Blake Walsh

16 Best Things to Do in Hawthorne, CA

  • Published 2022/12/27

Hawthorne is a city within the Los Angeles metropolitan area in southwestern Los Angeles County, California.

It belongs to the 17-city region most commonly known as the South Bay.

The population in Hawthorne reached 88,083 as per the 2020 census.

Founded in 1905, this city was initially called the “Hawthorne Improvement Company.”

It also used to be a “whites only,” and signs that warn African-Americans to be out of the city by sundown were rampant in the 1930s.

Now, the city of Hawthorne has grown into a center for the space industry and one of the most sought-after peaceful neighborhoods.

It offers a lot of activities that kids and adults will love.

Hawthorne is also dotted with relaxing parks and stores, making your stay here more fun and unforgettable.

Are you curious about what this city has to offer?

Here are the best things to do in Hawthorne, California.

Visit the Beach Boys Historic Landmark

Daytime view of the Beach Boys Historic Landmark

Angel DiBilio /

Beach Boys Historic Landmark is a memorial located on West 119th Street.

It commemorates the site of the childhood home of the famous rock band The Beach Boys.

This site is the former location of Carl Wilson’s house, demolished in the mid-1980s to make way for the construction of Century Freeway.

Scott, Dennis’ adopted son, undertook the construction of the Beach Boys Historic Landmark.

Close view of the Beach Boys Historic Landmark

Konrad Summers from Santa Clarita (Valencia) , California, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You’ll easily recognize it through its six gold 45 records embedded at the monument’s base.

Each record has the name of the band members.

The names of Wilson’s friends and family members and the Beach Boys Landmark Committee are also engraved on the bricks.

Challenge Yourself at Hangar 18 South Bay

Hangar 18 South Bay is an over 12,000-square-foot rock-climbing center on Rosecrans Avenue.

You’ll enjoy a good challenge in its more than 50 top-rope routes, 30 lead climbing routes, and more.

Hangar 18 South Bay top-rope climbing suits all ages and ability levels, so you can also bring your little ones here.

It is a recommended climb if you’re still on your way to conquering your fear of heights.

If you’re more experienced, you can try lead climbing with various difficulties and angles.

Hangar 18 South Bay also has perfect auto belays if you’re trying to reach new heights.

If you’re looking for a place to challenge yourself while bonding with friends and family, try Hangar 18 South Bay.

Try Craft Beer at Los Angeles Ale Works – Brewery & Tasting Room

Los Angeles Ale Works – Brewery & Tasting Room is a craft brewery with a tasting room on Cerise Avenue.

It features an outdoor beer garden perfect for a cozy night out with friends and family.

Los Angeles Ale Works – Brewery & Tasting Room offers 25 rotating taps that change frequently.

You’ll love their wide selection of alcoholic beverages!

Aside from drinks, Los Angeles Ale Works – Brewery & Tasting Room is also known for its live events, such as music performances, comedy nights, and more.

It is also a good spot to watch sports and cheer for your favorite team with a beer in one hand and a snack in the other.

Los Angeles Ale Works – Brewery & Tasting Room also has a branch in Culver City.

Catch Up with Friends at Rock It Sports Lounge

Rock It Sports Lounge is located on Hawthorne Boulevard.

It is the city’s biggest resident sports and entertainment lounge.

This family-owned bar has been in the business for over 20 years.

Rock It Sports Lounge offers a selection of delicious local and imported draft beers.

Other alcoholic beverages such as tequilas, rums, whiskeys, and cognacs are also available.

However, the highlight of this place is the 55-inch wall-mounted TV, perfect for watching sports and other shows.

You can also request a song and dance the night away at Rock It Sports Lounge’s Jukebox.

Take a Step Back in Time at Hawthorne Historical Society Museum

Hawthorne Historical Society Museum can be found on Prairie Avenue.

This museum is home to several pieces of memorabilia that preserve the city’s history.

The Hawthorne Historical Society, founded in 2011, manages it.

Its mission is to empower and inspire people to appreciate the richly diverse history of Hawthorne.

The Hawthorne Historical Society also has an online store where you can purchase high school yearbooks, vintage photographs, old documents, and other souvenirs like bookmarks, stickers, and pins.

These are also available at the Hawthorne Historical Society Museum.

Shop at Continental Gourmet Market

Continental Gourmet Market is nestled on Prairie Avenue.

It’s a specialty market where you can buy Latin American meats and other products.

You can spend your weekend morning shopping here and buying authentic specialty products and delicacies.

While here, don’t miss out on trying the signature Matambre sandwich and empanadas.

You can buy other products from Peru, Argentina, Chile, and other Latin countries.

Other cooked meals such as soups, barbeques, and even drinks are also available at Continental Gourmet Market.

Taste Authentic Indian/Pakistani Food at Al-Watan Halal Tandoori Restaurant

Al-Watan Halal Tandoori Restaurant is located on South Inglewood Avenue.

This is where you can order authentic Indian/Pakistani food.

You’ll love this restaurant’s flavorful halal kebabs, curries, tandoori naan, chicken biryani, and more.

Alwatan is from “watan,” which means a connection between countries.

Al-Watan Halal Tandoori Restaurant has been in the industry for over 35 years, making it a trusted and favorite authentic food destination for locals and tourists.

There is also a prayer room inside the restaurant.

