15 Best Things to Do in Carson (CA)

Written by Bart Meeuwesen
Updated on
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Carson is a small city of 95,000 people situated in Los Angeles County, California. As it’s only about 15 miles away from the downtown area of Los Angeles, it’s considered a part of the Metropolitan Los Angeles Area.

Like other cities and towns in Southern California, Carson is known for its pleasant weather and easy access to coastal areas – where the beautiful sandy beaches are. That famous coastline is only about six miles away from the city.

Carson is also known for its views of the distant Rancho Palos Verdes, and for having more than 120 acres of green space dedicated to outdoor recreation.

Fourteen parks, various sports facilities, and three swimming pools are some of the attractions visitors can enjoy during a trip to the city. Carson is also home to a number of restaurants, retail shops, museums, and interesting attractions.

Below are 15 of the best things to do in Carson, California.

1. Find an Ideal Mix of Leisure and Relaxation at Carson Park

ParkSource: Zoran Zeremski / shutterstock

Whether you’re seeking an outdoor space to exercise and participate in some outdoor recreation or a place to relax in nature, Carson Park is the perfect place for the whole family to spend an afternoon.

Relax in 11 acres of peaceful atmosphere surrounded by large trees or enjoy access to the facilities, such as a swimming pool, basketball courts, baseball fields, and playgrounds.

2. Visit the International Printing Museum

International Printing MuseumSource: vlasta2 / Wikimedia | CC BY 2.0
International Printing Museum

The International Printing Museum is an interesting place to visit. You can learn about the history of the printing press and see one of the biggest collections of authentic, well-preserved printing presses in the world.

Also on display are various antique items. Knowledgeable and friendly staff are on hand to answer questions.

3. Enjoy Delicious Food at Rosario’s Italian Restaurant

Rosario's Italian RestaurantSource: massimofusaro / shutterstock
Rosario’s Italian Restaurant

If you’re looking for a comfortable, casual eatery with meal options to suit every member of your travel party, Rosario’s Italian Restaurant offers a wide array of food items to suit every taste.

While Italian cuisine is the focus, North American food items are available as well. Lunch and dinner are served daily. Some of the menu choices include pizzas, salads, soups, sandwiches, pasta dishes, and a selection of vegetarian and gluten-free options. Rosario’s also serves a variety of beer and wine.

4. Take in a Sporting Event at Dignity Health Sports Park

Dignity Health Sports ParkSource: Steve Cukrov / shutterstock
Dignity Health Sports Park

If you’re a sports fan or simply enjoy watching athletes competing in a range of events, the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson offers an exciting way to spend an afternoon or evening.

The stadium hosts various competitions and exhibitions throughout the year. Soccer, baseball, basketball, tennis, track and field, biking, boxing, and volleyball are some of the sporting events this venue hosts, and you can bet you’ll get the ultimate professional-grade experience.

5. Admire a Unique Gnome Village

A few years ago, an erosion problem at the California State University spawned a group of creative and ingenious people to come up with a fun and unique plan to stop it: they built a gnome village.

They tried many things before coming up with this plan, but in the end, the gnome village – complete with stairs, bridges, and roads – proved to be the best solution.

After a few finishing touches, such as bonsai trees and colourful plants, the village gave the campus some added charm for all to enjoy.

6. Porsche Experience Center

PorscheSource: Alexandru Nika / shutterstock

If driving a Porsche has always been a dream of yours, The Porsche Experience Center in Carson can make that dream a reality.

There are only a few places in the world where drivers can get behind the wheel of a vehicle known for its speed, performance, and luxury. This is an experience of a lifetime that will not only provide you with a thrilling ride, but also the opportunity to test your driving skills.

The course that you’ll drive on consists of 53 acres. You can choose from a number of cars, including the 911 Carrera s, the 718 Cayman, the 718 Boxster s, the Accelerated GT3, and the Panamera Turbo.

7. Stay Healthy with Quality Meals from Chinollo

ChinolloSource: Chinollo / Facebook

It’s hard to eat healthy while travelling; you’re tired, hungry and just want to get something quick, easy, and tasty.

At Chinollo in Carson, you don’t need to resort to junky comfort food to satisfy that craving; this restaurant serves healthy and delicious meals made from the freshest ingredients.

While Chinollo offers guests unique, signature dishes with an ethnic flair that reflects the diversity of the staff, a wide variety of traditional and familiar items are available as well. Choose from tacos, salads, burritos, wraps, burgers, fries, seafood and appetizers.

Vegans, vegetarians, and diners on gluten-free diets also have many items to choose from.

The place has a cozy, casual atmosphere with friendly staff who treat patrons like old friends.

