Whittier, California

About Whittier, California

Whittier sits in the San Gabriel Valley and is a gem of social, economic, and cultural achievements. It strives to show that the city of flowers is welcoming.


The city of Whittier started with several Missions in the area and the colonization of the area by Spain in 1769. 

Spain granted a portion of the area to Juan Crispin Perez as a reward in 1835. A section of this ranch became Whittier. 

After California was relinquished California to the Americans, development by the new country and people westward started. 

After several land transfers and Quaker influence, the city became incorporated in 1898. The town increased when in the 20th century, residential and agricultural developments were made. 



Whittier College

Address: 13406 East Philadelphia Street, Whittier, CA 90601

Phone: 562-907-4205

Rio Hondo College

Address: 3600 Workman Mill Road, Whittier, CA 90601

Phone: 562-692-0921

ATI College

Address: 15141 Whittier Blvd Suite 420, Whittier, CA 90603

Phone: 562-864-0506

Southern California University of Health Sciences

Address: 16200 East Amber Valley Drive, Whittier, CA 90604

Phone: 562-947-8755

Points of Interest

Central Park and Hadley-Greenleaf Neighborhoods

These neighborhoods are historic districts and make up most of the area of the Whittier Historic Neighborhood Association. These neighborhoods are known for their Craftsman and Spanish Colonial Revival homes.


Whittier Museum

Located at 6755 Newlin Ave, Whittier 90601. The Museum is open for tours on Fridays and Saturdays from 1 to 4 p.m. 


Ruth B. Shannon Center for the Performing Arts

Located at 6760 Painter Ave, Whittier, CA 90601. The center is home to Whittier College’s Department of Theatre and hosts guest lectures, special performances, cultural events, community productions, and holiday events.


Skyrose Chapel

Located at 3888 Workman Mill Rd, Whittier, CA 90601. The Skyrose Chapel offers an impressive view of downtown Los Angeles, has a 70-foot cathedral ceiling, and a Quimby pipe organ.


Whittier Art Gallery

Located at 8035 Painter Ave, Whittier, CA 90602, the gallery has been offering free art exhibits to the public for over 80 years.

Notable People


  • Andrea Barber, actress
  • William Garwood, actor
  • Kathy Hilton, actress
  • Gabriel Iglesias, comedian, actor
  • Roger Lodge, actor
  • Lorna Patterson, actress
  • Vaneza Leza Pitynski, actress 
  • Eric Stoltz, actor 
  • Geoff Stults, actor 
  • Lauren Tewes, actress 
  • Tom Waits, actor,
  • Tina Yothers, actress 
  • Tim Miller, performance artist 



  • Gary Allan (musician)
  • Antagonist (musician)
  • Cold War Kids (rock band)
  • Pete Dee Davison (musician)
  • Funeral Party (musician)
  • David Hidalgo (musician)
  • Paul Kostabi (musician)
  • Martika (musician)
  • Chuck Prophet (musician) 
  • Dax Reynosa (musician) 
  • Zane Reynosa (musician)
  • Michael Sweet (musician)
  • Robert Sweet (musician)
  • Mark Kostabi (composer)
  • Oz Fox  (musician)



  • Deborah Babashoff, Swimmer
  • Shirley Babashoff, Olympic gold medalist swimmer
  • Chet Brewer, baseball player
  • George Buehler, football player
  • Mitchell Callahan, hockey player
  • Chuck Cary, baseball player
  • Bob Chandler, football player
  • Dave Dalby, football player, center, 
  • Oscar De La Hoya, Olympic and professional boxing champion
  • Andy Etchebarren, baseball player (last man to bat against Sandy Koufax)
  • Vince Evans, football quarterback
  • Arturo Frias, boxing champion
  • Michael Garciaparra, baseball player
  • Nomar Garciaparra, baseball player[4]
  • Greg Hancock, speedway champion
  • Payton Jordan, coach of the 1968 U.S. Olympic track and field
  • Mark Kotsay, baseball player
  • Dan Owens, football player
  • Jamie Quirk, baseball player
  • Ante Razov, soccer player
  • Anthony Reyes, a baseball player
  • Kim Rhode, Olympic gold medalist (double trap and skeet shooter)
  • Mark Sanchez, football quarterback, Philadelphia Eagles
  • Art Sherman (born 1937), horse trainer and jockey
  • Adam Snyder, football player, San Francisco 49ers
  • Jenny Topping, Olympic gold medalist, softball
  • Aaron Valdes (born 1993), basketball player in the Israeli Basketball Premier League
  • Al Young, drag racing World Champion & award-winning high school teacher
  • Jim Zorn, football quarterback, former coach Washington Redskins
  • Eddie Zosky, baseball player



