15 Best Things to Do in Hacienda Heights, CA

Hacienda Heights, CA
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Hacienda Heights is an independent city in the San Gabriel Valley in Los Angeles County, California.

In Hacienda Heights, you can enjoy yourself wherever you look.

This attractive small city has daring expeditions to unique tourist sites.

It is well-known for its strategic location, allowing quick access to several world-class sites, including the Pacific Coast’s gorgeous beaches.

Many restaurants, temples, amusement parks, libraries, cafes, cultural attractions, and retail locations await you in Hacienda Heights.

Here are the best things to do in Hacienda Heights, CA:

Visit the Hsi Lai Temple

Exterior of the Hsi Lai Temple
Zack Frank / Shutterstock.com

Hsi Lai is a Chinese name that means “coming west.”

Fo Guang Shan, a Buddhist community from Taiwan, also has a branch of the Hsi Lai Temple.

The golden roof of the Buddhist Temple is visible from the top of a hill.

Marvel at the beautiful structure when you enter the modest parking area.

The fountain and garden of Hsi Lai Temple with Buddha statues
Zack Frank / Shutterstock.com

You’ll enter a beautiful courtyard with golden Buddha statues, elegant buildings, and lush gardens.

If you climb a few more steps, you'll find more temples, too.

The fragrance of incense fills a second grand structure.

It’s lovely and peaceful and well worth visiting.

A place for incense on Hsi Lai Temple grounds
Kit Leong / Shutterstock.com

Spend Time at the Gates of Hell

There's no doubt about it; this aptly named site will scare the pants off you.

During the 1940s, the hospital was supposedly a sanatorium, although several malpractice lawsuits shut it down.

Since then, the property has been gated off, with suspicious metal bars inside the gate, as if to keep someone or something from leaving.

No one knows why the property is closed off and why it remains under tight supervision.

Likewise, people have reported hearing voices or soft footsteps crunching along the brush near the gates.

Even if you're fearless, don't visit the Gates of Hell alone.

Grab Noodles at Foo-foo Tei

One of the top Japanese restaurants in Hacienda Heights is Foo-Foo Tei.

It is most recognized for its authentic Asian flavors, evident in their ramen, teriyaki, dumplings, and tempura.

Foo-Foo Tei is known for its extensive Asian menu, serving the tastiest noodles in the neighborhood.

The restaurant is furnished in an Asian style that goes well with the fantastic meals.

The restaurant is a little tucked away, and you might miss it at first.

However, its memorable food will give you no trouble finding it for future trips.

If you’re a fan of Asian cuisines and Asian ambiance, this place is for you.

Spend the Day at the Hacienda Heights Community Center

The Hacienda Heights Community Center is a necessary component of the Hacienda Heights community.

It's a storehouse of information and a gathering place to discuss matters concerning the community.

The building holds a multi-purpose area with a stage, scene shop, green room, and dressing room to seat up to 500 people in performance style.

There are two playgrounds and basketball courts at the community center.

The park and surrounding area are well-maintained.

The main auditorium is also spacious.

Year-round, the Hacienda Heights Community Center hosts events and activities.

Read Books at Hacienda Heights Library

Founded in 1912, the Los Angeles County Library System has become one of the country’s biggest and most innovative library systems.

It supports 3.4 million individuals with open public resources like books, multimedia materials, internet access and computers, music, and recreational and educational services.

They also have virtual programs for children, mothers, young entrepreneurs, marketers, and many more.

Industry professionals host each session of the virtual programs.

If you love books, visit the Hacienda Heights Library anytime.

Walk around the Dharma Forest Temple

In 2003, Master Chuan Feng founded the Dharma Forest Temple as a non-profit organization.

The opening ceremony for the Dharma Forest Temple’s root temple took place in picturesque Seabeck, Washington, in Kitsap County.

The temple stands on the Hood Canal waterfront, beside the Olympic Mountain Range, on roughly five acres.

Over fifty devotees traveled from as far as Los Angeles and Taiwan to participate in the event, which lasted the entire weekend.

If you’re curious about the teachings and lectures of Buddhist Chuan Feng, this place is for you.

Play Golf at Hacienda Golf Club

In 1920, the Hacienda Golf Club started with nine holes, expanding to eighteen in 1923.

The clubhouse provides visitors with a tour of the course’s rich history, including Gene Sarazen’s original personal best and Tiger Woods’ 62 during his amateur days.

The course offers a charming parkland layout that takes full advantage of the steep areas and a valley floor with a flowing brook.

The clubhouse is noted for its lightning-fast greens; the course itself is in outstanding condition.

The golf club at Hacienda now serves as a legitimate championship test.

Today, the private club has 400 members with various golfing skills.

The club has strived to provide opportunities for both men and women to enjoy the course in ways that suit their ability level.

Let Your Hair Down at Energy Bistro and Karaoke

Many people come to this pub to savor the excellent hot dogs, chicken, and burgers.

