California Scenic Drives: Arroyo Seco Parkway

Things to Do Along the Arroyo Seco Parkway

While located in the second largest city in the United States, the Arroyo Seco Parkway is an urban oasis with natural areas, diverse parklands, and views of the Angeles National Forest in the snow-peaked San Gabriel Mountains to the north. Arroyo Seco, Spanish for "dry stream," is geographically the most prominent feature of the northeastern Los Angeles landscape.

The great, long canyon of the Arroyo Seco extends from the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains north of Pasadena, southward along the western edge of South Pasadena. The canyon then continues south through Highland Park until it joins the Los Angeles River not far from Elysian Park.

The Arroyo Seco Parkway is brimming with recreational activities. In the 1920s, under the urging of Charles Lummis Pasadena and Los Angeles recognized the opportunities of the Arroyo Seco to provide recreational access to a growing metropolitan area. Active recreation -- such as hiking, swimming, horseback riding, bicycling, fishing, tennis, and golf -- is matched by more passive pursuits like bird-watching, painting, and stargazing.

The Arroyo Seco lies in the heart of Los Angeles, a recreational melting pot. The byway itself features Dodger Stadium, allowing you to partake of America's favorite pastime. For golfers, courses are abundant in the area, including Arroyo Seco's own course. Downtown Los Angeles, only a block from the byway, has days' worth of activities, from basketball or exhibits at the Staples Center to provocative contemplation at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Find more useful information related to the Arroyo Seco Parkway:

  • The Arroyo Seco Parkway is just one of many scenic byways in California. Check out more California scenic drives.
  • Are you interested in scenic drives beyond California? Here are more than 100 scenic drives throughout the United States.
  • The Los Angeles area is brimming with things to do. Get some great ideas, including restaurant and hotel suggestions, by looking at this Los Angeles City Guide.
  • Death Valley National Park is only 300 miles from Los Angeles. See this guide to visiting Death Valley National Park.
  • Fuel economy is a major concern when you're on a driving trip. Learn how to get better gas mileage by reading How to Drive Economically.