Most people get to La Mirada by car. From the I-5/ Santa Ana FWY, take the Valley View exit. It dumps you off in the industrial outskirts of La Mirada. Follow the signs that direct you North toward Biola University which is near the city center.
From the 57 freeway in Brea, exit Imperial Highway and head West. From the 60 freeway, take the Azusa exit South toward Colima, turn right on Colima (headed West) and though this is a longer route, it's hilly and scenic at times (especially at night when the city lights are all aglow). Plus, it's a straight shot: Colima forks off into La Mirada Blvd (after you pass Whittier Blvd) and takes you right into LM.
You can also take the bus. Coming from Downtown Los Angeles, Montebello, and surrounding areas take the Montebello Bus Line #50. Coming from Orange County take the OCTA bus, either #20 from Yorba Linda or #29 from Huntington Beach. For maps and more details check out the city's map of local bus routes.
Nearby Norwalk and Fullerton have Metrolink train stations which have connecting bus routes and accommodate travelling further distances which can be painfully slow by bus. Check the 91 Line or the Orange County Line schedule.
Sometimes La Mirada resembles Mayberry USA (of Andy Griffith Show fame) but it is undeniably Southern California in at least one way: you need a car. Access to a car is required to thrive in and around La Mirada.
But if you're on vacation or your life is pretty centralized around LM, then by all means ditch the gas-guzzler and try life in the bike lane. LM has extensive bike lanes and sidewalk space, making it relatively safe for cyclists and pedestrians.
La Mirada Transit, sometimes referred to as "Dial-a-Ride," also offers convenient door-to-door shuttle service Monday-Saturday at varying times for $1 one-way. It's a bus-taxi hybrid that is quite reliable and especially helpful on rainy days or for those without driver's licenses. Their website lists the phone number to arrange pick-up and their hours of operation.
- The Boulevard, La Mirada Blvd. between Beach Blvd. and Leffingwell. To get the full La Mirada-effect, you should cruise the boulevard (literally La Mirada Boulevard). Begin at LM Blvd and Beach Blvd and continue on until you hit Leffingwell. You begin on one end of LM's continuum, the new and ever multiplying tract homes indicating the wealthier end of the city (think: good side of the tracks), and end right near the Whittier/Santa Fe Springs border, where the dilapidated apartment buildings stretch out on both sides (yes, wrong side of the tracks). You'll pass the theatre, the city's original shopping center, Regional Park, the Cemetery, City Hall, the Public Library, Creek Park, and more. Plus, during certain times of the year the boulevard is decorated, delivering the small-town charm this little city manages to maintain.
- 1 Neff Park, San Cristobal & San Esteban Drives, ☏ . The historic hub of the city located on San Cristobal Ave. It's generally frequented by local school children on field trips to the historic Neff House or for outdoor day-camps. There are basketball and tennis courts on the grounds. The Neff Barn houses a mini-museum of historic memoribilia from its namesake, a family of the early settlers of the city. Definitely, a must-see for history-buffs especially if they're interested in California history.
- 2 La Mirada Regional Park, 13701 South Adelfa Avenue (Adelfa Dr and Alicante Rd), ☏ . Sunrise-sunset. The park boasts green rolling hills, large oak, olive, and jacaranda trees, and a man-made pond. Its a popular spot for beach-blanket lovers and sun-starved students. Fishermen are spread out across the banks of the pond at all hours of the day, even in the wee hours of the mornin'. In the early afternoon, children and seniors are often feeding the ducks. It's a good place to bring the kids or throw a birthday party because there's ample picnic space (some covered, most with BBQ) all within view of swing sets and jungle-gyms. The park also has baseball fields, handball and tennis courts, and a waterpark. Still, it's probably best known for its disc golf course.
