A part of the Los Angeles metropolitan area, Brea features vast outdoor spaces and large parks.
The city was so abundant in tar that it seeped from the hills, just in time for the oil boom.
Taking advantage of its wide areas, the city launched a program to display various artworks outdoors.
So, if you tour the city, you’ll occasionally find sculptures just waiting to be discovered.
If you’re planning a vacation here, scroll down for the 15 best things to do in Brea, California.
Shop and Dine in Brea Downtown
Experience the city's liveliness in Brea Downtown, a vast commercial district.
Dine at one of the many restaurants, go shopping, or head to one of the entertainment venues.
Take a stroll in the district and explore the many establishments it offers.
It also hosts a couple of events each year, which you’ll see on its website.
If there’s a particular store or restaurant you’re looking for, you can also check out the directory and map of the district online.
There’s enough parking in the area as well.
Find the Unique Sculptures from the Art in Public Places Project
Established in 1975, Art in Public Places is a project by the city that was made to showcase artworks by world-renowned artists and draw visitors to the area.
The sculptures spread throughout the city were inspired by different themes and created using different styles, methods, and materials.
If you want to view specific sculptures, there’s a list of the sculptures by location and by artist’s name online that you can download as well.
Also, you can check out the interactive map made by the city to easily find the location of the sculpture you’re looking for.
There are well over a hundred sculptures in the city, so make sure you keep your eye out.
Catch a Movie at the Regal Edwards Brea East
If there’s a movie that you just can’t wait to watch, head to Regal Edwards Brea East and buy a ticket.
If you want to have the best time, you can also book the recliner chairs.
Get a snack to munch on from the concession stand while watching.
Check out their website for schedules, gift cards, and promos.
They also offer membership cards, where you can use points to buy all sorts of rewards.
Learn about Oil Operations in the Olinda Oil Museum and Trail
The Olinda Oil Museum and Trail is where crude oil for the Sante Fe raildroad was found, with the original Olinda Oil Well #1.
It is a large property, approximately 12 acres, with old equipment, like a jackline pump and antique oil operation tools.
You’ll also find historic buildings, including the former field office building and a records vault.
If you want to explore further, it has a loop trail that offers an immersive experience, putting you up close with the oil facilities and providing insight into what happens in an oil field.
Aside from that, the trail is also home to a variety of plants and wildlife and offers great vantage points as well.
The Field House puts you up close with artifacts used in the oil operations.
For easy navigation, you can also get a copy of the trail map and museum and trail brochure online.
Test Your Mind in the Red Lantern Escape Rooms
Do you love a good thrill, working with a team, and racking your brain for solutions?
If you do, pay a visit to Red Lantern Escape Rooms, which has an award-winning 1,000-square-foot escape room.
If you’re the type who thrives in a competitive environment, you can also go head-to-head with a friend.
These sessions are private, so you won’t have to worry about other people besides those from your group.
Check out their website for more information or bookings.
You can book a team-building session and reserve a space for birthdays or even marriage proposals.
If you’d rather sit on the benches, you can still buy gift certificates for your loved ones.
Pamper Yourself with Treatments in The Spa at the Glen
Had a bad and tiring day?
Relax and leave your stresses and worries at The Spa at the Glen.
Lie down and enjoy a good massage.
Beautify your skin with a body treatment, with a scrub and body wrap, or with one of the many facials available.
Get a manicure and pedicure and add extras like French polish.
They have specials too, offering unique treatments.
If you want a thoroughly rejuvenating experience, you can avail of the spa packages as well.
You can book a schedule online and buy gift cards too.
Visit the Museum and Swim in the Olympic-Sized Pool in the City Hall Park
A rectangular piece of land with lush plants and trees set amid buildings, the City Hall Park provides a peaceful respite from the busyness of the city.
The kids can enjoy games in the playground or shoot hoops on the basketball court.
For a whole lot of fun with the whole family, dive into the Olympic-sized swimming pool called Brea Plunge.
Located in the southeast corner of the park is the Brea Museum and Historical Society, with numerous artifacts telling old stories about the city.
Check out the exhibits to learn more about its early history.
Navigate the museum’s website for more details about exhibits, schedules, events, and more.
You can also order special items from the gift shop, which you can pick up or have shipped.
For great perks and freebies, you can get a membership as well.
Observe the Art Pieces in the Brea Art Gallery
If you’re an art enthusiast, you might want to take a look at the Brea Art Gallery.
It features a plethora of art pieces from up-and-coming artists that will pique your curiosity and stimulate your creativity.
For a hassle-free trip with your friends, you can give them a call and book a guided tour.
What’s more, if you’re bringing a car, there’s all-day free parking as well.
