17 Best Things to Do in Norwalk, CA

Norwalk, CA

Whether it's the vibrant spirit of the community or the diverse cultural events that define the city's character, Norwalk has an irresistible appeal that draws one in and leaves a lasting impression.

In this comprehensive guide, we've melded insights from locals and travelers to present you with a mosaic of experiences that define this remarkable place. While we've highlighted some must-visit spots, it's imperative to understand that these recommendations are shaped by personal opinions and experiences.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the following individuals for their invaluable contributions to this article: Betty Mass, Andrew Furr, Antionette Mack, Brent Taylor, Kendall Bailey, Samantha Griffin and Frank Smith.

Experience the Vibrant Little India

Buildings along Little India
Matt Gush / Shutterstock.com

Every day is a festival in Artesia’s Little India.

The streets are always buzzing with people, and the colorful shops full of exotic spices, jewels, and traditional Indian clothes are a sight to behold.

It's a place where my senses are constantly excited.

Food is a significant part of Indian culture, and this vibrant corner of Artesia certainly lives up to that reputation.

There's an array of Indian restaurants serving some of the best curries around.

Whether it’s a spicy vindaloo, creamy butter chicken, or delectable biryani, the culinary diversity draws in locals and visitors alike.

If you're not in the mood for a full meal, there's also a selection of bakeries and sweet shops filled to the brim with Indian pastries and sweets that would satisfy even the most demanding sweet tooth.

Another highlight of Little India is the grocery stores.

They are the go-to place for all the unique ingredients that make Indian food special.

The smells of the various spices are intoxicating, almost drawing you in from the street.

The road of Little India
Matt Gush / Shutterstock.com

It's fascinating to see the wide range of items on offer - from giant bags of Basmati rice and varieties of lentils to the more exotic Indian spices and herbs.

Then, there are the clothing and jewelry stores. It's like stepping into a different world.

The vibrant colors and intricate designs of the sarees and other traditional Indian outfits are simply stunning.

Moreover, you can find treasures like shimmering gold bangles, elaborate earrings, and necklaces with intricate designs.

Finally, for authentic Indian beauty treatment, threading salons abound on these streets.

Whether it's eyebrow threading or a traditional Indian head massage, you can experience it here.

Little India, for me, is where one can truly immerse themselves in the rich Indian culture.

It's always been a place that celebrates diversity and brings people together, and I am proud to be part of this community.

Enjoy a Magical Afternoon at the Norwalk Cultural Arts Center

It was an ordinary Saturday when I decided to visit the Norwalk Cultural Arts Center.

It's a spot in town I had meant to visit for years, and I finally decided to go.

Little did I know, it was a day that would stick with me for a long time.

Upon entering the center, I was immediately taken aback by the clean and friendly atmosphere.

I spent a few hours inside, marveling at the local artwork and the various cultural exhibits.

Each piece told a story of the diverse heritage of our city, and I felt a strong sense of community as I walked through the center.

As the sun set, I found myself outside the center's courtyard.

There, a wedding was taking place.

The scene was magical; the setting sun added a warm glow to the festivities, and everyone was happy.

I wasn't part of the wedding party, but I couldn't help but feel a part of the joy.

When I thought the day couldn't improve, I noticed that the center hosted an outdoor dinner.

The aroma of delicious food filled the air, tempting me to stay longer.

How could I resist?

While the sun set and the stars began to twinkle in the sky, I found myself back inside the center, this time for cocktails.

The mood was festive, and the staff was just as friendly and welcoming as they had been earlier in the day.

That day at the Norwalk Cultural Arts Center was nothing short of magical.

It's where the community comes together to celebrate culture, love, and togetherness.

I'll be back, and I recommend anyone who hasn't visited to do the same.

Take a Stroll through Firefighting History at the Los Angeles County Fire Museum

One can never forget the excitement that rushes through the veins when a fire truck whizzes past, sirens blaring, running to save the day.

That adrenaline, that sense of awe, gets recaptured at the Los Angeles County Fire Museum, a unique attraction that is nothing short of a hidden treasure in Southern California.

My visit to the museum was a spontaneous decision, but it was an enriching experience.

