If you’re only in town for a couple of days you’ll want to make the most of your short stay and experience the very best of Arcadia. Got a pen? Let’s hop to it!
Happy hour at Matt Denny’s
We’re lucky to have a place where everybody knows your name. OK, well not everybody but Matt Denny’s is the choice for local Arcadians (yes that’s what we call ourselves!) to get some refreshing micro-brews and some tasty burger and pastas. Try the penne arriabata, it’s fantastic.
Take Pinkberry, add in more amazing flavors and toppings, and make it self-serve … you get an Arcadia favorite — Yogurtland. This chain rules the froyo category in SoCal and once you step inside you will know why. The only way they could make it better would be if it was all-you-can-eat. Hmmm. … Good business idea!
AMC Santa Anita 16, Westfield Santa Anita Mall
What’s a trip to Arcadia without catching some movies at the Westfield Santa Anita Mall? With 16 theaters including a giant IMAX screen, you can take a load off as enjoy the latest flicks and get some walking in at our upscale mall, which features tons of stores and a brand-new PlaySpace area for kids to, uh, play.
TAZA. A Social Coffee House.
The name says it all, this is the local java joint for Arcadia’s hippest coffee aficionados. Owner Sonny Mediana and his wife are starting a coffee movement right in the heart of Arcadia on our famous Huntington Drive. On weekends former Thomas Keller Restaurant Group (as in Michelin-rated Bouchon, French Laundry, and Per Se restaurants) pastry chef Sharon Wang of Sugarbloom can be found throwing down some delightfully tasty and beautiful desserts that you do not want to miss.
Arcadia has some of the best Chinese food IN THE WORLD. All-caps… SO YOU KNOW IT’S TRUE! Serving lunch and dinner every day; on weekends you have to get in there for the dim sum. Dim sum is Cantonese for “small hearts” or “small treats” — invariably compared with tapas for those more familiar with Latin American cuisine. In Hong Kong and other Cantonese-speaking areas of China, dim sum is meant to be savored with newspapers, tea, and friends … and can last hours. Here in Arcadia we just enjoy the great food and move on to other activities!
Los Angeles County Arboretum
You’ve filled up on caffeine and dim sum, and that’s after last night’s popcorn and Red Vine bender. What’s next you ask? Why, you have to walk it off and get some air my friend! Lucky for you Arcadia is home to the Los Angeles County Arboretum — a veritable paradise located in the heart of the San Gabriel Valley. With majestic views of the mountains, peacocks running around, and of course the beautiful flora from all over the world. The Arboretum is the perfect place to get that heart rate pumping, or to just sit down and unwind and soak in the California sun.
Westfield Santa Anita
The mall again? Yes. This thing is huge and it’s more like three malls in one. You got the movies. You got the mall. And then you have the all new Shops at Santa Anita, a nice outdoor mall with a train and turtles for the kids and upscale blingtastic shops like Gemorie. Get your shop on and work up an appetite!
Dinner is served. Jockey George Woolf purchased the Derby in 1938 and ever since it’s been THE place to go if you’re a horse racing fan or just a fan of incredibly delicious food. Try the filet mignon and scampi … can we say AMAZING. You simply cannot leave Arcadia without dining at this historic treasure, especially if you are here to watch racing. Valet parking — because it’s classy like that.
It’s a Denny’s, what’s the big deal? Well it’s in one of our city’s historic buildings shaped like a windmill, for one. They serve amazing things like Moon Over My Hammy, No. 2. And every fourth Sunday of the month an event called Carcadia takes place in the parking lot, No. 3.
After you fill up on Denny’s, you can head outside and watch some of the coolest hot rods, rat rods, muscle cars, imports, and exotics line up as gear heads from Arcadia and surrounding areas roll in to hang out and enjoy the fresh Arcadia air. If you’re really lucky a concours-caliber car will roll in or a zombie-killing Jeep with two light bars. You never know what you’re going to see but it’s always interesting and a local favorite.
Denny’s parking lot (fourth Sunday of the month)
Seabiscuit Tour at Santa Anita Park
Board the Seabiscuit Tram near Clockers’ Corner and take a tour of the Great Race Place. The Seabiscuit tram will take you to the stable area, receiving barn and the Paddock Gardens. Plus, see Seabiscuit’s original stall and barn, areas used during the filming of the movie :Seabiscuit,” and meet the equine star of Seabiscuit, Fighting Furrari, who played the primary role in the film. Not only that, you will also visit the jockeys room, silks room, saddling paddock, the walking ring with its topiaries and statuary, and the carriage horses in their home under the Grandstand. Enjoy breakfast at Clockers’ Corner before or after this fun and FREE tram ride. This is truly a unique experience!
Tours depart at 8:30 a.m. (minimum of 10 people to do the early tour) and 9:45 a.m. every Saturday and Sunday during live racing seasons.
Call ahead to book the tour: (626) 574-6677
Arcadia Par 3 Golf Course
Get in some swings at the Arcadia Par 3 Golf Course located in the south side of Arcadia. You can rent equipment, take a class with a pro and sneak in some practice at the driving range.
Arcadia is home to countless massage establishments, and highly rated Spa Xanadu might just be the best with over 6,000 square feet and some of Arcadia’s happiest Yelpers consistently rating it as the top dog in this crowded field. Go in and get your feet soaked in hot water and let them massage your tension away!
Din Tai Fung
Talk about Arcadia’s treasure, we have not only one but TWO Din Tai Fung dumpling houses here located back to back. Arcadia was home to the first Din Tai Fung establishment in the United States and will always be the sentimental favorite amongst Din Tai Fung’s North American fan contingent. It is not uncommon for a 20 or 30 minute wait time … so finish cleaning up from the affairs of the day quickly so we can head over and enjoy some of the WORLD’S BEST soup dumplings!
Arcadia is served by four main airports in the region: Burbank, LAX, Los Angeles and Ontario. Traffic can be light on weekends and is generally incredibly horrible (because this is L.A., folks) from 7-10 a.m. and 4 p.m.-7 p.m. on weekdays.
There are three hotels in Arcadia to choose from and several more in surrounding cities like Monrovia.