Forming part of the Gateway Cities Region, Whittier is a historically rich city south-east of Los Angeles. It was settled by the Spanish soldier Manuel Nieto in the 18th century and later attracted a Quaker community. This city is named after the poet and abolitionist, John Greenleaf Whittier.
Things to do in Whittier
For a dose of local history, head to the Whittier Museum where you can learn about the area’s Quaker settlers, its agricultural past and the establishment of Whittier College. In addition to housing artefacts and vintage furnishings, the museum highlights notable local figures, such as former president Richard Nixon and the 19th-century Alta California governor, Pio Pico.
The former home of Pio Pico, El Ranchito, is protected as a State Historic Park and lies just across the river from the city that shares his name, Pico Rivera. Admire the traditional Californio design of the beautifully restored adobe home and stroll through the historic gardens. Interpretive displays inside the residence detail the legacy and lifestyle of Pio Pico while a bell marks the original El Camino Real that passed directly in front of the property.
Want to stretch your legs? Follow the loop trail that leads through Turnbull Canyon and the Puente Hills Preserve, which lie north-east of Whittier’s downtown area. Coastal sage and sycamore trees dominate the canyon and there are sweeping views across the Los Angeles Basin. Also nearby is the Hellman Park Trailhead, which meanders around a scenic reservoir.
Getting around Whittier
Whittier is a 25-minute drive from the centre of Los Angeles and 40 minutes from Los Angeles International Airport. Buses connect Whittier to destinations across Los Angeles County and travel throughout the city. The centre of Whittier can easily be explored on foot.