El Segundo is a city in Los Angeles County that doesn’t play second-fiddle to other cities in Southern California.
It’s a beachfront gem that has thrived since 1911, when Standard Oil of California (later renamed Chevron) established its second refinery in this city.
Incorporated in 1917, El Segundo (Spanish for "second") drew its name from this refinery.
The 5.5-square-mile area of the city henceforth welcomed many Fortune 500 companies, including leaders in bioscience, IT, aerospace and defense, and mass media.
Host to the Los Angeles Air Force Base, El Segundo also takes pride in being home to the Los Angeles Lakers and LA Kings.
Besides the epicenter of South California sports, the city boasts a public beach and three public pools.
El Segundo offers visitors a vibrant downtown with shopping hubs and chef-driven restaurants.
Here are the best things to do in El Segundo, CA:
Go Malling at The Point
This mall flaunts 115,000 square feet of retail and dining space at Rosecrans Avenue and the Pacific Coast Highway.
The Point opened in 2015 and has drawn many commercial establishments, including Lululemon, Tocaya Organica, Evereve, Little Sister, Madewell, North Italia, True Food Kitchen, Warby Parker, SoulCycle, and Outerknown.
Every restaurant at The Point offers patio seating, ideal for enjoying the sunny California weather.
The mall also provides an expansive outdoor plaza perfect for summer events like concerts, family-friendly parties, and outdoor movies.
Ride Vintage Cars at the Zimmerman Automobile Driving Museum
This museum boasts a rotating exhibit of 130 antique and classic automobiles.
On Sundays, docent drivers at the Automobile Driving Museum can take visitors for a ride in the antique car of their choice.
The museum’s Sunday visitors can also touch and sit in the cars on display.
The Automobile Driving Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Two long-time automobile collectors, Earl Rubenstein and Stanley Zimmerman, founded this museum in 2001.
Its objective is to offer the public an opportunity to experience classic and special-interest automobiles.
They also maintain and preserve phased-out vehicles like Packard, Stutz, Studebaker, and Nash AMC at the museum.
Occupying over an acre of land, the Automobile Driving Museum has 40,000 square feet for automobile display, storage, repair, and restoration.
Explore the El Segundo Museum of Art
Affectionately called ESMoA, this museum on Main Street is an "art laboratory" offering “Experiences” three times a year.
A variety of media are presented in these Experiences, including painting, sculpture, works on paper, photography, and performances.
These presentations are conceptual and thematic, with their key elements being trans-disciplinary, dynamic, open, and international.
Seeing the exhibits of ESMoA is free, and you can also join educational activities for students, adults, and families.
These activities include drawing workshops, lectures, art talks, school programs, family days, yoga and dance classes, cooking, movie nights, etc.
Watch a Silent Movie at Old Town Music Hall
This music hall is a unique entertainment venue on Richmond Street located in the 188-seat El Segundo State Theater, constructed in 1921.
Among the presentations at Old Town Music Hall are silent films screened to the accompaniment of live organ music.
A 1925 wind-powered pipe organ, the massive Mighty Wurlitzer, plays the background music for these movies.
The meticulously preserved organ consists of more than 2,600 pipes operated via a console with four keyboards, 260 switches, plus an array of pedals and controls.
Through the console, the organist controls the pipes and many percussive instruments, like a piano, a xylophone, a marimba, drums, and cymbals.
A 10-HP Spencer Turbine Orgoblo air-powers the entire pipe organ system initially used in the Fox West Theater in Long Beach.
Besides silent movies, the Old Town Music Hall hosts jazz and ragtime concerts.
Hit the Tees at the Lakes of El Segundo
Off the Pacific Coast Highway, this public golf facility integrates traditional and non-traditional golfing.
Tradition rules in the par 3, 10-hole golf course of Lakes of El Segundo, which stretches over 1,060 yards.
Lighted for night play, this layout has received a boost from Topgolf Entertainment, a global driving range operator.
Next to the Lakes of El Segundo course, Topgolf set up a driving range with 102 outdoor hitting bays.
Topgolf equipped this venue with its Toptracer ball-tracking technology, enabling players to enjoy an interactive experience with favorite games like Angry Birds and Jewel Jam.
Besides this signature feature of Topgolf, its El Segundo location also flaunts brand-new ball dispenser units, a giant TV wall, and large HD screens in the outfield.
This Topgolf El Segundo attraction also features a restaurant and sports bar with a chef-inspired menu, top-shelf drinks, and year-round music programming.
Enjoy El Segundo Beach
Drive along the scenic Vista del Mar corridor of El Segundo on South California’s Pacific Coast.
You can stop at the corner of Grand Avenue, where there’s a parking lot and access to El Segundo Beach.
This beach, from which you can see the Chevron refinery, is less crowded than other nearby beaches like Manhattan Beach.
El Segundo Beach is famous among surfers flocking to the waters off Lifeguard Tower 61.
Other water-based recreational activities on this beach include swimming, kayaking, paddleboarding, and body surfing.
You can try sunbathing, walking, running, and biking on El Segundo Beach.
You can also quickly move to its neighbors, El Porto Beach to the south and Dockweiler Beach to the north.
Skate at the Toyota Sports Performance Center
You can try ice skating in this winter sports facility on North Nash Street on the Grand Avenue Corporate Center grounds.
