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“Beautiful park, but watch the facilities schedule”

California Citrus State Historic Park
Ranked #6 of 43 things to do in Riverside
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: A 377-acre park dedicated to the preservation of California's citrus heritage. Docent guided grove tours (Tour & Taste) start PROMPTLY at 1030, 1200, & 2pm on weekends (depending on docent availability). Not all docents give grove tours. No reservations required. Tour group size limited to 15 guests. It is advised that you call the Visitor Center to make sure tours are available on the day you plan to visit the park.
Reviewed January 26, 2009

At the time that I visited this park, I ended up very upset and angry. There is a surprising ending.

Let me start at the beginning... with a warning. There are 2 separate hours that you have to consider with this attraction. The first set of hours are the PARK hours, the second set are the FACILITY hours. The park is open for a lot more time than the facilities are. The facility hours are limited. At the time of this writing, the visitor center is open on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. The park is open every day ... winter hours right now, but of course there's a separate set of summer hours. I learned this the hard way!

On the day I was going to visit the park (a Thursday), I thought the park and facility hours were one. I checked out of my Coronado, CA hotel, drove 3 hours to my Long Beach, CA hotel... checked in.. then decided I was going to visit the Citrus park... 1 1/2 hours away in Riverside.

So, when I drove up, I was expecting a fully open park. I had dealt with the famous LA afternoon traffic, and I was really looking forward to this. Only then was I shocked and disappointed to see that all I could do was look at the pretty groves, but nothing else... there were no rangers, no tours, no anything. Everything was closed. The tour, talking to the rangers, even a little gift store shopping, were the things I most wanted from the park. Coming from the East, all I know are apple groves... I wanted to learn more about the beautiful orange groves I was looking at. Maybe they'd even let me try a fresh orange from a tree... I didn't know whether that was possible. I was hoping for a unique experience. Especially since regardless whether the facilities are open or not, you have to pay a fee!!!! ($4.00 at the time of this review)

Needless to say, I was cussing mad. First of all, I had a $5.00, not $4.00. So, I had to leave behind an extra dollar for a park that I didn't even get to fully enjoy. Along with my money, I had left a note at the park telling them how disappointed I was. To top it off, you ARE NOT ALLOWED to touch a single orange on ANY of the trees. IT IS ILLEGAL! Yes, I was very angry and disappointed. The area is lovely, but I was very disappointed.

The story takes a happy turn tonight. I am still picking up my jaw from the floor from the incredibly kind apology that I got from the Citrus Park. It was totally unexpected, and very decent of them to do. They even sent me some stickers and a little booklet.

So, I will tell my fellow tourists now... just keep your eyes out on the facility versus park time.. If you want to just stop by for a minute, look at the pretty trees, then leave.. you can depend on the park hours. If you want a more involved experience, then MAKE SURE you KNOW what the FACILITIES schedule is!!!! The area is very lovely. To see the mountains in the distance, the palm trees, and the beautiful groves... yes, that is a nice experience. I wish I had been able to have more of an experience there, but maybe it's an excuse for me to go back sometime. I appreciate the decency they showed me, with me having been so upset.

15  Thank LadyTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 15, 2008

Want to know what California was like before it was awash with tract homes, smog, and traffic? Then go to the Citrus Park.
This is California's legacy and is a citrus oasis within Riverside. Come in spring to experience the thousands of orange blossoms blooming and take a walking tour of the park and the buildings. This park is continuing to add new buildings and eventually a small hotel on the grounds, but with the potential for closure to the public due to budget shortfalls, these additions may be much later than anticipated. I recommend you do a park hike, check out the buildings, and bring a picnic lunch and a book. This is not a highly developed park yet, the focus has been on acquiring the land, maintenance, and initial development, but it is extremely important to the local and state history. I recommend a half day, and this probably can include lunch, depending on how far around the park you want to hike. terrain is easy, but not very handi-capable. If the ranger isn't busy, you can probably get some good detailed information about the area.
Please make a donation to the park for future development and to prevent its closure. Thanks for visiting!

7  Thank gili
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 11, 2017
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Thank Sina J
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Reviewed January 25, 2016
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Thank MaxViv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 23, 2015
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Thank Luiz Alfredo C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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