The entry fee was just $5, a small price for what lay inside.

Likewise, the museum is generously free for military personnel and first responders, a touching gesture of appreciation for their invaluable service.

The museum is a trove of firefighting history, with classic fire engines carrying a story of bravery and service.

One of the most poignant exhibits is a fire hydrant from the Twin Towers, a silent testimony to the heroic efforts of the brave hearts on that fateful day.

The retired firefighters are a wealth of knowledge, their passion evident in how they take time to explain the significance of each artifact.

Here is a fun fact for the fans of the TV show Emergency!

The museum houses some of the original vehicles from the show.

Seeing them up close can send a thrill of nostalgia to those who have followed the adventures of the on-screen heroes.

My first visit left such an impression that I knew I would be coming back.

For anyone looking to delve into the history of firefighting and appreciate the courage and dedication of our fire service personnel, a visit to the Los Angeles County Fire Museum is undoubtedly a must.

Feel Serenity at Shree Swaminarayan Temple ISSO

Do you know the sense of peace that washes over you when you enter a place of tranquility?

That's precisely what I feel when visiting the Shree Swaminarayan Temple ISSO.

This remarkable sanctuary in the city's heart is my sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Every time I visit, the temple atmosphere radiates tranquility and calm.

Even when it gets crowded during special events and holidays, a sense of shared communal serenity is hard to describe.

Parking can be a challenge during these busy times, but there's ample space on regular days.

One aspect that stands out about the temple is the availability of friendly priests.

They're always present to guide, answer questions, or have a heartwarming conversation.

It's comforting to know that spiritual guidance is just a question away.

An unexpected perk of visiting this temple is the availability of good food and sweets.

Located just a few minutes from downtown Artesia on Pioneer Boulevard, the temple is easy to reach, and the food is a delightful reward after a peaceful visit.

As the evening light wanes, the temple takes on a special aura.

The last time I visited, it was almost dark, and the only other person there was the priest in the kitchen, adding to that sense of peaceful solitude.

Visiting the Shree Swaminarayan Temple ISSO is a religious experience and a journey of self-discovery and peace.

Whether you're a follower of Swaminarayan Hinduism or a tranquility seeker, this temple is worth visiting.

Discover History at the Hathaway Ranch Museum

I was looking for something interesting with my little one in Santa Fe Springs, and I found the Hathaway Ranch Museum on the Passport2History Museum Program.

The museum was larger than I expected, with expansive grounds and many things to see.

Moreover, the tour covers a lot of ground.

My 4-year-old was eager to see the 25 baby goats we'd heard so much about, so we had to cut things short.

This is a place to visit if you're into history, but make sure you have enough time.

Likewise, the museum is home to some fascinating exhibits, including a large metal oil tower that's part of the museum's display.

We didn't see the house across the street, which I look forward to on our next visit.

But we met all the baby goats, which my son loved!

Plan a day trip to the Hathaway Ranch Museum and explore what Santa Fe Springs offers.

There's King Richard's Antique Center and several historic restaurants to discover.

Spend the Day at Little Lake Park

Playground at Little Lake Park
Northwalker, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Ever find yourself wishing for a tranquil spot amidst the hustle and bustle where you can enjoy a ball game, a picnic, or simply a serene evening walk?

Well, look no further!

Nestled in the heart of Santa Fe Springs is my favorite city haven, Little Lake Park.

This charming community park is the local hotspot for athletic enthusiasts.

With its four baseball diamonds, a pair of basketball courts, and even batting cages, it's a haven for sports lovers of all ages.

Not to mention the playground for the children and wading pools to enjoy during those hot summer days.

There's ample space on both sides of the park, leaving you stress-free to enjoy your day.

Moreover, the park is just a short walk from Florence/Norwalk, making it easily accessible.

And it's not just about sports.

The park also offers a picturesque picnic area. I often find myself unwinding here with a good book.

Moreover, the quiet ambiance and the lush green field are just the perfect setting for those lazy Sunday afternoons.

Yes, the park sits next to a cemetery, but its peace and tranquillity are genuinely unparalleled.

