Whittier CA - Cool things to see and do in this Los Angeles county city. Not just Quakers and Nixon - uptown shopping, parks, sports and cultural events.
#1 Rose Hills Memorial Park Yes, the coolest place in Whittier California is filled with dead people. This is the biggest single site cemetery in the world and you really should see it before you're dragged in feet first.
Don't miss the Buddhist Columbarium. It's the largest Buddhist pagoda in the United States; a three story crimson and golden tile structure which has 21,000 niches for cremated remains. It's located at the highest point in Rose Hills and the building, sculptures, surrounding grounds and views are amazing.
Make sure you also visit the beautiful SkyRose Chapel with its light, airy architecture, vista views, and one of the largest pipe organs in the Los Angeles area.
Come in January or February when the air is clearest for the best views. Except if you're coming to view and smell all the roses near the main entrance. Their peak blooming time is late June and July.
#2 Whittier Historical Society Museum Take a trip back in time. Here you'll find archives and exhibits from Pio Pico, California's last Mexican governor, to Richard Nixon. Experience Victorian cottage life; see a blacksmith's shop and even a test airplane.
Stop by the museum gift shop before you leave. You can pick up many gifts with a local flavor, and the proceeds benefit museum programs. Free Public Tours: Saturdays & Sundays 1-4 pm. Location: 6755 Newlin Avenue, Whittier CA 90601 562-945-3871
For house buffs like myself, spend several hours driving and walking through the Whittier Historic District admiring great examples of Victorian and Craftsman architecture.
#3 Whittier College Founded in by the Quakers in 1887, this small private 4 year liberal arts college has a great reputation for educational innovation and scholarship. The beautiful 7 acre campus is both an academic and cultural attraction. Location: 13406 E. Philadelphia St., Whittier CA 90608 562-907-4200
The Shannon Center for the Performing Arts serves the Whittier College Department of Performing Arts and has two theaters. It hosts a full year-long schedule of plays and concert series including the Aloha Concert Series which brings Hawaiian musical artists to the mainland and an annual J.E. Bach Festival which has been running for over 70 years! Location: 6760 Painter Avenue, Whittier, CA Tel: 562-907-4203
The Greenleaf Gallery is located in historic Mendenhall. This gallery features local and regional artists in a variety of media and has a full calendar of exhibits, workshops, lectures and opening receptions. Location: Mendenhall Lobby, First Floor, 13406 E. Philadelphia Street, Whittier Hours of operation: Monday - Friday, 8a.m. to 5p.m.
#4 Uptown Whittier Street Fairs Seasonal events take place on Greenleaf and Bailey summer and winter. Check the website for more details. Antique fairs, summer celebrations even a Christmas Parade! For the best in fresh food try the Farmers Market experience. Go to the Uptown Whittier Certified Farmers' Market. It takes place Friday from 8:00am to 1:00pm at 13018 Philadelphia St.
#5 Uptown Shopping There's a world class collection of funky shops and Whittier restaurants here on Greenleaf, Comstock and Bright Avenues between Wardman and Hadley streets. Take in a daily wine tasting at Vinatero Wine Shop, browse reasonably priced new and vintage clothing at Melrose Company, latino art and jewelry at Casita del Pueblo or take in a movie at the art deco landmark Whittier Village Cinemas.