Despite meaning “little hills” in Spanish, present-day Cerritos, California, has no natural hills.
It does have plenty of charming attractions, from performance arts centers to sculpture gardens.
It’s also a proudly diverse city, home to immigrant families from all over the world.
The little town started as a plot of land granted to a Spanish soldier, Jose Manuel Nieto, who was part of the Spanish expeditions to the New World in the late 15th century.
Under Nieto’s control, the 300,000-acre land, called Rancho Los Nietos, covered the modern-day city of Cerritos, among other California cities.
However, it was only until 1956 that Cerritos became a formally chartered California city.
It also went by the name Dairy Valley at first.
When the city decided to focus on suburban development in 1967, they also voted to change the city’s name to Cerritos.
Do you want to know more about Cerritos, CA?
Here’s a list of the best things to do in town:
Check Out Masterpieces at the Cerritos Sculpture Garden
In 2006, the city of Cerritos received the Cerritos Sculpture Garden as a gift for their 50th anniversary.
The garden is also a calming park, but its main attractions are the collections of gorgeous sculptures and other artworks.
You’re free to walk around the park and admire the art from local artists.
Besides art, you can also check out the little waterfall and take many photos of the magnificent landscape.
Locals flock to this park to have their photos professionally taken, such as for weddings and other events.
Visit the Cerritos Sculpture Garden at 18125 Bloomfield Avenue, Cerritos, CA 90703.
Practice Your Kickflips at the Cerritos Skate Park
If you or your kids like skating, you need to go to the Cerritos Skate Park, located at the Cerritos Sports Complex.
The 10,000-square-foot skate park has enough space for skaters to let their imaginations and boards run loose.
Test your skating abilities by playing around the park’s street features like benches, rails, curbs, ramps, snake runs, hips, bowls, and pyramids.
You're more than welcome if you’re a skateboarder or in-line skater.
Shop Your Heart Out at the Los Cerritos Center
If you’re a shopaholic, just drop by the Los Cerritos Center to shop all you want from the various top-quality stores.
This shopping center is also near Disneyland, so watch out for any special offers for the amusement park.
Besides, you can pop in the different shops like Sears, Armani, and an Apple store and walk out with an armful of items.
Window shoppers can also enjoy visiting this mall.
For example, you can grab a bite at the food court and then catch a movie at the cinemas.
You can even join Zumba or yoga classes inside the mall.
Visit the Los Cerritos Center at 239 Los Cerritos Center, Cerritos, CA 90703.
Grab Fresh Produce at the Cerritos Farmers’ Market
California is a unique state because nearly every city has a farmers’ market, with Cerritos being one of them.
The fertile lands surely help out a lot, supporting local farmers who grow fresh food for the restaurants and markets.
The Cerritos Farmers’ Market offers various farm-fresh produce and eggs, bread, fish, honey, and nuts.
You can also buy fresh flowers there.
Likewise, the great thing about this market is that you buy items from the farmers themselves.
You can get tips and tricks in preparing your vegetable dinner straight from the source.
Every Saturday, visit the Cerritos Farmers’ Market at 12600 Park Plaza Drive, Cerritos, CA 90703.
Spend the Day at Heritage Park
Your kids will surely enjoy your visit to Heritage Park in Cerritos.
For example, they can admire the horse statue or play along the duck pond while checking out the ducks and turtles on the water.
You can also lead them along the bridge to reach the island on the pond.
This island also contains a children’s play area, the Play Island's stone building.
You can also take photos of the waterfall or take a boat around.
Visit the Heritage Park at 18600 Bloomfield Avenue, Cerritos, CA 90703.
Free Your Sporty Side at Cerritos Park East
Parks aren’t just for hanging out.
Many of them also let you play outdoor sports, and you can count Cerritos Park East on that list.
During your Cerritos stay, you might want to get active by playing sports at this park.
For example, you can get a team and play pick-up basketball at the lighted basketball courts.
You can also go to the baseball courts for some innings.
If you’d like to try new sports, you can hop to the handball or tennis courts.
The park also features a lighted jogging track, if you prefer to go alone.
Visit Cerritos Park East at 13234 E 166th St., Cerritos, CA.
See a Show at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts
Cerritos also offers a prime entertainment center, the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts.
If you’d like to catch a concert or live performance, you can head there for a night’s worth of entertainment.
The center hosts various shows, such as opera, cabaret, magic shows, jazz concerts, plays, musicals, and comedy shows.
Spice up your Cerritos stay by seeing a show at this award-winning venue.
Visit the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts at 18000 Park Plaza Dr, Cerritos, CA 90703.
Get a New Ride at the Cerritos Auto Square
The largest auto mall in the world is right in Cerritos, California.
If you’re looking for a new car, you’ll likely find a new one at the Cerritos Auto Square.
Of course, the largest auto mall also features various selections and types of cars.
You’ll find brand new, pre-owned, or certified pre-owned cars there, with nearly 10,000 vehicles available every day.
