, playground, and tennis court.

Take a Walk at Caroline Park

Trees at Caroline Park

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This bountiful park houses many natural wonders over a sprawling 16.8 acres of land.

One of its major attractions is a botanical garden home to a variety of endemic and native Californian species.

View of the snow capped mountain at Caroline Park

inkknife_2000 (7.5 million views +), CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This is also a dog-friendly park, so you’re welcome to bring your pet along with you.

The Loop Trail is very beautiful and filled with a variety of small and beautiful species of wildflowers.

Picnicking is another fun activity that you can enjoy on the park’s grassy lawns.

Have a Meal at Caprice Cafe

Street view of Caprice Cafe

Jordan W., CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This quaint cafe is the perfect spot to dine after a long day of sightseeing.

Caprice Cafe‘s eclectic dishes make it a hotspot for tourists and locals alike.

It is located near the Historic Downtown Redlands and overlooks the Ed Hales Park.

Its quaint and modern outdoor seating is also one of its many perks.

The garden gives a great view as you nibble on your pasta and bread.

Caprice Cafe’s bar has a well-curated menu with various beverages, including craft beers, wines, and signature cocktails.

These can be paired with fresh salads, seafood, or wood-fired pizzas.

Don’t forget to try their pasta cooked in delicious, rich sauces.

Have a Fun Family Night at Open Door Escape Games

Escape rooms are always an excellent way to spend your vacations.

It helps build team spirit and guarantees some fun memories for you and family or friends to look back on.

The rooms at Open Door Escape Games are pretty challenging, and there are three difficulty levels available.

For those who haven’t heard of escape rooms, the concept is that you are locked in a room, and you need to escape from it in a limited period, usually an hour.

To help you escape, there are various clues strewn around, which you need to figure out to escape in time.

Enjoy Thai Cuisine at Mu Restaurant

A delightful mix of Thai and French culture, Mu Restaurant‘s setup is inspired by the French, while its menu consists of Thai dishes.

It’s a hotspot for foodies and culinary experts.

The restaurant’s authentic Southeast Asian and Thai menu includes mouth-watering dishes like grilled marinated chicken satay, Bangkok duck, and Bo Luc Lac.

Pair your dishes with Mu Restaurant’s craft beers or signature cocktails for the best experience.

See the LifeHouse Theater

Exterior of LifeHouse Theater

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Award-winning theatrical company LifeHouse is committed to preserving traditional Judeo-Christian worldviews and values in all of its productions.

According to a study conducted by the Sun newspaper, LifeHouse has been voted one of the best live theaters in the area.

More than 30,000 people attend annual performances at the LifeHouse Theater, an interdenominational community theater and popular tourist destination in the Inland Empire.

An award-winning faith-based theater, LifeHouse is one of the most popular attractions in the Inland Empire and employs more than 500 talented performers and crew members.

It also provides a wide variety of educational opportunities for academics and students of the performing arts.

Visit The Asistencia

Bell tower at the Asistencia

Lowe Llaguno /

The Asistencia, a historical landmark in California, replicates the historic Mission San Gabriel’s Estancia ranch station.

It was a cattle grazing station established as part of the site.

Scenic view of The Asistencia

Lowe Llaguno /

The on-site structures were constructed around 1930 as copies of the original buildings.

The Estancia served a variety of functions over the years, including a polling precint, surgery, and now a museum.

Interior of the Asistencia

Lowe Llaguno /

It caters to weddings at the museum’s ancient chambers, lovely gardens, elegant chapel, and planted courtyard.

Play Golf at Redlands Country Club

The oldest member-owned country club in the Western United States is Redlands Country Club.

It was established in 1896.

Redlands Country Club is one of the region’s top golf courses and has enhanced its offerings to visitors.

The 18-hole championship golf course in Redlands, California, includes majestic oak trees and awe-inspiring vistas of the surrounding mountains.

In addition to a pro shop and a snack bar, golf instruction is provided.

Peruse Different Shops at Redlands Market Night

What’s more fun than visiting a night market?

The Redlands Market Night has been going strong since its inception in 1988, making it one of its most famous farmer’s markets.

Downtown Redlands is surrounded by approximately 150 food, vegetable, and commerce booths, making this a refuge for locals and tourists.

If you don’t want to leave the city, here is the place to go for a night of fantastic cuisine and unique souvenirs!

You may also take a romantic date here on your weekend trips since the town comes alive at night.