New exhibits are added from time to time, so you might be able to see something different the next time you visit.
Before you leave the gallery, make sure to check out their gift shop, filled with authentic, handcrafted items that are great to take home or give to your loved ones.
If you plan on coming back, you can get a membership for perks and discounts.
Click on their website for more information, including schedules for events, current and past exhibits, and more.
Bike across the City at The Tracks at Brea
Feel the breeze as you pedal your way across The Tracks at Brea, a 50-acre linear park with a two-way bike trail that goes across the city.
If you want to have a leisurely walk, you can do so along the pedestrian path.
If you have time, you can stop and read the interpretive signs, which have exciting information and photographs of the area.
There are two bike repair stations for your safety as well.
For a more invigorating exercise, head to one of the nine fitness stations, with outdoor fitness equipment spread across a small area.
After a good workout, there are shaded seating areas you can rest in, and, if you get thirsty, there are drinking fountains.
For your convenience, restrooms are available as well.
Explore the Great Outdoors in the Carbon Canyon Regional Park
Carbon Canyon Regional Park is a 124-acre outdoor area with 60 acres of developed land full of natural beauty and fun activities.
Invite your friends and family to some friendly competition on the sports courts, including tennis and volleyball.
Have a relaxing time fishing in the 4-acre lake, equipped with two piers.
If you have kids, they can run around in the playground.
For a nice alfresco meal, or if you want a quick bite, head to picnic areas furnished with tables.
There’s a restroom here as well.
What’s more, you can have a barbecue with the whole gang.
The remaining area is home to beautiful, towering redwoods, which you can look at while following the hiking trail.
If you love riding horses, there are equestrian trails as well.
You can also go birdwatching too.
If you have a dog, you can bring it along, provided he is kept on a leash.
Practice Your Swing in the Birch Hills Golf Course
Take out your golf equipment and hit some birdies at the Birch Hills Golf Course, a 3,100-yard par 59 golf course.
Head to the lighted driving range with turf practice tees and practice your swing.
If you’re a beginner or just looking to improve your overall game, you can book a golf lesson with a professional as well.
Or, if you just want to play with a group of people, you can join the men’s or ladies' golf club.
After a fired-up game, you can dine in its on-site restaurant, Treehouse and Grill.
Here, you can savor delicious meals and snacks and drink a cold beverage while having overlooking views of the golf course and driving range.
You can dine alfresco as well.
Check out their website for membership rates and inclusions, restaurant menu, and details on special events.
Before visiting, make sure to book a reservation online for an easier transaction.
Take Your Dog to Play in Wildcatters Dog Park
A wonderful place to bring your beloved dogs, Wildcatters Park has a dog park with lots of convenient facilities.
It’s covered with grass turf where they can safely run around and play.
And, you can sit on one of the benches while waiting for your furry friend.
For meals, sit beside one of the picnic tables available.
If your dog gets thirsty, there are pedestal drinking fountains with attached dog bowls.
Also, there are dog waste cleanup stations too.
For your pup’s safety, the park is divided into two areas: one for small dogs, weighing less than 25 pounds, and another for larger dogs, weighing more than 25 pounds.
Have a Bunch of Laughs at Brea Improv
For a night full of laughs and entertainment, come to Brea Improv, packed with trendy performers.
If you’re a budding comedian who wants to make it big, you can also send your resume.
However, comedians are not the only performers they feature.
You can sing along to live music or groove to the beat as the DJs bring the bass.
Enjoy great acts along with tasty snacks or savory meals.
They have an extensive menu with a wide selection of drinks to choose from.
If you want to reserve a place for a party, you can choose from three parts of the venue.
You can see the floor plan as well as check their events schedule from their website.
Have a Few Games in Arovista Park
Arovista Park is great for sports lovers, with baseball, softball, basketball, football, soccer, and volleyball facilities.
If you get hungry after a long match, there are concession stands here, too.
Or, you can bring a bunch of succulent meat and have a blast with the team with a good barbecue.
For your convenience, restrooms have been placed here as well.
For a laid-back time with friends or family, head to the amphitheater, located right in the park, and watch some movies.
Ride a Horse in Yater Performance Riding
Yater Performance Riding gives you the chance to ride majestic horses.
Don’t worry if you’re still a beginner, as they offer basic lessons, including grooming and saddle.
There are occasional events here as well, which are filled with fun activities.
Its founder, Danielle Yater, has been buying and training horses for a long time.
She sometimes rescues horses as well.
Check out their website for rates.
Brea is a land of natural beauty, with expansive outdoor areas, lush flora and fauna, and thriving local wildlife.
In contrast, the downtown area offers exciting attractions, with restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues.
For your next trip here, consider the best things to do in Brea, California, above.