South Whittier, California

Reading Time: 8 minutes

South Whittier, California


Geographic Coordinates: 33.933600, -118.031000
Population: 58800
Language: English

South Whittier is a vibrant and diverse community located in Los Angeles County, California. Situated just 12 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles, South Whittier offers residents a convenient suburban lifestyle with easy access to the bustling city. One of the defining features of South Whittier is its strong sense of community. The area is known for its friendly and welcoming atmosphere, Making it an ideal place to raise a family or settle down. Residents enjoy close-knit neighborhoods where neighbors often know each other by name and regularly come together for events and activities.

The housing options in South Whittier are varied, Ranging from cozy single-family homes to modern townhouses and apartments. The area boasts well-maintained streets lined with beautiful trees, Creating a picturesque environment that adds to its overall charm. For outdoor enthusiasts, South Whittier offers numerous parks and recreational facilities. Amelia Mayberry Park is a popular destination featuring playgrounds, Picnic areas, Sports fields, Walking paths, And even an outdoor fitness circuit. Murphy Ranch Park provides stunning views of the surrounding hillsides along with hiking trails that wind through scenic landscapes. Education plays a significant role in South Whittier’s community pride.

The local school district strives for excellence by providing quality education to students from pre-kindergarten through high school graduation. Families have access to several public schools known for their academic achievements as well as private educational institutions within close proximity. South Whittier also benefits from its proximity to major freeways such as Interstate 5 and Interstate 605, Offering residents easy commutes throughout Southern California. Additionally nearby shopping centers like the Quad at Whittier provide ample retail options ranging from major department stores to specialty boutiques.

Cultural diversity shines through in South Whittier’s dining scene with an array of international cuisines available throughout the area. From authentic Mexican taquerias serving mouthwatering street tacos to cozy Italian trattorias offering homemade pasta, There is something to satisfy every palate. South Whittier offers a tight-knit community with a strong sense of pride and a wealth of amenities. Its convenient location, Beautiful neighborhoods, Excellent schools, And recreational opportunities make it an attractive place to call home for individuals and families alike.

Whether you’re seeking the tranquility of suburban living or easy access to the vibrant city life of Los Angeles, South Whittier has something for everyone.

Important Landmarks

  1. Whittier Narrows Recreation Area: This expansive park offers various recreational activities such as picnicking, fishing, boating, hiking trails, and sports fields.
  2. Pio Pico State Historic Park: This park preserves the adobe home of Pío de Jesús Pico, the last governor of Alta California under Mexican rule. It provides insights into the region’s history and offers guided tours.
  3. Rio Hondo Golf Club: A public golf course with beautiful views and challenging fairways for golf enthusiasts.
  4. Hellman Wilderness Park: A small nature reserve with hiking trails and picnic areas for those looking to escape into nature.
  5. The Quad at Whittier: A shopping center in neighboring Whittier that features various stores and restaurants for visitors to enjoy some retail therapy or grab a bite to eat.

While South Whittier may not have many world-famous landmarks or attractions like other cities in the United States do, it still offers some recreational options and opportunities to explore local history within its vicinity.

Primary Industries

  1. Retail stores: There are various retail stores in South Whittier, including grocery stores, convenience stores, clothing boutiques, and other small shops.
  2. Restaurants and cafes: South Whittier has a range of restaurants offering different cuisines such as Mexican, American, Asian, and fast food options.
  3. Healthcare services: The area has medical clinics, dental offices, pharmacies, and other healthcare facilities to cater to the local population’s needs.
  4. Professional services: There are several professional service providers in South Whittier like law firms, accounting firms, real estate agencies, and insurance agencies.
  5. Education sector: South Whittier is home to several schools including elementary schools and high schools that provide education to the local students.
  6. Construction industry: Although not a major industry in itself within South Whittier specifically but due to its proximity to Los Angeles County where construction activities are more prominent it may have some construction-related businesses catering to the demand for housing or infrastructure development projects.

It’s important to note that these industries/businesses may vary over time as new establishments open or close down based on market dynamics and changing demographics in the area.

