Best Places to Live in Riverside California

Nestled in the heart of the Inland Empire, Riverside is a vibrant and dynamic city that seamlessly blends rich history with modern innovation. Known for its stunning architecture, cultural landmarks, and scenic landscapes, Riverside offers residents and visitors alike a unique blend of old-world charm and contemporary flair.

Riverside is more than just a city of history—it’s also a hub of innovation and progress. Home to the University of California, Riverside (UCR), and numerous research institutions and technology companies, Riverside is at the forefront of scientific discovery and technological advancement. The city’s commitment to education and innovation has led to the development of cutting-edge industries in fields such as biotechnology, healthcare, and renewable energy, making it a thriving center of economic activity and opportunity.

Beyond its architectural landmarks and economic achievements, Riverside is blessed with natural beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities. With its proximity to the Santa Ana River and the picturesque landscapes of the nearby Box Springs Mountain Reserve, residents can enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities, from hiking and biking to picnicking and birdwatching.

Why Riverside California is great Place to Live

Riverside, California, stands out as a great place to live for several compelling reasons:

Quality of Life in Riverside California

Riverside offers residents a high quality of life with its pleasant climate, scenic surroundings, and abundance of recreational opportunities. Whether it’s hiking in the nearby mountains, exploring local parks, or enjoying cultural events, there’s always something to do to enhance one’s well-being and enjoyment.

Affordable Housing in Riverside California

Compared to nearby coastal cities, Riverside offers more affordable housing options without sacrificing quality of life. From historic homes in downtown Riverside to modern developments in suburban neighborhoods, there’s a diverse range of housing choices to suit various preferences and budgets.

Education in Riverside California

Riverside is home to reputable educational institutions, including the University of California, Riverside (UCR), and Riverside Community College District. Families have access to quality education from kindergarten through higher education, providing opportunities for academic excellence and personal growth.

Employment Opportunities in Riverside California

Riverside’s diverse economy offers a wide range of employment opportunities across various industries, including healthcare, education, technology, and manufacturing. With its proximity to major transportation corridors and economic hubs, residents have access to a thriving job market and career advancement opportunities.

Cultural and Arts Scene in Riverside California

Riverside boasts a vibrant cultural and arts scene, with museums, theaters, galleries, and performance venues showcasing local and international talent. Residents can immerse themselves in the city’s rich cultural heritage through festivals, concerts, and community events held throughout the year.

Outdoor Recreation in Riverside California

Nature lovers will appreciate Riverside’s proximity to outdoor recreational areas, including parks, lakes, and nature reserves. From hiking and biking trails in the Santa Ana River Trail to boating and fishing at Lake Perris State Recreation Area, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors.

Community Spirit in Riverside California

Riverside has a strong sense of community, with residents actively participating in neighborhood associations, volunteer groups, and civic organizations. From community clean-up events to local festivals and parades, there are numerous ways to get involved and make a positive impact in the community.

Diverse and Inclusive in Riverside California

Riverside celebrates its diversity and inclusivity, welcoming residents from all walks of life and cultural backgrounds. With a rich tapestry of cultures, languages, and traditions, the city fosters a sense of belonging and acceptance among its residents, creating a vibrant and dynamic community.

Riverside is a vibrant city offering a variety of neighborhoods, each with its own unique charm and appeal. Deciding where to live is a significant decision, as it shapes your daily life, access to amenities, and overall quality of living.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into five of the best places to live in Riverside: Canyon Crest, Orangecrest, Mission Grove, Hawarden Hills, and Arlanza. From serene landscapes to vibrant communities, these neighborhoods offer something for everyone.

Curious about other amazing spots to call home? Take a journey to our guide on the ‘Best Places to Live in Irvine, California,‘ and uncover even more delightful living options!

1. Canyon Crest

Nestled in the eastern part of Riverside, Canyon Crest is a picturesque neighborhood known for its serene ambiance and breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. This upscale area boasts well-maintained streets, luxurious homes, and an abundance of green spaces.

Canyon Crest features a mix of single-family homes, townhouses, and luxury estates. The housing market is competitive, with properties often selling quickly due to high demand for its scenic views and top-rated schools.


