Riverside is a great place to live, but you must understand its complex cultural makeup. In some ways, it’s a city of contradictions. It’s a college town with a university hub that’s earned a reputation as one of the most ethnically diverse hubs of higher learning in the country, but it’s also rich with country clubs and khaki pants. From seasonal festivities to sumptuous dining, Riverside has it all. But that doesn’t mean that all areas are created equally. If you’re looking for the most exclusive neighborhoods ahead of moving to Riverside, be sure to start here.  

1. Alessandro Heights

If you’re looking for a suburban lifestyle that can keep you nicely sequestered away from the bustle and traffic of downtown living, Alessandro Heights is always a great choice. The public education system here is well above the national average, so it’s an ideal choice for families looking to build a future for their children, and there’s a high sense of investment among community members. Nearly 95% of Riverside residents own their home, so you can look forward to a community that is dedicated to civic responsibility and building a better life for themselves.  

2. Hawarden Hills

With an A- rating on Niche, Hawarden Hills earns a spot as one of the best places to live in both Riverside and California in general. An above average education system and inordinately low rate of crime combine to make this neighborhood one of the safest places to raise a family in the area. But the real advantage of Hawarden Heights is the high amount of green space available. It’s absolutely brimming with parks, and it’s a good place to settle down for people who love exploring the great outdoors.  

3. Mission Grove

Despite being wedged between the older and stately residents of Orangecrest and Canyon Cove, Mission Grove has a more modern feel. Most of the homes are newer and come with all the amenities you’d expect from modern developments. This is a growing neighborhood, and it has the dining and shopping options you’d expect from a suburb that’s one the rise. Mission Grove is home to one of the best school districts in the region, and the homes tend to have larger lots than those in the surrounding districts.  

4. Arlington Heights

With a population counting at less than 5,000, Arlington Heights has more of a small town feel than some of the other Riverside suburbs. This neighborhood has a high incidence of home ownership, and the amenities are top notch. These include an incredibly accessible public transit system that make it easy to get around the surrounding suburbs and make your way into the city when you need to. The neighborhood is home to some stately and aesthetically pleasing older homes, and there’s a sense of legacy community embedded in this neighborhood.  

5. Victoria

Like many of the more exclusive neighborhoods in Riverside, Victoria is ensconced away in the suburbs, and that allows for a sense of cushioning from the more chaotic activity of the surrounding city. This neighborhood contains a particularly high amount of coffee shops and parks and a more laid-back atmosphere than you’d find in the city proper. With a median home value just over $300,000, it’s also one of the more affordable suburban options around.

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