- 3 Creek Park (The Creek), 12021 Santa Gertrudes Avenue, ☏ . After you learn something at Neff, and play something at Regional, then you can come relax at Creek Park. Creek Park is what it sounds like: a park developed around a creek (actually, it's a man-made flood control channel, tomato-tomahto). Yet it's surprisingly secluded from the nearby traffic and shopping centers. It's a little lush ravine with sidewalks for strolling or biking and small wood-plank bridges, perfect for photo-ops.
- 1 La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, 14900 La Mirada Boulevard, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Box office hours: M-F 11AM-5:30PM, Sa noon-4PM. The LA Times once deemed it "one of the best Broadway-style houses in Southern California." Though the calendar of events is less than stellar, the theater is lovely and provides a satisfying theater-going experience. A typical season might include the stage adaptation of "Driving Miss Daisy" or the musical stylings of Engelbert Humperdinck. Local acts like the La Mirada Symphony and the moral dramas produced by Phantom Projects are usually well worth the price of admission.
- 2 Splash! (La Mirada Regional Aquatics Center), 13806 La Mirada Blvd. (Turn onto Civic Center Drive from La Mirada Blvd.), ☏ . Hours vary by season.. In November 2007, a competitor for the main attraction title opened its gates to reveal a 50-meter pool and a pirate-themed water playground. Allegedly, the pirate theme was selected to reflect La Mirada's Spanish heritage, but it smacks of the Caribeean. Splash! (the catchy given name for) the La Mirada Regional Aquatics Center features two pools, a spa, and a water slide. Prices vary by facility being used..
- 3 AMC La Mirada 7, 15296 Rosecrans Avenue, toll-free: . The unofficial main attraction, which has really boosted LM name recognition in surrounding cities, is this $2 movie theater. It is located in the La Mirada Shopping Center and shows last month's movies at a discounted rate. The seats are old and don't recline or have headrests, but the picture is good and the price is better. Buy candy at CVS a few doors down; the snack bar is not discounted.
- Regional Park. The site of the La Mirada Gymnasium which is home to various sport leagues and often open-play sports activities. Pick-up a game of basketball or watch the local Jr. and/or adult leagues sweat it out. See above for more park info.
- 4 La Mirada Disc Golf Course, 13701 Adelfa Dr (La Mirada Community Regional Park). If you are unfamiliar with disc golf, it's like golf with a frisbee, only the hole is above ground and resembles a basketball net or a birdcage. You should come check it out if you're even the slightest bit intrigued. They have tournaments and the whole nine (well, they have eighteen, nine is the expression). You'll catch on real quick, just ask one of the local players if you can follow along. They're usually pretty happy to get others in on the game.
- Creek Park Bike Path. A short but serene bike path. If you want more of a challenge, then you should continue on LM Blvd past Regional Park and make a left on Rosecrans. That will take you to Santa Gertrudes where you'll turn left (or head North). Turn right when you hit Imperial Hwy, zip over the hill, and you're back where you started (bike lanes and sidewalk access throughout).
- 5 La Mirada Golf Course, 15501 Alicante Rd, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. This course has fun layouts on gorgeous grounds. The course is also night-lighted for after-dark golfers. They also have a full bar and a Pro shop, neither of which is even remotely gorgeous, but you can always take your drink or your new polo onto the grounds. M-F $30, Sa Su $40.
- 6 Biola University, 13800 Biola Ave, ☏ , toll-free: . Formerly Bible College of Los Angeles (hence the BIOLA), does have some outstanding events offered throughout the year including lecture series, drama and dance performances, as well as live concerts. For example, in March they're holding a symposium on "The Strange Place of Religion in Contemporary Art."
- City Dances. A father-daughter sockhop and many more dances year-round at the community center. Check the calendar for the next city dance.
- Concerts in the Park. At Regional Park in the summer months.
- 4th of July Fireworks Extravaganza. At La Mirada High School.
- Easter Egg Hunt. At Regional Park.
- La Mirada Stadium. From August to early November, the La Mirada Matadores football team can be seen playing here on Friday nights. At La Mirada High School.
