The San Bernardino County city of Rancho Cucamonga sits in the foothills of the beautiful San Gabriel Mountains, just 37 miles east of central Los Angeles. This is a culturally rich community, located along historic Route 66, with an interesting past.
The History of Rancho Cucamonga
The first settlers to this region were members of the Kukamongan Indian tribe. Later, during the 18th century, it was an established mission system that was ran by Franciscan Monks. The area came under the control of the Mexican government in the late 1800’s, and became known as the area of Cucamonga.
The Governor of Mexico signed the land of Cucamonga over to Los Angeles native and notorious smuggler, Tubercio Tapia. Tapia was responsible for founding California’s first winery on his newly acquired property.
Eventually, the land was purchased by the Rains family, who built their historical homestead, Casa de Rancho Cucamonga. The home is a popular tourist attraction today and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Over time, Rancho Cucamonga began to grow and prosper. Vegetable and fruit cultivation provided an economic boost. The vineyards, along with, citrus, olive and peach orchards offered agricultural revenue and jobs. In time, the demand was high enough that the railroad was ran through town to transport the harvest.
In 1977, the communities of Cucamonga, Etiwanda and Alta Loma were incorporated, becoming Rancho Cucamonga.
Geography of Rancho Cucamonga
The Native American word Kukamongameans “sandy place”. The diverse terrain of Rancho Cucamonga consists of deserts, oceans, plains, mountains and lakes. Views of the Cucamonga Peak can be seen throughout the entire city. The area is part of the region known as the Inland Empire, a metropolitan area in Southern California. The city is bordered by neighboring towns Upland and Ontario.
Rancho Cucamonga Today
Rancho Cucamonga has changed quite a bit over the years. Today, the city is a mostly residential community, with its share of retail businesses. Itsproximity to larger cities and major corporations make it a popular place to live.
In 2006, Rancho Cucamonga was ranked as one of the top 50 “Best Places to Live”, according Money Magazine. In addition, one of its residential neighborhoods has been listed as the 13th richest neighborhood in Southern California. All school campuses in the area are highly accredited learning institutions.
Rancho Cucamonga Attractions
While Rancho Cucamonga may not draw flocks of tourists like larger Southern California cities, it still has its fair share of choice hotels, fine restaurants and popular attractions.
TheAuto Club Speedway is 5 short minutes from Rancho Cucamonga and one of its most popular attractions. Visitors travel from all over the country to attend the wildly popular NASCAR races when they come to town. The speedway is also host to various other events throughout the year.
Victoria Gardens is the bustling open-air town center where you can find just about everything you need for fun and recreation. It is a mixed-use complex that is home to retail stores, a movie theater, office buildings, outdoor plazas, the Rancho Cucamonga Public Library, a performing arts center and a choice of restaurants and cafes.
Joseph Filippi Wineryis the perfect spot for an afternoon wine tasting or elegant date night. This family-owned vineyard produces some of the finest wines in California.
North Etiwanda Preserve is the perfect place to enjoy the natural beauty of the area. Native plants and wildlife call the preserve home. If you want to take a hike while experiencing amazing views, this is the place for you.
If Historical Landmarks are on your list, you must visit these:
- Cucamonga Service Station
- John Raines House
- Chafey-Garcia House
- Cucamonga Winery Historical Landmark
Why People Love Rancho Cucamonga
We have covered just a few of the great things about Rancho Cucamonga. There are many things that make this a wonderful city to live or visit. With approximately 300 sunny days per year, the climate is ideal for most. The landscape is very visually appealing; the perfect mix of classic and modern. And last, but not least, the friendly people of the community are extremely warm and inviting. Whether you are here to stay, or just a short visit, Rancho Cucamonga is a great host!