The smell of roasting barbeque chicken and the sweet intoxicating smell of kettle corn fill the air as you move down the aisle of vintage sports cars. Route 66 was in town once again and the people that moved past you would laugh and joke so fondly that the family friendly atmosphere could put a smile on anyone’s face. Children would laugh as they ran past, jumping into the arms of old family friends, the car shows being more than just a source of entertainment. This was a reunion of lost friends, of loved ones, of family. A sense of belonging fills the air as new friends are made and old ones are held dear. This is Rialto in Southern California.
Rialto, California is not a city where someone would find Hollywood celebrities moving about, nor is it a city where there is an amusement park just a block away. This city is more historic than exotic, an interesting past making up for lack of any amusement parks or celebrities. Rialto does have a Hollywood past, a popular scene from “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” was shot during the 210 freeway’s construction. Tourists would love Rialto’s Route 66: Run Whatcha Brung car shows during the Summer, it is a perfect time for families to come out and enjoy a great day. Children activities are held throughout the car show as well as venders are laid out for families to check out.
Another great activity would be the exploring of the Rialto Historical Society’s old Church and schoolhouse! Also knows as: The best kept secret in Rialto! The two are rumored to be haunted which attracts people from all over to catch a glimpse of these ghosts. A novel written by Anthony Adams, The Little Girl in the Window, is a collection of ghost sightings that tourists have seen as well as citizens. One very well known phenomenon is a child ghost; a little girl who has been seen multiple times through the schoolhouse’s window.
A Taste of Rialto is also a very large attraction that most enjoy, it is in downtown Rialto where Route 66 takes place every summer. A Taste of Rialto is a collection of restaurants throughout Rialto that get together to have a food fair. There are plenty of vendors that serve out small dishes for tourists and others to taste, it is a great time to try out new foods! A wide variety of foods including African, American, BBQ, Cajun, Chinese, Mexican and International cuisine are free for the tasting! Music and family activities are held every year!
Rialto is alive throughout the year, including during Christmas and Halloween season. Throughout October, Rialto community center’s playhouse holds a series of spooky well known stories that will honor the Halloween traditions of fright and mayhem. Including: Dracula, Sweeney Todd, The Rocky Horror Show, Frankenstein, and more! While during Christmas season there is a hilarious revision of “A Christmas Carol” called “Inspecting Carol”. The community center also holds multiple fairs on its’ large property, as well as tournaments on their large baseball fields. It is a great time for the family and an easy way to tire out the young ones, especially with their large community indoor pool.
Downtown Rialto is always decorated according to the Seasons, its’ shops lined up and down its’ streets with bright lights to bring in new customers. Rialto is beginning to build up throughout the years, adding more restaurants, more stores, and more entertainment! If tourists are looking for family friendly fun, Rialto is the place to come out and enjoy.
Dear Reader: This page may contain affiliate links which may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Our independent journalism is not influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative unless it is clearly marked as sponsored content. As travel products change, please be sure to reconfirm all details and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.