Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Pico Rivera, CA

  • Published 2023/04/30

Pico Rivera is a city in Los Angeles County, California, 13 miles southeast of Los Angeles.

The city was founded in 1958 by merging Pico and Rivera, both unincorporated communities.

With its location near the San Gabriel River and Rio Hondo Channel, Pico Rivera was once an agricultural town but developed into a residential and industrial community after World War II.

Today, it’s an ideal weekend destination for those who want to take a break from LA‘s hectic city life.

Check out the best things to do in Pico Rivera, California:

Learn History at Pico Rivera Historical Museum

If this is your first time visiting Pico Rivera, don’t forget to drop by Pico Rivera Historical Museum along Washington Boulevard.

The museum offers visitors a glimpse into the city’s past, giving them a deeper insight into its development from a small agricultural city.

It contains a vast collection of photos, documents, archives, and various historical objects from the past.

Pico Rivera Historical Museum is housed in a former train depot, one of the few original remaining depot buildings in the country.

Take a museum tour, browse the photos and documents, and see how this humble area became a flourishing residential and industrial city near Los Angeles.

You can also view photos of Pico Rivera when it was an agricultural town and see the old layout of the townsite.

Play Sports at Rio Hondo Park

Rio Hondo Park is a 13-acre park located along San Luis Potosi.

It offers various amenities catering to locals and tourists who want to take a break without traveling to another city.

Amenities include ball fields, an outdoor handball court, children’s playgrounds, a soccer field, and outdoor basketball courts.

Those who’d like to spend some downtime at Rio Hondo Park can have a picnic or enjoy a relaxing stroll around the paved walking path.

The park also has open fields for playing frisbee, catch, tag, and other sports.

If you’re traveling with your dogs, you can bring them to the park; keep them on a leash.

Shop at Pico Rivera Towne Center

Get the complete shopping and recreational experience at Pico Rivera Towne Center, a retail complex strategically located off the intersection of Rosemead Boulevard and Washington Boulevard.

The 60-acre shopping complex houses well-known brands and shops that cater to your needs.

Whether you need a quick grocery run, a convenient dining option, or a place to kill time and hang out, Pico Rivera Towne Center has you covered.

Find establishments like Walmart, Bath & Body Works, Old Navy, Lowe’s, Ulta Beauty, and more.

During your shopping trip, grab a bite at Wendy’s, Starbucks, Subway, or other dining options.

Head to the spas and nail salons for a well-deserved pampering or my time.

You can quickly charge your cars at the charging stations nearby for those traveling using electric vehicles.

Chill Out at Smith Park

Smith Park boasts 16 acres of numerous recreational facilities for locals and tourists.

The park has a community center, playing courts, a swimming pool, a children’s playground, a picnic area, and more.

It also has athletic fields like a football field, basketball courts, baseball diamonds, and wide open spaces for other outdoor activities.

Hang out at Smith Park and enjoy different amenities for relaxation or sports.

Have a picnic with the family, play games with the locals, walk along the paved trails, or dip in the pool.

On select days, the park offers beginner yoga classes that can help improve one’s flexibility, strength, and circulatory health.

Treat Yourself to a Fancy Meal at Dal Rae Restaurant

Dal Rae Restaurant is an upscale restaurant serving the area’s finest aged prime beef, choice cuts, and fresh seafood.

Its cozy ambiance featuring high-back leather booths, low-light atmosphere, and warm panels makes you feel at home, even if it’s your first time.

Feel like an A-lister with world-class dishes, fine wines, delicious cocktails, and attentive service at Dal Rae Restaurant.

Enjoy fresh oysters, filet mignon, herb-crusted Colorado lamb chops, and other mouthwatering entrees for lunch.

On the other hand, the dinner menu consists of prime bone-in ribeye steak, prime Alaskan king crab leg, veal osso bucco, and more, served with various side dishes.

Listen to live music from the Piano Bar on special days as you enjoy your food.

Enjoy Outdoor Activities at Rivera Park

Take your families to Rivera Park for an exciting day out.

This popular park is within a residential area; enjoy recreational activities in a relatively quiet part of the city.

Park amenities include concession stands, picnic shelters with barbecue facilities, picnic tables, restrooms, and children’s playgrounds.

Moreover, sports lovers will love the courts at Rivera Park, including ball fields, batting cages, and handball courts.

The park also has several vast fields where you can lay down a mat and read a book or play tag, catch, frisbee, and other outdoor sports.

If you’d like to do something more relaxing, bring your yoga mat, do your morning routine at the park, and soak up the sun.

Enjoy Delicious Steak at Clearman’s Steak ‘N Stein

Enjoy the finest steak and American fare at Clearman’s Steak ‘N Stein along Whittier Boulevard.

The steakhouse exudes the feel of old-world European restaurants with warm lighting and polished interiors, perfect for a dinner date or intimate family gathering.

Guests can savor a three-course lunch or dinner meal at Clearman’s Steak ‘N Stein that includes savory dishes like filet mignon, prime rib, and steak and scallops as the entrees.

On the other hand, you can try other entrees like seared ahi tuna, boneless ribeye, tomahawk, or a classic NY sandwich.

Customers love the restaurant’s romantic and old-school ambiance, signature cheese bread, and onion rings.