And did I mention the epic sunsets? Nothing in life is as soothing as watching the day end from those park benches.

Little Lake Park is a place I am proud to call my local haven and one I'm sure you'll fall in love with, just as I have.

Discover Paradise at Cerritos Park East

Cerritos Park East is a gem in our city, where nature thrives amidst our urban setting.

This lush park is a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life, a paradise waiting to be discovered right here in Cerritos.

One of the things I love about this park is its paved jogging track.

It's always lit even after sunset, which allows for those late-night runs.

Likewise, it's been a part of my daily routine for quite some time now, and I think it's the best way to start or end a long day.

Plus, it's not just a park for fitness fanatics.

Cerritos Park East is decked out with multiple baseball diamonds, and there's also a sand area for the little ones.

My daughter-in-law had her baby shower here recently, and it was nothing short of perfect.

The shelter we reserved was clean and spacious, right next to the playground.

It's impressive how this park has everything, catering to every possible need.

And let's not forget about the spray pool – a hit with the kids during the summer months.

But, the real charm of Cerritos Park East lies in its serene beauty.

No matter the season, the park always looks stunning. It's not uncommon to find people getting lost in nature's beauty, enjoying its quiet atmosphere.

Yes, it can get crowded with people using the track and field, but that doesn't detract from the park's overall appeal.

Although the tree cover is limited, it's a fantastic escape in the sweltering summer months.

I've lived next to this little paradise since 1973, and the park has been a part of my life ever since.

There's just something about Cerritos Park East that makes you fall in love.

If you're in Cerritos and looking for a peaceful retreat, head over to Cerritos Park East, and you'll know what I'm talking about.

Enjoy a Leisurely Day at Frontier Park

There's a tranquility to starting my weekend mornings with a stroll through Frontier Park in my quiet Cerritos area.

It's a gem that offers a beautiful green escape right in the heart of our community.

One of the highlights of this park is the softball field.

It's spacious and well-kept, perfect for a casual game with friends or a more competitive matchup.

The half-basketball court is also great for some fun, impromptu games.

I have also found the park an excellent place for family gatherings.

The picnic facilities here are top-notch, and the play equipment was a hit with the kids.

It's a popular spot for small events, and the rental process is hassle-free.

Besides recreation, I frequently grab my favorite book and a blanket, heading to one of the random picnic tables dotted throughout the park.

The place is spotless and quiet, making it a blissful haven for those seeking solitude amidst nature.

Moreover, the large trees around the park's edges provide ample shade, adding to the serene ambiance.

Sitting under these towering trees, watching kids play, and enjoying a peaceful day is a simple joy.

Frontier Park is where the community comes together to play, relax, and celebrate.

The sights and sounds of this park are something I look forward to every weekend.

Go on Unforgettable Adventures at Golf N' Stuff

There's a place in our town where you can escape to a world filled with fun, laughter, and adventure, a place that's become something of a tradition in our family - Golf N' Stuff.

You can't imagine the excitement that fills the air every time we set foot in this amusement park.

The mini-golf course is nothing short of magical.

With 18 holes that offer unique challenges, it never ceases to test our skills and patience.

The intricate details, from the adorable mini waterfalls to the sparkling fountains, lend an enchanting aura to the golf section that leaves us spellbound every time.

It's not just about golf, though.

The park houses an arcade that's become our favorite spot to unwind; the vast array of games keeps us busy for hours.

There's something incredibly satisfying about winning a round of air hockey or finally beating that high score in your favorite game.

I can't tell you how often we've raced in the go-karts or bumped into each other on the bumper cars.

Every time we visit, we can't resist the allure of these thrilling rides.

There's a quaint little snack bar where we grab a refreshment and catch our breaths between the fun-filled activities.

It's always buzzing with the cheerful chatter of visitors, which adds to the overall homely vibe of the place.

Over the years, Golf N' Stuff has become more than just an amusement park to us. It's where we've created some of the most cherished memories, and we look forward to making many more.

Make a Splash at Norwalk Aquatics Pavilion

Every summer, I find myself drawn to the refreshing waters of the Norwalk Aquatics Pavilion.