Noteable History

  1. Early Settlement: South Whittier was originally inhabited by the Gabrielino/Tongva Native American tribe before Spanish colonization in the 18th century.
  2. Rancho Los Nietos: The area that is now South Whittier was part of the vast Rancho Los Nietos land grant given to Manuel Nieto by Spain in 1784.
  3. Pio Pico: One of the most prominent figures associated with South Whittier is Pío de Jesús Pico, a wealthy Californio rancher and politician who owned large portions of Rancho Los Nietos during Mexican rule and later became Governor of Alta California.
  4. Post-World War II Development: After World War II, there was substantial suburban development in South Whittier as returning soldiers sought housing outside urban areas. Many tract homes were built during this period.
  5. Unincorporated Community: South Whittier remains an unincorporated community within Los Angeles County and does not have its own municipal government or city status.
  6. Education Institutions: Several educational institutions have played a significant role in South Whittier’s history, including Pioneer High School (opened in 1959) and Rio Hondo College (founded in 1960).
  7. Civil Rights Movement: During the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, South Whittier experienced racial tensions as African American families moved into previously predominantly white neighborhoods.
  8. Richard Nixon Connection: Although not directly associated with South Whittier itself, former U.S President Richard Nixon lived nearby in his childhood home located on nearby Eastbrook Avenue from 1927 to 1937 when he attended Fullerton Union High School.
  9. Cultural Diversity and Community Engagement: South Whittier is known for its diverse population and active community engagement, with various organizations and events promoting cultural awareness and inclusivity.
  10. Local Landmarks: Notable landmarks in the area include the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area, which offers a range of recreational activities, including fishing, boating, and picnicking.

While South Whittier may not have as many widely recognized historical events or figures compared to other regions, its history reflects broader themes such as suburbanization after World War II and the challenges faced during the Civil Rights Movement.

Museums and Things To See

  1. The Getty Center: Located in Los Angeles, this world-renowned art museum houses an extensive collection of European paintings, sculptures, decorative arts, and photography.
  2. Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA): Another prominent art museum situated in Los Angeles with a vast collection spanning diverse cultures and periods.
  3. The Broad: A contemporary art museum located in downtown Los Angeles featuring works by renowned artists like Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons.
  4. Griffith Observatory: Situated on Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park (Los Angeles), this iconic landmark offers stunning views of the city skyline and houses exhibits related to astronomy.
  5. Norton Simon Museum: Located in Pasadena, this museum showcases an impressive collection of European paintings and sculptures from various eras along with Asian artwork.
  6. Mission San Gabriel Arcángel: Founded in 1771 as part of California’s mission system; it is one of the oldest buildings in Southern California showcasing Spanish colonial architecture.
  7. Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens: Situated in San Marino near Pasadena; it features an extensive library containing rare books and manuscripts along with beautiful botanical gardens spread across 120 acres.
  8. La Brea Tar Pits & Museum: Located within Hancock Park (Los Angeles), this unique destination offers insights into Ice Age fossils found within tar pits along with interactive exhibits about prehistoric life.
  9. Pacific Asia Museum: Situated nearby South Whittier in Pasadena; it focuses on preserving Asian Pacific culture through its diverse collection of artworks from countries like China, Japan, Korea etc.
  10. Watts Towers Arts Center & Charles Mingus Youth Arts Center: Located south of downtown Los Angeles; it showcases the impressive Watts Towers, a collection of 17 interconnected sculptural structures built by Simon Rodia.

While South Whittier itself may not have many attractions, these nearby destinations provide a wide range of cultural and artistic experiences for visitors to enjoy.

Sports Teams

  1. South Whittier Little League: Established in 1952, this organization provides baseball and softball programs for children aged 4 to 16.
  2. South Whittier Youth Soccer League: Founded in 1978, this league offers soccer programs for boys and girls between the ages of 4 and 18.
  3. South Whittier Dolphins Swim Team: This competitive swim team was established in the early 1960s and continues to provide training and opportunities for swimmers of all ages.
  4. South Whittier Warriors Football & Cheer: This youth football program has been operating since the late 1970s, offering tackle football and cheerleading for children aged 5 to14.
  5. South Whittier Saints Basketball Club: Founded in the early ’90s, this club offers basketball programs for boys and girls from kindergarten through high school.

While these organizations may not have extensive histories like professional teams, they play an essential role in promoting sports participation among young athletes in South Whittier.

