Probably the most overlooked and least appreciated region of 12 in California is the Inland Empire. With cities such as San Bernardino and Riverside fighting some of the highest unemployment and foreclosures in the nation, there’s enough negative publicity to make many assume that the Inland Empire isn’t worthy of your attention. In reality, the area once filled with orange groves was considered the healthiest area in California to visit, thanks to the climate. Today there are challenges facing some of the Inland Empire cities, but there are also some of California’s most popular hot spots that locals and vacationers love to visit.
If you take a drive to Apple Valley or mountain resorts such as Idyllwild, Lake Arrowhead or Big Bear Lake, you’ll find that the Inland Empire is a beautiful place with great escapes and vacations that offer natural highs minus the snobby attitude in mountain resorts where wealthy politicians and celebrities have purchased much of the available residential land.
The Inland Empire sits on the outskirts of Los Angeles, though it is sometimes configured as part of the L.A. basin area because many commuters live in more affordable housing some 50 miles from L.A. The Pacific Ocean and beaches are about an hour’s drive west of Inland Empire, and the Palm Desert sits right on the border of the region to the east.
The only real wine region in Southern California is located in the Inland Empire in Temecula, where award-winning wines have won competitions against other California wine products and even France! If you’ve not visited this wine region, you’ll love the wineries with their beautiful, mellow rolling hills and vistas beyond compare. Temecula is extremely popular for weddings and events, and features many concerts, festivals, and of course, Pechanga Casino, the biggest casino floor on the West Coast, plus 4 diamond resort accommodations, golf & spa.