No place has parks quite like California, and El Monte is no exception. There are 11 parks in this nature-loving city, with plenty of amenities and activities. The Santa Fe Trail Historical Park is not only a place of scenic beauty, but a landmark of history, depicting the city as the end of the Santa Fe Trail. Most all the parks offer playgrounds, restrooms, and picnic areas that are clean and well kept. If you want to get an uplifting perspective on the area, UAA Los Angeles Helicopter Tours can take you above and beyond El Monte to see downtown Los Angeles and Long Beach.
Whether you are searching for a snack or a four-course meal, El Monte has more than 100 restaurants to satisfy. Viet Huong Restaurant is one of the highest-rated Vietnamese restaurants in the city, with generous portions and delicious unique dipping sauces. For Cuban cuisine, the Havana Club boasts great lunch specials and local favorites such as smothered roast pork leg. Do not think that diners have been neglected. The Jolly Jug is a quaint and cozy place complete with red “pleather” and a jukebox. The beef dip and pastrami sandwiches will keep you coming back for more.
Some of the city’s best-kept secrets lie within its arts. The City of El Monte Historical Society Museum is a treasure trove of El Monte history, complete with news articles, pictures, and artifacts from days gone by. The American Society of Military History Vehicle Museum has free parking, a small souvenir shop, and a ton of tanks and other armored vehicles. There is even an ambulance that was used on the set of “M*A*S*H.” If you feel adventurous enough to trek into Arcadia, the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden has rare and endangered plant species.