Featured Riverside City
Christine Dianne Francisco | Contributer
The vibrant city of Corona is located in Riverside County, California, and was founded in 1896. Corona was originally a rural community with roots in mining and citrus growing. Over the years, Corona has blossomed into a thriving community, initially inhabited by people of English and Irish descent. Today, Corona is a culturally diverse area with first-rate facilities; it has numerous tourist attractions that you can explore without spending a dime. Check out these free things to do in Corona, California.
Explore the Skyline Drive Trail
Get ready for amazing views and an unforgettable experience while exploring the Skyline Drive Trail in Corona. The Skyline Drive Trail spans 5.9 miles, leading up to the famous Beek’s Place, another popular hiking spot in North Easter Orange County. This Corona trailhead is trendy all year round, which can be attributed to the majestic views in store for travelers. Upon reaching Beek’s Place, you’ll find the ruins of a stone cabin where you can rest before heading back down. You’ll also see a lot of wild creatures during your hike, including mountain lions, rabbits, and skunks, as well as an abundance of wildflowers.
Learn Local History at the Corona Heritage Park and Museum
Like many California cities, Corona has years of history that helped shape its culture and heritage. So if you’re a history buff raring to know more about the Circle City, swing by the Corona Heritage Park and Museum on W Foothill Parkway. The Corona Heritage Park and Museum offers free tours for visitors all year round except for holidays, which means you don’t need to spend a dime to unearth the city’s age-old stories. Enjoy an educational tour of Corona’s local history, deeply rooted in mining and citrus-growing activities. You’ll also see a bunch of artifacts and exhibits in the form of archives, clothes, and century-old equipment that helped Corona’s livelihood.
Spend a Relaxing Day at Butterfield Park
Step back from the busy city life and take a breather when you swing by Butterfield Park along Butterfield Dr. This Corona park is perfect for those who want to enjoy the tranquil scenery of the green space and rest under a cool shade of leaves. Feel free to take a walk around this 43.5-acre park in Corona, and take in the relaxing atmosphere while you’re on a well-deserved break. Butterfield Park is also a great place to have a small picnic, as there are picnic shelters that you can reserve. Other amenities inside the park include playgrounds, barbecue areas, and soccer and softball fields.
Take Your Dog for a Walk at Griffin Park
When touring the streets of Corona, it’s only fitting= that your pet gets his fair share of fun, too. Fortunately, Corona has Griffin Park, a dog-friendly park where you can let your dog off his leash and run freely. Griffin Park is conveniently located along Somerset Circle and has several facilities that your dog can try out. Exercise with your furry friend as you run the jogging course, and teach it nifty cool tricks. Of course, remember that Griffin Park is a public park, so you should be mindful of your pet, belongings, and trash.
Visit the Old Hotel Del Rey
Corona is indeed stocked with historical wonders, and one of the things you should check out is the old Hotel del Rey on W Foothill Parkway. Built by Ida Frazier in 1904, Hotel del Rey was the first hotel in Corona with a functional telephone. Hotel del Rey was also a popular social gathering back in its heyday, hosting events like fundraisers and banquets. The historic hotel underwent several changes over the years; it even became a parking space for the Bank of America. Today, the hotel doesn’t look like much, but many of its architectural pieces have been preserved and are set for renovation to restore its former glory.
Catch Free Events at the Circle City Center
Corona likes to get its residents involved in day-to-day activities, so watch out for free events at the Circle City Center on N Main St. Corona’s Circle City Center makes an ideal gathering spot for community events because of its several facilities. Fitness activities are usually held inside the city center, with an indoor basketball court, bike racks, and other gym equipment available. The city center is also frequented for events such as arts and crafts workshops, music classes, and other enrichment activities. Art lovers will also want to wait for free exhibits at this Corona facility.
Work up a Sweat at El Cerrito Sports Park
Do you want to exercise during your Corona Vacation? Head over to El Cerrito Sports Park. This park along El Cerrito Rd has all the amenities to help you get some much-needed exercise. Have your friends tag along for the experience, and have a productive day when you swing by this park in Corona. Practice your swings at the baseball field, or shoot hoops at the park’s basketball court. There’s also a soccer field, tennis court, and softball field for you to try out, as well as several picnic areas where you can rest once you’re done.
