El Segundo Is an Unexpectedly Enjoyable Escape

Have a small town adventure in El Segundo

Despite its proximity to the Chevron oil refinery, Hyperion sewage treatment plant, and LAX, the new home of the Los Angeles Times packs a surprising amount of charm. The village at the center of it all feels comfortably familiar, even to newcomers. Compact, with beaches nearby, the place lends itself to quick getaways and more easygoing day trips.

Quick Stops


Brunch: Enjoy a flat white with de rigueur L.A. brunch staples like shakshouka and avocado toast on the cozy patio of Two Guns Kitchen. Down the street, play board games and snack on coffee cake at Blue Butterfly Coffee.

Imbibe: Pair a burger with any of 30 or so draft beers at Rock and Brews, or go across the street for El Segundo Brewing Company’s warehouse-style taproom; its pizza-centric spinof, the Slice and Pint, is coming soon.

Dine: A warm “Nuevo Rancho” spot, Sausal mixes a serious taco menu (from potato to barbacoa to chicken tinga) with items like queso fundido. Workshop Enoteca serves twists on Italian, like gnocchi with housemade pastrami.

Zoom: In the market for a motorized or folding bike? The commuter-focused shop Electric Bikes LA will happily help you out. If you don’t want to shell out for a new set of wheels, BYObeach cruiser and ride the Strand.

Make a Day of It 


Surf ’s Up: The Pacific’s right there; no use in letting it go to waste. Small and quiet, El Segundo Beach is a 30-minute walk from downtown. A bit farther north, Dockweiler Beach is one of the county’s only patches of seaside sand that allows bonfires.

Take Flight: Just outside LAX, the Flight Path Museum spotlights memorabilia spanning the history of both aviation and the airport we all love to hate. Climbing into the old DC-3 is like easing into a time machine.

Wheel House: It’s a quick drive to the Automobile Driving Museum, where you can ogle classic cars inside and out. The ice cream parlor there makes for a nice pit stop, and if you’re lucky, you might even stumble upon a themed event; a recent one was “postapocalyptic.”

Curtain Raiser: Right behind downtown’s main strip of restaurants and breweries lies the Old Town Music Hall, an old-timey theater with a 1925 Mighty Wurlitzer organ. Catch a classic film, and don’t miss the pre-show sing-along

More to Explore


On your way down to the beach, make a quick stop to admire graphic artist John Van Hamersveld’s Water Tank Mural. The 510-by-32-foot creation is an eye-popping homage to California surf culture and 1960s Pop Art—not unlike the iconic Endless Summer poster that brought Van Hamersveld to fame.

RELATED: How to Make a Day of a Trip to Calabasas

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