15 Best Things To Do In And Around Whittier, California - Updated 2021

things to do in whittier california

If you’d like to visit a city that is a vibrant and thriving place with a healthy and safe infrastructure for its community, then Whittier, California is the place you should visit. It has a good balance of economic, social, and recreational opportunities for locals who have been involved in building the fabric of Whittier. Largely unknown among the larger, more popular, cities of California, Whittier strives to make a name for itself in the travel scene. Its proximity to Los Angeles allows it to benefit from a spillover of visitors who visit its globally renowned neighbor. And because it’s a very safe place to stay, lots of people have no issue trading in the vibrance and cacophony of large cities for Whittier’s tranquility. There are certainly lots of attractions you can visit. Read this article to learn about the best things to do in and around Whittier, California.

1. Enjoy a picnic at Central Park

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Central Park is one of the most popular parks in the area! Very close to the uptown shopping area, Central Park is very centrally located, literally in the heart of the city. You can enjoy a nice picnic with your family in Central Park, soak in the sun while the kids play in the playground, after which you can enjoy a little shopping spree or maybe grab a coffee from the restaurants nearby. There are also quite a few street food vendors near the park, so you can enjoy a delicious picnic with a variety of street food.

Central Park

Address: 6532 Friends Ave, Whittier, CA 90601, United States

Website: Central Park

2. Explore the beautiful hiking trails of Hellman Park Trailhead

Hellman Park, Whittier, CA
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Northwalker used under CC0

Hellman Park Trailhead is a nature reserve in the city that is known for its gorgeous hiking trails. With views of the city as well as the reservoir, these hiking trails are a great way to spend time in nature and take in the beautiful views that Whittier has to offer! Keep in mind, this isn’t an easy hike - with a steady incline, this hike isn’t one that involves casual strolling! So, make sure you’ve got your walking shoes on and don’t forget to carry some water, and maybe a few snacks, with you.

Hellman Park Trailhead

Address: 5700 Greenleaf Ave, Whittier, CA 90601, United States

Website: Hellman Park Trailhead

3. Pay a visit to Jonathan Bailey House

Jonathan Bailey House, Whittier
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Los Angeles used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Jonathan Bailey House, formerly known as The Old Ranch House, is a historic tourist attraction in the city. Built in 1868, this house is the oldest building in Whitter! In 1887, Jonathan Bailey moved into this house along with his wife. With various exhibits and artifacts on display, this museum is actually pretty educational. Usually, the tour of the Jonathan Bailey House takes around one hour, so it is highly recommended that you take out one hour of your day to visit this amazing destination!

Jonathan Bailey House

Address: 13421 Camilla St, Whittier, CA 90601, United States

Website: Jonathan Bailey House

4. Take a scenic hike along Arroyo Pescadero Trailhead

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Arroyo Pescadero Trailhead is basically a 2.6-mile (4.2km) hiking trail that is structured as a natural loop. This trail is perfect for hikes with your family and friends, as well as your furry four-legged friend. A nature preserve, Arroyo Pescadero Trailhead is a great place to see a whole lot of flora and fauna, and maybe some tame wild animals if you’re lucky. It is highly recommended that you go for this hike in the evening so that you can watch the gorgeous sunset!

Arroyo Pescadero Trailhead

Address: 7531 South Colima Rd, Whittier, CA 90605, United States

Website: Arroyo Pescadero Trailhead

5. Take your dog for a walk in Murphy Ranch Park

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Murphy Ranch Park is basically a hidden oasis on the outskirts of Whittier. Away from the city, this park is a great place to walk your dog or your horse, and it’s a great area to go mountain biking too! There is also a nice hiking trail in Murphy Ranch Park, as well as a few picnic tables and shaded pavilions for you to enjoy a fun-filled picnic with your family or friends. However, this park is a little distance away from the city center, so you might need to plan your trip accordingly.

Murphy Ranch Park

Address: 16200 Las Cumbres Dr, Whittier, CA 90603, United

Opening hours: 5:30am - 7pm (daily)

6. Enjoy a dip in the pool at Whittier Palm Park Center

Palm park, Whittier, California
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Northwalker used under CC0

City of Whittier Palm Park Center is literally located in the heart of the city. This public park has a massive swimming pool - so if you’re in the mood to enjoy a nice refreshing dip in the water on a warm summer day, this park is the place to go. There is also a small playground for kids as well as an open volleyball court, basketball courts, and tennis courts if you wish to have a friendly match with your friends. And of course, this is a great place to spend some time with your family in nature, maybe have a small picnic too.

City of Whittier Palm Park Center

Address: 5703 Palm Ave, Whittier, CA 90601, United States

Opening hours: Sunrise - 11pm (daily)

7. See a movie at Starlight Whittier Village Cinemas

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

The famous Starlight movies theater at Whittier Village is a big attraction for both locals and visitors to Whittier. It is a clean place and has reasonable prices for tickets and food, the staff are friendly, and it has efficient management. It is a joy to catch a movie with the family or your friends and not spend an outrageous amount of money. This is one of the main attractions in Whittier Village and you should definitely visit it when you are in Whittier.

Starlight Whittier Village Cinemas

Address: 7038 Greenleaf Avenue, Whittier, CA 90602

Website: Starlight Whittier Village Cinemas

8. Catch a performance at Ruth B. Shannon Center for the Performing Arts

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

The Ruth B. Shannon Center for the Performing Arts was opened in 1990. It has 2 state-of-the-art venues, one is Robinson Theatre and the other is called Studio Theatre. It has technical support areas and academic facilities as well. Many award winning artists have graced the stage like the Oscar award-winning composer Henry Mancini, Pulitzer Prize playwright winner Nilo Cruz, and Grammy winning group Los Lobos.

