Pico Rivera, California

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Pico Rivera, California


Geographic Coordinates: 33.990100, -118.089000
Climate: Varies.
Population: 62383
Language: English

Pico Rivera is a vibrant city located in Los Angeles County, California, United States. Nestled in the southeastern part of the county, It covers an area of approximately 8 square miles and is home to a diverse community of around 63, 000 residents. With its rich history, Thriving culture, And convenient location near major metropolitan areas, Pico Rivera offers a unique blend of urban amenities and suburban charm. One notable aspect of Pico Rivera is its strong sense of community.

The city hosts numerous events throughout the year that bring neighbors together to celebrate their shared heritage and foster connections between residents. For instance, The annual Taste of Pico Rivera food festival showcases local cuisine from various cultures represented within the community. Parks and recreational facilities are abundant in Pico Rivera. Smith Park is a popular gathering spot with sports fields, Playgrounds, Picnic areas, And even an outdoor amphitheater for concerts during summer months. Residents can also enjoy aquatic activities at Rio Hondo River or take advantage of fitness programs offered at various community centers.

Education plays a significant role in Pico Rivera’s development as well. The city boasts several public schools that provide quality education to students from kindergarten through high school graduation. Additionally, There are multiple libraries where individuals can access resources for personal growth or leisure reading. For those seeking entertainment beyond local events or parks nearby attractions abound. Just a short drive away lies Downtown Los Angeles with its world-renowned museums like The Broad and Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).

Sports enthusiasts can catch professional games at Staples Center or Dodger Stadium while music lovers have easy access to concert venues such as Hollywood Bowl. In terms of transportation infrastructure, Pico Rivera benefits from its proximity to major highways like Interstate 5 and Interstate 605 which connect it with surrounding cities including Santa Fe Springs and Whittier. This makes commuting within Southern California relatively convenient for both work purposes or exploring nearby destinations. Pico Rivera offers a dynamic and welcoming community that values its residents’ diverse backgrounds.

With a strong emphasis on community engagement, Ample recreational opportunities, Quality education options, And easy access to nearby attractions, This city is an appealing place to live for those seeking the best of both urban and suburban lifestyles.

Important Landmarks

  1. Pio Pico State Historic Park: This park is named after Pío de Jesús Pico, the last governor of Alta California under Mexican rule. It features the historic adobe home of Governor Pico and provides insight into California’s early history.
  2. Whittier Narrows Recreation Area: Although technically located in neighboring South El Monte, this expansive recreational area is popular among locals and visitors alike. It offers various outdoor activities such as fishing, boating, hiking trails, picnic areas, and even an archery range.
  3. Rio Hondo Golf Club: Situated within the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area, this public golf course attracts golf enthusiasts with its beautiful setting and challenging fairways.
  4. Veterans Memorial Park: A community park that honors military veterans with memorials and monuments dedicated to their service.
  5. Bicycle Casino: Located just outside of Pico Rivera in Bell Gardens but easily accessible for visitors from the area; this renowned casino offers various gaming options including poker tournaments.

While these attractions may not be on par with more iconic landmarks found elsewhere in Los Angeles County or Southern California as a whole (such as Hollywood Walk of Fame or Disneyland), they still provide enjoyable experiences for both residents and tourists visiting Pico Rivera specifically or nearby areas like Whittier or Downey.

Primary Industries

  1. Manufacturing: Pico Rivera has a significant manufacturing sector, with industries such as electronics, automotive parts, plastics, and metal fabrication.
  2. Retail: The city is home to several retail establishments including shopping centers and malls like the Pico Rivera Towne Center. Additionally, there are numerous small businesses and local shops.
  3. Healthcare: Pico Rivera has a variety of healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics, and medical offices that provide services to the local community.
  4. Education: The education sector is prominent in Pico Rivera with multiple schools ranging from elementary to high school levels. There are also vocational schools and adult education centers in the city.
  5. Logistics and Distribution: Due to its strategic location near major freeways and transportation routes, Pico Rivera houses several distribution centers for various companies involved in logistics operations.
  6. Food Industry: Restaurants, cafes, bakeries, grocery stores, and food service providers play an important role in the local economy of Pico Rivera.
  7. Construction: The construction industry is active within the city as there are ongoing infrastructure projects along with commercial and residential developments taking place.
  8. Professional Services: Various professional services such as accounting firms, legal offices, consulting agencies operate within Pico Rivera to cater to business needs.
  9. Entertainment & Recreation: The city offers entertainment options like movie theaters (including a drive-in theater), recreational parks & facilities for sports activities which contribute to tourism revenue generation.
  10. Automotive Industry: With its proximity to Los Angeles County’s automotive hub (including factories), some automotive-related businesses like auto repair shops or car dealerships can be found in Pico Rivera.