  • Population: Approximately 19,000 residents
  • Median Home Value: Around $695,000
  • Median Household Income: Approximately $84,000 per year

Community Amenities:

  • The Canyon Crest Towne Centre offers shopping, dining, and entertainment options for residents.
  • Residents can enjoy cultural events and performances at the Barbara and Art Culver Center of the Arts.
  • The Riverside Sports Complex provides facilities for various sports and recreational activities, including baseball, softball, and soccer.

Pros of living in Canyon Crest

  • Serene and scenic surroundings
  • High-quality schools, including Canyon Crest Academy and Castle View Elementary School
  • Abundance of parks and recreational facilities, such as Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park and Andulka Park.
  • Low crime rates

Cons of living in Canyon Crest

  • Higher cost of living
  • Limited shopping and dining options compared to urban areas

Fun Facts:

  • Canyon Crest is home to the University of California, Riverside, adding to the neighborhood’s academic atmosphere.
  • The annual Lemon Festival celebrates the area’s citrus heritage, bringing the community together in a festive atmosphere.

2. Orangecrest

Situated in the southeastern part of Riverside, Orangecrest is a vibrant community known for its strong sense of community and family-friendly environment. With tree-lined streets and well-maintained neighborhoods, Orangecrest offers a suburban oasis close to urban amenities.

Orangecrest offers a range of housing options, including single-family homes, condominiums, and apartments. The housing market is competitive, with properties typically selling quickly due to the neighborhood’s strong sense of community and excellent schools.


  • Population: Approximately 26,000 residents
  • Median Home Value: Around $785,000
  • Median Household Income: Approximately $129,000 per year.

Community Amenities:

  • The Orangecrest Community Center hosts events and programs for residents of all ages, including fitness classes, youth sports leagues, and community gatherings.
  • The Galleria at Tyler, located nearby, offers shopping, dining, and entertainment options for residents.
  • Orangecrest is home to several parks and green spaces, including Canyon Crest Park and Orange Terrace Community Park, providing opportunities for outdoor recreation and relaxation.

Pros of living in Orangecrest

  • Strong sense of community
  • Excellent schools, including Benjamin Franklin Elementary School and Martin Luther King High School
  • Numerous parks and green spaces, such as Bergamont Park and Orange Terrace Community Park
  • Convenient access to shopping and dining options

Cons of living in Orangecrest

  • Limited public transportation options
  • Higher housing prices compared to neighboring areas.

Fun Facts:

  • Orangecrest is named for the orange groves that once thrived in the area, reflecting its rich agricultural history.
  • The neighborhood hosts an annual summer concert series in the park, showcasing local talent and fostering community spirit.

3. Mission Grove

Located in the northwestern part of Riverside, Mission Grove is a family-friendly neighborhood known for its quiet streets and well-established community. With top-rated schools and ample green spaces, Mission Grove offers a peaceful retreat for residents. Mission Grove features a mix of single-family homes, townhouses, and condominiums.

The housing market is competitive, with properties often receiving multiple offers due to the neighborhood’s family-friendly atmosphere and top-rated schools. Mission Grove Park features playgrounds, sports fields, and picnic areas for family gatherings.


  • Population: Approximately 11,000 residents
  • Median Home Value: Around $707,000
  • Median Household Income: Approximately $124,000 per year.

Community Amenities:

  • The Mission Grove Plaza offers shopping, dining, and services for residents.
  • The Riverside Public Library – Orange Terrace Branch provides resources and programs for residents of all ages.
  • Mission Grove is home to several parks, including Mission Grove Park and Alessandro Arroyo Park, offering playgrounds, sports fields, and walking trails for outdoor enjoyment.

Pros of living in Mission Grove

  • Family-friendly atmosphere
  • Great schools, including Mark Twain Elementary School and Amelia Earhart Middle School
  • Access to parks and recreational facilities, such as Mission Grove Park and Alessandro Arroyo Park

Cons of living in Mission Grove

  • Some areas may lack walkability and amenities compared to urban neighborhoods
  • Mission Grove can experience traffic congestion during peak hours, especially on major thoroughfares and highways leading to and from the neighborhood.
  • The area may have limited public transportation options, making it challenging for residents who rely on buses or trains for commuting or accessing amenities outside the neighborhood.

