UC Riverside



The Region


Snow capped Mount Baldy over UCR.

Photo Credit: Larry McGrath

San Gabriel Mountains Overlooking the UCR Campus

UCR's Humanities and Social Sciences Building framed by snow-capped San Gabriel Mountains. Just a short drive from the UCR campus, mountain resort locations such as Big Bear Lake, Mt. Baldy Village, and Lake Arrowhead offer hiking, skiing, snowboarding, camping, boating, fishing, horseback riding and other recreational activities.

Mission Inn.

Mission Inn

From its modest beginnings as a 12-room adobe boarding house to its current stature consisting of 239 guest rooms, the National Historic Landmark Mission Inn Hotel & Spa has been the keystone of downtown Riverside since 1876.

The Alhambra Court at the Mission Inn.

The Alhambra Court at the Mission Inn

The fourth floor of the Mission Inn features the Moorish-themed Alhambra Court, built in 1923-1924. The suite includes a huge fireplace and beams of Mexican cedar. The Carmel Tower overlooks the corner of Sixth and Orange Streets in Riverside

Riverside's Chinese Memorial Pavilion.

The Chinese Memorial Pavilion

The Pavilion is a memorial to the early Chinese pioneers, including those from Jiangmen, Riverside's sister city and the home of the Chinese citrus industry, who contributed to the development of agriculture transportation and commerce in Riverside and Southern California. Funded by the Republic of China (Taiwan), the City of Riverside and the non-profit Chinese Pavilion Committee, it is located on the grounds of the Riverside Public Library.

View of the Cityscape.

Unique Spanish and Mediterranean Architecture

The influence of the Spanish and Mediterranean architectures are seen throughout the city, including a significant portion of downtown.

  • San Gabriel Mountains
  • Mission Inn
  • Alhambra Court
  • Chinese Memorial Pavilion
  • Riverside cityscape

Proud to Call Inland Southern California Our Home

UCR's main campus is in Riverside in the geographical center of Inland Southern California . Located near the junction of the 91, 215 and 60 freeways, UCR is approximately 50 miles east of Los Angeles and 100 miles north of San Diego.

The city of Riverside is a vibrant, culturally diverse center of commerce, finance, industry, and education with a population of more than 294,000.

Riverside is home to libraries, art and history museums, theaters, concert venues, a convention center, fine restaurants, quaint shops, modern shopping malls, and a wide variety of sports and other recreational activities that make living comfortable and fun.

Its people reflect the same cultural and ethnic diversity found throughout Southern California, giving the city a rich, cosmopolitan feel.

The Riverside area enjoys a year-round temperate climate with warm, dry summers and mild winters.

The city’s “Mediterranean image” derives from the many examples of fine architecture in the California Mission Revival and Spanish Colonial styles that dot its landscape, including the world famous Mission Inn Hotel in downtown Riverside.

An Award-Winning City

The City of Riverside has won numerous awards for excellence in city governance and public service.

  • The Intelligent Community Forum  selected Riverside as one of its 2011 Top Seven Intelligent Communities of the Year. These are communities that provide a model of economic and social development in the 21st Century using information and communications technology to power growth, address social challenges and preserve and promote culture.
  • The City of Riverside placed as a finalist for a 2009 LivCom Environmentally Sustainable Project Award for its "Green Action Plan - A Sustainable Community" document.
  • Relocate America selected Riverside as one of America's Top 100 Places to Live. Criteria for selection included a positive outlook for future growth and the ability to rebound, strong local government and business leadership, and improving or thriving economies including housing and realization of "green" initiatives.

Riverside? Where's the River?

The Santa Ana River following rains in December, 2009.

Photo Credit: Christine French

The Santa Ana River and Mt. Rubidoux following rains in December, 2009.

A frequently asked question by visitors and newcomers to Riverside is "Where is the river?" The answer is simple: the Santa Ana River runs just west of the city, less than five miles from the downtown city center. Those who expect to find a mighty flowing river like the Colorado or Mississippi will be disappointed by this comparatively small cousin that gave Riverside its name. However, they might be surprised to learn that it is one of the largest river systems in Southern California.

The Santa Ana River begins in the watershed areas of the nearby San Bernardino National Forest, then makes its way nearly 100 miles through San Bernardino, Riverside and Orange Counties before emptying into the Pacific Ocean between Newport Beach and Huntington Beach.

Most of the source for the river comes from snow melt in the watershed area of the mountains. As a result of Southern California's generally dry climate, flood control efforts and the usage of water for public consumption by cities that border the river, very little water flows throughout the year. That can change dramatically during the rainy months, as the river can grow remarkably in size for short periods of time. In fact, the river recorded three devastating floods, in 1862, 1938 and 1969. Subsequent preventative flood control efforts have reduced the risk of such a flood occurring again, but have also limited the size and flow of the river.

More Information 

Footer