Best Neighborhoods in Riverside for Singles & Young Professionals in 2024

Considering moving to Riverside? This Southern California city offers budget-friendly living, a diverse culture, an abundance of outdoor recreation, and more. Here are the five best Riverside neighborhoods for singles and young professionals!

Arlington

  • Home Price: $327,450 median purchase price; $1,329 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 25% of Riverside neighborhoods

A great choice for singles and young professionals in Riverside, Arlington is a quiet, laid-back neighborhood with a quaint suburban feel. But quiet doesn’t mean there’s no action! Active residents appreciate living in one of the most walkable neighborhoods in Riverside, and the abundance of recreational areas provide plenty of fun for outdoor enthusiasts. Those who enjoy sports can frequent the Arlington Heights Sports Park, while the Victoria Avenue Bike Bath allows bikers to enjoy scenic rides along beloved Victoria Avenue. Plus, nearby California Citrus State Historic Park provides opportunities to learn about the history of citrus in Riverside at the museum!

Things to Do in Arlington

Reserve a study room, check out books on your reading list, or sign up to be a volunteer at Arlington Library. Attend the Swap Meet and buy products from local vendors, or catch new movies and munch on your favorite snacks from the comfort of your car at the Van Buren Drive-In Theatre. Follow the paved path for a nice jog or brisk walk, or lay down a blanket and relax on the grass at Don Lorenzi Park. Pamper yourself with a Hot Rock Massage, Coconut Oil Massage, or a Classic Facial at IShine Nail Spa. Start your morning with the Chicken Fried Steak Breakfast, French Toast Special, or Polish Sausage & Eggs at George’s Drive-In, a longtime local favorite diner. Devour Teriyaki Pork, Samgyupsal, or Galbi paired with delicious side dishes at Koreana Grill. Sample tasty appetizers before dining on dishes like Filete Al Mojo De Ajo, Botana Marina, or Langostinos at Mariscos Espinoza. Or satisfy your sweet tooth with a Peanut Butter Acai Bowl, Toi Moi Superfruit Bowl, Italian Ice, and more at Toi Moi Italian Ice & Juice Shop.

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Downtown Riverside

  • Home Price: $358,871 median purchase price; $1,422 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 0% of Riverside neighborhoods

A cultural hub with vintage appeal, Downtown Riverside is one of the best neighborhoods in Riverside, CA for singles and young professionals. Not only is Downtown Riverside the most walkable neighborhood in the city, but with close proximity to local attractions like the Main Street Pedestrian Mall—which features shops, restaurants, museums, and more—you’ll never run out of things to do here. Lovers of the arts enjoy attending exhibits and events hosted at hot spots like the Riverside Art Museum, The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art, White Park, and UCR ARTS—while nature lovers can hike the trail and take in the views at Mount Rubidoux Park. The Historic Riverside Walking Tour is a great way to see all the historical sites and landmarks in the area—including the rentable and for-sale homes in Mission Revival, Victorian, and Craftsman styles aside newer luxury estates and towering oaks and sycamores lining the streets.

Things to Do in Downtown Riverside

Find freshly baked bread from Old Town Baking Company, fresh vegetables, fruits, and more at The Riverside Downtown Farmers Market on Saturdays. Go on a docent-led tour to learn about the history of the Mission Inn and its importance to the Riverside community, or attend the popular Riverside Festival of Lights at the Mission Inn Museum. Check out Broadway shows like Little Women or Hairspray when you buy season tickets at the Fox Performing Arts Center. Walk through the botanical garden, go fishing or take a pedal boat out on Lake Evans, and more at Fairmount Park. Stop by the Riverside Food Lab to get an Acai or Sorbet Bowl with toppings like Dried Mulberries, Almond Butter, or Agave at Bolcupop. Savor dishes that melt in your mouth like the Braised Duck Leg, Cavatelli alla Norcina, or the Iberico Pork Chop at The Salted Pig. Taste delicious dishes like Mole Enchiladas, Chile Rellenos, Mini Burritos, and more at Tio’s Tacos Riverside. Or munch on Sweet Spicy Brussel Sprouts, Steak Chilaquiles, Mushroom Risotto, or the Smokehouse BBQ Burger at ProAbition—a Prohibition-themed whiskey lounge perfect for a night on the town.

Eastside

  • Home Price: $341,364 median purchase price; $1,210 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 4% of Riverside neighborhoods

Just east of Downtown Riverside, Eastside draws young professionals and singles in with its historic charm and prime location. Nestled near the intersection of the Riverside Freeway and I-215, Eastside offers residents easy access to the rest of Riverside and other nearby communities for both work and fun. Plus, with the neighborhood’s proximity to the downtown area, young adults looking for a booming social scene, trendy eateries, and entertainment without breaking the bank can find it while living in Eastside! As one of the oldest and largest Riverside neighborhoods, there are a variety of home styles for prospective owners and renters to choose—including Bungalow, Craftsman, and Ranch homes—all situated amongst towering palm trees.