Take a Break at Streamland Park

Nestled within a tranquil residential area, Streamland Park is great for hanging out and taking a breather.

Although it has relatively fewer amenities than other parks, you can still relax here, especially after exploring different parts of the city.

The park has picnic tables under trees, so you won’t have to worry about staying under the sun for long.

Bring lunch, picnic at Streamland Park, or play fun games like frisbee, catch, or tag.

You can also go for a jog or run around the paved trails, and even bring your dogs as long as they’re on a leash.

Practice Your Swing at Pico Rivera Golf Club

Pico Rivera Golf Club has a relaxing yet challenging terrain along Fairway Drive.

The golfing facility offers a nine-hole executive course, a lighted driving range, a banquet hall, and an onsite bar and grill.

Its courses have challenges like water hazards, sand traps, and others that can help improve your game.

On the other hand, beginners can take golfing lessons at Pico Rivera Golf Club, led by expert and PGA-certified instructors.

After your game, drop by the bar and grill for a rewarding meal.

Hang Out at Pico Park

Enjoy different recreational activities at Pico Park, situated along Beverly Boulevard.

The park is near residential areas and schools like North Park Academy of the Arts, making it a local favorite hangout.

Park facilities include baseball fields, soccer fields, a mini pitch court, a multipurpose auditorium, and a dance studio.

Those who want to relax can picnic under the shade, walk around the paved paths, or lay down a mat and chill under the sun.

Pico Park is also one of the city’s dog-friendly parks, so bring your pets here for a run.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Hike the Turnbull Canyon

Daytime view of Turnbull Canyon

Ormr2014, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

From Pico Rivera, take a 15-minute drive to Whittier, California, and enjoy panoramic views from Turnbull Canyon.

The four-mile loop trail is part of Puente Hills Preserve and features a semi-arid climate.

However, its location near the ocean gives it a relatively cooler temperature than other areas in Southern California.

The trail also has a fascinating history and is often the setting of several myths, urban legends, and even paranormal activity.

Regardless of the stories surrounding it, enjoy views of the Hsi Lai Temple, LA, and Rose Hills Memorial Park from Turnbull Canyon.

Besides hiking, you can also take your mountain bike or go on a trail run in the canyon.

Check Out the Montebello Barnyard Zoo

If you’re traveling with kids, take a day trip to Montebello Barnyard Zoo in Montebello, California.

Located eight minutes from Pico Rivera, the petting zoo allows you to interact with ponies, donkeys, sheep, ducks, and goats.

Most animals in the zoo are rescued and donated, giving them a second chance at a better life within a safe environment.

Meet the residents of the Montebello Barnyard Zoo and feed sheep, goats, and ponies, giving you a glimpse of farm life.

You can ride a pony, have a relaxing picnic, let your kids have fun at the playground, and even celebrate birthdays here.

Challenge Your Friends and Family at Bowlero Montebello

Bowlero Montebello combines fun games, fantastic food and drinks, and lively nightlife, perfect for bonding between friends, colleagues, and families.

The bowling alley is in Montebello, an 11-minute drive from Pico Rivera.

It features 36 bowling lanes, a sports bar, private rooms, and more.

Feel the retro vibes with the establishment’s colorful neon lights, blacklight bowling lanes, and cozy lounges.

Bring out your inner pro bowler and play several fun yet competitive rounds of bowling at Bowlero Montebello.

While waiting for your lane to be available, you can hit the arcade or play ping pong, air hockey, or billiards.

Between games, recharge with snacks like wings, fries, burgers, craft beers, and shareable cocktails from the onsite restaurant and bar.

Take a Day Trip to Whittier Narrows Recreation Area

The Whittier Narrows Recreation Area in South El Monte, California, is one of the most popular places of interest near Pico Rivera.

The park offers various amenities perfect for every kind of traveler, including athletic fields, equestrian trails, hiking trails, shooting ranges, and plenty of green spaces for picnics.

Within the recreation area, the Whittier Narrows Natural Area and Nature Center offer 400 acres of riparian woodlands and lakes that provide a sanctuary for various animals.

From Pico Rivera, drive 10 minutes to Whittier Narrows Recreation Area and enjoy many outdoor activities.

Whether you want to relax and take a breather or go on an adventure and explore the trails, you’ll never run out of things to do here.

Spend the Day at Wilderness Park

Wilderness Park is an ideal place to spend the day and take a break from the fast-paced life in the metro.

Located in Downey, California, the park has picnic tables, barbecue grills, a playground, vast spaces, and two lakes perfect for recreational fishing.

Even if the park is near Interstate 605, its countryside farm-like atmosphere makes it a good location for kid’s parties and other small gatherings.

Take a seven-minute drive from Pico Rivera to Downey and unwind at Wilderness Park.

Enjoy the calming scenery and convenient amenities.

You can walk along the trails, watch your kids at the playground, go fishing, or enjoy downtime with your favorite book.

Final Thoughts

From an agricultural town, Pico Rivera flourished into a charming modern city.

It offers an ideal respite from nearby busy cities like Los Angeles, Pasadena, and Anaheim.

This list of the best things to do in Pico Rivera, California, should help you plan the perfect itinerary!

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