This aquatic oasis is a gem in the heart of Norwalk, a place where you can escape the heat and dive into a world of fun and fitness.

What I love most is that it's a community meeting point where everyone, regardless of age, can enjoy a good swim.

You can find information about this haven here.

The classes are top-notch, with a team of professional instructors who ensure even the most hesitant swimmers gain confidence in the water.

I've seen toddlers taking their first dip, teenagers perfecting their strokes, and adults maintaining their fitness with regular laps.

They cater to everyone, and the pricing is entirely reasonable to boot.

The pavilion is much more than just a pool.

They host a variety of special events throughout the year.

Imagine floating in the pool while watching your favorite flick on the big screen under the stars.

The pavilion also sits adjacent to a lovely park and is easily accessible from freeway 5.

Finally, the Norwalk Aquatics Pavilion has everything you could want in a local swimming facility.

If you wish to learn to swim, keep fit, or cool off on a hot summer day, this is the place to be.

Explore the D.D. Johnston-Hargitt House Museum

Once you step into the D.D Johnston-Hargitt House Museum, you'll quickly realize that it's one of the most stellar yet least frequented attractions in Los Angeles County.

This historic house was originally built back in 1891 for the D.D. Johnston family carries an aura of refined antiquity.

The city has been meticulously breathing life back into this old structure over the past five years, and the efforts are evident.

I was immediately drawn to the event and tour when I visited the museum on a sunny afternoon.

Their kindness was infectious, and their knowledge about the house and its history was impressive, making the entire tour educational and entertaining.

Walking on the grounds, exploring the rooms, and listening to the stories that unfolded within its walls was like being transported back in time.

To add to the charm, they had refreshments available for the visitors.

This felt like an homage to the home's hospitable past.

And as a memento of the visit, I grabbed a Christmas ornament they had in abundance.

It was a lovely souvenir to remember my unique experience at the museum.

You can check their official site here to learn more about this hidden gem in Norwalk.

The D.D. Johnston-Hargitt House Museum is undoubtedly a remarkable piece of Norwalk's history and a testament to its commitment to preserving its heritage.

Enjoy the Day at Hermosillo Park

The grounds of Hermosillo Park
Northwalker, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

There's something quite magical about Hermosillo Park.

Nestled in a residential area in Norwalk, it's the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

As I step onto the park grounds, I'm immediately greeted by the sight of a well-maintained basketball court hosting many thrilling games.

Surrounded by a clean and serene environment, I often look forward to the tranquility of Hermosillo Park.

The park is not just about open spaces and greenery. In the heart of the park, a center buzzes with activities for kids.

Likewise, the delight in their eyes is something to behold, especially during the summer when the city funds free lunch for them.

Sometimes, I find myself peacefully strolling along the sidewalk that wraps around the entirety of the park.

Amphitheatre at Hermosillo Park
Northwalker, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

The park is always lively, with kids playing handball and wall tennis, adults chatting on the benches, and soccer games on the fields, though it still maintains its peaceful atmosphere.

Taking a break on one of the many benches scattered throughout the park, I often pack a lunch to enjoy.

Hermosillo Park is truly a gem in the heart of Norwalk. It's the perfect place to relax, catch a game, or enjoy quality time.

Enjoy the Day at Wilderness Park

There's something about the tranquility of Wilderness Park that never fails to soothe the soul.

The park is an urban oasis with a serene duck pond, extensive paths perfect for walking and jogging, and lush grassy spaces just made for picnicking.

Just this morning, I was there at 8 a.m. The park was already humming with activity.

Cyclists were gearing up, preparing to embark on their two-wheeled adventures.

I noticed that there are now a few EV charging stations - it's gratifying to see our park keeping up with the times.

Also, I particularly love the picturesque spots scattered about, perfect for those on the hunt for a good photo op.

The park is also well-equipped with amenities.

Plenty of benches and water dispensers, and the restrooms are always clean and accessible.

The children's playground is modern, safe, and always spotless; the walkways are well-maintained and encircle the entire park, so you never feel hemmed in.

Now, if you're a cycling fan, this place is paradise.

The bike trails are extensive and well-designed, making it a popular spot for local cyclists.

