10 Things To Do In El Segundo: A City Away From The City

things to do in el segundo california

El Segundo got its name for serving as the second (which is translated to “el segundo” in Spanish) Standard Oil refinery on the West Coast, which was built in 1911. The roots of the city, however, go back further than that. The first settlers in the area were the Tongva and Chumash Native American tribes. Later on, migrants – composed of Mexicans and Europeans – became part of the population.

In the 1960s, the city became known as “The Aerospace Capital of the World,” being the home of several aerospace companies, such as the Los Angeles Air Force Base and the Aerospace Company Corporation. From being known as a refinery town and an aerospace hub, people now flock to the city as a quieter alternative to the other coastal cities and towns in Southern California. It is also the go-to place for those who want to spend a few days in a laid-back environment away from the hustle and bustle of downtown LA.

1. Visit the Roundhouse Aquarium

Roundhouse Acquarium
Source: Photo by Flickr user Dominic Simpson used under CC BY 2.0

Roundhouse Aquarium is more than just a giant exhibit area of marine life. It also serves as an Oceanographic Teaching Station educational facility, with some areas and hours dedicated to providing instruction to students about aquatic life. Sunday is a good time to visit the aquarium if you want to bring your kids there, as it hosts Sea Story Time at 11:30 am, wherein books are read about different aquatic animals. Parents can also opt to celebrate their child’s birthday party here, as it plays host to such events for children three years old and up. A café can be found within the facility for those who want to grab a bite to eat before or after touring the aquarium.

Roundhouse Aquarium

Address: 2 Manhattan Beach Boulevard, Manhattan Beach, California

Price: Entrance is free. However, donations are welcome, with the suggested rate at 2 USD per person or 5 USD per family.

Opening Hours: Mondays to Fridays, 2 pm – 5 pm; Saturdays and Sundays, 10 am – 5 pm. However, hours may change due to weather, pier closures, and private events.

Contact: +1 3103798117

Website: Roundhouse Aquarium

2. Catch some sun at El Segundo Beach

El seg 3
Source: Photo by user WarschauerBewohner used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Those who want to sunbathe or enjoy the smell and sight of the sea in an uncrowded area can visit El Segundo Beach, which sees less visitors compared to other Southern California spots. This is largely due to the fact that the refinery and the wastewater treatment plant are within the vicinity, so the view is not as picturesque as the other beaches.

If you do not plan on swimming, you can play volleyball with your friends or family while there. You can also go biking, skating, or running along the area. Do note that dogs are not allowed on the beach. If you get lucky, you may see sea lions while you are there. Make sure to bring food and water should you go to the beach, since there are no nearby establishments selling refreshments there. Do note also that the bathrooms are closed from Labor Day until Memorial Day.

El Segundo Beach

Address: Vista Del Mar and W Grand Avenue, El Segundo, CA

3. Watch old flicks at Old Town Music Hall

Rob Richards on the Mighty Wurlitzer
Source: Photo by user Loren Javier used under CC BY-ND 2.0

Old Town Hall is more than just a cultural landmark that you can look at but not explore. Since 1968, the place has served as the go-to place for fans of vintage silent and sound films. A 1925 Mighty Wurlitzer wind-powered pipe organ is played when silent films are played to provide live musical accompaniment. Live concerts, particularly those made popular in the past, are also held in the Old Town Music Hall. You can visit the official website to see what the upcoming shows in Old Town Music Hall are.

Old Town Music Hall

Address: 140 Richmond Street, El Segundo, CA

Contact: +1 3103222592

Website: Old Town Music Hall

4. Go dog watching at El Segundo Dog Park

Grays Road Dog Park Aug 3, 2017, 8-36 AM_sharing
Source: Photo by Flickr user F Delventhal used under CC BY 2.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

If you want a place where you can bring your dog to romp and play around, look no further than El Segundo Dog Park. There are designated areas so that similar-sized dogs can play and exercise together. If you have no canine friend with you, don’t worry. You can simply go dog watching here. Who knows? Maybe you can meet a furry friend while there. There are various seats where you can perch as you watch dogs go by.

El Segundo Dog Park

Address: Imperial Avenue at McCarthy Court, El Segundo, CA

Opening Hours: From dawn to dusk daily

Access: The park is between McCarthy Court and Sheldon Street

5. Play golf at The Lakes at El Segundo

Play golf at The Lakes at El Segundo
Source: Pixabay

The Lakes at El Segundo is a municipal-owned, 9-hole golf course. This is a great place to go to if you are in the area and want to learn how to play the sport, as lessons and clinics are offered there. Friendly staff members are onboard to provide assistance to guests. Due to the strong Californian sun, it is recommended that you go here during the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the heat. There is a café within the grounds if you want to eat after your golf workout.