Chill at Hangar 24 Craft Brewery

Looking for someplace to chill while visiting Redlands, choose this local brewery.

Hangar 24 Craft Brewery creates a variety of rotating beers, all influenced by aviation.

Hangar 24 Brewing Company is located in an airplane hangar and has brews including Betty IPA, Orange Wheat, Aventura, and Peak Blonde in its lineup.

Visitors to the brewery may try the facility’s own beers and enjoy excellent food from neighboring restaurants in a sophisticated tasting room.

This brewery also sponsors live entertainment on the tasting area’s patio, giving a laid-back and calm setting where you may enjoy fine beer.

Admire the Botanical Trees at Prospect Park

Trail at Prospect Park

Lowe Llaguno /

The 11-acre Prospect Park is one of Redlands’ famous parks.

Featuring an orange grove and multiple trails, this park dedicates itself to your nature trekking needs.

It shines with a multitude of botanical trees and plants.

In fact, it’s one of the charming points of the park.

An orange tree at Prospect Park

DebsG /

But this is not the only reason why you should visit this park.

This site is also the home to the outdoor Avice Meeker Sewall Theater, which is the primary venue for the Redlands Summer Theater Festival.

Prospect Park is on Prospect Drive, between Highland Avenue and Cajon Street.

Succulents at Prospect Park

DebsG /

Go on a Hiking Extravaganza at San Timoteo Canyon Nature Sanctuary

Landscape of San Timoteo Canyon Nature Sanctuary

DebsG /

San Timoteo Canyon Nature Sanctuary offers your ultimate nature getaway while in Redlands.

This nature sanctuary spans 160 acres.

Managed by Redlands Conservancy, the place boasts about three diverse habitats—riparian, grassland, and hillside chaparral.

It also contains two of the most significant historic trails in the city; namely, the Carriage and Cocomaricopa Trails.

Hiking trail at San Timoteo Canyon Nature Sanctuary

DebsG /

These trails are common among hikers, bikers, and even equestrians.

Go on a unique nature exploration as you hike along the wildlife corridor and meet wetland fowl and other animals.

To reach San Timoteo Canyon Nature Sanctuary, head over to Alessandro Road.

Teddy's trail at San Timoteo Canyon Nature Sanctuary

inkknife_2000 (7.5 million views +), CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Plan a Picnic Get-Together at Oakmont Park

A short footbridge at Oakmont Park

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Breathe in the scent of nature when you come by Oakmont Park for a visit.

This 14-acre park is famous for its multi-use trails circling the area.

Many come by this park on mountain bikes for an adventurous ride, and you should too.

But if you prefer to take in the natural scenery on foot, hiking is always a good idea.

Trees at Oakmont Park

inkknife_2000 (7.5 million views +), CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Though small in size, this park makes up for it with majestic trees, plants, and wildflowers.

Its picnic areas are also worth visiting for a few hours spent in nature.

You can find Oakmont Park on Sutherland Drive.

Practice Your Posture and Aim at Redlands Shooting Park

Ensure you learn a new skill when you visit Redlands.

And what better skill to learn than shooting at Redlands Shooting Park?

This outdoor shooting facility boasts four types of specialty fields.

These include 10 Sporting Clays courses, 2 Olympic Bunker Trap fields, 4 Skeet fields, and 9 regulation Trap fields.

This way, you get to practice your aim and target in a comfortable setting.

The facility also hosts registered shoots in trap, skeet, and sporting clay.

So, if you want to take your shooting adventure to the next level, keep your calendar in line with the events of the range.

Redlands Shooting Park is on North Orange Street near the 210 and 10 Freeways.

Join the Youth Art Expo at the Redlands Festival of Arts

Your Redlands trip is never complete if you don’t attend the Redlands Festival of Arts at least once in your life.

This yearly festival takes place every Memorial Day weekend.

It features a selection of juried art shows and sales, highlighting at least 100 artists from within the region and nationwide.

Dedicated to providing fine art presentations to the public, the festival comes with a youth art expo and a cinema classic special.

View art in many forms—paintings, sculptures, and even attic art sales, as well as live music and performances from renowned artists.

The Redlands Festival of Arts takes place every May in Smiley Park on Parkwood Drive.

Final Thoughts

Everywhere you travel, you’ll discover a different climate, a different country, and distinct culture.

It’s one of those areas that not many people know about, so if you’re searching for a great tourist destination without the crowds, Redlands, California, is one of the greatest in the West!

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