Redlands Walk About Downtown History Tour
The Redlands Visitor Center offers a guided history tour of Downtown every Saturday at 10am.
Pictured: Tour guide, Deborah Rada, is a Journalist for the newspaper and Redlands Conservancy member. Deborah loves the Downtown history and architecture and we know you will too.
$10 per person
Tickets may be purchased at the center day of the tour or online here
90-minute in duration. Water provided.
The tour is not appropriate for children under 12. History & Business information does not amuse children.
Attendees should wear comfortable walking shoes.
Visit & shop the Redlands Visitor Center before it is open to the public.
Tour guides are gracious volunteers. Gratuity is most appreciated.
Redlands Community News Article
The Magical History Tour
When was Redlands incorporated?
Where is the only Art Deco building in Redlands?
What is the oldest business in Redlands?
Why is the event center on State Street called The Speakeasy?
Who was Ed Hales?
The answer to these and many other questions will be revealed on the Historic Downtown Redlands Walking Tour. Deborah O’Hara, curator of the Redlands Visitor Center, has had many visitors to, as well as residents of, Redlands ask her if there was a walking tour that would provide information about the history of Downtown Redlands. So, Deborah asked Deborah Rada, a Redlands Conservancy member who orchestrated such a tour with local historian Michele Nielsen in 2013, and Ken Williams, an engineer and local-building history buff, to develop such a sightseeing adventure.
Using the 2013 tour as a framework, the two spent many hours scrutinizing documents at the Heritage Room in Smiley Library -- reading pertinent books and articles, looking at old photos and Sanborn Maps, speaking with local historians – in order to provide the most accurate information available.
The 10 AM Saturday morning walking tour, led by one of the knowledgeable volunteer guides, is approximately 90 minutes and covers 6 blocks of downtown Redlands. In addition to providing historical information, the tour will also spotlight many of the small, local businesses that help make Redlands unique – some of which have been profiled in this newspaper.
The tour is $10/person and must be booked by the Friday morning prior to the tour, either in person at the Visitor Center or by calling 909.721.1399. The tour is not appropriate for children under 12. Attendees should wear comfortable walking shoes and bring water, if desired.
There is a private, free tour for new residents that can be booked through the Visitor Center. New residents receive a gift from local businesses and the new Redlands City map. A tasting tour of local restaurants is currently being discussed. Watch the Community New for details.
The Redlands Visitor Center opened in July 2019 in order to provide a physical space where residents and visitors could find information about businesses, restaurants (including menus), events, and activities in Redlands. Curator Deborah O’Hara created the popular About Redlands website, which now has more than 70,000 followers on social media, 20 years ago to provide a calendar of Redlands events and highlight locally owned Redlands businesses. Over the years, Deborah found that many users – visitors or new residents -- wanted to talk to a knowledgeable Redlander face-to-face. Deborah decided Redlands needed a volunteer-based Visitor Center where people could drop in, talk to well-informed staff, and receive information about Redlands neighborhoods, schools, businesses, events, hiking trails, and get street maps.
The first Visitor Center space was an office at Esri, but it was quickly evident that a larger venue, preferably in downtown Redlands, was necessary. A storefront on 5th St. became available and the Visitor Center -- which is not owned, operated, or funded by the City or the Chamber of Commerce, but is a member of About Redlands -- was born. The Visitor Center has knowledgeable volunteers ready to provide advice and instruction. They have received feedback from consumers stating, “we’re so glad you’re here” and “we’ve needed a Center like this for a long time”. Many send pictures of themselves at various Redlands venues to the Center, some of which can be seen on the About Redlands website.
Although selling locally-made products was not the in original plan, many Redlands artisans embraced the Center and wanted to have their creations, some of which are exclusive to the Center, for sale there. The Center also has three tablets in the windows that provide information when the Center is closed– one of Redlands events, one showing various eateries’ menus, and one displaying drone pictures of places in Redlands courtesy of Redlands Sky. Deborah’s hope is that all entities in town would partner with the Center to provide workshops for local business and non-profits as well as sponsor public events showcasing these entities.
Sponsors to date: Major Sponosrs - All About Redlands and the University of Redlands. Community Sponsors: Rochford Foundation (Center Family Room), Alta Vista Credit Union, Redlands Conservancy and the Beaver Medical Group.
14 N 5th St, Redlands, CA 92373
Open Wednesday – Saturday 11AM – 5PM and Sunday 11AM-3PM
Courtesy of Deborah Rada
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