The Mission Galleria Cafe & Hideaway serves savory sandwiches, soups, and salads from its post at Mission Galleria Antique Mall, nestled in downtown Riverside. Classic appetizers such as hot wings and jalapeño poppers give way to café food including a barbecue-chicken salad and a BLT or french dip sandwich. Sweet desserts such as lemon bars, brownies, and slices of blackout cake punctuate meals, reminding guests of a home-cooked meal without having to dance for their food like in their real homes. Evening-time guests can also enjoy a drink of beer or wine, served at the café counter.
Nestled in the historic Rancho Santa Anita—a homestead originally inhabited by the Gabrieleno Tongva tribe—Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden houses wildlife and plants from all over the globe on 127 acres. Its creators opened the Arboretum in 1947 to promote environmental awareness in a sanctuary that reflects the distinct history, flora, and culture of southern California. The grounds reflect the founders' aim—hummingbirds flutter among the colorful blooms in the Grace Kallam Perennial Garden, and wildflowers, herbs, and veggies spring to life at the hands of community volunteers in the educational Garden for All Seasons. Tropical and temperate blossoms embellish the Meyberg waterfall's sun-drenched stone face and blue-gum trees stand guard in front of the Queen Anne cottage, one of several historic sites that was constructed in 1885 to encapsulate Victorian opulence. Peacocks and great egrets strut among living plant collections, which explode into flowery canopies whenever the right garden sprites are available to aid in pollination.
Members often gain exclusive access to the Arboretum's slate of events, which includes workshops, tours, and Yoga in the Garden. Summer camps reawaken brains that usually hibernate until September, and Bookworms Story Time captures attention year-round.
It’s not every day that you can witness 30 million dollars all in one room. But at Marconi Automotive Museum & Special Events Venue, visitors move through an extensive array of rare roadsters, muscle cars, and Formula cars valued at eight figures. After a successful, self-made career in business, founder Dick Marconi decided to give back, donating his personal collection of automobiles to create the museum. Each specimen reflects a piece of racing lore; you'll find historic racecars piloted by Keke Rosberg, Mario Andretti, and Michael Schumacher.
The museum serves a multi-purpose—to share Marconi’s glittering display of high-performance vehicles with the public, and to support local charities. Proceeds from admissions and special events at the museum go toward the Marconi Foundation for Kids, which supports Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, among other children's groups. The museum’s yearly Fight Night fundraising event draws stars such as Oscar de la Hoya and the dashboard hula dancer.
Founded in the mid-1980s, The California Women's Conference boasts a long and proud tradition of lectures and discussion panels aimed especially at women in business. Some highlights from past years include a panel and sack race featuring Michelle Obama, Ann Romney, Cindy McCain, and Elizabeth Edwards in 2007 and a historic address from the Dalai Lama and Maria Shriver in 2006. Beyond annual conventions, The California Women’s Conference offers news and resources with a lively online community.
The Oceanside Museum of Art displays compelling works of art from local and regional artists as well as traveling national and international exhibitions. Current exhibits include Focus on Oceanside: Lee Peterson, a photographic collection by San Diego aperture enthusiast Lee Peterson. Peterson has courted and captured the spirit of Oceanside, from its ghosts-of-seagulls haunted harbor to the San Luis Mission Rey, in a stunning series of images employing both classically breathtaking and extraordinarily surreal perspectives. The gallery walls are also privileged to carry an impressive exhibition of contemporary Mexican-American art from Einar and Jamex de la Torre, as well as Raul Guerrero, along with myriad works by contemporary Native American artists in San Diego County. The museum's galleries are re-designed for each new exhibition to prevent acute cases of eyeball ennui.
Castelli Art Framing's master craftsmen continue a more than 25-year tradition of conserving and displaying prized artwork of all shapes and sizes. Small photographs, large portraits, and record-breaking speeding tickets all earn wall-worthiness while donning custom frames assembled out of thousands of moldings and a variety of matting and mounting styles. Castelli's museum-quality conservation frames ensure delicate or valuable pieces can emerge from their protective casings undamaged. The multitalented staffers can also build unique frames for 3-D objects such as medals, sports jerseys, and a baby's first pair of shoes. Gilding and leafing services performed by artisans with more than 20 years of experience embellish plain wooden surfaces with thin sheets of gold or silver shinier than a freshly polished glass eye.
For 30 years, Zoomars' fuzzy and feathered fleet has tickled the fancy of more than 3 million tykes and critter enthusiasts with 16 varieties of animals on hand, ready for petting, riding, and cavorting. The USDA–approved, clean farm facility houses a host of friendly species suited to affectionate coddling, such as sheep, bunnies, and guinea pigs. Zoo staffers supervise kids as they climb into goat pens, or drop snacks into the mouths of zedonks, zebus, and staff members working through lunch.
Additionally, a child-size miniature train chugs a whistling ride around a circular track, and gentle ponies trot along on hand-led trail rides as parents canter along behind. At a re-created Gold Rush–era mine, staffers help small visitors to pan and sift for gemstones, arrowheads, dinosaur fossils, fool’s gold, and long-lost arcade tokens.
Park staff can also connect visitors to the earth and American history through camps led by the camp director, a member of California’s Acjachemen tribe who grew up on the grounds. Campers explore the grounds and Pioneer Town through crafts, free creative play, storytelling, and special activities ranging from Native American dances to soapstone carving to reading excerpts from Lewis and Clark’s middle-school diaries.