- The Cyclery Bike Shop (at the corner of Imperial Hwy and La Mirada Blvd). A full service bike shop. Road bikes, Mountain Bikes, Beach Cruisers, Comfort and Hybrid Bikes, BMX, Kids bikes, and even push bikes for infants are all on the showroom floor. From Repair to sales of new bikes from Giant, Cannondale, KHS, American Flyer, as well as BMX from brands like Giant, Free Agent, Stolen BMX and many others. Also, fixed gear bikes from American Flyer, Retrospec, SE Bikes, and KHS are available too. A friendly and customer focused atmosphere makes this an outstanding chioce when choosing a bike shop to go to. Knowledgeable staff and friendly service are just a small part of the scene here. Great prices and wide selection are also available at the Cyclery Bike Shop. Open 7 days a week, 10AM-7PM on weekdays, and 10AM-6PM on weekends makes it easy to get whatever you might need related to cycling.
- Beach Bums, Imperial Hwy. Has flourished here as the only skate, surf, snow-board shop within the city's limits for years. It no longer has the market cornered but still boasts the best selection of top brands of apparel, shoes, accessories, and equipment for boys and girls. Don't let the giant Stein Mart in the parking lot fool you, there's hip stuff over here.
- Fashion Q, Rosecrans. The local supplement for when the nearest forever21 is just too far for Mom to drive or the Brea Mall parking lot too daunting. You can buy a funky shade of nail polish for a couple bucks or an Urban Outfitters knock-off dress for twenty. Hit it!
- Gifts Plus. In the same shopping center as Fashion Q but on the east end. Gifts Plus is pretty much a Sanrio store. Hello Kitty, Chococat, and other cutesy Japanese toys, pens, stationery, etc.
- Savers (Imperial Hwy and Santa Gertrudes). For the budget-conscious and the retro-savvy, this supermarket-sized thrift store offers a nice selection of clothes, books, furniture, housewares, etc. They're not as pricey as Goodwill, and they offer the same daily color-coded 50% off discount.
- Fresh-n-Easy. British-owned grocery store which markets itself as "the neighborhood grocery store." Their name is their aim, but they also have good prices on produce, baked goods, specialty and gourmet items, and a wide variety of their own brand of products. The one downside is the bare-bones decor, it makes the place seem cold and uninviting. Never fear, take a friend to help you overcome the concrete floors and neon lighting, buy the place out and go enjoy it at the park.
- Beach Galleria (On the corner of La Mirada Blvd and Beach Blvd). The sign in English on the facade is smaller than the rest of the characters. It's a Korean mini-mall. You should go just for the experience, though if your not Korean be brave, others may jostle you to get out of their way or to cut in front of you in line. It's worth it though. This part of Buena Park/Fullerton/La Mirada is a Korean ethnic enclave. There's shops full of flashy accessories, foreign housewares, and a Korean food court where the only English words are Coca-Cola. The food is good though and the company is better. Sit and eat among the families or clusters of seniors (depending on the day of the week) yelling to be heard over each other. On your way out grab a coffee and a strawberry creme cake from Paris Baguette- delicious, if a little overpriced.
- Biola University, Private Christian Liberal-arts College. Home to 6 graduate schools. They offer adult certification programs that don't have all the stipulations of a standard degree. Auditing classes is also an option for those looking to learn, but with less commitment than a full four-year degree. For those interested in a full program, Biola has a good academic reputation. Go Eagles!
- The Community Center across the parking lot from Regional Park, behind the Firehouse, offers a variety of classes and workshops open to the public. Everything from Jazzercise to memoir-writing. You must register for classes, so if you aren't here for at least a semester, it's not likely they'll let you join for one class session (unless you have a friend in the class).
- Big Straw Cafe. The cutest little family owns this place. They offer discounts to Biola students. Their veggie sandwich is scrumptious. They have a classic sandwich selection and on request they use that extra-thick squaw bread that melts in your mouth. Plus, you can get fresh fruit and vegetable juices there too. They also have smoothies and boba, if you're into that sort of thing.
