Monrovia, California Vacation in Los Angeles County Photos and Information

Monrovia, California -We're always out there looking for new vacations that offer one or two day getaways in affordable adventures that don't break the bank. Believe it or not, Monrovia has everything you could want in an overnight stay close to L.A. This charming city at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains in the San Gabriel Valley is approximately 15 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles. Its great location near L.A., Santa Anita Racetrack, Los Angeles Arboretum, Pasadena and 210 Foothill Freeway that eventually blends into Highway 101 offer a great location for work, play and as we recently discovered, getaways.

Once in decline, the city focused on making their town a destination and has succeeded, thanks to a quaint "Old Town" renovation. Narrowing streets to one lane each direction offered more sidewalk space for dining and shopping. Now you'll see people out strolling, eating and shopping, hopping on the Old Town Trolley and generally enjoying this scenic city that's really charming.

Once home to writer Upton Sinclair. this "Gem City of the Foothills,"  was founded in 1886 by William N. Monroe, J.D. Bicknell, J.F. Crank and E.F. Spence naming it for Monroe. Sinclair, whose novel "The Jungle" exposed the meatpacking industry, owned a Spanish Colonial Revival home in the early 1940s and lived in Monrovia for 24 years, completing the novel "Dragon's Teeth," for which he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1943.

Monrovia honors writers and authors with a library along the main of Old Town, Myrtle. A park bench in front of the Monrovia public library includes a bronze sculpture of Mark Twain reading a book. Next to this statue that visitors can sit beside to and have their picture taken, there's a plaque with the quote, " The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them." Commissioned in 2003 and produced by artist Gary Price, the statue was created as part of the Art in Public Places program.  Monrovia doesn't just love literary endeavors, its residents also love the arts.

As you enter Old Town (exit 210 Freeway at Myrtle and head north toward the mountains, not away from them), you'll begin to notice trees lining the streets, offering shade and grace to buildings with well-kept storefront signage and colorful awnings. Framed by hillsides above Monrovia that reach into the Angeles National Forest, part of Monrovia's charm is the setting and those stunning riparian woodlands filled with deer, bears, mountain lions, opossum, raccoons, coyotes and all the wildlife. A 1,000-acre Wilderness Preserve offers opportunities to hike and explore nature just outside the door of this scenic city.

If you're on a spree to shop, there's plenty to talk about. Old Town features some gems missing from the boring landscape of tear-down Southern California cities with malls that all look the same. Old Town's restaurants, tearooms, antiques stores and movie complex attract shoppers and browsers. A free trolley service links Old Town with the hotels and high-tech corridor along Huntington Drive. Within a few blocks visitors can shop for clothes, gifts and unique specialty items. Along Myrtle we discovered  Golden West Army / Navy Store, Valley Hardware Toys & Trains, House of Windsor art and gifts, Tobacco Road Newsstand, Florsheim Shoes, Tea Parlour, Kaleidoscope Antiques, Calvin's Treasure (womens & mens fashion), Stampin' on Cloud 9, K.C. Hopper Fine Stationery & Gifts, Comic Cellar and many more. 

Dining is the standout on this street anchored by Huntington Drive on one end (Historic Route 66). If you like dessert, begin your day with Cold Stone Creamery, where they customize your ice cream with hand prepared add-in ingredients that can include candies, caramels and fruits. The ingredients are blended on a cold stone, thus the name. For delicious and hearty dining, restaurants range from Italian to Mexican along Myrtle Street. Some of the offerings include Gene's Grinders - 800 S. Myrtle (626) 358-8016; Old Town Pizza - 338 S. Myrtle (626) 357-1789; Rudy's Mexican Rest. - 602 S. Myrtle (626) 303-3393; Tecate Grill - 1601 S. Myrtle #B (626) 358-1922;

Huntington Drive is filled with strip malls and shopping centers contains fast food chains the kids love, groceries, Starbucks, Marshall's and many more chains. The hotel accommodations are along or near Huntington Drive. Hotels such as the Four Seasons, Internet wired for checking your email, offers a vacation and business friendly environment perfect for you vacation.

What to do and see:

Watch a film at The Krikorian Premiere Theatre, featuring LFX films, is located in Old Town. Location: 410 South Myrtle Avenue, Monrovia, CA 91016. Call: (626) 305-7469. Since its beginning, Krikorian Premiere Theatres has specialized in the development of first class movie venues in urban redevelopment projects. A few of those theatre complexes built in downtown redevelopment projects include Downey, Redlands, Monrovia, Buena Park, and Vista. The theater offer beautiful meeting space and is available for rent for special events.

For kids:

Monrovia Skate  Park offers skateboarding in two sections including a street side with
rails, stairs, ramps, kickers and curved ledges. The bowl side is kidney-shaped
with three roll-overs. Location: Corner of Mountain and Olive Avenues adjacent to the Mary Wilcox
Youth Center. The park offers Helmets (with straps), elbow and kneepads are mandatory!
The facility is open from dawn to dusk. Call: (626) 256-8246

Historic Homes - a drive through Monrovia includes tree-lined streets with a delightful mix of homes spanning nearly 100 years. Monrovia was incorporated in 1887, and today, the passion for its roots is growing strong. The largest civic organization that began by several interested citizens has, Monrovia Old House Preservation Group (founded in 1980), holds a home tour fund raiser annually to support grants given to owners of historic or unique, older properties in Monrovia. 

The Los Angeles Arboretum - The Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden is located at 301 North Baldwin Avenue, Arcadia, CA, 91007. Open daily from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm; admission closes at 4:30 pm. Admission charged.  Parking is free. The Arboretum is a 127-acre botanical garden and historical site jointly operated by the Los Angeles Arboretum Foundation and the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation. For more information, call 626-821-3222. 

Missions and museums - San Gabriel Mission, 428 So. Mission Drive, San Gabriel, California 91776-1299.

Special events - Special events throughout the year include Art Walk, Monrovia Art Festival, Farmer's Market, Old Town Holiday Parade and Food, Wine & Jazz Festival. Every Friday, Old Town hosts the Family Festival and Farmers Market. Produce is available, and crafts are sold. The city's annual Arts Festival as well as the Monrovia Days Parade offers old fashioned fun.

City sponsored Events
Spring Egg Hunt - April
Monrovia Days - May
Summer Extravaganza - June, July, August
Concerts in the Park - June, July, August
Halloween Festivities - October
Holiday Home Happenings - December

Chain Restaurants (area code 626)
Applebees - 502 Huntington 932-0070
Black Angus - 560 W. Huntington 303-2411
Burger Basket - 501 1/2 Duarte Rd. 357-3514
Claim Jumper - 820 W. Huntington Drive 359.0463
Mimis Cafe - 500 W. Huntington 359-9191
Spires Rest. - 690 W. Huntington 303-4116
Tommy's Original Hamburgers - 849 E. Huntington 256-9437
China Express - 308 W. Huntington 358-9421
Romano's Macaroni Grill- 945 W. Huntington 256-7969
Domino's Pizza - 404 W. Huntington 303-2655
Acapulco - 600 W. Huntington 357-9878
Baja Fresh Mexican Grill - 943 W Huntington 305-9260
El Matador - 400 W. Huntington 359-8620
Rubio's Baja Grill - 664 W. Huntington Drive 305-0797
Quizno's Classic Subs - 672 W Huntington 59-9054
Submarine Express - 344 W. Huntington 357-1144
Subway - 186 W. Foothill 301-0903
Togo's Eatery - 1014 Shamrock 301-0096
Red Lobster - 928 W. Huntington 301-9225

monrovia downtown
monrovia downtown
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