Introduction to Montebello, California
Montebello is a city located at the southwestern part of the San Gabriel Valley in Los Angeles County, California. Situated about 10 miles east of Los Angeles, the city is ringed by freeways and is easily accessible to all points within the Los Angeles metropolitan complex and fewer than 45 minutes in driving time from each of Southern California's three major airports. Neighboring cities include Monterey Park (to the north), Pico Rivera and Whittier (to the southeast) and Commerce (to the southwest).
Montebello, Italian for "beautiful mountain," was originally an agricultural community. Through the early part of the 20th century, it was known for its production of flowers, vegetables, fruits and berries. Things began to change in 1917 with the discovery of oil on the Anita Baldwin property by the Standard Oil Company. By the time of Montebello's incorporation as a city in 1920, its oil fields were producing one-eighth of California's crude oil. The city today has become a center for the trucking and specialty vehicle industry, with a heavy presence in the manufacturing of engines, wheels, trucks, campers and trailers.
Points of Interest in and around Montebello
Montebello and its surrounding region are home to a number of parks and recreational areas. One of the city's most popular is Grant Rea Park, which houses the Montebello Barnyard Zoo; a petting zoo with a variety of animals and pony rides. The Whittier Narrows Recreation Area is a sprawling 1,400-acre park complete with fishing lakes, picnicking areas, playgrounds, trails, a nature center, an equestrian facility, a multipurpose athletic complex and much more. Pio Pico State Historic Park, located in nearby Whittier, is the site of the historic home of Pío Pico, the last Mexican Governor of Alta California and a pivotal figure in the history of early California. Other nearby cultural sites include the Latino Museum of History, Art and Culture; the nation's first museum dedicated to presenting the contributions of Latino culture; and the Japanese American National Museum. Montebello is also only a short drive away from the world-famous attractions of Anaheim, Los Angeles and the rest of Southern California.