Likewise, you can also choose cars from 23 brands, so you have all the freedom in the world.
Once you’ve picked your car, you can take it for a test drive.
You can also get your existing car serviced at the auto square.
Visit the Cerritos Auto Square at 10999 Auto Square Dr, Cerritos, CA 90703.
Enjoy the Day at the Don Knabe Community Regional Park
The 84-acre Don Knabe Community Regional Park has livened up the city of Cerritos for over 43 years.
Sitting along 195th Street and Bloomfield, it’s an accessible landmark that has served the leisure needs of thousands of residents and visitors for years.
You can enter the park to admire the excellent sculptures or cast a line at the large fishing lakes.
Otherwise, you can sit under the shade of the large trees, look at the rolling hills, and realize why this park is one of the most beautiful parks in Los Angeles County.
Visit the Don Knabe Community Regional Park at 19900 Bloomfield Avenue, Cerritos, CA 90703.
Bond with Family at Liberty Park and Fitness Center
It’s always sunny in California, so you’d want to hang outdoors and catch all the sun.
If you prefer to keep it simple, bring your family to Liberty Park in Cerritos, where you can all have a good time.
Your kids can play with other kids at the playground while you take a stroll on the walking trails.
You can spread your picnic blanket for lunch and enjoy a cozy meal with your family.
Burn off your lunch by heading to the fitness center, which has workout equipment like stair climbers, elliptical machines, and treadmills.
Visit the Liberty Park at 19211 Studebaker Rd, Cerritos, CA 90703.
Go Shopping at the Cerritos Towne Center
If you prefer to shop in the sunlight, you need to go to the Cerritos Towne Center.
It’s not a mall but a community center where you can shop.
You can also grab a delicious meal at any restaurant and then catch the latest blockbuster afterward.
Talk about the movie with your friends by the sparkling fountain, standing amid a wonderfully landscaped space.
Visit the Cerritos Towne Center at 12731 Towne Center Dr, Cerritos, CA 90703.
Relax at the El Rancho Verde Park
There are many relaxing parks in Cerritos, and El Rancho Verde Park is one.
Just head to the park if you want to take a long walk amid the afternoon breeze.
It’s also a little neighborhood park, assuring you of a peaceful time.
After your walk, you can proceed to the botanical garden and immerse yourself in the company of beautiful plants.
However, the park also features exercise stations to get the blood pumping instead.
Visit the El Rancho Verde Park at 7815 Denni St., Cerritos, CA 90703.
Practice Your Strokes at the Cerritos Olympic Swim and Fitness Center
Since it’s always sunny in California, you’ll need somewhere to beat the heat.
If you’re just looking for something indoors, you can go to the Cerritos Olympic Swim and Fitness Center.
It also has a fitness center for the landlubbers.
The center has an enclosed 50-meter pool for the swimmers.
You can dress up or shower in the dressing rooms and then break more sweat at the fitness center.
There’s also a snack bar in case you get hungry.
Design-wise, the center features retractable skylights and a solar panel system that helps keep the water at the optimal temperature all year.
Visit the Cerritos Olympic Swim and Fitness Center at 13150 E 166th St., Cerritos, CA 90703.
Other Things to Do Nearby
Learn History at the D.D. Johnston-Hargitt House Museum
Just ten minutes away from downtown Cerritos lies the city of Norwalk.
A pleasant city, Norwalk is also the home of the historic D.D. Johnston-Hargitt House Museum, completed in 1891.
Before the 19th century, the Johnstons made a name for themselves in Norwalk.
This house’s namesake, D.D. Johnston, for example, spearheaded the city’s first school system in 1880.
Likewise, Johnston kickstarted the city industry when he helped Tom Lumbard start a cheese factory in 1882.
This historic two-story shiplap house used Redwood lumber shipped from Northern California.
In terms of design, the house follows the Eastlake Victorian style, complete with crossed gables.
The exterior is completely original.
You can also find original stained windows still in the house and the original glasswork on the front door.
Visit the D.D. Johnston-Hargitt House Museum at 12426 Mapledale St., Norwalk, CA 90650.
Learn Firefighting History at the Los Angeles County Fire Museum
Kids love fire trucks, so bring them over to the Los Angeles County Fire Museum, located ten minutes away from Cerritos at the city of Bellflower.
You can sign up for a guided tour and learn how firefighting has changed or improved over the centuries.
Likewise, you can talk to the retired firefighters in the area or the knowledgeable guides.
This museum’s main attraction is an antique fire engine sitting in the middle of the showroom.
You’ll also see other fine vintage fire engines in the room, including those you might have seen on TV.
Otherwise, you can check the display cases housing artifacts tied to firefighting history.
Visit the Los Angeles County Fire Museum at 16400 Bellflower Blvd, Bellflower, CA 90708.
Cerritos is a quiet little city that’s perfect for a weekend getaway.
Recharge your batteries and prepare for the new week ahead by visiting the city and appreciating everything it has to offer.
Book your trip to Cerritos today!