Hometown Hidden Gems

About a month or so ago, my bloggy friend Melissa from A Teaspoon of Teaching referred me to Emma from Relay Rides to help campaign and write a post about my hometown hidden gems. I definitely did not want to pass up this opportunity to showcase and represent the city of Rancho Cucamonga, California. If you have never heard of Relay Rides before, it is a peer-to-peer car rental service throughout the country, which is perfect if you don't want to go the traditional car rental route while traveling. 

If you visit their Pinterest page, you can find different bloggers from the blogging community blog about their hometown hidden gems. And if you happen to travel or visit that place, you get another resource of places to go visit, eat, play, explore, etc... I think the part I like best is that it is all about discovering places or cities that people don't usually know much about....

... which is PERFECT because I wanted to introduce everyone to my hometown of Rancho Cucamonga. It is a suburban community in the Inland Empire. Though my family have lived here for the last 5 years, I just moved back to Rancho Cucamonga from the busy and hustling city of Los Angeles. Words cannot express how much calmer and more relaxed I feel living out of the city. Don't get me wrong, I love the city life, especially the mom and pop type stores and restaurants, but I do NOT miss one way streets, having to pay for parking everywhere I go, NOR the awful traffic!

Beautiful View

This is the street I drive down every morning on my way to work. During the summer and spring, I get to see beautiful trees full of green leaves along the San Gabriel Mountain background. In spring the trees actually have pink and white flowers which makes my morning drive so serene.

In the colder months, the mountain actually starts to get snow. I love seeing the mountains when it has snow. It tells me I am that much closer to my favorite holiday --- Christmas.

Secret Winery

I bet when you think of wine tasting that the last place you would visit is Rancho Cucamonga. BUT, if for some reason, your road trip brings you to Route 66 on Foothill Blvd., then it is worth stopping by Joseph Fillipi Winery. Not only do they have the typical wine tasting with charcuterie plates, but they also have a lunch and dinner menu. Or, if you are feeling extra fancy and special, they have special celebrations and desserts menu. Oh la la!

The sign you'll see when you drive on Baseline Rd. 

Where they actually grow their grapes.

More grapevines

Barbara's Victorian Teahouse & Boutique

NOW this one, is my absolute favorite spot. It is located by a residential area so it is THAT hidden that it is quite difficult to spot if you are just driving by. I love this place so much that I almost don't want to share it in fears that it'll be even more crowded than usual. The thing you have to know though, about Barbara's Victorian Teahouse & Boutique, is that you do have to make a reservation 24 hours in advance or they don't seat you. The boutique and shop is open throughout the week, but afternoon tea or special tea parties are by reservation only! So if you plan on coming by, make sure you call them in advance.

The barely there sign. If you drive on the opposite side of the road, you will totally miss it because you can only see the sign from one side. CRAZY!!!

What the teahouse looks like from the outside

Quiche Florentine...ummmm enough said!

(picture from Yelp)

Sandwich assortment and fruits covered in chocolate. Seriously...I am drooling!

The boutique sells everything from hats, scarves, tea pots, jewelries, and tea party clothes

One of the seating areas

The front porch towards the entrance to Barbara's Victorian Teahouse & Boutique

Close up view of the dining space

Biane Branch Public Library

Okay, so now you are probably wondering why a public library would be a hometown hidden gem. But, for those of you not familiar with this library, it is located in the ever popular Victoria Gardens outdoor mall. Most people come to the mall to shop, but I love coming to this library and checking out books and movies. Being a big book nerd myself, I will tell you that this library does a splendid job getting the newest books and keeping them in good shape too. If you ever move to Rancho Cucamonga, this is THE library for all your book checking. They even have a kid zone in a glass sound proof room so that it isn't disturbing anyone that wants to fall into a good book. I like coming here to check out picture books that I don't own to read to my class or use as a mentor text.

The oversized display of books by the side entrance of the library

The automatic check-in machine outside the library in case you come when the library is closed or if you aren't in the mood to deal with people that day

Entrance to the library

Beautiful display of kids artwork 

Victoria Gardens Cultural Center

Right next to my favorite library, is the Cultural Center. They have SO many events throughout the year. It is family friendly and entertaining for everyone! 

Front view of the entrance
Look! The Nutcraker is coming soon. Hooray!! The moving sign later shows The Three Little Pigs. I can't wait!

Side view of the entrance

(picture from Yelp because mine did not come out good)

Oh look, there's William Shakespeare holding a skull and some books. 

(picture from Yelp)

Here's a picture of the set of To Kill a Mockingbird

North Etiwanda Preserve

Just a mile from my house, is the North Etiwanda Preserve. So if you are feeling outdoorsy and need to get away from your car or your couped up hotel, this is a place worth hiking and exploring nature.

Pond after hiking up the trail

Excuse my grumpy self, but I woke up extremely early for this hike! 

Tiny pool area

Small waterfall

 I hope everyone enjoyed learning and reading about my hometown of Rancho Cucamonga! It is a beautiful and safe place with an outstanding school district. I would definitely want to have my future kids grow up here and be a part of this community. It's not the crazy & fun city life, but it has a lot of history and hidden gems!

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