For many people when they hear the term “the Inland Empire” they think about Riverside County. Others think of San Bernardino County. So, which is it? The answer is BOTH! The Inland Empire is a nickname for the area outside of Orange, Los Angeles and San Diego counties. With all the old traditional towns and the up and coming cities, the Inland Empire is a great place to consider home. We at Three16 Photography loves capturing Inland Empire wedding & engagement photography at various locations throughout the area. We also serve Orange County, Los Angeles and surrounding areas of Southern California.
San Bernardino is the larger of the two main counties in the Inland Empire with a land mass of over 20,000 square miles that reaches all the way to the Nevada border to Riverside’s 7,000 plus. The population, however, favors Riverside by just a small amount. As of 2017, Riverside is home to 2.4 million residents, while San Bernardino has 2.2 million.
What we love most is the amount of amazing wedding venues and engagement photo session locations. Here are some of our favorite cities and locations in the Inland Empire.
San Bernardino County
Although the mailing address is actually in the city of Yucaipa, most people in Southern California know the area as Oak Glen. Oak Glen is located off the 10 freeway near the San Bernardino Mountains and is known as one large apple orchard. Everything is Apples! You can pick apples, make apple cider and of course, eat apples. In addition, there are pumpkin patches, colonial activities, music and the best bbq anywhere around. The shops that sell the local product is worth the drive alone. This is a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Places to visit in Oak Glen include the Oak Glen Preserve, Riley’s Farm, Riley’s at Los Rio Rancho, Riley’s Apple Farm, Willowbrook Farm, Snowline Apple Orchard, The Village at Oak Glen, Yucaipa Regional Park.
Recommended Wedding Venues and/or Engagement Locations in Oak Glen includes Serendipity Gardens, Riley’s Farms, Riley’s Los Rios Rancho and the Oak Glen Reserve.
The Cities of Chino and Chino Hills
The city of Chino was once known for its agriculture and dairy farms that provided milk and milk products to the Southern California area for many years. Little known fact about Chino is that they hosted the shooting events during the 1984 Summer Olympics at the Prado Olympic Shooting Park located at the Prado Regional Park. Chino is also home to two state prisons, one for men and one for women, and a youth correctional facility.
The city of Chino Hills is Chino’s more upscale sister city. Chino Hills often ranks high in various surveys when it comes to Best Places to Live and for being a Safe City, among many other surveys. The eastern end of the Carbon Canyon Regional Park area is located in Chino Hills.
Things to see or do in Chino includes the Planes of Fame Air Museum, the Yanks Air Museum, Prado Regional Park and the Prado Olympic Shooting Park.
Things to see or do in Chino Hills includes Chino Hills State Park, The Shoppes at Chino Hills, Los Serranos Country Club, Xscape Pods, The Grid Cyber Lounge and just off the 71 freeway is a Little League complex where all the fields are built to be duplicates of some of the best ballparks in the Major Leagues. There is Little Fenway Park, Little Yankee Stadium and others.
Recommended Wedding Venues and/or Engagement Locations in Chino and Chino Hills includes:
City of Chino: Planes of Fame Museum
City of Chino Hills: Wedgewood Vellano
The Cities of Big Bear and Big Bear Lake
The Big Bear area may be known for its ski resort, but this little mountainous town is so much more. Cabin homes, small hometown shops, diners and an amazing lake that offers a lot of water sports are just some of the features located in the Big Bear Lake Village area. In addition, nearby Snow Summit is a very family friendly area that offers a variety events you can do in the snow.
Things to see or do in the Big Bear and Big Bear Lake area includes Bear Mountain itself, Miss Liberty, you can take various tours including Big Bear Pirate Ship Tours and Action Zipline Tours. In addition, there is the Big Bear Discovery Center, Big Bear Historical Museum and Snow Summit Adventure Park. Big Bear Lake allows you to rent boats and other water equipment during the summer months.
Recommended Wedding Venues and/or Engagement Locations in the Big Bear and Big Bear Lake area includes:
City of Big Bear: Snow Summit.
City of Big Bear Lake: Big Bear Lake.
Temecula is Southern California’s version of Napa Valley or Wine Country, and its many golf courses. The town of Temecula has its more modern era living, but the city also offers a glimpse of their past in the Old Town Temecula area. This classic area is home to awesome restaurants, antique shops, gift shop boutiques, hotels, museums and buildings that go back to the 1800’s. Old Town Temecula is also home to two terrific theaters, the Community Theater and The Merc. Perhaps this is where the city’s motto, "Old Traditions, New Opportunities" comes from?
Things to see or do in Temecula includes all the great wineries, get your gambling in at the Pechanga Resort and Casino. This facility was built by the Luiseno Indians and is a favorite for Southern California locals. The games are fun, the concerts are top notch and the food is amazing. Temecula is also home to many festivals such as the Temecula Bluegrass Festival, Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival, Temecula Valley International Film and Music Festival, Temecula Valley International Jazz Festival, Temecula Street Painting Festival and the Temecula Greek Festival. Additional things to see or do includes Old Town Temecula, Temecula Valley Museum, Grapeline Wine Tours, Pennypickle's Workshop, California Dreamin' Balloon Adventures or go explore Wine Country Trails by Horseback.
Recommended Wedding Venues and/or Engagement Locations in Temecula includes Ponte Winery, Wiens Family Cellar, Peltzer Winery, Galway Downs, Europa Village, Mount Palomar Winery and Temecula Creek Inn.
The City of Murrieta got its start in the late 1800’s but did not become an actual city until 1991, and quickly became the fifth largest city in population in Riverside County. Murrieta maintains a reasonable cost of living and exudes natural beauty. Although Murrieta is its own city, they reap the benefits from being neighbors to the Temecula Valley Wineries and the short drive there. Murrieta is a beautiful town, full of friendly people. Maybe that’s why their city motto is “Gem of the Valley” because it really is.
Things to see or do in Murrieta includes Copper Canyon Park, Skinner Reservoir, go hiking in San Jacinto Park or go horseback riding at Susie Q Ranch. If you are not into the neighboring wineries, Murrieta is home to several craft breweries.
Recommended Wedding Venues and/or Engagement Locations in Murrieta includes Bella Gardens Estate and Calvary Chapel Bible College.
The Inland Empire has a lot of uniqueness to offer for photographic opportunities. If you are looking for wedding venue, a location for your engagement session or a family photo shoot in the Inland Empire area, then we invite you to look through these locations on our Wedding Venue and Engagement Location pages.