Fun Facts:

  • Mission Grove is home to the Mission Inn Hotel & Spa, a historic landmark and popular tourist destination in Riverside.
  • The neighborhood’s annual Harvest Festival celebrates the fall season with local food, music, and entertainment.

4. Hawarden Hills

Nestled in the western part of Riverside, Hawarden Hills is an affluent neighborhood known for its prestigious homes and lush landscapes. With its prestigious schools and upscale amenities, Hawarden Hills offers an exclusive living experience.

It is known for its prestigious homes and estates, featuring luxurious amenities and expansive grounds. The housing market is exclusive, with properties often selling through private listings and luxury real estate agencies. It offers walking trails, playgrounds, and scenic views of the surrounding hills. Residents can enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking and picnicking in the neighborhood’s lush green spaces.


  • Population: Approximately 4,000 residents
  • Median Home Value: Around $701,000
  • Median Household Income: Approximately $135,000 per year

Community Amenities:

  • The Victoria Club, a private country club, offers golfing, tennis, swimming, and dining for its members.
  • Hawarden Hills Park provides walking trails, picnic areas, and scenic views of the surrounding hills for residents to enjoy.
  • The neighborhood’s proximity to the Victoria Avenue Scenic Route offers opportunities for leisurely drives and scenic walks along tree-lined streets.

Pros of living in Hawarden Hills

  • Prestigious residential area
  • Excellent schools, including Hawarden Hills Academy and Victoria Elementary School
  • Access to parks and recreational facilities, such as Hawarden Hills Park

Cons of living in Hawarden Hills

  • Higher cost of living
  • Limited availability of affordable housing options

Fun Facts:

  • Hawarden Hills is home to the Hawarden Hills Historical District, featuring beautifully preserved homes dating back to the early 20th century.
  • The neighborhood’s annual Garden Tour showcases the area’s stunning gardens and landscapes, attracting visitors from across the region.

5. Arlanza

Situated in the northern part of Riverside, Arlanza offers affordable housing options and a diverse urban atmosphere. With its convenient location and proximity to major freeways, Arlanza provides easy access to employment centers and amenities.

It offers affordable housing options, including single-family homes, apartments, and mobile homes. The housing market is diverse, with properties available at various price points to accommodate different budgets. Residents can explore the nearby Santa Ana River Trail for hiking, biking, and nature walks.


  • Population: Approximately 23,000 residents
  • Median Home Value: Around $558,000
  • Median Household Income: Approximately $80,000 per year.

Community Amenities:

  • Lincoln Park features sports fields, playgrounds, and picnic areas for residents to enjoy outdoor activities and community events.
  • The Arlington Square Shopping Center offers convenient shopping and dining options for residents.
  • Arlanza is located near major freeways, providing easy access to employment centers, shopping malls, and entertainment venues in neighboring cities.

Pros of living in Arlanza

  • Affordable housing options
  • Diverse urban atmosphere
  • Access to parks and recreational facilities, such as Lincoln Park
  • Convenient access to major freeways and public transportation

Cons of living in Arlanza

  • Higher crime rates compared to some neighboring areas
  • Limited availability of upscale amenities and entertainment options

Fun Facts:

  • Arlanza hosts the annual Dia de los Muertos celebration, honoring Mexican heritage and traditions.
  • The neighborhood’s vibrant street art scene showcases local talent and adds to its urban charm.


Choosing the best place to live in Riverside depends on various factors, including lifestyle preferences, budget, and priorities. Whether you’re seeking a serene retreat, vibrant community living, or a family-friendly haven, Riverside offers a diverse range of neighborhoods to suit every taste and need.


What is the median home value in Riverside?

The median home value in Riverside is approximately $671,000, varying by neighborhood.

What is the population of Riverside?

As of the latest census data, Riverside has a population of over 334,468 residents.

What is the median household income in Riverside?

The median household income in Riverside is approximately $73,000 per year.

Are there any notable landmarks in Riverside?

Yes, Riverside is home to several landmarks, including the Mission Inn Hotel & Spa and the University of California, Riverside campus.

What recreational activities are available in Riverside?

Riverside offers a wide range of recreational activities, including hiking, biking, golfing, and visiting local parks and museums.

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