Separate dining spaces for small parties, meetings, and families are also available at Al-Watan Halal Tandoori Restaurant.

Satisfy Your Cravings at Cafe Cuba & Cakes

Cafe Cuba & Cakes is a part restaurant, part cafe situated on Hawthorne Boulevard.

This family-run food hub offers a variety of fresh food, such as bistec milanesa, ropa vieja, picadillo, and more.

Cafe Cuba & Cakes uses only the freshest ingredients for its dishes.

Of course, a trip to this cafe is incomplete without trying out the cafe Cubano, iron beer, lattes, and desserts.

If these are not enough to satisfy your cravings, you can also order a chicken breast sandwich, Greek salad, and smoothies.

Due to its unique menu items, Cafe Cuba & Cakes is also a top choice for those celebrating their birthday, anniversary, wedding, and other special occasions.

Tour the City through Star Helicopters

View of parked Star Helicopters

Thiago B Trevisan /

Star Helicopters is a helicopter company located at Hawthorne Municipal Airport on West 120th Street.

It is one of Los Angeles’ most trusted helicopter companies that offer tours, charters, aerial photography, and the like.

Star Helicopters was established in 2009.

From one helicopter and two pilots, it has grown into a popular helicopter tour company with 8A helicopters and eight pilots in 2019.

Close view of a Star Helicopter

Thiago B Trevisan /

Star Helicopters offers Star VIP Tour, The Oscar, Hollywood and More, and Malibu Grandeur.

If you want to travel to the city and nearby areas from a different and unique perspective, this is the best way to do it.

They also offer helicopter lessons and training both for recreation and professional practice.

Enjoy Some Quiet Time at Bodger Park

Bodger Park is a 12-acre green space situated on Yukon Avenue.

This park is surrounded by tall and lush trees, perfect for some quiet time alone with nature.

Bodger Park also serves as home to a community garden that provides healthy and free food for the locals.

You can also bring your whole family and have a picnic at one of its picnic tables or simply lay your picnic blanket on the grass.

Your children will also love Bodger Park’s play areas and baseball and basketball courts.

Dogs on leashes are also allowed at Bodger Park.

Let Your Kids Enjoy at Hawthorne Pool

If you want to feel refreshed and take a break from the summer heat, visit Hawthorne Pool on Inglewood Avenue.

Hawthorne Pool features a lap pool and a baby pool, both heated to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Men’s and women’s lockers, private changing rooms, and heated showers are also available.

You and your kids will have fun in this recreational destination, but remember that the lap pool is for adults 17 years and older only.

You can also let your kids participate in swimming lessons and activities facilitated by the South Bay Swim Team.

Professionally coached swimming workouts for adults are also available at Hawthorne Pool.

Spend the Day at Hawthorne Memorial Park

Hawthorne Memorial Park is a 13.5-acre park located on West El Segundo Boulevard.

This is a recommended destination for families looking for a place to relax and breathe fresh air.

The park has readily available picnic tables, wading pools, and horseshoes.

If you want to play sports, you can check out the park’s basketball courts, tennis courts, and boccie courts.

Par course equipment is also available.

There is also a community center inside Hawthorne Memorial Park, which serves as a venue for public events, including the Halloween Carnival.

Have Some Churros at Azucanela

Azucanela is a local coffee shop on South Inglewood Avenue.

It was established in 2019 and is the first-ever full-scale Churreria in the South Bay.

There is no other place where you can taste the best and freshest churros aside from Azucanela.

Craft coffee, lemonades, ice creams, and other delectable snacks are also available.

Azucanela also has a private patio area.

This coffee shop also hosts private parties, location shoots, and catering services.

Practice Your Skating Skills at Eucalyptus Skate Park

Eucalyptus Skate Park is nestled on South Inglewood Avenue.

This place is perfect if you want to practice your skating skills, as it has a lot of smooth roll-ins!

The atmosphere is also welcoming and relaxed, making it an ideal place to meet new friends.

Aside from skating, you can also play basketball on the basketball courts.

Three formal picnic shelters, tables, barbeque grills, a wading pool, and children’s play areas are also available.

You can also take a walk on Eucalyptus Skate Park’s quarter-mile-long walking path.

Indulge in Organic Food at Urth Caffé South Bay

Urth Caffé South Bay is a farm-to-table cafe on West 147th Street.

Zilla and Shallom Berkman established it in 1989 to produce environmentally friendly and health-conscious coffee.

Urth Caffé South Bay serves coffee made from organic coffee beans.

The items in Urth Caffé South Bay’s menu are also made from fresh and organic ingredients made possible through their partnership with local farmers.

Some of the best items you shouldn’t miss out on here are their pumpkin cheesecake, oreo cheesecake, apple pie, and vegan cookies.

Get Sporty at Betty Ainsworth Sports Center

Betty Ainsworth Sports Center is located on West El Segundo Boulevard.

This is a favorite destination of locals and tourists who want to play sports.

It features a full-size basketball court, two racquetball courts, and volleyball courts.

A dance and fitness room are also available.

Betty Ainsworth Sports Center also serves as a venue for sports competitions.

Final Thoughts

Hawthorne is a city filled with attractions that are both relaxing and challenging.

From serene parks and refreshing pools to exciting sports centers, this city has it.

Make sure to include Hawthorne in your itinerary for your next vacation.

So what are you waiting for?

Come and try all these best things to do in Hawthorne, California.

© All rights reserved.