When it comes to Southern California, most people tend to think of the glitz and glamour of Los Angeles or the sunny beaches of San Diego. However, nestled in the heart of the Inland Empire is a hidden gem that often gets overlooked: Ontario, California. This vibrant city is teeming with a variety of activities and attractions that cater to all interests. Whether you’re a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, a foodie, or a shopping aficionado, Ontario has something for everyone. Let’s dive into the top things to do in Ontario, California.
1. Explore the Ontario Museum of History and Art: Immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of the region by visiting the Ontario Museum of History and Art. This museum showcases both permanent and rotating exhibits that highlight the area’s past, from its Native American roots to its development as a thriving city. It’s a perfect starting point to gain a deeper understanding of Ontario’s heritage.
2. Hike the Etiwanda Falls Trail: Nature enthusiasts will find solace in the Etiwanda Falls Trail. This scenic hike offers a moderate trek through picturesque landscapes, culminating in a breathtaking waterfall. The trail is suitable for hikers of various skill levels and provides an excellent opportunity to connect with nature while staying close to the city.
3. Shop and Dine at Ontario Mills: For those seeking a shopping extravaganza, look no further than the Ontario Mills. This massive outlet mall is a shopping haven with a plethora of stores offering discounted goods from well-known brands. After indulging in some retail therapy, refuel at the diverse selection of eateries within the mall, catering to various tastes.
4. Grab a Bite on the Euclid Avenue Restaurant Row: Ontario boasts a vibrant food scene, and nowhere is it more evident than on Euclid Avenue’s Restaurant Row. From authentic Mexican cuisine to trendy cafes and international flavors, this area offers a delectable culinary journey that will satisfy any palate.
5. Attend Events at the Ontario Convention Center: The Ontario Convention Center is a hub for a variety of events, ranging from trade shows and conventions to entertainment and cultural gatherings. Be sure to check the center’s event calendar to see if there’s anything of interest during your visit.
6. Experience the Scenic Cucamonga-Guasti Regional Park: For a day of relaxation and outdoor recreation, head to the Cucamonga-Guasti Regional Park. This park features picturesque lakes for fishing and boating, picnic areas for family gatherings, and open spaces for sports and leisure activities. It’s an ideal spot to unwind and enjoy the Californian sunshine.
7. Take a Day Trip to Mount Baldy: Just a short drive from Ontario, Mount Baldy offers outdoor enthusiasts the chance to tackle some serious hiking trails. Depending on the season, you can hike, snowshoe, or simply revel in the beauty of this alpine area.
8. Discover Local Breweries and Wineries: Ontario has a burgeoning craft beer and wine scene. Spend an afternoon exploring local breweries and wineries, tasting a variety of beverages crafted with care and passion by local artisans.
9. Attend a Performance at the Ontario Reign Ice Arena: Sports fans and entertainment seekers can catch a hockey game or other events at the Ontario Reign Ice Arena. The energetic atmosphere and thrilling games make for a memorable outing.
10. Unwind at Planes of Fame Air Museum: Aviation enthusiasts will be enthralled by the Planes of Fame Air Museum, which houses a remarkable collection of historic aircraft. It’s a chance to learn about aviation history and get up close to iconic planes.
11. Explore the Graber Olive House: Experience a slice of Ontario’s agricultural history by visiting the Graber Olive House. This historic establishment has been producing and curing olives for over a century. Take a guided tour to learn about the olive-curing process and sample their delicious products.
12. Attend Events at Citizens Business Bank Arena: The Citizens Business Bank Arena is a premier entertainment venue that hosts concerts, sports events, and shows year-round. Check their schedule for upcoming events to catch a live performance or a thrilling sports game.
13. Wander Through Ontario’s Historic Downtown: Stroll down the charming streets of downtown Ontario, where you’ll find a mix of historic architecture, quaint shops, and local eateries. The area’s nostalgic ambiance and unique boutiques make for a delightful shopping and dining experience.
14. Visit Scandia Amusement Park: Families and thrill-seekers will have a blast at Scandia Amusement Park. This fun-filled destination features arcade games, mini-golf, go-karts, batting cages, and rides, making it a perfect spot for a day of family-friendly entertainment.
15. Explore the Guasti Regional Park Archery Range: If you’re interested in archery, head to the Guasti Regional Park Archery Range. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced archer, this range provides a safe and enjoyable environment to practice your skills.
16. Discover the Sam and Alfreda Maloof Foundation for Arts and Crafts: Art aficionados will appreciate the Sam and Alfreda Maloof Foundation, dedicated to preserving and promoting the art and craftsmanship of Sam Maloof. Explore the artist’s incredible woodworking creations and gain insight into his life and legacy.
17. Attend a Performance at the Ontario Improv Comedy Club: Laugh the night away at the Ontario Improv Comedy Club, where talented comedians take the stage to deliver side-splitting performances. Enjoy an evening of humor, good company, and tasty food and drinks.
18. Indulge in Sweet Treats at the Magic Lamp Inn: Satisfy your sweet tooth by visiting the Magic Lamp Inn, a beloved local restaurant famous for its delectable desserts. From mouthwatering pies to decadent cakes, this spot is a haven for dessert enthusiasts.
19. Experience History at the Graber Olive House: Dive into Ontario’s agricultural history by visiting the Graber Olive House. With over a century of olive production and curing experience, this establishment offers guided tours to learn about the olive-curing process and sample their delicious products.
20. Attend the Ontario Art Walk and Exhibit: Art lovers should keep an eye out for the Ontario Art Walk and Exhibit. This event showcases the work of local artists and provides an opportunity to explore various art forms, from paintings to sculptures, in a vibrant outdoor setting.
21. Relax at the Whispering Lakes Golf Course: Golf enthusiasts can tee off at the Whispering Lakes Golf Course. This picturesque course offers a challenging game amid scenic landscapes, making it a great place to unwind and enjoy a round of golf.
22. Take a Cultural Journey at the Chaffey Community Museum of Art: Immerse yourself in the world of visual arts at the Chaffey Community Museum of Art. This museum features an impressive collection of contemporary and traditional artworks, offering a unique perspective on the local art scene.
23. Discover Ontario’s Wine Country: Venture beyond the city to explore Ontario’s own wine country. Visit local wineries, indulge in wine tastings, and relish the serene landscapes that provide the perfect backdrop for a relaxing day out.
24. Attend the Ontario Reign Fan Fest: Hockey fans can join in the excitement of the Ontario Reign Fan Fest. This annual event includes player meet-and-greets, interactive games, and fun activities for the whole family.
25. Enjoy Live Music at the Ontario Town Square: During certain times of the year, the Ontario Town Square hosts live music performances, creating a lively atmosphere for residents and visitors alike. Check the event schedule to catch some toe-tapping tunes in an outdoor setting.
In conclusion, Ontario, California, may not be as renowned as its neighboring cities, but it offers a diverse array of activities and attractions that are worth exploring. From immersing yourself in history and art to enjoying the great outdoors and indulging in culinary delights, Ontario has something for everyone. So, the next time you’re planning a trip to Southern California, consider venturing off the beaten path and discovering the hidden treasures of Ontario.