Montebello is a historic city of about 62,000 people situated in the San Gabriel Valley area of Los Angeles County.
Once an agricultural centre, this Los Angeles suburb is a gateway city with many parks and recreational areas. The city’s central location allows easy access to nearby cities and the coastal areas where the famous beaches are.
In Montebello, there are many restaurants and shopping areas, such as The Shops at Montebello, Montebello Town Square and Montebello Plaza.
Montebello and its surrounding areas host a variety of festivals and events throughout the year, including the Whittier Walnut Festival, The Cherry Blossom Festival and the OC Greek Fest.
Below are 15 of the best things to do in and around Montebello, California.
1. Get a History Lesson at the Montebello Historical Society and the Adobe Museum
The Montebello Historical Society oversees the Juan Matias Sanchez Adobe Historic Site and Museum, which is on the site of the oldest residence in Montebello.
The Adobe dates back to 1844 and is a significant part of the city’s history.
Inside this museum, you’ll learn about the history of the Sanchez family and the city through a series of exhibits containing various artefacts from the 1800s. You’ll also see rooms furnished to match that period, and old photos.
Throughout the year, a range of community and educational events take place at the museum.
2. Play a Round of Golf at Montebello Municipal Golf Course
Considered to be one of the top municipal golf courses in the region, Montebello Municipal Golf Course has a long and colourful history that goes back almost a hundred years.
This 18-hole championship course features a variety of challenges, including several lakes and bunkers, to keep your game interesting and engaging.
If you like to practice before you hit the course, there’s a driving range on-site, and lessons are available.
3. Relax Outdoors in Montebello City Park
Montebello City Park is the perfect place to spend a sunny afternoon relaxing in the pretty green spaces or catching up on your fitness routine.
On-site, there are several playgrounds, an outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts, and an amphitheatre.
4. Dine on Fine Mediterranean Fare at The Golden Skewer
The Golden Skewer in Montebello is said to be one of the best Mediterranean restaurants in the area. While Mediterranean is the main fare, there’s a special emphasis on Armenian dishes.
After you take your seat in this family-oriented eatery, you’ll be presented with a menu that features a wide variety of delicious, homemade options made only with the highest-quality, freshest ingredients available.
Appetizers, kebabs, soups, salads and main courses such as baby back ribs and broiled sturgeon, are some of the dishes available.
5. Meet some Friendly Farm Animals at the Montebello Barnyard Zoo
The Montebello Barnyard Zoo is the perfect family outing in Montebello. Children love meeting and petting the friendly farm animals at the petting zoo. Rabbits, goats and chickens are just some of the animals that live at the farm.
Train rides and pony rides are also offered, and a merry-go-round, playground, and picnic area are on-site.
6. Enjoy Live Entertainment at The Alex Theatre
For decades, The Alex Theatre in nearby Glendale has served as a premier destination for first-rate live entertainment.
This beautiful venue hosts more than 250 live performances each year. Plays, dance performances, concerts, comedy acts, and award ceremonies are just some of the events that take place at the theatre.
The Alex Film Society also presents classic films from time to time, and events such as the Glendale Youth Orchestra and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra draw in large crowds.
With advance notice, backstage tours of the venue are available.
7. Admire Fine Art at the Vincent Price Art Museum
The Vincent Price Art Museum is an extraordinary museum situated in nearby East Los Angeles that features more than 9,000 artworks and artefacts.
Many of the items were donated by the actor Vincent Price and his wife, including Native American artwork and works from Africa and Europe.
As you explore the museum, you’ll also see Japanese art, artefacts from the Ancient Americas, and artwork from many artists, including Rico LeBrun, Milford Zornes, Charles White and Howard Warsaw.
Form and Function in the Ancient Americas is the only permanent exhibit on-site, but many temporary ones come and go throughout the year.
8. Sample Local Craft Beer at Angry Horse Brewing
Since 2016, Angry Horse Brewing in Montebello has been creating artisan beer. While traditional methods are used in their brewing, the flavours are modern and unique.