Energy Bistro & Karaoke serves excellent ice tea and iced lemonade, also earning positive feedback on the delicious soju.

The objective of Energy Bistro & Karaoke is to provide customers with the best food in a fun way.

Energy Bistro & Karaoke not just serves delicious meals but also provides quick customer service, with the conviction that customer experience is essential.

The Bistro is a popular choice for people of all ages because it is family-friendly.

If you’re a person who likes social gatherings and enjoying others’ company, then visit the Energy Bistro and Karaoke.

Eat Healthy at Garden Fresh Vegan Restaurant

Garden Fresh Vegetarian is a family-owned restaurant.

It also takes pleasure in offering nutritious options for a balanced diet.

The guests can always taste new cuisine with over a hundred selections to pick from.

There is a full dinner bar where you can order a combo plate that includes soup and wheat grain rice.

At Garden Fresh Vegan Restaurant, you can check out an a la carte menu with everything from appetizers and stews to pasta and rice dishes with meat alternatives.

You can bring home fresh juices and various frozen and cooked items (dumplings, steamed buns, etc.).

As a vegan health-oriented restaurant, they do not use eggs, onions, or MSG.

Go Shopping at Bixby Hacienda Plaza

The Courtyard Los Angeles Hacienda Heights is close to the Bixby Hacienda Plaza Shopping Center.

It is an excellent choice for enjoying Chinese and other local fares.

You may find fresh fruits, vegetables, and fish in this plaza.

There are also many restaurants, markets, bakeries, and cafes nearby.

If you love to shop local products, visit the Bixby Hacienda Plaza.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Visit Pio Pico State Historic Park

Grounds and exterior of Pio Pico State Historic Park's house
Epolk, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Pio Pico State Historic Park is a California Historical Landmark, showing the history of the city of Whittier and the surrounding area.

The Pio Pico Adobe, the former residence of famous citizen Pio de Jesus Pico, is in this five-acre area.

Built in 1853, the house underwent restoration to its original state.

Side entrance of Pio Pico State Historic Park's house
TequilaThursday, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You can find many displays and artifacts inside this 15-room mansion.

On select days, you can book guided tours with advance notice.

If you’re interested in history, visit the Pio Pico State Historic Park, a 15-minute drive from Hacienda Heights.

See a Show at the La Habra Depot Theatre

La Habra Depot Theatre is a small neighborhood theater that stages well-known plays and musicals for children and adults.

The plays have drawn young audiences, the next generation of theatergoers, for the past 25 years.

This one-of-a-kind entertainment theater in neighboring La Habra also hosts stand-up comedy routines, children’s shows, magic acts, musicals, and plays.

The performances take place in an intimate setting.

The Little Mermaid and Dancing at Lughnasa are two of the theater's popular shows.

If you enjoy watching a live performance, then visit this place located ten minutes away from Hacienda Heights.

Drive through Donut Hole

Daytime view of the Donut Hole
Logan Bush / Shutterstock.com

The Donut Hole is a unique drive-through restaurant about 3.7 miles from Hacienda Heights.

A pair of fiberglass donuts flank the tunnel, housing a bakery storefront that sells glazed, cocoa, and coconut-dusted donuts.

The structure, once part of a chain, is an example of mimetic “novelty” architecture.

From the 1920s to the 1930s, it became a hit in Southern California.

With the emergence of the automobile, businesses seek new ways to attract the attention of the growing number of drivers.

A simple sign wouldn’t have done the job.

In addition to massive rooftop sculptures, other architects created structures shaped like their products: tamales, for example.

Visit American Military Museum

Discover a collection of military vehicles that shows the evolution of combat transportation from horse-drawn artillery to self-propelled cannons.

The American Military Museum aims to restore and maintain all types of tanks, jeeps, cargo trucks, motorcycles, and anything on wheels or treads.

The museum includes movies and photo ops of vehicles from World War I and II, the Cold War, the Vietnam War, the Korean War, and even Operation Desert Storm.

The museum also houses miscellaneous items, including helmets from various conflicts, unusual gear, and a few odd pieces from failed projects.

You could easily spend hours exploring the facilities, listening to the tour guides, and learning about US military history.

Military vehicle fans will gush over the 178 vehicles on exhibit.

Have a Fun Ride at Adventure City

After a 24-minute ride from Hacienda Heights, you'll reach Adventure City in nearby Anaheim, California.

Some of the attractions on-site include a climbing tower, an arcade, a roller coaster, a Ferris wheel, and a petting zoo.

You can also take a trip back in time with the 1930s little railroad and the 1940s carousel.

Adventure City is a must-see attraction.

It’s a private amusement park hiding in the shadows.

Their facility is clean and well-maintained, and the staff is kind.

They offer 17 different kinds of rides at a reasonable price.

Final Thoughts

Hacienda Heights is a simple but stunning tourist spot worth considering if you want to spend quality time with friends and family.

Start planning your Hacienda Heights trip today!