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Learn about South Gate, CA

South Gate is the 17th largest city in Los Angeles County, California. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of slightly over 94,396 residents. South Gate is part of the Gateway Cities region of Southeastern Los Angeles County. With plenty of homes, residential neighborhoods, businesses and schools – South Gate continues to attract residents and families from all over Southern California.


The South Gate area has a rich and storied history. In fact, the Gabrielino – Tongva Indians were the first inhabitants of the area. However, Spanish ranchers would later move in and establish many farms and homesteads. In the summer of 1769, Spanish explorers set out from the coast of San Diego to explore several unchartered territories between the city and Bay of Monterey.

This included Father Juan Crespi – who was known as one of the greatest diarists of the New World explorations era. Father Crespi logged in daily entries about the modern day South Gate area – as many new settlers and caravans arrived. The explorers initially named the area “Porciuncula” on August 2, 1769. However, it was the Lugo Land Grant that eventually encompassed a huge part of what is now the City of South Gate. The Lugos were among the first family of early Spanish settlers that settled in the area. They are also credited as being one California’s first families under Spanish – and later – Mexican exploration and settlement.

The Lugos helped build many ranches and farms in the area. However, nearly 100 years after the establishment of the Lugo Land Grant, the area at the south gate of one the main ranched was rechristened “South Gate”. Later, it would be known as the City of South Gate, which was simply the gateway to the rest of Southern California. Today, you can still see many of the old farms and historic cattle ranches that once inhabited this unique area.

Tracts and the Tweedy Family

While Father Crespi and the Lugos are considered the pioneers of South Gate, the area changed dramatically during the end of the 1870s. In fact, much of the original land grants were replaced by tracts of 40-acres. These tracts replaced cattle raising with agriculture and farming – as the main and important local industries of South Gate. While 1880 was the prime year for new farms and homesteads, these were later replaced by homes and factories between 1910 and 1940.

Among the most influential and affluent families of South Gate were the Tweedy’s. In fact, R.D. Tweedy was born in 1812 in Illinois and made his way to California by ox-drawn cart in 1852. Similar, Mrs. Tweedy rode across the prairies on her rocking chair in a cart. The Tweedy family was huge, and several generations of the family lived in South Gate over the years. The Tweedy’s bought most of the land that South Gate was built on. In fact, South Gate’s historic downtown business district was named Tweedy Mile.

The City of South Gate was officially incorporated on January 20, 1923. Its nickname is the “Azalea City”, which the city adopted as its flower and official symbol in 1965. In 1990, South Gate was one of ten U.S. communities that received the All-America City Award from the National Civic League.

Things to Do and See in South Gate

South Gate has tree-lined streets and is primarily a residential area for families. From homes to apartments and businesses, the city is considered a nice place to work and raise a family in. There are plenty of businesses and stores in the area as well, along with good schools and public transportation (Metro Local, Metro Rapid, and GATE) services. South Gate is also known for its outdoor activities and family events. In fact, the area is blanketed by nine city parks with playing areas for the kids. These parks also feature hiking, biking, and walking trails – along with barbecue pits and Mother Nature at her best. Here are the parks you should visit while living or visiting the City of South Gate:

• South Gate Park
• Hollydale Regional Park
• Cesar Chavez Park
• Circle Park.
• Hollydale Community Park.
• State Street Park.
• Gardendale Tot
• Triangle Park
• Stanford Park

Many of these parks feature drinking fountains, soccer fields, baseball fields, and even skating rinks and equestrian centers. The parks are enjoyed by residents of South Gate – with plenty of ice cream trucks, food kiosks, hot dog stands and comfortable benches. From kite flying and sports to simply lounging and taking in the sights and sounds, South Gate is truly a haven for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Restaurants in South Gate

South Gate has a diverse population and is home to several international and domestic restaurants. In fact, some of the top eateries and cafes in South Gate include but are not limited to:

El Pescador

El Pescador is a popular 4-star Mexican and Spanish restaurant. With great reviews and comfortable seating, the restaurant specializes in mouth-watering seafood entrees and delicious appetizers. You can also enjoy classic Mexican and Spanish food with tantalizing beverages, ice cold beer, and a wide  assortment of cocktails and spirits. El Pescador is open for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner – with indoor/outdoor dining, delivery and catering for all local homes and businesses.

Jaruwa Thai Restaurant

From Tom Yum soup to Pad Thai, Jaruwa is the premier Thai restaurant in South Gate. Located on Long Beach Boulevard, this 4-star restaurant has comfortable seating and exquisite décor. There is also a section for private parties and corporate events – and they feature some of the best desserts and teas in the areas. Whether for lunch or dinner, Jaruwa features a wide selection of beef, chicken and vegetarian dishes and appetizers. This venue is perfect for business lunches, family dinners, and all social gatherings and events. There is also a full wine and beer menu selection, along with crispy noodles and spicy sauces that will dazzle your taste buds!

For more information on South Gate, simply check the Web or contact the City of South Gate tourism office at City Hall today.