The Pros and Cons of 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

As we mentioned earlier, 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. There 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: We’re Super Close to LA

Riverside may not have a thriving nightlife, but not too far away is the amazing city of Los Angeles. You’ll find more to do here than you can handle, including theme parks, amazing restaurants, and star-gazing. The nightlife is spectacular! And, this is one of our favorite pros on the Pros and Cons of living in Riverside because you can party, take a cab home safely, and then sleep peacefully.

Pro: We’re Much More Affordable Than LA

Sure, LA has the fancy restaurants, the nightlife, and the eye-candy. But when it comes to housing and the cost of living, it’s outrageous. Back here in Riverside, though, home prices are far lower. In fact, the cost of living here is cheaper than in many California cities. You’ll find affordable housing options all over the city and in neighboring San Bernardino as well. As far as we’re concerned, that makes living in Riverside, CA, a better, more affordable choice. Check out our Cost of Living in Riverside, CA article for a more detailed breakdown.

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: 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

Just down the road in Los Angeles, the prices for practically everything are ridiculous. Housing, food, entertainment, you name it. Here in Riverside, though, you’ll find affordable restaurants, affordable rent prices, and a lot more free parking. This is one of our favorite pros on the list of pros and cons of living in Riverside, CA. Gasoline is cheaper here also, reducing the cost of living substantially. If you want to give your budget a break, living in Riverside, CA, is the way to do it.

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. We’re very close to a lot of open spaces and farmland. Indeed, for a large city, we have 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.

Brought To You By Your Friends at StorAmerica!

Did our Pros and Cons list help you make your decision? We sure hope it did, and that’s we’ll see you soon! When you arrive, if you need a storage unit in Riverside, CA  StorAmerica has plenty of them! We’re the self-storage leader here, with storage units all around the city. They’re safe, secure, and affordable too, which makes us a great choice! If you need more space at home, you can chat with one of our friendly managers online anytime! Until then, we hope you enjoy living and working in Riverside as much as we do!

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12 thoughts on “The Pros and Cons of Riverside, CA”

  1. I’ve lived here most of my life I raised in my kids in Riverside and I proud of my hometown. If you are making decisions to move here you won’t regret it. Downtown has gotten bigger the past couple of years they said that they wanted to build it more for the the minimal generation. We also have Harvest Church with Gregg Laurie and that church is growing to other parts of California I believe the have one in Costa Mesa. Also Fox theater was big name artist. And one last thing we have the best air shown in the summer time. It can get hotter here then LA or Orange county. I hope this can help anyone thinking of moving here

  2. My husband and I have been living here all our lives here. Our dream is to start a Tiny Home community . Here in Riverside CA. Affordable for the people that just want a home thats affordable. This is a beautiful city and we think this is a good place to start one. So we can keep Riverside Smart ?:

  3. Yes Riverside nice to to live here, but you didn’t mention that there are alot of homeless,housing is very expensive to buy building more houses and will be another Los Angeles

  4. Yes Riverside nice to to live here, but you didn’t mention that there are alot of homeless,housing is very expensive to buy building more houses and will be another Los Angeles,
    And traffic on the 91 is getting crowded

  5. Hello I’m living in Lancaster California I have been here for 6 years and I’m ready to go I have children and my concern is my children so what I’m asking is there alot of crimes being committed there I have a headache trying to just make sure my kids are safe I am on section 8 so that’s kind of a problem only because usually the houses or apt that accept section 8 are in bad areas please give me your true option of riverside thank you

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