Finally, the park is truly a family-friendly space.

Kids adore the ducks and fish in the pond, and there's even a box with free books for those who want to relax and read.

It's one of the best places to spend a weekend with the family.

Just remember to watch for the new "species" of animals - they're just people having a great time in this beautiful park!

Celebrate Small Gatherings at Sproul Museum

There's something special about the Sproul Museum in Norwalk.

It's not some grand, impersonal exhibit but a warm, intimate place brimming with local history and artifacts from a notable local family.

Likewise, it’s the perfect location for small gatherings where you want the atmosphere to be cozy and welcoming.

The house's historical charm adds a unique essence to any celebration, making your event feel special and different from typical, run-of-the-mill parties.

So, if you’re looking for a unique location to host your next intimate gathering, why not try the Sproul Museum?

Find a Serene Getaway at Gerdes Park

I can't count how many times I've found solace in the leafy embrace of Gerdes Park.

The park presents an enchanting picture of towering trees, a vibrant playground, and basketball courts inviting you for a quick game.

I've seen sunrises paint the sky with hues of gold and pink while I savored the first meal of the day, listening to the harmonious symphony of chirping birds.

Breakfasts here are nothing short of magical.

As the day progresses, the park fills with laughter and energy. Families enjoy picnic lunches, children play on the swings, and teenagers shoot hoops at the basketball courts.

The playground is a kids' paradise. My nieces and nephews have spent countless hours in the giant swing chair and the spinning seats.

Moreover, the park never fails to add excitement to their playtime.

The recreation center is a hub of activity, too, offering various programs to engage the community.

Likewise, the park is not just a visual treat but a sensory delight as well.

The fragrance of freshly cut grass, the rustling sound of leaves in the breeze, and the cool shade under the trees add to the serene atmosphere.

And in the evening, when you want a quiet place to unwind, Gerdes Park provides the perfect backdrop.

A simple dinner under the starlit sky here is more fulfilling than any five-star restaurant experience.

In the hustle and bustle of city life, Gerdes Park is my haven, where I can relax, recharge, and enjoy the beauty of nature.

Whether it's the morning jog, a mid-day picnic lunch, or an evening stroll, every visit to the park is a memorable experience.

Take a Stroll Down Memory Lane at Robert White Park

I can't help but remember the sun-kissed weekends spent frolicking around the lush green fields and playgrounds - it was the epitome of a serene suburban haven.

The Robert White Park has always been meticulously maintained, with blooming flower beds and well-trimmed grass.

It’s been a fantastic spot to walk my dog, especially during the cool evening hours when the park lights illuminate the pathways, creating a magical environment.

The park is usually filled with life, with families enjoying their time together and children shrieking joyfully.

Robert White Park still holds a special place in my heart.

It’s a cornerstone of our community, a place for play and relaxation, a spot where memories are made.

I don’t know about you, but that's what a local park should be about.

Take a Stroll Down Memory Lane at Norwalk Park

Welcome sign of Norwalk Park
Northwalker, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

I have countless memories of my childhood etched into the green landscapes of Norwalk Park.

Years ago, this place was my playground, sanctuary, and little corner of the world.

I vividly remember the Aquatics area and the animal farm, which, unfortunately, had to be closed down later.

Those were simple times, yet filled with unadulterated joy.

You could find me spending countless hours practicing basketball, even on days when the wind decided to challenge our game.

The trees were always the perfect companions, offering much-needed shade after a heated match.

Our little community had a sense of camaraderie that was hard to find elsewhere.

The grounds of Norwalk Park
Northwalker, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

So, in retrospect, Norwalk Park has been a massive part of my life, a witness to my growing years.

It remains a charming place whose beauty is long ingrained in my memory.

Final Thoughts

I can confidently say that Norwalk, CA, is filled with diverse activities and attractions.

Honestly, I can’t think of a better place that embodies Southern California's beauty, history, and diversity better than Norwalk.

For me, it's not just a city. It's home.

Spotted a mistake, have some feedback, or just want to chat with our editorial team? Click here to get in touch.
Find out more about Travel Lens and read our editorial guidelines here.