The Ruth B. Shannon Center has 3 subscriber performance play series on offer: the JazzCabaret, the Family, and the Aloha Concert Series, the last one usually brings a powerful performance from visiting Hawaiian musicians to a packed audience in Whittier. The Department of Theatre Arts’ fall and spring productions are also hosted at the Ruth B. Shannon Center for the Performing Arts.

Ruth B. Shannon Center for the Performing Arts

Address: 6760 Painter Ave, Whittier, CA 90601-4408

Website: Ruth B. Shannon Center for the Performing Arts

9. Watch a show at Cerritos Center for Performing Arts

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

The Cerritos Center for Performing Arts (CCPA) is a premier center for performing arts and also offers a conference facility. There are great performances in the fields of music, dance, and theater, and this venue is operated by the city of Cerritos. Its annual season runs from August through May. Its schedule consists of 150 performances during the year and has previously hosted popular artists like Frank Sinatra, Whitney Houston, Clint Black, the Dance Theater of Harlem, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and more.

The CCPA has a theater with 6 different types of seating and stage configurations: a 1,800-seat theatre to a 900-seat recital hall. It also has a center called the Sierra Conference Center, which is the best place to host banquets or special events. The Associates Room has a lot of space to host club meetings and receptions.

Cerritos Center for Performing Arts

Address: 18000 Park Plaza Dr, Cerritos, CA 90703, USA

Website: Cerritos Center for Performing Arts

10. Play golf at Alhambra Golf Course

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Alhambra Golf Course is a must-see attraction when you are in California. It has easy and affordable golf facilities that will enhance your experience of playing golf here. It not only has a golf course but has an award winning golf shop and also offers you night practice facility and Birdies Restaurant. The golf course is par 71.

Alhambra Golf Course

Address: 630 South Almansor Street | Alhambra, CA

Website: Alhambra Golf Course

11. Have fun at Knott's Soak City Water Park

Knott's Soak City
Source: Photo by Flickr user RubyDW used under CC BY 2.0

Knott’s Soak City Waterpark in Orange County is a 15-acre (6-hectare) water park near Knott’s Berry Farm theme park. It has 22 speed, tube, and body slides and also a massive tidal wave pool, a Sunset River, and a 3 storey Beach House with 200 water guns, sprayers, and nozzles. It also has Gremmie Lagoon, which is a water playground for small kids and families. It is open seasonally from mid-May to September.

Knott's Soak City Water Park

Address: 8039 Beach Blvd, Buena Park, CA 90620, USA

Website: Knott’s Soak City Water Park

12. Shop till you drop at Brea Mall

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Brea Mall is located in Brea, California. It has major department stores located in it such as Nordstrom, Macy’s, JCPenney, and Sears. There are 175 specialty shops, a day spa, and popular restaurants as well. It has trademark Italian tile walkways, skylights, beautiful fountains, and art sculptures. Your children can play at the new Children’s Play Area while you enjoy your shopping. There are state of the art restrooms as well.

Brea Mall

Address: 1065 Brea Mall, Brea, CA

Website: Brea Mall

13. Enjoy a day out at Knott's Berry Farm

Knott's Berry Farm
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Steve D used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Knott’s Berry Farm is a theme park in Buena Park near Whittier that has many rides, amusement shows, and attractions with 4 themed areas. You can go splashing down the popular Timber Mountain Log Ride, which has new thrills and special effects for you. The boardwalk area has 3 rides for your family to enjoy and the Xcelerator, which is a bit scary as it launches riders at 82 miles per hour (132 km per hour) in just 3 seconds.

You can walk about on the streets of the Old West Ghost Town and meet its many residents, and the bandits as well! You can also visit Camp Snoopy, which is the home of Peanuts gang.

Knott's Berry farm

Address: 8039 Beach Blvd Buena Park, California, CA 90620

Website: Knott’s Berry farm

14. Explore Pio Pico State Historical Park

Pio Pico State Historic Park
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Epolk used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Pío Pico State Historic Park is located in Whittier, California and is near the entrance to the Greenway Bike Trail. It is located on a five acre (2 hectares) park and is a fascinating heritage landmark and a testament to early California life. The place is well maintained by volunteers and they preserve and protect it by conducting learning opportunities and service projects.

It is a park surrounded by historic gardens and has the classic restored home of its founder, Pío Pico. There is a bell here which marks the historic El Camino Real, which used to pass in front of the park during the time of Pío Pico. This park was part of Pío Pico’s 9,000 acre (3,642 hectare) ranch, which was the Rancho Paso de Bartolo. You can enjoy bird watching and see various features like a 15 room adobe, a horno (bread oven), dovecote, and a unique children’s archaeological sand box.

Pio Pico State Historical Park

Address: 6003 Pioneer Blvd Whittier, California 90606

Website: Pio Pico State Historical Park

15. Visit the Whittier Museum

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

The Whittier Museum in Whittier, California is a mid-sized museum and is just 30 minutes from Los Angeles. The museum is a favourite among locals and visitors from nearby who enjoy the exhibits here and are able to learn more about the history and culture of Whittier from this museum.

Whittier Museum

Address: 6755 Newlin Ave Whittier, California, CA 90601

Website: Whittier Museum

Spend time in the beautiful and historic Whittier

Downtown Whittier Greenleaf
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Northwalker used under CC0

If you are on your way to LA or are in the nearby Whittier, then you must take time to explore this beautiful place as it is steeped in history and culture, and can give you a much needed break from the hustle and bustle of life.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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An Ex Investment Banker with a zest for life, now a full time mom who has a bag always packed to explore the universe, have traveled through the whole of India, loves adventure and enjoys...Read more

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