It’s worth noting that this list may not be exhaustive but provides an overview of some major industries present in the area.

Noteable History

  1. Early Settlement: Pico Rivera was originally inhabited by the Tongva Native American tribe before Spanish settlers arrived in the 18th century.
  2. Rancho Era: In the 19th century, the area became part of several Spanish land grants, including Rancho Paso de Bartolo and Rancho Santa Gertrudes.
  3. Andrew McNally: Andrew McNally, co-founder of Rand McNally publishing company, purchased a large portion of land in present-day Pico Rivera in 1887 and established an experimental citrus orchard.
  4. World War II Impact: During World War II, a significant number of Japanese Americans from Pico Rivera were forcibly relocated to internment camps under Executive Order 9066.
  5. Incorporation as a City: On January 29, 1958, Pico Rivera officially became an incorporated city in Los Angeles County.
  6. Richard Nixon’s Birthplace: The childhood home and birthplace of Richard Nixon (37th President of the United States) is located in Yorba Linda but is often associated with neighboring Whittier and nearby La Habra Heights/Puente Hills due to shifting boundaries over time.
  7. El Rancho High School Walkouts: In March 1968, students at El Rancho High School staged walkouts to protest unequal treatment based on race and ethnicity within the school district—a significant event during the Chicano civil rights movement.
  8. Louis Zamperini Stadium: The local high school stadium is named after Louis Zamperini—a former Olympic athlete and World War II prisoner of war who inspired Laura Hillenbrand’s bestselling book Unbroken (later turned into a film).
  9. Latino Community Influence: Pico Rivera has a predominantly Latino population that has contributed significantly to its cultural heritage through traditions such as mariachi music festivals and celebrations like the annual El Grito Festival.
  10. Local Government: Notable political figures associated with Pico Rivera include former Mayor Ron Beilke and current Congresswoman Linda Sánchez, who represents California’s 38th congressional district.

Please note that this list is not exhaustive, and there may be other events and individuals of historical significance to Pico Rivera.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Pio Pico State Historic Park: This park is dedicated to preserving the adobe home of Pío de Jesús Pico, the last governor of Mexican California.
  2. Bicentennial Park: A beautiful park with walking trails, picnic areas, and a lake where you can relax and enjoy nature.
  3. Whittier Narrows Recreation Area: Located nearby in South El Monte, this expansive park offers recreational activities such as fishing, boating, picnicking, hiking trails and bird-watching.
  4. The Paint Sesh: Join a painting class at The Paint Sesh for a fun and creative experience.
  5. Rio Hondo Event Center: This venue hosts various events like concerts and live performances throughout the year.
  6. Montebello Barnyard Zoo: Perfect for families with young children to enjoy petting zoos and pony rides in Montebello.
  7. Vincent Price Art Museum (VPAM): Located nearby in Monterey Park at East Los Angeles College campus; it showcases contemporary art exhibitions from local artists as well as traveling exhibits.
  8. San Gabriel Mission Playhouse: Just a short drive away in San Gabriel; this historic theater hosts various performances including plays and musicals.
  9. Heritage Park & Museum: Situated in Santa Fe Springs; it features historical buildings that have been preserved to showcase life during early settlement periods.
  10. Commerce Casino: If you’re feeling lucky or enjoy gambling entertainment; Commerce Casino is one of the largest card casinos offering poker games near Pico Rivera.

Sports Teams

  1. El Rancho High School Dons: The El Rancho High School Dons have a rich athletic history and are well-known for their football program. The team has won multiple league championships and has produced several successful players who have gone on to play at the collegiate level.
  2. Pico Rivera Bandidos: The Pico Rivera Bandidos is a youth baseball organization that has been active in the community for many years. They have fielded competitive teams at various age levels and have had success in local leagues and tournaments.
  3. Pico Rivera Knights: The Pico Rivera Knights is another youth sports organization that offers football and cheerleading programs for children of different age groups. They aim to promote teamwork, discipline, and physical fitness among the youth.
  4. Pico Rivera Sports Arena: While not technically a team, the Pico Rivera Sports Arena hosts numerous sporting events throughout the year. It is particularly known for hosting Lucha Libre (Mexican professional wrestling) matches which draw large crowds from both within Pico Rivera and beyond.

