When it was founded more than a century ago, the city of Inglewood, in south-central Los Angeles, had only a few hundred residents.
At the time, despite its proximity to downtown Los Angeles, the area was more rural, but over the years Inglewood’s population has grown steadily to nearly 120,000 residents.
Conveniently located near many of the city’s most famous attractions, as well as near major highways and Los Angeles International Airport, it’s easy to get around.
For those who don’t want to struggle with traffic themselves, Inglewood and Los Angeles have extensive public transit networks. Some of the state’s most scenic beaches and entertainment venues are just a few kilometers away.
During the summer months, the heat in Inglewood can be depressing.
While outdoor attractions abound in the Los Angeles area, it’s always a good idea to keep some indoor options in your back pocket.
The Forum is one of the premier live entertainment venues in the area; it’s located on West Manchester Avenue in Inglewood.
The facility accommodates nearly 20,000 seats. Throughout the year, it hosts big-name performers from all genres.
Tickets for big shows are usually quick, so check their website and buy early to avoid heartbreaking sell-outs.
2. Randy’s Donuts
While they don’t usually rank high on most tourists’ itineraries, donuts happen to be one of the highlights of Inglewood – and it’s all thanks to Randy’s Donuts on West Manchester Avenue.
Rumor has it that Randy’s is one of the most famous doughnut shops in the world. It’s hard to miss, as there’s a giant fiberglass donut on the roof of its scenic downtown location.
Over the years, Randy’s has featured prominently in movies, TV shows and music videos, making cameo appearances in blockbusters like Iron Man and local singer Randy Newman’s “I Love LA” video.
Their doughnuts are made fresh every day using carefully preserved recipes.
3. California Science Center
The Science Center is a great vacation resource, especially for those traveling with young children who need constant involvement and entertainment.
The California Science Center is located on Expo Park Avenue in Los Angeles, just 15 minutes northeast of Inglewood on Interstate 110.
Although it has changed its name several times over the years, the center has been open since the early 1950s. Its exhibits cover a wide range of topics, including art and culture, the natural world, space, engineering and technology.
It’s spread across nearly 500,000 square feet of space, divided into four distinct areas, which can typically be occupied by guests for two to three hours.
4. Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen
Clearly, Southern Californians are among the most caffeinated in the country, as there are coffee shops of all shapes and sizes on almost every corner.
For those looking for world-class coffee in a trendy local setting, Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen on La Brea Avenue in Inglewood has no equal.
Previous guests have noticed that their drinks are light years ahead of those offered by the large national chain of coffeehouses. Their menu includes many delicious items such as freshly baked goods and delicious grilled cheese sandwiches.
Offer non-coffee beverages, as well as alternative sweeteners like agave syrup.
5. Loyola Marymount University
Whether you want to play men’s basketball, women’s volleyball, or just stroll around the idyllic campus on a sunny afternoon, college campuses are an underappreciated community resource that requires careful observation when visiting new areas.
Recently voted one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation, Loyal Marymount University is located two kilometers west of downtown Inglewood.
The university has a student population of around 3,000 and features prominent cliffs that offer visitors impressive panoramic views of the city.
To find out what to expect when you’re in the area, check out the school’s website – or just walk around and ask a student or two.
6. Hawthorne Aquatic Center
For families on a budget, the Los Angeles area isn’t the cheapest destination in the country. But for the savvy tourist, there are still affordable options if you know where to look.
The Hawthorne Aquatic Center in Inglewood is located on Inglewood Avenue. When the Southern California sun is at its hottest, it’s the perfect place to spend a few hours splashing in the water and lounging in the shade.
The center has changing rooms and bathrooms with showers. For those introducing babies and toddlers into the water for the first time, there are designated areas off-limits to older, more playful children.
7. Expo Park
With a wealth of amenities and year-round activity options, Los Angeles’ Expo Park is truly unrivaled.
The entrance to the park is on State Avenue ten kilometers northeast of Inglewood. One of its main attractions is the stunning rose garden originally planted in the late 1920s.
Due to its convenient location and breathtaking views, the Rose Garden is a popular destination for picnickers, nature lovers, amateur photographers, and engaged couples looking for one-of-a-kind pre-wedding photos.
The park also hosts regular farmers markets and is home to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and the city’s Museum of Natural History.
8. Soul Food Kitchen in Dolan
For more than four decades, Dolan’s Soul Food Kitchen has been one of the best-known traditional home cooking restaurants in the Los Angeles area. Like many of the city’s most famous attractions, it’s on East Manchester Avenue in Inglewood.
