Introduction to Hemet, California
The California city of Hemet is located in Riverside County's San Jacinto Valley, about 45 miles west of Palm Springs. Situated at the junction of California State Highways 74 and 79, Hemet is easily accessible to Interstates I-10 and I-215. Nearby communities include San Jacinto (to the north), Winchester (to the west), and Mountain Center (to the east).
Founded in 1887 on land first inhabited by members of the Cahuilla Indian tribe, Hemet was incorporated as a city in 1910. At that time, the city's population was under 1,000 but growth ensued as Hemet evolved into a prime trading center for the valley's agricultural produce. The city's character underwent a significant change in the early 1960s with the onset of large-scale residential development, largely in the form of retirement communities and mobile home parks. Hemet today retains its status as a retirement community, but is also becoming home to a growing number of younger working-class families owing to its rural character and proximity to major employment centers.
Events and Attractions in Hemet
Since 1923, one of the area's premiere events has been the annual Ramona Pageant. Based on the novel ("Ramona") by Helen Hunt Jackson, the pageant brings together the people of Hemet and San Jacinto who stage America's longest running outdoor drama each spring at the Ramona Bowl Amphitheatre. The Amphitheatre is also the venue of many theatrical events including the Shakespeare Festival, the Courtyard Dinner Theatre Summer series, and the Ramona Bowl Repertory Theatre fall musical. Museums in Hemet include the Hemet Museum, which features agricultural displays, Native American artifacts, railroading relics, and other artifacts showcasing the area's colorful history; and the KidZone Museum, an interactive children's museum housing over 20 interactive learning exhibits.