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Fun Facts About the Inland Empire You Probably Didn't Know

Fun Facts About the Inland Empire You Probably Didn't Know

The Inland Empire isn't just Palm Springs and Coachella, there are some seriously cool fun facts about the region we're here to share. Team


2 min read

January 17, 2024

California, known for its diverse landscapes and vibrant culture, is home to many hidden gems. One such region is the Inland Empire, a metropolitan area and region in Southern California. Often overshadowed by the fame of Los Angeles and San Francisco, the Inland Empire holds its own charm and a trove of intriguing facts that many Californians and visitors might not be aware of. Here are some fun and lesser-known facts about this unique region.

1. A Hub for the Citrus Industry

The Inland Empire played a pivotal role in California's citrus industry. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, cities like Riverside and Redlands were at the heart of the citrus boom. The region's warm climate and abundant land made it ideal for growing oranges, lemons, and other citrus fruits. This period, often referred to as the "second Gold Rush," significantly contributed to California's economy and shaped the cultural landscape of the region.

California citrus fruits are some of the best in the country.

2. The Birthplace of McDonald's

Fast food history was made in the Inland Empire. San Bernardino, one of the largest cities in the region, is the birthplace of the world-famous McDonald's restaurant. The original McDonald's was opened in 1940 by Richard and Maurice McDonald, which eventually evolved into the global fast-food empire we know today.

3. Home to the Largest Outdoor Amphitheater in the United States

The Glen Helen Amphitheater in San Bernardino, previously known as the San Manuel Amphitheater, holds the title of the largest outdoor music venue in the United States. This massive venue can accommodate over 65,000 spectators and has hosted a wide array of concerts, festivals, and other large-scale events.\

4. A Region of Many Names

The Inland Empire is also known by several other names. It's often referred to as the "I.E.," and historically, it was known as the "Orange Empire" due to its massive citrus groves. The diversity in nomenclature reflects the region's rich history and evolving identity.

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5. A Hotspot for Filming

The picturesque landscapes and diverse terrain of the Inland Empire make it an ideal location for film and television shoots. Famous movies like "Gone with the Wind" and "Transformers" had scenes shot in this region. The mix of urban and natural settings provides a versatile backdrop for various film genres.

6. Rich in Natural Beauty and Outdoor Activities

Apart from its urban areas, the Inland Empire is surrounded by natural beauty, including mountains, deserts, and lakes. It offers a plethora of outdoor activities such as hiking in the San Bernardino Mountains, exploring the Joshua Tree National Park, and boating on Lake Arrowhead. The region is a paradise for nature lovers and adventure seekers.

Joshua Tree National Park is a remarkably beautiful piece of the Inland Empire experience.

7. Innovation in Education

The region is home to several notable higher education institutions, including the University of California, Riverside, and California State University, San Bernardino. These universities are known for their innovative research and contributions to various fields.

The Inland Empire, with its fascinating history, cultural diversity, and natural splendor, is a region full of surprises. These fun facts only scratch the surface of what this area has to offer, making it a must-visit for anyone exploring the depths of California's rich tapestry.

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