- Gondola's Pizza. Talk about a La Mirada staple. Gondola's is synonymous with pizza in La Mirada. This is another family business, but it's not always the fam that's serving you. It's often some teenage girl, so take the sass with a grain of salt. They serve pizza, pastas, lasagna, salads, garlic bread, etc. for dine-in or take-out. It's all good. The spaghetti sauce is a little on the sweet side, so you've been warned that it's not regular-old-marinara, but they do have other sauces. The pizza pie is amore, and that's all you need to know. The crust is crispy on the outside but smothered in cheese and sauce and more cheese. They serve the large bottles of Moretti, the Italian beer, which is hard to find in restaurants, so take advantage.
- Tom's Jr. Burgers. Another LM hangout. It's way less classy or kitschy than the Max on Saved by the Bell, but hey this is real life, remember? Tom's is a real life high school hang-out. It's a burger joint, like Bob's Big Boy, they serve breakfast and Mexican food too. You have to try the fries and don't be afraid to ask for extra seasoning salt. They recently changed the fries and so they aren't as good as maybe a year ago, but the seasoning is what makes 'em. Almost everything is good, but steer clear of the pork chops.
- Mr. Z's. Excellent service. They are very busy because they're new. It's fine-dining and we're talking caviar and Dom P, so bring a thick wallet. Classy and romantic, a great date spot.
- Millie's. This is a part of a chain, but it's the closest thing LM has to a diner. Still, Millie's is no consolation prize; it's grand. They make homemade cinnamon rolls and in the summer, strawberry cheese rolls. Their chicken tortilla soup is the best anywhere. Then their biscuits and gravy are killer.
- Panera. Another chain, but an honorable mention because their bakery is probably the best in LM. The fresh breads are the best. The dutch apple bagel is to die for. They have free refills on coffee. If you don't plan on taking advantage of either the fresh baked goods or the endless coffee supply, then head over to Java Co. They're independent and need your business more, plus they pull a better espresso shot.
- Cabo Grill. Mexican food right outside the movie theater. It's good stuff! They have nachos that are piled so high with toppings you're afraid to pull a piece because the whole things gonna topple. The fish tacos are delicious as well. The best part is they have amazing lunch specials, so you can afford to try something different every time.
- Pisces Sushi. Friendly sushi chefs and wait staff, with rolls that are creative and sashimi that is always very fresh. Plus it's a decent venue, right in the heart of LM, where you can relax and have a Kirin Ichiban.
Coffee and tea:
- Java Co.. La Mirada's independent coffeeshop. They have good coffee and better tea. They supply Wi-Fi and board games. There is sidewalk seating for the Euro experience of sipping espresso and people watching al fresco. Live music on occasion. The staff is usually quite friendly.
There are only dive bars in La Mirada. Yesterdays, The Golden Brick, Tubby's. They are standard dive bars with the standard regulars hangin' over the bar and the standard underage drinkers crowded in the corners.
For a classier place to get a drink, maybe on a date, try Pisces Sushi or Mr. Z's. If you're looking for something in between the dive bar/ restaurant divide, or if you're alone and new in town, head over the hill to La Habra where Red Robin, Chili's, and Applebee's offer the dive bar experience set within a casual, family restaurant.
- Scratch. On Imperial Highway in the Home Depot Shopping Center is a pool hall with a bar. Across the street there's a Round Table Pizza that serves comparably priced pitchers of beer. Gondola's Pizza (see above) also serves beer and wine.
- Holiday Inn Select, 14299 Firestone Blvd, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon.
- Residence Inn La Mirada Buena Park, 14419 Firestone Blvd, ☏ , fax: . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon.
- Extended Stay America - Los Angeles - La Mirada, 14775 Firestone Blvd, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM.
- The Public Library has free internet access with library card.
- Java Co. and Panera Bread have free Wifi.
|Routes through La Mirada|
|Downtown L.A. ← Norwalk ←||N S||→ Buena Park → Santa Ana|