The Toyota Sports Center opened its 135,000-square-foot space on March 5, 2000, and it has drawn a million guests annually since then.
The center offers three public ice rinks--NHR size, Olympic size, and a smaller ice rink.
The ice rinks host several youths and amateur hockey leagues throughout the year.
The Toyota Sports Center is also the training and practice facility of the Los Angeles Kings and the Ontario Reign.
Buy Your Fave Player's Jersey at the Lakers Team Shop
Visit the mixed-use development of Elevon at Campus El Segundo, home of the training facility and team shop of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Located on North Douglas Street, the Lakers Team Shop exclusively sells authentic jerseys, training pants, and other items of the iconic NBA team.
The Lakers also have a training center on a five-acre site near this shop at the northwest corner of Mariposa Avenue and North Douglas Street.
You can also drop by the sprawling Campus El Segundo Athletic Fields west of this block.
It features two full-sized synthetic multipurpose fields suited for soccer, football, lacrosse, and a snack bar area and restrooms.
Enjoy the Pool of El Segundo Aquatics Center
Located on East Grand Avenue corner Duley Road, this aquatics center opened in 2019.
It hosts local varsity swimming and water polo tournaments while also offering recreational swimming to the public.
The main feature of the El Segundo Aquatics Center is a ten-lane, 53.2-meter competition pool.
Its setup is flexible and can accommodate a variety of aquatics programs.
The pool’s moveable bulkheads and an expanded shallow entry area allow these programs to happen.
The aquatics center provides seating for over 500 spectators, sports lighting, a scoreboard, and a timing system.
In addition to the main competition pool, the aquatics center also has a smaller 25-yard, four-lane pool for swim lessons, fitness classes, and other recreational programs.
Pick Your Sport at Recreation Park
At 18.5 acres, this community center of El Segundo is one of the largest among the city’s 15-plus public parks.
Recreation Park is just east of Downtown El Segundo, bordered by Eucalyptus Drive on the west and Pine Street on the north.
It provides a slew of facilities for various sports, such as tennis, basketball, softball, volleyball, roller hockey, racquetball, lawn bowling, shuffleboard, ping pong, and pickleball.
The other facilities in this park include horseshoe pits, a grass play area, picnic tables, a BBQ grill, a fire pit, water fountains, and restrooms.
Shop Local at El Segundo Farmers' Market
This farmers’ market opens every Thursday from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Main Street in downtown El Segundo.
A visit to this local market constitutes a community get-together, shopping spree, and culinary adventure rolled into one.
Here, you can buy an array of organic produce, farm-fresh fruits, and vegetables.
You will also see enticing picks of artisanal baked goods, ready-to-eat snacks, cheeses, crafts, gifts, and jewelry, with live music in the background.
The chance to socialize and buy directly from growers and producers is a bonus in the friendly hometown atmosphere of El Segundo Farmers’ Market.
Sample a Cocktail at R6 Distillery
This distillery on East El Segundo Boulevard takes pride in producing Los Angeles' first bourbon.
Opened in 2014, the spirits served at the tasting room of R6 Distillery are freshly drawn from its onsite 5,900-square-foot facility.
Visitors of the Prohibition-speakeasy-themed tasting room of R6 Distillery can also enjoy a live cabaret show.
An award-winning bourbon is the primary product of R6 Distillery, which also produces blue-corn vodka, whisky, and gin.
It also manufactures private-label spirits and canned drinks for brands or celebrities without their distillery.
Grab a Beer at Rock & Brews
This watering hole on Main Street is the flagship and original location of the Rock & Brews chain, which has a presence in several other markets.
Offering more than 100 craft beers since its launching in 2010, Rock & Brews stamps its class as a top rock 'n' roll-themed beer garden in El Segundo.
Visitors flock here not only for its broad selection of craft beers but also for energized yet affordable dining and entertainment.
The picks in Rock & Brews’ menu include fresh, quality American comfort food, such as salads, burgers, sandwiches, wings, and pizza.
It also offers a variety of healthy and gluten-free options for the diet-conscious,
Go Old School at Studio Antiques & Vinyl
This antique shop on Richmond Street is where you can find not only a wide variety of antiques but also old-school vinyl records.
Its music records include LPs, 45s, 78s, cassettes, or anything musical from the past.
This shop is also well known for its unique decorative items or pieces of furniture that many shoppers look for to express their personality.
Other wares at Studio Antiques include vintage mirrors, artwork, ironwork, stained glass, and more.
You can check this store’s show, “Baggage Battles,” which airs on Travel Channel, for buying picks early on.
Watch a Movie at Rooftop Cinema Club El Segundo
This cinema on East Franklin Avenue offers the unique experience of watching a movie outdoors amid the city’s picturesque skyline.
This movie house opens early before its nighttime screening for a good reason.
This way, you can enjoy all the elements of the golden hour of sunset and dusk to set the tone for a beautiful evening.
Rooftop Cinema Club offers an immersive movie viewing with a cutting-edge LED screen.
You'll also receive state-of-the-art wireless headphones for excellent movie viewing.
This cinema’s movie programming ranges from classics and new releases to cult and indie films.
El Segundo deserves to be a priority destination when visiting Southern California.
This city has a beautiful coastal setting and a vibrant community with many points of interest filled with exciting things to do any time of the year.
Likewise, El Segundo is well-located, making it an ideal base or jump-off point to other charming Southern California destinations.