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The Best Things About Living in Cerritos, California

Cerritos, California, is a charming suburb of Los Angeles. Residents enjoy a relatively cool Mediterranean climate throughout the year and are far away enough from the city for clean, crisp air, which makes outdoor recreation a year-round attraction. This climate combined with the healthy industrial and retail markets make Cerritos the perfect location for people of all interests.

What Does Cerritos Mean?

Cerritos, Spanish for “Little Hills,” is named for the surrounding area, though it got its name indirectly. Originally called Dairy Valley because the area was home to over 400 dairy farms in the 1950s, it became more suburban as farming declined. City officials decided the town needed a more suburban name to reflect the growth and chose “Cerritos” because of the nearby Rancho Los Cerritos land grant and Cerritos College. However, no natural hills exist in Cerritos today.

Cerritos comes from the history of Spanish exploration in the 1500s. It carries standard Spanish pronunciation rules with a soft “s” sound at the beginning, a long “ee” sound in the second syllable, and a long “o” at the end. In the phonetic alphabet, it’s /səˈrÄ“dÉ™s/. It’s pronounced “seh-ree-toz,” with the emphasis on the middle syllable.

What Is Cerritos Known For?

Picture of Cerritos
Image via Flickr by Prayitno

Cerritos, California, is well known for being one of the best towns to live in in the Los Angeles area. It’s home to these top attractions:

  • Los Cerritos Center: This shopping center is home to over 180 locations for shopping, entertainment, and dining. This center helped establish Cerritos as a go-to destination for shopping in southern Los Angeles County.
  • Auto Square: Cerritos Auto Square has nearly 30 brands and is considered the largest auto mall in the world.
  • Cerritos Millennium Library: This iconic, multi-million dollar library features artwork, themed spaces, and experiential displays.

In addition, Cerritos has an incredible school system, making this suburban setting perfect for families. Whitney High School continually ranks as one of the top 10 schools in California and in the top 30 in the nation.

How Far Is Cerritos From LA?

Sitting along the southeastern edge of Los Angeles County, Cerritos is a 21-mile drive away from the heart of Los Angeles. Drivers can choose from three highway routes: I-5 N, CA-91 and I-710 N, and I-605 N and CA-60 W. Each route takes a little more than half an hour in mid-afternoon traffic. Travelers can also take the bus and tram to commute between Cerritos and Los Angeles, which takes about an hour.

What Are Some of the Best Restaurants in Cerritos, California?

You can find some amazing and diverse restaurants in Cerritos, including:

Gen Korean BBQ House

Korean barbecue is a family-style treat after a long day of exploring the area. You can enjoy a tasty and extensive selection of meats and vegetables at Gen Korean BBQ that you grill yourself right at the table. This restaurant rates highly for service, atmosphere, and value, so it’s a great choice whether it’s your first time trying Korean barbecue or you’re a discerning fan.

Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que

For classic American barbecue, head to Lucille’s. The smokehouse has a menu full of favorite classics for lunch and dinner. Even though it’s a barbecue joint, it offers plenty of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options for everyone. When you stop by, enjoy the homemade barbecue hot sauce and apple butter and huge family-style platters of meats and sides.

A’Roma Ristorante

This Italian restaurant is the perfect choice for birthdays and celebrations. Enjoy pasta, veal dishes, plenty of appetizers, pizza, and a great selection of wine. They have an equally large dessert menu, with delicious delights like tiramisu and cappuccino Tartufo. This is the place to go for a multi-course meal with fresh ingredients and deep flavors.

Off Street Cafe

Get your vacation or workday started with a cafe breakfast from Off Street Cafe. They serve plenty of both sweet and savory breakfast dishes and satisfying lunch options, and it’s a favorite brunch spot among locals.

What Are Some of the Top Attractions and Things To Do in Cerritos?

Cerritos is home to a wide variety of shopping destinations, arts and cultural centers, and parks. Both visitors and residents alike enjoy these attractions:

Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts

You can find a wide selection of performances and events at the 154,000-square-foot performance center, which houses six different seating configurations of up to 1,800 seats. Past performers include Frank Sinatra and the Royal Shakespeare Company. Not only does the center have fun, memorable performances, but the building itself has won awards for its architectural design.

Cerritos Sculpture Garden

The Civic Center houses multiple sculptures, including the Cerritos Air Disaster Memorial in the Cerritos Sculpture Garden to memorialize Aeroméxico Flight 498, the Elements Fountain with artistic representations of the four elements, and more. The garden features these sculptures alongside vibrant landscapes and water features. The garden has space for 20 sculptures, so you can continue to visit the space and watch it grow.

Community and Neighborhood Parks

The community has over 20 parks in its urban and residential areas, and each one features unique attractions. Cerritos’s most famous recreation centers include the Cerritos Olympic Swim & Fitness Center and the Pat Nixon Park, which hosts events, programs, and services for senior citizens at its public facility.

The largest parks include Heritage Park, an Americana-themed park with a moat and play island, and Liberty Park. This park was renovated just 15 years ago to feature a jogging track, an updated children’s amphitheater, a fitness center, and a community center. Residents can also enjoy two stand-alone gymnasiums and a golf course.

Whether you’re visiting Cerritos as you explore the Los Angeles area or you’re looking for the perfect LA suburb to settle down in, this town offers top-tier attractions, dining options, economic opportunities, and education. We’re proud to serve the local Cerritos community and the surrounding area. Contact us today to learn how we can help you with legal assistance for accidents and personal injuries.