Azusa is a city of about 50,000 people situated in the San Gabriel Valley area of Los Angeles County.
It’s one of the oldest cities in the county, and it’s conveniently situated only 20 miles away from Los Angeles with easy access to the area’s popular beaches and attractions.
Azusa is situated in an interesting location that allows for interesting experiences. It’s situated in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains and along the infamous Route 66.
The city gets its nickname, Canyon City, due to its location at the entrance of the San Gabriel Canyon.
The city is also known for its fabulous year-round weather. In addition, Azusa is famous for its restaurants and shopping areas such as The Outlet By E.L.S., the Azusa Square Shopping Center and the Edgewood Shopping Center.
A number of events and festivals take place in Azusa throughout the year including the free Summer Concert Series and the Fiesta and Craft Beer Festival.
Below are 15 of the best things to do in and around Azusa, California.
1. Spend an afternoon in Pioneer Park
Pioneer Park is a popular community park with plenty of wide-open, green space to relax.
The park is also home to many facilities including picnic areas with barbecue facilities, a playground, restrooms and a walking trail.
2. Learn about the History of the Rails at the Pacific Railroad Museum
The dedicated volunteers at the Pacific Railroad Museum in nearby San Dimas work hard to bring the area’s railroad history to life so it can be shared with visitors of all ages.
This fascinating museum is situated in a former depot, and the interior has been refurbished to look like a working station. Several exhibits featuring artefacts and old photos are on site.
3. Play a Round of Golf at Azusa Greens Country Club
At Azusa Greens Country Club, you’ll get the ultimate golf experience that includes top service, state-of-the-art facilities and a beautiful, 18-hole, par-70 course.
The year-round course is about 6,200 yards, and it features a range of challenges including bunkers and narrow fairways.
The on-site practice area has a driving range, pitching area, chipping area and practice green. Lessons are available.
4. Catch a Live Performance at the Arcadia Performing Arts Center
As the most popular arts venue in the San Gabriel Valley area, the Arcadia Performing Arts Center hosts world-class entertainment featuring emerging and well-known artists.
This large venue hosts shows in two areas including a concert hall that seats more than 1,000 people and a small theatre that seats 125 people.
Among the performances that are showcased each season are concerts, plays, musicals, dance shows and community events.
5. Wine and Dine at Aldolino Italian Restaurant
As a longstanding eatery in Azusa, Aldolino Italian Restaurant has had many years to perfect its offerings. Today, this popular restaurant serves traditional Italian cuisine in a warm and friendly environment.
Lunch and dinner are served daily and only the freshest, top-quality ingredients are used when preparing each dish.
Some of the items you’ll find on the menu include appetizers, salads, pizzas, pasta dishes, sandwiches and main courses such as chicken parmesan, blackened salmon and pollo alla gongonzola.
The beverage menu features a wide assortment of beers and wines, and handcrafted cocktails are available as well. You can dine indoors or outdoors on the patio.
6. Visit the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden
As a historical site and beautiful garden, the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden is an interesting place to visit in nearby Arcadia.
As you explore the 127-acre property, you’ll learn the history behind it and see the beautiful plants that grow in a variety of gardens and greenhouses.
On site you’ll be able to visit the Tropical Greenhouse, the Jungle Garden, the Native Oaks Collection, The Palms and Bamboo Collection and the Aquatic Garden.
There are plants from all over the world, and they are organized based on the country they are native to.
7. Get Outdoors at Frank G. Bonelli Regional Park
Frank G. Bonelli Regional Park is a large outdoor space in nearby San Dimas that features a wide range of things to see and do.
The centre of this park and the main attraction is the beautiful lake that is popular among swimmers and boaters.
Some of the activities that you can participate in within this park include hiking, picnicking, biking, horseback riding, bird-watching and camping.
Many facilities, including a golf course and water park with splash pads, are also on site. Throughout the year, a wide variety of events take place in the park including fishing competitions and festivals.
8. Visit The Gilb Museum of Arcadia Heritage
Situated in nearby Arcadia, The Gilb Museum of Arcadia Heritage has a main goal of acquiring, preserving and showcasing items related to the history of the city and its surrounding areas.
Inside this museum, you’ll see a wide variety of exhibits displaying the city’s history and culture starting with the indigenous people all the way through to the present day. Artefacts and beautiful works of art are some of the items you’ll be able to observe.
Some of the permanent exhibits are dedicated to well-known Arcadians and Arcadia in film.
9. Beat the Heat at Raging Waters Los Angeles
As the biggest waterpark in all of California, Raging Waters Los Angeles in nearby San Dimas features tons of fun and exciting water attractions for all ages.
It’s the perfect place to be on hot afternoons when all you want to do is get in the water.
Some of the attractions on site include water-based rides, waterslides, a wave pool and a lazy river. When hunger strikes, there’s no need to leave the park to find something to eat, because there are several eateries on site offering a range of meals, snacks and beverages.
10. Learn About Local History at the Durrell House Museum
The best way to learn about any city’s history and culture is to visit the local museum. In Azusa, that museum is the Durrell House Museum which is overseen by the Azusa Historical Society.
The museum strives to preserve the city’s history so that future generations will always know how it came to be.
The museum is small, but the exhibits house many important artefacts and old photos that tell the story of the city and its people.
11. Find the Perfect Gift at Vintage Treasures & Antiques
You never know what you’ll find at Vintage Treasures & Antiques in Arcadia. This unique shop is full of one-of-a-kind, hard-to-find items that you won’t see anywhere else.
It’s the ideal place to find a nice ornament for your home, a funky piece of clothing that no one else will have or a perfect gift for that special someone back home.
Antique furnishings, vintage clothing and accessories and beautiful handmade jewellery are just some of the items you’ll find in this shop.
12. Plan Your Escape at Trapped Escape Room
Escape rooms are popping up everywhere, and no two rooms are alike. At Trapped Escape Room in nearby San Dimas, you can choose between three unique and thrilling rooms including Grandma’s Escape, Pandora’s Box and Operation: X-13.
Once you’re locked up inside your chosen room, you have one hour to solve puzzles, find clues and work with your teammates to unlock the room and escape. This is a great activity to do on a rainy day, and it’s suitable for the whole family.
13. Visit Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum
If you’re interested in cars or racing, the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum is a must-see attraction in nearby San Dimas.
The on-site exhibits are filled with items related to cars, the industry, motorsports and how all these things tie together with American culture. Memorabilia, artefacts and photos are some of the items you’ll see as you explore this fascinating museum.
Guided tours are available, and throughout the year, a variety of events take place.
14. Check out the Santa Anita Race Park
It’s one of the most beautiful thoroughbred race tracks on the planet, and if you’re lucky during your visit to the Azusa area, this race park in nearby Arcadia will be hosting one of their celebrated events.
If no events are taking place, you can still check out this striking track set against the scenery of the San Gabriel Mountains. You can also enjoy a fabulous meal at the Frontrunner Restaurant which overlooks the track. There is also a bar on site.
15. Admire the Victorian Architecture of the Queen Anne Cottage and Coach Barn
The Queen Anne Cottage and Coach Barn are two historic buildings in nearby Arcadia. These Victorian buildings were built between the years 1870 and 1880.
Both of these well-preserved buildings are currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places. You can take a tour of the exterior and interior of the buildings and learn more about the person who designed them and the history of the buildings.