The City of Redlands was founded in 1887 by a group of citrus growers who were looking for a more temperate climate than the hot desert valleys of Southern California. The city was named after the red earth that was found in the area.
Redlands quickly became a major citrus growing center, and by the early 1900s, it was known as the “Washington Navel Orange Capital of the World.” The citrus industry remained the city’s economic mainstay for many years, but it has since diversified to include other businesses, such as education, healthcare, and tourism.
The Redlands Trolley is a light rail system that runs through the heart of the city. The trolley was originally built in 1908 to transport citrus workers, but it was converted to a tourist attraction in the 1980s. The trolley runs from the University of Redlands to the downtown area, and it is a popular way to see the city’s historic landmarks.
In October 2022, the Arrow rail line, built along the original trolley rail, opened between San Bernardino and Redlands, connecting the two cities with five new stations along the 9-mile route. The Arrow service also adds four train stations in the two cities and introduces brand new Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) trains to Metrolink’s cleaner-operating fleet.
The Arrow line connects to the Metrolink San Bernardino Line at the San Bernardino Depot, which provides service to Los Angeles Union Station. The San Bernardino Line runs from San Bernardino to Los Angeles, with stops in between, including Riverside, Pomona, and Claremont. The total travel time from Redlands to Los Angeles Union Station is approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes on the Arrow line.
The City of Redlands is home to a variety of businesses, but the education, healthcare, and tourism industries are the largest. The University of Redlands is a private liberal arts college with over 4,000 students. The Loma Linda University Medical Center is a major teaching hospital that is affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church. And the Redlands’ downtown area is home to a number of art galleries, shops, and restaurants. Also, ESRI, the renowned Geographic Information System company is now based in Redlands as well, and is its largest employer, with over 3000 employees.
Below is a quick map made with Google My Map showing the new stops on the Arrow line, as well as some restaurants, and stores in Redlands. When I get a chance, I will add to this and showcase more of the attractions in this charming historic town.