  • Tim Minear, screenwrite
  • Ron Shelton, director, screenwriter
  • Firoozeh Dumas, author 
  • Christine Dzidrums, author
  • M.F.K. Fisher, author 
  • Dave Freeman, author
  • Cherríe Moraga, poet, essayist, playwright
  • Nicole Stansbury, author
  • Diane Wakoski, poet



  • John Alan Lasseter, animator
  • Horace Bristol, photographer
  • Mark Kostabi, painter,
  • Paul Kostabi, artist,
  • Carol Lay, artist
  • Craig McCracken, animator
  • Joe Ranft – animator,
  • X-8, artist,



  • Thom Mayne, Pritzker Prize-winning architect



  • George Allen, United States Senator (Virginia)
  • Louis Caldera, United States Secretary of the Army
  • Ronald B. Cameron, Congressman[1]
  • Raymond F. Chandler, Sergeant Major of the Army, first enlisted commandant of United States Army Sergeants Major Academy.
  • James Ferguson, Air Force General
  • Jacob F. Gerkens – first chief of the LAPD
  • Gabriel Green, write-in presidential candidate
  • Lou Henry Hoover, wife of Herbert Hoover and First Lady of the United States
  • Gary Miller, Republican U.S. Representative for California’s 31st congressional district. Miller grew up in Whittier.[2]
  • Pat Nixon, First Lady, wife of President Richard Nixon
  • Richard Nixon, 37th President of the United States, played football at Whittier High School and Whittier College
  • Pío Pico, last Mexican governor of Alta California
  • Anthony Rendon, assemblyman representing California’s 63rd State Assembly district



  • Caprice Bourret, supermodel
  • Vic “the Brick” Jacobs, radio personality
  • Adrienne Janic, co-host of Overhaulin’, model, and Fanta Girl
  • Long Gone John, founder of Sympathy for the Record Industry
  • Merle Pertile, Playboy Playmate, January 1962


Fun Facts

  • At one point in time, Whittier was known as the largest walnut-growing area in the United States.
  • Whittier is the site of the first rail spur from the Southern Pacific Railroad.
  • It is a part of the cluster of cities in Southeastern LA County known as the “Gateway Cities.”
  • The city is named after the Quaker Poet John Greenleaf Whittier.
  • On October 1, 1987, Whittier experienced a 5.9 earthquake that killed eight people. On October 4, there was a 5.2 aftershock earthquake.
  • There are a number of Movies and TV shows that have been filmed in Whittier, California.
    • The Fabelmans (2022)
    • True Blood (2008-2014)
    • Matilda (1996)
    • The Little Things (2021)
    • Star Trek (2009)
    • Back To The Future (1985)


What is Whittier, California, famous for?

In 1887, Harriet Russell Strong planted the first walnut trees in the region. Other growers soon followed, and eventually, Whittier gained recognition as the country’s largest walnut-producing region. From Los Angeles to Whittier, the “Big Red Cars” trolley line was inaugurated by Pacific Electric in 1904.

Is Whittier a good place to live?

Residents of Whittier enjoy a dense suburban feel, and the majority own their homes. There are numerous restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, and parks in Whittier.

Is Whittier considered East Los Angeles?

On Whittier Boulevard in East Los Angeles, the sun sets. For many years, the 14-mile thoroughfare has been the center of Latino life, business, and culture.

Who is the most famous person from Whittier, California?

Taylor Gray was born in Whittier, CA. He is an actor and writer who is famous for Star Wars: Rebels and The Wheel.

What movies were filmed at Whittier High School in California?

Movies filmed at Whittier High School include Back to the Future, Back to the Future Part 2, and Imaginary Girls.

How close is Whittier, CA to the beach?

Whittier is about 24 miles from Huntington Beach.

Is Whittier, CA a small town?

A member of the Gateway Cities, Whittier is a city in Southern California’s Los Angeles County. As of the 2020 United States Census, there were 87,306 people living in the 14.7 square mile (38.0 km2) city, an increase of 1,975 since the 2010 census.