Just outside of greater Los Angeles in Riverside County is the town of Norco, California. Despite being only 50 miles away from downtown LA, you'd be surprised how different the town is from its eclectic metropolitan neighbor. Norco has earned itself the nickname (and official motto) of "Horsetown USA" due to its focus on an equestrian theme in addition to its 140 miles of horse trails throughout town. The city council also ensures that all architecture reflects their desired western theme.
Upwards of 25,000 people live in the city of Norco, which was first established back in 1923, though it didn't officially become a city until 1964. The name "Norco" came from the North Corona Land Company. The head of the company, Rex Clark, originally built the Lake Norconian Club, with dreams of making it the largest resort destination on the west coast. He then desired to create a surrounding farming community that has embraced its love of horseback riding as well as farming culture ever since.
To this day, the tree-lined streets are full of hitching posts for horses. People in Norco take their horseback riding seriously; it really is part of the city's culture. The George Ingalls Equestrian Event Center is known for being one of the premier centers for equestrian events in all of the United States. An 85,000 square foot arena hosts annual PRCA and CCRA rodeos, including the California Finals Rodeo. The adjacent park holds the annual Norco Fair as well.
One of the more recent additions to the Norco area is The Walt Disney Company's Circle D Ranch. After a two year search for the perfect real estate, the Southern California town was chosen as the ideal place for Disney's Main Street horses to reside and train. Whenever they aren't working pulling carriages or participating in a parade out in Orange County, those famous horses can be found on their own picturesque farm in Norco. Over the years, the farm has been numerous things, including a chicken farm and a Christmas tree farm. Visitors can stop by to see the farm in person!
The Silverlakes sports park has also been a big draw for Norco. The park includes equestrian arenas, over 20 soccer fields, 4 LED-Lit Synthetic Fields, an outdoor concert arena and more. Over one million visitors a year, from high school students to families, are drawn out from all over the Inland Empire region.
There are numerous Norco hotels for visitors to stay at along Hamner Avenue, including the Howard Johnson. When in doubt for a place to stay just take a drive down Hamner Ave and you'll hit at least four different hotels. The nearby Norco College serves Norco and surrounding towns, Corona and Eastvale. The city is also home to The Naval Surface Warfare Center Corona Division, which tests naval weapons systems for public safety before approving them for the Fleet.
Aside from the equestrian scene, Norco is also known for its auto industry. City Manager Andy Okoro told Business View Magazine that it's a big part of their economy.
"On the retail side, the key driver of our revenue is automobile dealerships, and our strategically-located auto mall generates significant tax revenue to the City's general fund."