Whittier's small town charm and 'hidden gems' capture the heart of locals

WHITTIER, Calif. (KABC) -- Locals from Whittier are sharing what they love most about the city and what makes their community special.

The City of Whittier is located about 12 miles southeast of the City of Los Angeles in Los Angeles County and borders Orange County. It's not freeway friendly, but locals say this is part of what gives Whittier it's character and small town vibes.

"It's got a hometown feel," said Pedro Villa, a resident of Whittier. "From hiking the hills of Murphy Ranch Park, walking or cycling down Greenway trail and the countless parks and all the greenery that's found throughout the city."

"I would describe Whittier as charming. We're kind of in a sweet spot," said Bethany Gilbertson, a resident of Whittier.

"Once you come down into Whittier, you truly feel that warm community suburb feel when you enter the city," said Madison Laracuente, a resident of Whittier. "Whittier has such amazing geography; the Jacaranda trees, which I grew up with, truly feels like purple rain."

Known for its tree-lined streets and small town charm, Whittier has something for everyone to enjoy, like it's popular Turnbull Canyon hike and the city's beautiful historic district.

"I'm a photographer. And so a lot of my spare time I just walk the streets of Whittier and take photos of the historical homes or the beautiful landscape," said Gilbertson.

"It's essence can be found in Uptown Whittier, there's a brewery located in the Nixon Plaza building. Built in 1923, nice art deco type building," said Villa. "It's an experience where you can go and kind of try different foods while having a cold beer."

Laracuente, who was born and raised in Whittier, says she loves the people, its diversity and the friendly vibe throughout the city.

And for outdoor lovers, there's the city's unique Greenway Trail, which is a 4.5-mile green family-friendly path, which was once an abandoned Union Pacific Railroad property.

"One of the highlights is that you can actually walk a footpath over the Five Points bridge," said Gilbertson.

"So what is definitely surrounded by a community that's just kind who take pride in their city," said Villa.

Watch the video to see more places recommended by Whittier residents!
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