Pico Rivera is a city of around 63,000 people situated in Los Angeles County. The city is actually a suburb of Los Angeles, which is only 11 miles away.
Pico Rivera is known for its central location that makes it easy to access nearby cities, beaches, and nature areas. The city is home to nine parks and eight playgrounds, and there are many restaurants, cafes, and shopping areas – such as Pico Rivera Towne Center and Crossroads Plaza.
A range of events and festivals take place throughout the year in Pico Rivera, including the Festival Colombiano.
Below are 15 of the best things to do in and around Pico Rivera, California.
1. Learn About Local History at the Pico Rivera Historical Museum
Pico Rivera has a long and colourful history. Visitors to the city can learn about that history and the culture at the Pico Rivera Historical Museum.
Even the building the museum is situated in has historical significance. Constructed in the late 1880s, it was once the train depot. Today, it’s one of only several original depot buildings left in the United States.
Inside the museum, you’ll see a variety of exhibits showcasing old photos, documents and artefacts.
2. Spend Time Outdoors at Rivera Park
Rivera Park in Pico Rivera is a spacious outdoor recreational area featuring many amenities. Whether you’re seeking a place to relax outside or a space where you can catch up on your fitness routine, this park is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
On-site, you’ll find a playground, walking trail, several sporting fields, handball courts, batting cages, and picnic areas with barbecue facilities.
3. Watch a Live Performance at the Ruth B. Shannon Center for the Performing Arts
The Ruth B. Shannon Center for the Performing Arts is a cultural venue in nearby Whittier that has two modern venues on-site. The Robinson Theatre seats 403 people, and the Studio Theatre has a more intimate feel, seating only 75 people.
Throughout the year, the venue hosts a variety of performances, including concerts and plays. In the past, many well-known artists performed here, such as Nilo Cruz, Henry Mancini and Los Lobos.
4. Wine and Dine at Dal Rae Restaurant
Dal Rae Restaurant is an upscale fine-dining establishment serving high-quality American dishes in a stylish and comfortable environment.
When you dine at this family-run restaurant, you get the best service possible and enjoy a wide range of dishes made with the finest ingredients, including fresh seafood flown in from around the globe.
On the menu, you’ll find appetizers, salads, sandwiches, pasta dishes, seafood dishes, and steak. The drink menu features fine wines and cocktails. Patio dining is available, and the on-site Piano Bar hosts live music on certain nights of the week.
5. Check Out the Cerritos Farmers’ Market
Once a week, a farmers’ market is held in the nearby city of Cerritos. As you browse this lively market showcasing dozens of vendors, you’ll find a wide variety of items.
Fresh, local vegetables and fruit, honey, flowers, bread and baked goods are just some of the items available.
6. Admire Local Art at the Whittier Art Gallery
Since 1939, The Whittier Art Gallery has been showcasing artworks by local artists. The exhibits change frequently, but some of the artists who’ve been on display at the gallery include Yukiko Avila, Lisa Keffer Ruiz and Lynn Azali.
Many events take place throughout the year, including workshops and special exhibits.
7. Visit the Pio Pico State Historic Park
Pio Pico was the final Governor of Alta California under Mexican power, and Pio Pico State Historic Park is the site of his former home, El Ranchito.
Situated in nearby Whittier, the site is a California Historical Landmark. The home was constructed in 1853 but was damaged twice by flooding over the years. It was eventually restored to its original design with a few modern details added.
8. Take the Kids to Montebello Barnyard Zoo
Montebello Barnyard Zoo is the perfect place to take the whole family for some good ol’ fashioned farm fun for all ages.
The petting zoo is the biggest draw, especially for children, who love to interact with the chickens, sheep, rabbits, goats and ducks.
On-site, there’s a playground, a carousel, and a train you can ride on. Pony rides are also available.
9. Find One-of-a-kind Items at King Richard’s Antique Vintage Center
King Richard’s Antique Vintage Center is the biggest store of its kind in the state. This historic building was transformed into what it is today back in 1979.
Since then, antique collectors and people searching for unique items they won’t find anywhere else have been flocking to this fascinating place.
Inside, you’ll find a vast collection of vintage clothes, jewellery, artwork, furnishings, vinyl records, books, and sporting goods.
Throughout the year, a number of events take place at the centre, including workshops and lectures.
10. Play a Round of Golf at Pico Rivera Municipal Golf Course
Situated in a scenic area, Pico Rivera Municipal Golf Course is a 9-hole, par 29 executive course suitable for all levels.
However, being suitable for everyone doesn’t mean you won’t be challenged; there are sufficient obstacles on the course, including water hazards and sand traps to ensure your game is anything but boring. The course is lit into the evening hours so you can golf even after the sun goes down.
If you wish to practice before you tee off, there’s a covered driving range and two putting greens. A restaurant and a pro shop are also on-site, and lessons are available.
11. Learn About Science at the Discovery Cube
The Discovery Cube, situated in nearby Santa Ana, is a large science centre featuring more than 100 interactive exhibits. As you make your way through the centre, you’ll see displays about biology, space flight, the environment, and so much more.
Some of the on-site exhibits include Dino Quest, Water Gallery, Science of Hockey, Planetary Research Station, and Eco Challenge. Many temporary exhibits are also showcased at the centre throughout the year.
12. Visit the Cerritos Sculpture Garden
The Cerritos Sculpture Garden is a beautiful outdoor space dedicated to a compilation of sculptures. Among the trees and inside the courtyard walls, there are up to 20 sculptures on display at any given time, and the collection is always growing.
Some of the recent sculptures on display include a memorial to the Cerritos Air Disaster and Infinity. In the past, the garden has showcased art by Lyle London and Jeff Zischke.
13. Enjoy Fine Dining in a Relaxed Atmosphere at Clearman’s Steak ‘N Stein
A cosy but elegant escape awaits diners at Clearman’s Steak ‘N Stein. This European-style restaurant offers intimate service in a warm environment. There’s even a fireplace and outdoor dining area where you can enjoy your delicious meal outdoors as the sun sets.
Lunch and dinner are served, and the classic menu features more than just mouth-watering steak dishes. Appetizers, salads, and seafood dishes are just some of the options on the menu.
An extensive wine list featuring wines from all over the world is available. Cocktails, martinis, and a wide variety of beers and spirits are also served.
14. Get a History Lesson at Whittier Museum
The main goal of the Whittier Museum is to acquire, preserve, and share items related to the history of Whittier and its surrounding area.
As you make your way through the exhibits, you’ll see a wide variety of artefacts, photos and documents. Some of the permanent exhibits include a Victorian cottage, the legacy of Richard Nixon, and a blacksmith shop.
The on-site discovery areas have interactive exhibits that help children learn while having fun.
15. Enjoy a Family Day Out at Knott’s Berry Farm
As one of the country’s most popular amusement parks, Knot’s Berry Farm in nearby Buena Park has an abundance of attractions suitable for the whole family. There are more than 165 rides, including thrilling roller coasters.
The park features themed sections, and as you explore the various areas, you’ll come across many different experiences. You’ll be able to walk a picturesque boardwalk, visit a haunted house, and watch an old fashioned cowboy shootout.
When hunger strikes, enjoy a wide variety of snacks and theme-park classics.