Cultural Events

South Whittier Community Events

  • 1. Dia de los Muertos Festival: Held annually in October or November, this festival celebrates the Mexican holiday of Day of the Dead. It features traditional music, dance performances, art exhibits, food vendors, and altars to honor loved ones who have passed away.
  • 2. South Whittier Summer Night Lights: This event takes place during the summer months and aims to promote community engagement and reduce violence by providing a safe space for families to gather. It includes live music performances, outdoor movies, sports activities, arts and crafts booths, food trucks, and more.
  • 3. Cinco de Mayo Celebration: Celebrated on May 5th each year to commemorate Mexico’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. The festival usually includes parades with colorful floats representing Mexican culture, traditional music and dance performances, authentic cuisine stalls, carnival rides for children.
  • 4. South Whittier Christmas Parade: This annual parade takes place during December to celebrate the holiday season. Local schools participate with marching bands and cheerleading squads while community organizations showcase their festive floats adorned with lights and decorations.
  • 5. Pioneer Days Festival: This event celebrates the history of South Whittier as a pioneer settlement area in California during the late 19th century. It features reenactments of historical events like wagon rides along with live entertainment such as old-time music performances or square dancing.

Please note that specific dates may vary each year for these events; it is advisable to check local event listings or community websites for up-to-date information on dates and details.


  1. El Taco Nazo: Known for its delicious Mexican street food and seafood dishes, El Taco Nazo is a beloved local spot.
  2. Pho 2000: This Vietnamese restaurant serves authentic pho (noodle soup) along with other traditional Vietnamese dishes.
  3. Renu Nakorn: Considered one of the best Thai restaurants in Southern California, Renu Nakorn offers an extensive menu of flavorful Thai dishes.
  4. Gen Korean BBQ House: A popular spot for Korean barbecue lovers, Gen Korean BBQ House allows you to grill your own meat at the table while enjoying various side dishes.
  5. The Green Chile: This family-owned Mexican restaurant is known for its tasty burritos, tacos, and other classic Mexican fare.
  6. Siam Taste Thai Cuisine: Siam Taste offers a wide range of Thai dishes with bold flavors and fresh ingredients that cater to different preferences.
  7. Norm’s Restaurant: A local favorite for breakfast and comfort food like burgers and sandwiches served all day long in a casual setting.
  8. Mariscos Puerto Escondido: Specializing in seafood cuisine from Mexico’s Pacific coast, this restaurant serves up delicious ceviche, shrimp cocktails, fish tacos, and more.
  9. Pancho Villa’s Restaurant & Entertainment Center: With live music performances on weekends and an extensive menu featuring traditional Mexican favorites like enchiladas and fajitas, Pancho Villa’s provides both great food and entertainment options.
  10. La Poblana Bakery & Cafe: This bakery-cafe combo offers freshly baked goods like pan dulce (Mexican sweet bread) as well as savory items such as tortas (Mexican sandwiches) filled with various meats or vegetarian options.

These are just a few examples of the diverse culinary scene found in South Whittier. The area also offers a range of other cuisines, including Italian, Japanese, Chinese, and more.

Parks and Recreation

  1. Amelia Mayberry Park: This park offers picnic areas, playgrounds, sports fields, and walking trails.
  2. Adventure Park: A popular spot for families, Adventure Park features a skate park, basketball courts, a playground, and open green spaces.
  3. Wilderness Park: This nature preserve provides hiking trails through scenic landscapes and is great for bird-watching and wildlife observation.
  4. Los Nietos Park: It offers various amenities like picnic areas with BBQ grills, a playground area for kids, sports fields for baseball and soccer games.
  5. South Whittier Community Center & Gymnasium: The community center hosts various recreational programs including fitness classes and youth sports leagues.
  6. Parnell Park: Known for its beautiful scenery and well-maintained facilities such as tennis courts, baseball diamonds, basketball courts along with walking paths.
  7. Rio Hondo Golf Club: A public golf course that provides an 18-hole championship layout suitable for both beginners and experienced golfers.
  8. Whittier Narrows Recreation Area: Located nearby in the adjacent city of South El Monte but easily accessible to South Whittier residents; it offers fishing lakes, horseback riding trails, picnic areas with BBQ pits as well as boating opportunities on the San Gabriel River.

These are just a few examples of the parks and recreational activities available in South Whittier; there may be other smaller neighborhood parks or local community centers that offer additional options as well.


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