Things to Do in Arcadia, California
Unlike most suburbs of major cities like Los Angeles and unlike most communities of 56,000 people that are no bigger than 11 square miles, Arcadia is a major draw for visitors.
Here are just a few reasons why:
Santa Anita Park race track –a world-famous race track. Santa Anita has the best in thoroughbred racing and was home to recent Triple Crown Winner Justify, among many other local and nationwide celebrity racehorses, including favorite Lava Man, a retired stakes horse who now works as a track pony and is fondly known as “Coach.”
Westfield Santa Anita – one of the most popular and progressive malls in the San Gabriel Valley. Westfield Santa Anita opened a brand new Food Alley in 2017, and continues to expand and grow.
Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanical Garden – the jewel of the county and home to many of Arcadia’s famous peacocks.
The Derby Restaurant – opened in 1922 by famed jockey, George Woolf. Its walls are adorned with thoroughbred racing art and memorabilia, and steaks on the menu are named after jockeys.
Santa Anita Golf Course – one of the best and most picturesque courses in the region, with a newly remodeled club house.
Angeles National Forest – home of Chantry Flats picnic area, Adams’ Pack Station and more. It is one of the most popular entry points of any forest, with beautiful waterfalls and hiking trails.
San Gabriel Mountains National Monument – encompassing 342,177 acres of the Angeles National Forest and 4,002 acres of the San Bernardino National Forest. The mountains were designated as a National Monument in 2014 by President Barack Obama.
Hopkins Wilderness Park – a peaceful park with a nature center, picnic areas and hiking trails.
Arcadia Festival of Bands – the largest high school band competition in Southern California, happening every November.
Arcadia Invitational Track Meet – the largest high school track meet in the country.
Arcadia Patriotic Festival – the annual city celebration for the Fourth of July, featuring fireworks in 2019, along with food and vendor booths.
Arcadia Park – the park has 12 lighted tennis courts, an Olympic-size swimming pool, play areas, barbeques and picnic areas, along with Arcadia’s own Vietnam War Monument, installed in 2016.
Salute to Veterans – held at Arcadia Park, this annual Memorial Day celebration honors the city’s veteran population and highlights the Vietnam War Monument, traditionally hosted by LA County’s Supervisor.
Downtown Arcadia – an historic strip of Huntington Drive and parts of First Avenue, full of popular restaurants like Matt Denny’s Ale House Restaurant and Mt. Lowe Brewing Company, the first microbrew in Arcadia. The famous and last-of-its-kind Denny’s Windmill sits on the corner of Santa Anita and Huntington Drive. Since 1989, the windmill was still. However, the windmill was spinning again in 2016 with help from local Arcadian George Fasching of Fasching’s Car Wash. Downtown Arcadia also is the home of the Thoroughbred Walk of Champions, which runs along the north and south side of Huntington and up parts of First Avenue; tours are arranged through the Arcadia Historical Society.