It’s important to note that due to its size, there may be other smaller or community-based sports teams or organizations in Pico Rivera that may not be as widely recognized but still contribute significantly to local sports culture.

Cultural Events

  1. Pico Rivera Annual Fiesta Patrias Parade and Festival: Celebrated in September, this event showcases Mexican culture with a parade featuring colorful floats, traditional music, dance performances, food vendors, and family-friendly activities.
  2. Pico Rivera Dia de los Muertos Celebration: Held in October or November, this festival honors the Mexican tradition of Day of the Dead. It includes art exhibits, live music performances, traditional dances, face painting, altar displays to remember loved ones who have passed away.
  3. Pico Rivera Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony: Taking place in December at City Hall Plaza or Smith Park Amphitheater (depending on the year), this event marks the start of the holiday season with a festive tree lighting ceremony. There are often musical performances by local choirs or bands and visits from Santa Claus.
  4. Pio Pico State Historic Park Events: Throughout the year, various cultural events are held at Pio Pico State Historic Park to celebrate its namesake – Don Pío de Jesús Pico – who was an influential figure during California’s Mexican period. These events may include historical reenactments and educational programs about early California history and culture.
  5. Summer Concerts in the Park Series: From June to August each year at various parks within Pico Rivera city limits (e.g., Smith Park), free outdoor concerts are organized featuring local bands playing a variety of genres such as rock, jazz, Latin music etc., providing entertainment for residents and visitors alike.

Please note that due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions or other factors beyond our control, some events might be canceled or modified. It is advisable to check official sources for up-to-date information before attending any specific event.


  1. El Rodeo Mexican Restaurant: Known for its authentic Mexican dishes such as tacos, enchiladas, and burritos.
  2. Dal Rae Restaurant: A classic American steakhouse serving prime rib, seafood, and other traditional dishes.
  3. Porto’s Bakery & Cafe: Famous for its Cuban pastries, cakes, and sandwiches.
  4. Don Ruben’s Mexican Grill: Offers a variety of Mexican dishes including fajitas, tamales, and chiles rellenos.
  5. Mariscos El Perihuete: Specializes in seafood dishes like ceviche, shrimp cocktails, and fish tacos.
  6. Tacos Baja Ensenada: Known for their delicious fish tacos made with fresh ingredients.
  7. Mi Tierra Caliente Restaurant: Serves authentic Salvadoran cuisine including pupusas (stuffed tortillas), yuca frita (fried cassava), and carne asada (grilled meat).
  8. Pho 2000 Vietnamese Restaurant: A popular spot for pho lovers offering a wide range of Vietnamese noodle soups and other traditional dishes.
  9. The Habit Burger Grill: Known for their charbroiled burgers made with high-quality ingredients.
  10. Tacos La Bufadora Food Truck: Offers a variety of street-style tacos with different fillings like carne asada or al pastor.

Parks and Recreation

  1. Smith Park: This park offers a variety of amenities including sports fields, a community center, picnic areas, playgrounds, and walking trails.
  2. Rio Hondo Bike Path: This paved path stretches for miles along the Rio Hondo River and is perfect for biking, jogging, or walking.
  3. Pico Park: This park features a skate park, basketball courts, tennis courts, picnic areas with BBQ grills, and a children’s playground.
  4. Rivera Park: It offers sports fields for soccer and baseball/softball games as well as picnic areas and playgrounds.
  5. Streamland Park: A small neighborhood park with a playground area for kids to enjoy.
  6. Rosemead Boulevard Linear Park: A linear park along Rosemead Boulevard that features walking paths lined with trees and benches for relaxation or exercise.
  7. Veterans Memorial Park: A memorial dedicated to veterans that also includes open green spaces for picnics or leisurely walks.
  8. Whittier Narrows Recreation Area (located nearby): Although not within Pico Rivera city limits but close by in South El Monte/Whittier area; it is a large recreational area offering fishing lakes, hiking trails, bike paths, picnic areas with BBQ pits; it also hosts events like festivals and concerts throughout the year.

These are just some of the parks and recreational activities available in Pico Rivera; there may be additional smaller neighborhood parks or specific facilities within these larger parks that offer more specialized activities such as swimming pools or basketball courts as well.


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