The Lakes at El Segundo

Address: 400 South Sepulveda Boulevard, El Segundo, CA

Price: 10 USD for 100 balls (big bucket)

Contact: +1 3103220202

Website: The Lakes at El Segundo

6. Feel like a kid again at ESMoA or Scooter’s Jungle

Art class
Source: Needpix

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

If you have kids – or you’re a kid at heart – consider visiting ESMoA or Scooter’s Jungle. ESMoA styles itself as an “art laboratory,” where children and adults alike have the creative freedom and space to create their own masterpieces. There are also artworks on display for those who want to take a tour within the establishment.

Scooter’s Jungle, meanwhile, is a large-scale indoor jungle gym. Among the activities there are giant slides, an obstacle course, a zipline, and a sports court. There are also designated areas for table tennis and air hockey. Parties can be arranged here inclusive of meals.


Address: 208 Main Street, El Segundo, CA

Price: Admission is free

Opening Hours: Friday to Sunday, 10 am – 5 pm. It is closed on the following holidays: Martin Luther King Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, and Thanksgiving. It is also closed from December 23 to January 1

Access: ESMoA is on the left side, at the intersection between Main and Franklin Streets

Contact: +1 4242771020

Website: ESMoA

Scooter’s Jungle of El Segundo

Address: 606 Hawaii Street, El Segundo, CA

Contact: +1 3108481380

Website: Scooter’s Jungle

7. Have a sports day at the Recreation Park

Tennis Racket and Balls
Source: Photo by user Vladsinger used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The Recreation Park is the place to go to for those who want to play sports during their downtime. Some of the activities they can do there include basketball, roller hockey, tennis, baseball, lawn bowling, and racquetball. There are also areas for picnics or barbecues. Do note that only those who hold a residents-only membership card can enter here.

Recreation Park

Address: 401 Sheldon Street, El Segundo, CA

Contact: +1 3105242700

Website: Recreation Park

8. Visit the Automobile Driving Museum

USA 2012 0037 - Los Angeles - Automobile Driving Museum
Source: Photo by user Klaus Nahr used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Car enthusiasts should not miss out on visiting the Automobile Driving Museum, which is home to over a hundred vintage cars on display. As the name suggests, the vehicles are not just for viewing, as guests can actually go on a ride to some of the vehicles in the museum. While there, children can have fun by joining a scavenger hunt hosted by the museum. They can also play with the Lego sets there, or pretend that they are driving in some of the cars on display.

Automobile Driving Museum

Address: 610 Lairport Street, El Segundo, CA

Price: 10 USD for adults; 8 USD for senior citizens (62 years old and above); 5 USD for children 10-17 years old; children below 10 years old come in for free. Alternatively, a family of four can pay 25 USD as entrance

Opening Hours: 10 am to 4 pm daily. Rides are accommodated at Sundays from 10 am – 3:30 pm

Access: The museum is ½ mile (0.8 km) south of the Los Angeles Airport

Contact: +1 3109090950

Website: Automobile Driving Museum

9. Go airplane spotting at Clutter’s Park

Source: Photo by user DaveofCali used under CC BY-SA 3.0

If airplanes are more your thing, you can hang out at Clutter’s Park to watch these fly in and out of the Los Angeles Airport. The name is a misnomer, because it is not a park per se, but rather an overlooking point where you can have a good view of the airport, as well as the aircrafts going in and out of the city.

Clutter’s Park

Address: 423 E. Imperial Avenue and Sheldon Street, El Segundo, CA

10. Feel the holiday vibe at Candy Cane Lane

Christmas decors

The 26 houses on the 1200 block of East Acacia Avenue transforms into Candy Cane Lane during the holiday season, where each home becomes decked with Christmas lights and other holiday decors. This tradition has been observed in El Segundo for over 60 years. The El Segundo Concert Band performs on opening night. The block becomes blocked for cars, so get ready to walk. Canned food donations can be made at Candy Cane Lane for the Children’s Hospital.

Candy Cane Lane

Address: 423 E. Imperial Avenue and Sheldon Street, El Segundo, CA

Opening Hours: The dates may vary, but the lights are turned on starting at 6:00 pm

El Segundo: laid-back LA

El Segundo may be a city found in LA, but it is a more laid-back, and less populated, part of the county, so much so that you would be hard-pressed to believe that it is found in that same location. This allows visitors to enjoy the best of both worlds: proximity to the heart of LA and its attractions, and a laid-back atmosphere.

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

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Melanie is a freelance travel writer. She considers freelancing for Trip 101 to be a combination of two of the things she loves: writing and traveling.

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