• Candice Newman

The Pros and Cons of Living in Riverside, CA


Imagine an empire built around the delicious navel orange, and you’ll have an idea about Riverside, CA. Boasting excellent weather and 24 nationally registered historic sites, Riverside has it all. Of course, like all large cities, not everything is peachy keen. (Navel orange-y keen?) Riverside has a few cons to go along with its pros. If you’re moving to our colorful, diverse, and lovely city, we suggest you get to know the good and the bad… The Pros and Cons of living in Riverside

Pro: The Agricultural Industry in Riverside

Riverside owes a lot of its history to the navel orange. Amazingly, the very first tree that ever produced a navel orange still exists here! (If you’ve eaten a navel orange, this tree is its direct ancestor! How crazy is that?!) Of course, the reason navel oranges grow so well here is that the land is arid and fertile. This provides residents with an abundance of fresh, farm-to-table produce. In short, living in Riverside, CA, means having access to excellent, locally-grown produce year-round!

Con: The Air Quality in Riverside

With Los Angeles only a short drive away, Riverside, unfortunately, gets a lot of their smog. Now, the Inland Empire produces a good amount of smog on its own. Put the two sources of smog together, and you’re left with air quality that, on some days, can be shockingly bad. Luckily, you can get out of the city and into the country quite quickly, where you’ll find the air quality a lot fresher.

Pro: The Music Scene is Thriving in Riverside

Riverside is where Frank Zappa, Blink-182, and other big-time music acts got their start. Today, there are many new venues where are you can find up-and-coming musical artists. The Buffalo Inn, for example, and Commonground Soundstage are two of them, as well as The Vault. With new bands and musical acts on the rise all the time, Riverside is a great place for new music.

Con: Urban Sprawl Has Made a Mess of Things

If miles and miles of concrete and strip malls don’t float your boat, Riverside might be a bit much to handle. It’s an example of urban sprawl at its worst in some areas. Many communities here grew so fast during the 1980s and ’90s that finding their “downtown” is almost impossible. In the end, it means that to purchase practically everything, you’ll need a vehicle to get around.

Pro: It’s Super Close to LA and San Diego

Riverside is almost smack dab in the middle of the City of Angels and San Diego. That means you’ll find more to do here than you can handle, including theme parks, amazing restaurants, tons of sports teams and venues, the list goes on and on!

Con: The Commute in Riverside

Approximately 330,000 people live in lovely Riverside. Now consider that 1/3 of those people, over 100,000 residents, leave the city for work. Most commute to LA, which creates the kind of traffic that makes you constantly google “when will teleportation be a thing”. These days, luckily, more and more people are working from home. (If there’s one way to make your commute more tolerable, it’s never commuting in the first place!)

Pro: Many Things Are More Affordable Here

There is a price to pay for living in Los Angeles, and it is a hefty price tag these days. From groceries and gas to housing and entertainment, the cost of living in LA is substantially different compared to Riverside. In Riverside, you’ll find more affordable restaurants, affordable housing, entertainment, and a lot more free parking. This is one of the many perks to living in Riverside, and for many, offsets the con of the commute.

Pro: It’s Warm All Year in Riverside

You wouldn’t recognize winter here in Riverside because, most days, the sun is shining, and it’s warm. It can get plenty hot in the summer. Making it more tolerable, however, is that it’s a dry heat. It never (ever) snows here, and many people like it that way. Besides, if you want snow, you can get to a ski resort from Riverside in less than 90 minutes! But if you like sunshine, warm weather, and nary a hint of the white stuff, Riverside is close to perfect.

Con: Unemployment Here is A Little High

One of the biggest cons of living in Riverside is that unemployment is very high here. As a matter of fact, it’s been worse than Detroit at times. In 2019 the unemployment rate in Riverside County was just over 9%, which means a lot of people are jobless. (Compare that to an average of about 4% for the rest of the state, and you can see the problem.)

Pro: Many Things Are More Affordable Here

There is a price to pay for living in Los Angeles, and it is a hefty price tag these days. From groceries and gas to housing and entertainment, the cost of living in LA is substantially different compared to Riverside. In Riverside, you’ll find more affordable restaurants, affordable housing, entertainment, and a lot more free parking. This is one of the many perks to living in Riverside, and for many, offsets the con of the commute.

Pro: Outside the City There’s Wide Open Spaces

If getting out of the city and touring the countryside is something you enjoy, you’ll love Riverside. Riverside is very close to a lot of open spaces and farmland. Indeed, for a large city, there is still a pleasant, small-town atmosphere, even downtown. It’s not the most desirable if you like big-city life, it’s true. But if a laid-back city with a small-town feel makes you happy, Riverside is waiting for you.





*Information provided by StorAmerica Self Storage

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