The kitchen’s soul food is served in a cafeteria-style setting more reminiscent of the 20’s and 30’s than today’s full-service restaurants.
Dulan’s owner started his career in the ’70s when he opened a burger joint in nearby Marina Del Rey before discovering a huge local appetite for soul food.
Dulan’s is known for its authentic recipes, quality ingredients, friendly service and generous portions.
9. Westchester Golf Course
At just over 4,300 yards, Westchester Golf Course is about 1/3 shorter than most traditional 18-hole courses and ideal for those looking to spend four or five hours on the course without cramming into a full round golfer.
Golfers appreciate its manicured greens and fairways, pre-game putting and chipping areas, and the fact that it provides enough lighting to allow play when other courses are closed after sunset.
Westchester is located a few kilometers west of Inglewood, north of Los Angeles International Airport. It has a noticeably more casual feel than many courses in the area.
10. Autry Museum of the American West
In the days before it was one of the largest cities on the West Coast, Los Angeles was part of the American West, mostly wild, country, and wild.
The Autry Museum of the American West is one of the region’s premier historic attractions. It was established in the late 80’s to protect and promote the unique culture of the region.
In addition to its impressive permanent collection of Western memorabilia and artwork, the museum offers a variety of year-round events, including live entertainment, guest speakers, temporary exhibitions, and family-oriented fairs and festivals.
The museum is located in Griffith Park, Los Angeles, about 20 minutes north of Inglewood.
11. Primitive Farmers Market
The area around Inglewood has no shortage of year-round farmers markets, but as they say, there is only one truly original.
The Original Farmer’s Market is located on West 3rd Street in Los Angeles, approximately 15 kilometers north of Inglewood. Unlike most of its peers, it’s open almost every day.
The market has dozens of individual vendors selling everything from fresh meat, produce and seafood to souvenirs, used books, homemade jewelry, health and body products, and gourmet prepared foods like cheese, wine and local honey.
Many tourists choose to eat before or after shopping. There are nearly 40 restaurants, from takeaway street food to sit-down restaurants serving Mexican, Middle Eastern and French cuisine.
12. Burbank Aviation Museum
Although Burbank is best known for its showbiz attractions, it is also home to one of Southern California’s most extensive aviation museums.
The Burbank Aviation Museum is located on North Ontario Street, approximately a 20-minute drive northeast of Inglewood, subject to traffic.
The museum is run by a nonprofit organization of civic-minded history and aviation enthusiasts. Their impressive collection of restored vintage and modern aircraft attracts a wide variety of locals and out-of-state visitors of all ages.
Exhibits touch on aviation history, engineering, aviation, and the stories of the men and women who have worked in the industry over the years.
13. Venice Beach
For visitors to Inglewood who want to experience one of California’s most iconic beach scenes, Venice Beach is a few kilometers to the west, nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the scenic Marina del Rey.
There’s no better place to spend a morning or afternoon walking, dining and watching the crowds than on the seaside town’s popular boardwalk.
The Venice Beach boardwalk is full of trendy shops and restaurants, attracting an eclectic crowd from all walks of life.
The town of Venice Beach is home to many art galleries and studios, as well as skateboard and surf shops, which are great places to buy souvenirs like hats and T-shirts.
14. Sony Pictures Studio Tour
For many visitors to Southern California, not taking advantage of at least one studio tour would constitute a careless abuse of precious vacation time.
For those who live in Inglewood, nothing is more convenient than Sony Pictures Studios, located on Washington Avenue in Culver City, just a few kilometers north of Interstate 405.
Linked to a guided tour of the Sony Pictures Studios, visitors can gain unique insights from insiders and admire an impressive collection of film memorabilia, much of which dates back to the golden age of cinema.
Tours last a few hours and are offered most days of the week.
15. Wende Museum
Museums in Los Angeles are usually on a dime. Although many of them have world-class collections (including priceless artworks), they are often difficult to distinguish from one another to the untrained eye.
For those looking for a museum with its own unique niche, a visit to the Wende Museum in Culver City will be a great way to kill a few hours.
Its collection includes tens of thousands of items related to the Cold War and the former Soviet Union and its satellite countries, including Poland, Romania and Hungary.
The museum is just a few blocks from the aforementioned Sony Pictures studios in Culver City, so consider visiting them on the same day.
Where to Stay: Best Hotels in Inglewood, CA, CA
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