8. Catch Some Thrills at Go Kart World

Go KartSource: Yuliya Yesina / shutterstock
Go Kart

For affordable fun for the whole family, head to Go Kart World in Carson for an afternoon of adrenaline-pumping excitement.

There’s a variety of go-kart and bumper car tracks available, so you can experience a variety of speeds and experiences. An arcade is also on site.

9. Learn Something New at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles CountySource: Lee Hari / shutterstock
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

The Natural History Museum, located in Los Angeles, provides visitors with an in-depth look into the past, with a focus on the natural side of California’s history.

As you pass through the museum, you will see dozens of exhibits and artefacts highlighting billions of years of natural history.

There are permanent exhibits, such as Becoming Los Angeles, The Discovery Centre and Insect Zoo, and the Spider Pavilion. Many temporary exhibitions are displayed throughout the year, too.

The Dinosaur Hall is likely the most popular exhibit in the museum. It features 300 fossils and 20 dinosaur skeletons. The North American Mammal Halls feature duplications of diverse ecosystems, including a redwood forest and prairies.

10. Honest Abe Cider House

Apple CiderSource: Brent Hofacker / shutterstock
Apple Cider

If you’re looking for a place to relax and enjoy a few drinks, The Honest Abe Cider House in Carson is a lively place to be. Available on tap and in the tasting room is a wide range of ciders, meads, and wines.

The healthy, gluten-free options are a wholesome alternative that can be taken to-go or ordered online.

11. Anderson Park

Picnic in the ParkSource: M.Volkova / shutterstock
Picnic In The Park

Anderson Park is a nice place to take the whole family for an outdoor excursion. Adults can relax among the big, beautiful trees spread across eight acres of parkland, while children enjoy the playground.

Also on-site are tennis courts and a disc golf course. The park’s amphitheatre hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including theatre and musical events.

12. Take a Road Trip to the Coast

Venice Beach, Los AngelesSource: TierneyMJ / shutterstock
Venice Beach

Situated approximately a half-hour drive away from Carson, Venice Beach is a long, sandy beach perfect for a range of activities, including sunbathing, swimming, cycling, and walking along the picturesque boardwalk.

There are many shops and cafes near the beach, and street performers give the area an exciting vibe.

In the evening, you can drive along the coast for about ten minutes and reach the Santa Monica Pier. Stroll along this iconic pier and take in one of the beautiful sunsets the area is known for.

Enjoy access to nearby food stands, shops, and amusements, such as a carousel, Ferris wheel, and roller coaster.

13. Indulge with Asian Fusion Cuisine at Hiccups

NoodlesSource: Hikari0909 / shutterstock

Hiccups is a unique tea house and eatery in Carson serving a range of Asian fusion dishes and specialty beverages.

Walk into an inviting and comfortable atmosphere where you can sit down to a delicious meal. The extensive menu includes a variety of appetizers, rice-based dishes, noodles, soups, and popular options like Pad Thai and Pho – all made with fresh, quality ingredients.

Also available are specialty teas, smoothies, and Vietnamese iced coffee.

14. SouthBay Pavilion Mall

ShoppingSource: VGstockstudio / shutterstock

If shopping is on your to-do list while in Carson, The SouthBay Pavilion Mall is the perfect place to find souvenirs of your trip, a perfect outfit, or a unique item for your home.

The mall has stores inside and outside and features 100 shops, including Ikea, Sears, and locally-owned specialty stores.

15. Take in a Movie at Cinemark Carson & XD

CinemaSource: Jacob Lund / shutterstock

If it’s raining outside or you simply want to relax in comfort with a good movie, Cinemark Carson & XD has a variety of movie-watching experiences available.

Whether you want to watch the latest release or something locally-made, there are many movies to choose from on any given night.

Upgrade your ticket to a luxurious experience in the THX XD auditorium, featuring a wall-to-wall screen and surround sound.

If comfort is your priority, upgrade your ticket to include a reclining, luxury lounger. 3D experiences are also available.

15 Best Things to Do in Carson (CA):

  • Find an Ideal Mix of Leisure and Relaxation at Carson Park
  • Visit the International Printing Museum
  • Enjoy Delicious Food at Rosario's Italian Restaurant
  • Take in a Sporting Event at Dignity Health Sports Park
  • Admire a Unique Gnome Village
  • Porsche Experience Center
  • Stay Healthy with Quality Meals from Chinollo
  • Catch Some Thrills at Go Kart World
  • Learn Something New at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
  • Honest Abe Cider House
  • Anderson Park
  • Take a Road Trip to the Coast
  • Indulge with Asian Fusion Cuisine at Hiccups
  • SouthBay Pavilion Mall
  • Take in a Movie at Cinemark Carson & XD