With agricultural roots dating back to the late 1800’s, Greater Ontario, California, is a mecca for foodies of all tastes. Comprised of two cities — Ontario and Rancho Cucamonga – Greater Ontario is located in the center of Southern California. Known as the Inland Empire, the region experienced a second gold rush with the citrus industry, mostly navel oranges, which led to a newspaper writer in the 1950’s referring to the area as “Inland” from the Pacific Ocean that provided an “Empire” of riches for the farmers with citrus fruit trees
Today, Greater Ontario’s international influence and cultural diversity is reflected in the variety of delicious dining experiences ranging from global delicacies, regional specialties and good old American fare. Whether it’s Indian, Thai, Chinese, Mexican, Cuban, Middle Eastern, Japanese, Taiwanese, Caribbean, Southern Soul Food or world class desserts, Greater Ontario has something to write home about. Tourists and locals alike can enjoy a variety of palate pleasing restaurants that will entice the most sophisticated and daring taste buds.
“As one of the fastest growing areas in the country, we’re attracting new, young and creative chefs to share their concepts and creativity,” says Michael Krouse, President & CEO of Greater Ontario Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We have so many unique restaurants reflecting our cultural diversity that the annual August Restaurant Week is actually two weeks, not just one.”
A large part of travel planning includes an itinerary to explore the local cuisine. With over 300 days of sunshine, locally grown produce and organic products are plentiful providing local chefs with the very best ingredients. A taste of history can be found at Graber Olive House or Logan’s Candies which holds the world record for the largest candy cane every made. Vince’s Spaghetti, a local favorite since 1945, serves over 25,000 miles of spaghetti annually. Once the largest wine region in the nation and home to the oldest winery in California, today craft breweries are sprouting up everywhere.
Visitors enjoy cheering on the hockey, soccer, or basketball teams at Citizens Business Bank Arena, a 10,000-seat venue where major concert performers and family shows fill the calendar 300 days annually. Cucamonga Guasti Regional Park offers swimming, water slides and open green spaces perfect for a picnic. Popular activities include bike trails, golf courses or nearby Big Bear Mountain resorts offering snow skiing in the winter or fishing in the Alpine lakes during the summer.
With accommodations that include over 6,000 hotel rooms, an international airport, entertainment galore and a plethora of outdoor activities, Greater Ontario is the perfect base to discover all the local flair where guests can also visit the iconic destinations in Southern California. Every adventure should start at the California Welcome Center located in Fashion Alley at Ontario Mills, the largest outlet and discount mall in the west.
Extended trips can include Palm Springs, San Diego, Las Vegas or the Grand Canyon. The Los Angeles and Orange County areas within a one-hour drive can provide visitors with the opportunity to dip their toes in the Pacific Ocean, grab a selfie photo with the Hollywood sign or spend some at the “happiest place on earth.” Visit Gocvb.org for more information