Things to Do in Eastside

Jog around the loop, play on the basketball court, or kick the soccer ball around at Patterson Park—or hop on the court to play tennis, volleyball, and basketball, or dive into the pool to cool off at Bobby Bonds Recreation Center. Find hidden gems and try to score a good bargain at Set Free Thrift Store. Sign up for a membership and take a dip in the swimming pool, work out in the fitness center, and more at the Victoria Club. Experience one-of-a-kind dishes like Burrito de Chicharrones, Carne Asada Plate Con Camaron, Fajitas Suprema, and more at Habanero Mexican Grill. Savor Chicken Shawarma, Lamb Kufta, Shish Kebab, and other Middle Eastern foods at nearby Elias Pita. Slurp down Pho Bo Vien, Hu Tieu Ga, or Mien Ga at Pho Ha #7, where you’ll find authentic Vietnamese food in Riverside. Or chow down a Super Huarache, Zarape, or Tostada De Pata O Tinga at El Ojo De Agua.

La Sierra

  • Home Price: $329,070 median purchase price; $1,641 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 36% of Riverside neighborhoods

La Sierra is an ideal spot for singles and young professionals looking for a quiet Riverside neighborhood with a tight-knit, community feel. The area’s charm is seen through its housing styles, which include Spanish Revival, Mediterranean, Contemporary, and Ranch homes with large yards. While those looking to further their education have easy access to La Sierra University, all residents can enjoy the amenities it provides—including the World Museum of Natural History, Brandstater Gallery, and public arboretum. In addition, spaces like Collet Park and Rancho Loma Park offer ample opportunities to relax outside, and active residents can take long walks or bike along the Riverwalk Trail and Riverwalk Parkway. To top it off, La Sierra conveniently borders the Riverside Freeway, and nearby Metrolink stations make it easy to utilize public transportation to all of La Sierra’s things to do!

Things to Do in La Sierra

Buy tickets to spend the day with friends on rides like the Sea Dragon, Screamin’ Demon, or Fire Ball at Castle Park—a 25-acre amusement park in Riverside. Cool down from the California heat and hit the ice for open skate, skate lessons, or the annual Holiday Extravaganza skating competition at Icetown Riverside. Run errands and shop at stores like ALDO and JCPenney, or head over to the farmers market on Sundays at Galleria at Tyler. Relax with an afternoon picnic or play a pick-up game of softball, baseball, or basketball at La Sierra Park. Enjoy a meal of Salvadoran dishes such as Jalapeno Pupusas, Yuca con Chicharron, or Chilate with Nuegados at Pupuseria La Sierra Restaurant. Chow down the Catfish Platter, Oyster Basket, or Homemade Gumbo at Seafood and Crawfish. Start with Calamari Tempura or Spicy Garlic Edamame before filling up on sushi rolls like the Fire Roll, Avocado Bomb, or Cotton Candy Roll at Sushi Okoku. And if you’re looking for vegan restaurants in Riverside, order a Blackened Tofu Sandwich, Spinach Pupusa, The Carnitas Taco, and more at Oasis Vegetarian Cafe.

University

  • Home Price: $322,612 median purchase price; $1,527 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 32% of Riverside neighborhoods

The University neighborhood may be a central hub for students attending UC Riverside—but it’s also a safe, affordable neighborhood in Riverside packed with fun things to do. Residents not only have access to the UC Riverside Botanical Gardens and a variety of community events put on by the university, but also an array of popular restaurants spanning diverse cuisines that populate the surrounding area. If you want to buy a home in Riverside, University presents plenty of budget-friendly apartments and ranches to settle into. And whether you need to commute to your job or just want to explore the city of Riverside, you’ll have access to great public transit provided by Metrolink.

Things to Do in University

Catch the latest play productions—like Three Sisters and Sliver of a Full Moon—or the annual TFDP Film Festival put on by UC Riverside’s University Theatre. Shop ’til you drop, go get your hair done, or choose from a variety of trendy restaurants at University Village Riverside. Put on comfy shoes before hiking or biking on the popular trail at UCR Botanic Gardens. Take advantage of your close proximity to nature and visit nearby Sycamore Canyon Park Trail or observe wildlife at Box Springs Mountain Reserve Park. Kick off the day with refreshing drinks like a Hokkaido Milk Tea, Wintermelon Tea, or Espresso MochaBlast Smoothie at Boba Tea House. Order authentic Mexican food in Riverside such as Tony’s Special Burrito, Shredded Beef Taco, Chicken Taquitos, and more at Tony’s Mexican Food. Start with Mozzarella Sticks before digging into Fettuccine Al Pesto, Mostaccioli with Meat Sauce, or a slice of Meat Lovers pizza at Aloha Pizza and Pasta. Or feast on a Grilled Shrimp Taco, Fish Ceviche, Azada Burrito, and more at Miches De La Baja.

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Neighborhood statistics from AreaVibes

About Mike Beutler

Mike Beutler is a writer and digital content specialist who transitioned to self storage in 2020 after several years in the airline industry. His travels cultivated a passion for exploring cities across the U.S. and abroad and inspired him to learn more about practical insights for urban living. With 14 moves under his belt, both locally and cross-country, he also has a passion for minimalism and organization, and sharing tips to help others make any space feel like home while staying organized.

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