About Montecito Heights
NELA, “Northeast Los Angeles,” is a term used to encompass a plethora of neighborhoods that would like to be identified within the boundaries, however, Montecito Heights is the area that can technically say they were the first. When the Spanish laid out that quadrants of what would eventually become Los Angeles, the area that would become Montecito Heights was the northeast corner of the 4-leagues-square.
In the late 1880’s when attempts were being made to develop the area, the rugged hilly terrain of the area kept development to mostly the flat areas where the trolley lines were available. In the 1950’s there was a spurt of growth with the advent of cantilever homes built on stilts. Many of the homes in Montecito Heights are built on the hillsides and have amazing views of the Arroyo Seco, the San Gabriel Valley and downtown Los Angeles.
Homes in Montecito Heights are denser in the lower elevations, but in the hills, there are more remote homes seemingly far away from the crawling city below. Once you are at the base, it is ten minutes to both downtown LA and Pasadena, with an easy commute if needed, or at the train station on Pasadena Ave. to hop on the Gold Line. It’s convenient and technically the heart of NELA.
Things to know and do
Montecito Heights is home to Earnest E. Debs Regional Park, a 300-acre gem. This facility has a wonderful Audubon Center which was the first carbon-neutral building built in the United States. It is staffed with helpful volunteers and offers activities for all ages, from children to seniors. There is a five-mile hiking loop in the park that is dog friendly and offers various graded trails. There are facilities for fishing and picnics and multiple entrances to the park depending on where you want to be.
Also located in Montecito Heights is The Heritage Square Museum, a living history museum with nine historic structures offering a view of what living back in the 1900’s was like in the area. They have guided tours with blacksmithing demonstrations and ongoing cultural exhibits.
Montecito Heights is a great area to live and explore in NELA.