Arroyo Seco Historic Parkway – Route 110

Details

  • DesignationNational Scenic Byway (2002)
  • Intrinsic QualitiesHistoric
  • LocationCA
  • Length11.1 miles
Byway Visitor Information
National Park Service
Statewide Byway Partners
California Department of Transportation
Visit California
This view from atop Elysian Park showcases Figueroa Tunnels and a view of the Los Angeles skyline.
Steve Devorkin of Caltrans Photo

Overview

The Arroyo Seco Parkway connects Los Angeles and Pasadena through the historic Arts and Crafts landscape of the Arroyo Seco. The parkway tradition was conceived with gentle curves, lush landscaping, and scenic vistas. The byway incorporates modern elements that would lay the groundwork for the California freeway system.


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Story of the Byway

Arroyo Seco mean “dry stream” in Spanish. It is a seasonal river, canyon, watershed, and cultural area. The byway takes Highway 110 from Pasadena to Los Angeles over the Arroyo Seco. Starting in Pasadena, this city is now famous for the Tournament of Roses, the Rose Bowl, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and California Institute of Technology. This area was once occupied by the Hahamogna Tribe of Native Americans. The Hahamognas lived in villages scattered along the Arroyo Seco and subsided on local game and vegetation. When Spaniards arrived in 1771 and built the San Gabriel Mission, most of the Native American were converted and provided labor for the mission.

The Arroyo Seco route is well-known for its many historic and artistic bridges and views along the way. Arriving in Los Angeles (the second largest city in America) visitors have a myriad of educational and leisure activities. It’s easy to see movie stars and A-listers walking down the street, but if you get off onto side streets you will find small cafes, coffee houses, street art and entertainment. Also check out the Los Angeles Zoo or take in a sporting event.

Driving Directions

Take Highway 110 from Pasadena to Los Angeles, following the nearby rail line.

Points of Interest

  • San Gabriel Mission (in nearby San Gabriel)

    Historic Spanish Mission.

  • Hermon Park

    Tennis courts, basketball courts, playground, dog park.

  • Elysian Park/ Figueroa Street Tunnels

    1931-1935 Series of tunnels through Elysian Park at the gateway to the Arroyo Seco Parkway

  • Avenue 26 Bridge at Cypress Park

    The Avenue 26 bridge predates the Arroyo Seco Parkway but was widened to accommodate the parkway and flood channel in 1938.

  • Southwest Museum

    World renowned collection of Native American artifacts housed with a 1914 architectural landmark

  • Colorado Street Bridge (Pasadena)

    1913 lamp-lit bridge with bold arches.

  • Los Angeles Zoo

    Zoo and botanical gardens, since 1966 with more than 250 animal and 800 plan species.

  • Dodger Stadium

    Where the Dodgers play since 1962.

Itinerary

  • Scenic Views from Los Angeles to Pasadena

    Begin this Byway at the intersection of US 101 and SR110 (The Pasadena Freeway) in downtown Los Angeles, near Dodger Stadium. This is a 20-minute to one hour drive, depending on traffic. Also allow time for stops along the way. You will travel over many bridges and have scenic vista opportunities around every curve. To the north of Dodger Stadium, stop at Elysian Park and check out the series of tunnels in the park. Shortly after reentering Highway 110, going northeast, travel over the historic Avenue 26 Bridge. Further north, make a stop at the Southwest Museum of the American Indian to view the world-renowned Native American artifacts. Hermon Park is on the right. Stop there and enjoy the dog park or play a game of tennis. There are many other dog parks, skate parks, and green spaces along the Byway. If you feel like biking, use the Arroyo Seco Bike Path that begins near the Montecito Recreation Center on Mosher Ave and follows the Byway to South Pasadena.

    Take a side trip to the east to San Gabriel to visit the historic San Gabriel Mission. Back on US 110, the route from South Pasadena curves north into Pasadena where it ends at the intersection with Colorado Boulevard in historic Old Town Pasadena. But before you call it a day, take Colorado Boulevard to the west to see the famed Colorado Street Bridge at its intersection with Arroyo Boulevard.

    Anytime you are hungry, stop at your choice of the many and varied restaurants and eateries along the way.

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