The navel orange became a symbol of Southern California and Redlands was the prominent symbol of orange growing. By 1904, over one million boxes of oranges were distributed from over 30 packing houses. Today only one packing house remains.
The City of Redlands actually was involved in the citrus business in 1968 when it acquired the Prospect Park Grove through money donated by its citizens and federal grants. Additional groves were acquired in the 1970's with park acquisition and development taxes. In 1979, a City ordinance called for the "historical preservation of citrus" to be supported by crop receipts and park tax funds. Today, Redlands owns 16 citrus groves totaling 209 acres. They include Valencia Oranges, Naval Oranges, Ruby Star Grapefruit, and Rio Grapefruit. The City of Redlands Citrus Preservation Commission oversees the city's operations as an enterprise to maintain these groves. Revenue received from the harvesting of the crops is used to continue the on-going cultural care.
Founded in 1881 and incorporated in 1888, Redlands, once the Washington Navel Orange Growing Capital of the World, features beautiful tree-lined State Street comprised of beautiful historic buildings and locally-owned shops and boutiques. The City of Beautiful Homes, it was once called, still boasts some eye-catching historic properties that wow visitors. America's Favorite Victorian (Morey House) on Terracina Boulevard; the Butler Belt which once had the densest population of homes employing butlers in the city; stately homes of Olive Avenue, and Highland Avenue; and a PBS "America's Castles" favorite, Kimberly Crest House and Gardens, amaze travelers who are glad to discover the gem that Redlands was, and once again has become, thanks to a Renaissance.
When taking a drive tour, be sure to pass by A.K. Smiley Public Library featuring Moorish architecture and dating to 1898. Redlands Bowl, built in 1930, is home to the oldest continuously free outdoor concert series in California. Be sure to stroll through the Smiley Park neighborhood, filled with turn-of-the-century bungalows and landmark homes.
Things to see in Redlands:
Historical Glass Museum - Over 6,000 unique dishes, plates, cups, and decorative glass items from the early 1800's to today are featured in a restored 1903 Victorian house that serves as the museum. A celebrity glass collection includes pieces from the estate of Liberace, actor & director Harold Lloyd, and more. Admission is free.
Kimberly Crest House & Gardens - A must-see during visits to Redlands
is the Kimberly Crest House, with grounds available for spectacular weddings.
Modeled after a French chateau, it has been lived in by only three families
since being built in 1897 by Mrs. Cornelia Hill. The Magic Castle in Hollywood
is an exact mirror image of Kimberly Crest. The house was restored to its
original beauty and is operated by the city.
Location: 1325 Prospect Drive
Hours of Operation: Thursday - Sunday, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. kimberlycrest.org
Morey Mansion - a beautiful Victorian dubbed "America's Favorite Victorian House" has appeared in countless commercials, television shows, and movies. Named for David & Sarah Morey who built the house, the Queen Anne-style Victorian may have hosted actress Carole Lombard.
Built after 1882, the Victorian castle is open for public tours.
Location: 190 Terracina Blvd., Redlands, CA
A.K. Smiley Public Library - Constructed in 1898, the library is
the culmination of the philanthropy of hotelier Albert K. Smiley. Among
California's oldest and most important public libraries, it is of historical
interest designated by the California Historical Landmarks Advisory Committee,
and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Location: 125 West Vine Street, Redlands, CA. Open daily except holidays, call first to confirm.
Asistencia Mission de San Gabriel - operated by the San Bernardino
County Museum, it was built between 1830 and 1834 by the Franciscan Fathers of
Mission San Gabriel, and has been restored to the original design. Charming in
every way, it includes a wedding chapel, cactus garden, bell tower, wishing well, and a museum with exhibits that depict Native American and early pioneer life.
Usually open Wednesday through Sunday.
Location: 26930 Barton Road, Redlands, CA
Redlands Market Night Every Thursday 6 - 9 p.m. Downtown Redlands 909-798-7629
Saturday Morning Farmers' Market Seasonal market, April through September Located: Redlands Blvd. & 5th Street
Experience Redlands @ Night Every Friday 6 - 8 pm Dining. Shopping. Music. In historic downtown Redlands
Redlands Bowl Season June - August
Redlands International Bicycle Classic March redlandsclassic.com
4th of July Celebration Sylvan Park - All Day Events University of Redlands - Fireworks Show - 6 p.m.
Feast of Lights December 4th - University of Redlands 909-793-2121
Christmas Parade December 4th - Downtown Redlands 909-792-4016 redlandsevents.com Sponsored by Redlands Noon Kiwanis Club
Tree Lighting Ceremony December 5th - Kimberly Crest House & Gardens 909-792-2111