Arcadia, California

About Arcadia, California

Arcadia is renowned for its lovely neighborhoods, kind people, and “community of homes” ambiance. Arcadia lays a strong focus on maintaining “green space,” and its dedication to the environment is reflected in the abundance of thriving trees you can see throughout the city.

History

Arcadia, California, was originally inhabited by a Native American tribe; this one was called the Tongva. When the Spanish came to this area in 1771, they established the San Gabriel Mission. Native Americans were converted and helped the Spanish by providing labor. The land was hearty, and many orchards provided for the Spanish crown until 1833, when California fell into Mexico’s control and gave the San Gabriel Mission land to individuals. 

Lucky Baldwin, a multi-trade business magnate of Gold Rush fame, came to own 8,000 acres of town property in Arcadia. In 1850, California became a state in the Union. 

By the turn of the 20th century, Arcadia had a population of about 500 people, and it was incorporated in 1903, with Lucky Baldwin serving as its first official mayor. While in office, he established a successful racetrack within city limits, but it was soon after shuttered for over two decades once the state of California outlawed racing in 1909.

Arcadia played significant and controversial roles in both World Wars. During World War I, the Army used it for Ross Field Balloon School, training soldiers from a hot air balloon. During World War II, Baldwin’s old racetrack would become home to— at different points— both a Japanese internment camp and a POW facility to hold captured Germans.

Postwar, Arcadia situated itself as an upper-middle-class suburban alternative to nearby Pasadena and soon became home to renowned department stores, shopping malls, and the rechristened & revitalized Santa Anita racetrack. All continue to be prominent community fixtures to this day.

Demographic


source: US Census data

Education

Notable People

Arcadia, over the years, has given the world an eclectic array of professionals in a wide range of cultural and occupational disciplines.

While far from definitive, let’s take a brief look at some of the most notable individuals from Arcadia in two highly visible fields.

Entertainment

  • Michael Anthony (Musician)
  • Ryan Bergara (Web Series Creator)
  • Jason Chen (Taiwanese-American pop singer)
  • Maren Jensen (Model/ Actress) 
  • Lindsay Price (Actress/ Singer)

Athletes

  • Marty Barrett (Baseball player)
  • Jimmy Conrad (Soccer player)
  • Sven Davidson (Tennis player)
  • John Grabow (Baseball player)
  • Jeff Grosso (Pro Skateboarder) 
  • Brittany Klein (Soccer player) 
  • Jimmy Lambert (Baseball player)
  • Johnny Lindell (Baseball player)
  • Mirai Nagasu (Olyimpic Figuer Sakter) 
  • Jason Robertson (Hockey player)
  • George Woolf (Jockey)

Points of Interest

Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

Located at 301 North Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA 91007, this arboretum and botanical garden sits on 127 acres. The plants of the arboretum are arranged in gardens for flora from South America, the Mediterranean, South Africa, Australia, and Asiatic North America. Other exhibits include the Palm and Bamboo collection, Native Oaks, Herb Garden, Prehistoric and Jungle Garden, Meadowbrook, Demonstration Home Gardens, Garden for All Seasons, and Aquatic Garden.

The Pasadena POPS performs at summer concerts held in the gardens.

Queen Anne Cottage & Coach Barn

Built in 1879 by Elias Jackson Baldwin, the Queen Anne Cottage and Coach Barn is located at 107 S Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA 91007, by Baldwin Lake on the grounds of the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden. It is a historical landmark and was used in the opening of Fantasy Island (1977). Tourists are welcome to take tours of the Cottage and Barn.

Santa Anita Park

Located at 285 W Huntington Dr, Arcadia, CA 91007, Santa Anita Park is a thoroughbred race track that holds the Santa Anita Derby and Santa Anita Handicap. It has also held the Breeders Cup several times and will be the home of it again in November of 2023.

It has also been used in movies such as Seabiscuit (2003), National Lampoons Vacation (1983), and the Jersey Boys (2014), just to name a few.

The Shops At Santa Anita

Opened in 1974, the shops are located at 400 S. Baldwin Ave. Suite 231Arcadia, CA 91007, The Shops At Santa Anita are home to stores like Abercrombie, Fabletics, K Plus Pop, and Windsor Fashions. The shops sit next to the Santa Anita Race Track and have an incredible 132 stores, 18 movie screens, and over 50 places to eat.

Wilderness Park

Located at 2240 Highland Oaks Dr, Arcadia, CA 91006, seated on top of the San Gabriel Mountains, Wilderness Park allows residents and tourists to relax in the beauty of nature and experience wildlife. It also has a nature center with displays of animals and a pond that allows for bucolic views of the park. 

Fun Box

This indoor inflatable theme park is located at 400 S Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA 91007. Fun Box also boasts 24 large art installments from artists all over the world.

Santa Anita Golf Course

Located at 405 S. Santa Anita Avenue, Arcadia, CA 91006, golfers can play a round of 18 while enjoying a breathtaking view of the San Gabriel Mountains.

Fun Facts

  • Arcadia has emphasized preserving “green space,” which is apparent by the large population of healthy trees you will find throughout the town. For 17 years, Arcadia has been designated a Tree City USA.
  • The famous Route 66 passes through the middle of Arcadia.
  • Arcadia is mentioned in the novel On The Road By Jack Kerouac
  • Hunter S. Thompson wrote a good portion of his book “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” while at a motel in Arcadia across the street from the Santa Anita Racetrack.
  • In 1937, the McDonald brothers, famous for a certain hamburger chain with golden arches, opened their first restaurant, The Airdrome, on the border of Arcadia-Monrovia.
  • Arcadia Oaks was a fictionalized version of Arcadia for the Tales of Arcadia franchise.
  • Arcadia has been the filming location for movies and TV Shows, most notably Fantasy Island (1977).
  • The Santa Anita Park Racetrack was the filming location of Seabiscuit (2003) and the Lona Ranger (2013) train scenes.

FAQs

Is Arcadia, California a good place to live?

Arcadia is a wonderful place to live with about 56,697 people living there now. Residents of Arcadia enjoy a dense suburban feel, and the majority own their homes.

Is Arcadia a rich town?

Arcadia is considered very rich and affluent. It is a center of international wealth and one of the richest neighborhoods in San Gabriel Valley.

What is Arcadia, California, famous for?

Arcadia is renowned for its lovely neighborhoods, kind people, and “community of homes” ambiance. Arcadia lays a strong focus on maintaining “green space,” and its dedication to the environment is reflected in the abundance of thriving trees you can see throughout the city.

What percentage of Arcadia is Chinese?

The five largest ethnic groups in Arcadia, CA are Asian (Non-Hispanic) (59.3%), White (Non-Hispanic) (21%), White (Hispanic) (6.87%), Two+ (Non-Hispanic) (3.93%), and Other (Hispanic) (3.52%).

What was filmed at Arcadia High School?

There have been two movies that were filmed at Arcadia High School. This includes Deal of a Lifetime (1999) and Moxie (2021).

What celebrities went to Arcadia High School?

Notable alumni of Arcadia High School include Ryan Bergara, Stacie Chan, Dave Hostetler, Clay Matthews, Stevie Nicks, Mira Nags, Mark Tuan, Debbie Turner, and Angel Yin.