The Guide to the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension

Gold Line test train heads over eastbound 210 Freeway toward Arcadia Station | Photo courtesy of Metro

The Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension opened on Saturday, March 5, 2016 with six new stations serving five cities and dozens of destinations in the San Gabriel Valley. The $1 billion, 11.5-mile rail line travels between East Pasadena and Azusa and points in between, providing a relaxing and money-saving alternative to driving the busy 210 Freeway.

Metro’s official blog, The Source shared info about the Gold Line in a recent post. Highlights include:

  • Parking is first-come, first-served at all the new Gold Line stations.
  • Gold Line trains are not running between Union Station and Pico/Aliso due to Regional Connector construction. There is a bus shuttle running between both Pico/Aliso and Union Station and Little Tokyo/Arts District Station and Union Station. The Gold Line is running between Pico/Aliso and Atlantic stations.
  • Riders coming from the San Fernando Valley should consider the new NoHo-Pasadena Express bus that runs between the Orange Line and Red Line stations in North Hollywood and the Gold Line’s Memorial Park and Del Mar stations in Pasadena. More info at The Source.
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The plaza at Arcadia Station on the Gold Line Foothill Extension | Photo courtesy of Metro

In another post, The Source rounded up 16 places that you can visit along the Gold Line Foothill Extension. Following are some of the attractions located near the new Arcadia Station.

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Opening Day at Santa Anita Park | Photo courtesy of Santa Anita Park, Facebook

Santa Anita Park

With the San Gabriel Mountains as the stunning backdrop, Santa Anita Park is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful and iconic racetracks in the country. Opened on Dec. 25, 1934, Santa Anita Park recently underwent $35 million in capital improvements to areas such as the Club House Box Seat Area, Chandelier Room, Turf Terrace, Eddie Logan Suite and private suites atop the Grandstand Club House Box Seat Area.

The Breeders' Cup World Championships return to Santa Anita Park on Nov. 4-5, 2016. Since its inception in 1984, the Breeders' Cup is now considered one of the world’s top events in Thoroughbred racing, and draws the best equine athletes from around the world for two of the most exciting days in the sport. This marks the ninth time that Santa Anita Park will host the Breeders’ Cup.

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Xiao long bao at Din Tai Fung | Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Westfield Santa Anita

Located adjacent to Santa Anita Park, the expansive Westfield Santa Anita spans more than 1.3 million square feet of retail space, including anchors JCPenney, Macy’s, Nordstrom and Forever 21. Its latest expansion was the addition of the $120-million, 115,000 square-foot outdoor Promenade, which is now home to Westfield Santa Anita’s many community events that take place year round. In April 2016, Din Tai Fung will open its flagship San Gabriel Valley location at Westfield Santa Anita. This will be the third branch in Arcadia for the world-famous dumpling house.

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Queen Anne Cottage at L.A. County Arboretum | Photo courtesy of Angelo Henry, Flickr

Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

From the Arcadia Station, transfer to Foothill Transit Bus 187 to visit the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden. Located across the street from Santa Anita Park, the Arboretum is a unique 127-acre botanical garden and historical site that features plant collections with rare and endangered species from all over the world. Wander along quiet paths, or relax by the Mayberg waterfall, fountains, ponds and themed gardens. Built in 1885-86, the historic Queen Anne Cottage is best known for its appearance in the introduction to TV’s Fantasy Island, as well as the Florida home of Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand in Meet the Fockers. The Queen Anne Cottage was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

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Miso butterscotch cookies at TAZA | Photo by Joshua Lurie


Entertainment industry veteran Sonny Mediana opened TAZA, one of the San Gabriel Valley’s only specialty coffeehouses, in 2012. Located two miles from Santa Anita Park, the glass-fronted space features refurbished wood and wall-mounted Andy Warhol skateboard decks. Mediana equipped the café with a two-group La Marzocco GB/5 espresso machine, a rarely seen Clover machine, a pourover bar and coffee from multiple roasters like Stumptown and Trystero. Bonus: weekends bring innovative pastries from Thomas Keller Restaurant Group veteran Sharon Wang, including spam musubi croissants and miso butterscotch cookies.

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Test train on the Gold Line Foothill Extension | Photo courtesy of Metro

For more information about the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension, read The Source Q&A, which features details on everything you need to know.