At the on-site taproom, you can sample a wide variety of these brews, including Blizzard Boots, Angry Horse Country Roads, Whistle While You Work and Don’t Be Shy.
Seating is available on the patio, and many events take place at the brewery throughout the year.
9. Spend a Day in Nature in Deukmejian Wilderness Park
Within the 709 acres of the Deukmejian Park on the edge of nearby Glendale is a beautiful escape below the San Gabriel Mountains. A variety of ecosystems can be explored here, including chaparral, woodlands, and sage scrub.
While much of the area is untouched, there’s a series of hiking trails. As you explore these trails, you’ll witness spectacular views of the Crescenta Valley and possibly see some of the wildlife that inhabits the area.
Also on-site is the historic Le Mesnager Barn, washroom facilities, and picnic areas.
10. Try Your Luck at the Commerce Casino
If you’re looking for an exciting night on the town where you can have fun and try your luck at winning some money, Commerce Casino is the place to be.
This casino boasts the biggest card room in the world. With more than 240 tables, you have plenty of chances to win big – or at least have fun trying. Some of the card games available include Texas Hold’em, Lowball, Razz, Baccarat, Blackjack and Pai Gow Poker.
Several eateries are also on-site; they host a variety of sporting events throughout the year.
11. Visit The Museum of Neon Art
The Museum of Neon Art is a unique establishment focusing on neon art. It’s the first museum of this type in the world. The main focus of this museum is to acquire, preserve and exhibit this art so generations to come can enjoy it.
As you explore the exhibits, you’ll see a variety of kinetic art, electric media and neon signs from around the greater Los Angeles area.
The exhibits are constantly rotating, so there’s always something new to see, including neon signs with historical value and neon art created by renowned artists from around the world. Some of the recent exhibits include New to Neon and Signs from the Permanent Collection.
Night-time Neon Cruise bus tours are available, and many events take place at the museum throughout the year.
12. Indulge Your Sweet Tooth at Mignon Chocolate
Mignon Chocolate is a family-operated Ukrainian chocolatier situated in nearby Glendale. Since 1935, the family has been making handcrafted chocolate using old family recipes and only the highest-quality ingredients available.
Everything is made locally, and no preservatives are used in their creations, so you’ll feel less guilty indulging.
There are over 60 different types of delicious chocolates and truffles available for sale, including hazelnut truffles and dark-chocolate-dipped orange peels.
13. Spend a Day Hiking at Mount Gleason
Mount Gleason is a prominent peak situated in the San Gabriel Mountains near Glendale. The area is a stunning combination of pristine nature featuring conifer tree ecosystems and sprawling views of the surrounding region.
A series of hiking trails are available; each one leads to the summit of the mountain. The 16-mile Pacific Crest Trail is one of the routes you can take, but be prepared to start early in the day.
If you wish to stay in the area overnight, there are campgrounds located on the mountain, including Lightning Point and Messenger Flats.
14. Get Outdoors and Immerse Yourself in the Arts at Brand Park
At Brand Park, visitors of all ages enjoy a wide range of attractions and activities, both indoors and outdoors.
This large park’s most prominent feature is the Brand Library and Art Center. Inside this complex is a variety of galleries showcasing visual art and music and sculpture courts.
At the Whispering Pine Tea House and Friendship Garden, you can enjoy a relaxing cup of tea and a sweet treat before continuing your exploration of the park. Also on-site are the Doctor’s House Museum, sporting fields, playgrounds, and hiking trails.
15. Learn About Local History at the Casa Adobe De San Rafael
Casa Adobe De San Rafael is a beautiful hacienda-style home built in 1865. Once the residence of Tomas Avila Sanchez and his wife, the property is now a historic site open to the public.
Inside the home, you’ll see original rooms, including the guest parlour, family parlour and bedroom. Inside these rooms are items that once belonged to the family, including period furniture, a trunk, and a historic organ.