Know the Story of the Corona Historic Civic Center
If you go to W 6th St, you’ll see a majestic building widely known as the Corona Historic Civic Center. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, this Corona landmark houses the Civic Center Theater. Corona’s Historic Civic Center was originally a high school after a bond election win in 1922. After years of educating Corona students, the high school sustained earthquake safety issues and had to be closed down. Soon afterward, it became the new City Hall and Civic Center, still embodying years of history and heritage.
Cool Off at Ridgeline Park
The summer heat can be unbearable, especially when you’re in California. What better way to stay cool than splashing in the water? You might think that the aqua centers will probably be complete and will only cost more money to lounge around a local resort. Fortunately, there’s a gigantic splash pad in Ridgeline Park where you can beat the summer heat for free. Located along Corona’s Ridgeline Dr, this park is a great spot to cool off while working on a tight budget. Splash around, enjoy the sprinklers, and have a nice little picnic after your mini adventure. There’s even a barbecue area and covered shelters that are perfect for large groups.
Check Out the Hotrods at Cars and Coffee Corona
Dedicated gearheads should have a great time checking out the hotrods during the Cars and Coffee Corona event. Cars and Coffee Corona happens every Saturday from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. at the IHOP Serfas Club along Wardlow Rd. During this gathering, you’ll see a fleet of classic, exotic, and luxury vehicles in one space. Ask all the questions you want about these cars, and even get some ideas about how to make your own hotrod stand out. If you have a showstopper of your own, feel free to parade your vehicle with the rest, but keep in mind that parking is on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Join the Fire and Ice Chili Cook Off and Craft Beer Festival
If there’s one event you should attend in Corona, it’s the Fire and Ice Chili Cook Off and Craft Beer Festival. Typically held along Cabot Dr at The Shops at Dos Lagos, the Fire and Ice Chili Cook Off and Craft Beer Festival is an annual event where the best cooks show off their skills. You’ll also see some of the best craft brews in the city while savoring the wonderful aroma of homemade chili. Explore the entire area they fuss about, and stick around to enjoy some live entertainment, too. The annual festival is held every February, so if you’re planning to visit Corona around that time, save the date for this event!
Take Your Little One to Winter Kids’ Fun
Let your little ones have fun at the Winter Kid’s Fun event at Cabot Dr. The Winter Kids’ Fun event is free for kids and gives them a chance to enjoy the holidays with a series of activities. If you’re ever in town for the holiday season, check out this event for your kids to have a memorable Christmas. Some of the activities during this event include children’s crafts, games, and face painting services with balloon twisters. To make the event even more memorable, there’s also a chance for your kids to take photos with Santa Claus when they board the Polar Express Train.
Hop on the Free Whiskey Tasting Train at Happiest Ours
Check out Happiest Ours on N Main Street, a wine and spirits store that regularly hosts free whiskey-tasting events. These whiskey-tasting sessions will let you taste the concoctions of Corona’s finest distilleries. If you love wines and spirits, look for reservations to join these events. You might even taste new and unique creations you can’t find anywhere else. Happiest Ours offers several variations of tequila, wine, vodka, and more.
Join a Free Pranayama Class
If you want to relax during your Corona vacation, you might want to attend a free Pranayama class. This weekly class is free for everyone; you can attend the session without leaving your room since they are held on Zoom. When you join the Pranayama class, relax your mind and channel your inner peace. Once you’ve gotten the hang of breathing techniques, you’ll be ready to venture into the streets and create new memories in Corona.
Explore Downtown Corona
There’s no better way to immerse yourself in Corona’s local scene than to explore the city’s downtown area. Like most cities, Downtown Corona is where the community is, and it’ll be a shame if you don’t check it out. From food to homes and a bustling nightlife to new experiences, Downtown Corona has everything you need. A simple walk around the area is enough to show why many people like living in Corona, and you might even think about staying in the city. This thriving and vibrant area in the city is where living, working and investing come together in a single space.
Corona is one of the many cities offering some of the best tourist attractions. Many of them are also enjoyable for those on a tight budget. Stick to this list of the free things to do in Corona, California, to make the most of your budget.
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