Westminster Travel Guide

Let this guide take you on a tour of Westminster, California, and introduce you to places to visit, food to eat, accommodations to stay at, and customs to learn.

Introduction to Westminster

Located in Orange County, Southern California, Westminster is a hidden gem that is worth discovering. Known for its diverse culture, delicious food, and rich history, this small city has something for everyone. From indoor museums to outdoor hiking trails, Westminster has an attraction that is perfect for any type of traveler.

List of Places to Visit in Westminster

If you’re planning a visit to Westminster, here are some places that you shouldn’t miss:

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Vietnamese Culture and Health Association: This museum displays the history and culture of the Vietnamese American community in Southern California.

  • Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve: Explore the ecological reserve, which is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna.

  • Shipley Nature Center: A beautiful park that spans across 18 acres of nature trails, demonstrating the “green” way of living.

Natural Attractions of Westminster: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Huntington Beach: A beach lover’s paradise that offers miles of sandy shoreline, a beautiful pier and great views of the Pacific Ocean.

  • Huntington Central Park: A great place for a run or a bike ride, this park is one of the largest urban parks in Orange County and has picturesque lakes.

  • Little Saigon: A bustling district in Westminster that offers outdoor markets, shopping and dining - it’s a unique slice of Vietnamese-American culture that you can’t miss.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Westminster

Outdoor enthusiasts would love the trails that Westminster has to offer:

  • Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve Trail: Located in the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, this trail is perfect for hiking and cycling.

  • Mile Square Regional Park Trail: A good option for those who want to explore the natural beauty of the area, this trail is approximately 3 miles and takes you on a scenic route around a lake.

  • Huntington Central Park Trail: An easy trail that is ideal for beginners, this route takes you around the park and its beautiful lakes.

Best Things to Do in Westminster: Activities and Tours

  • Vietnamese Food Tour: This tour will give you the chance to taste some of the best Vietnamese food in the city, giving you an authentic, culinary experience.

  • Boat Rental at Huntington Beach: Rent a boat and explore the waters of the Pacific Ocean with friends and family.

  • Vietnamese Language Course: Learn some basic Vietnamese phrases and interact with the locals in their native tongue.

Week-Long Itinerary for Westminster

If you have a week to spend in Westminster, here’s how you can maximize your stay:

Day Activity
Day 1 Visit the Vietnamese Culture and Health Association Museum
Day 2 Go hiking and biking at the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve Trail
Day 3 Take a Vietnamese Food Tour
Day 4 Visit Huntington Beach
Day 5 Rent a boat and explore the Pacific Ocean
Day 6 Visit Little Saigon for shopping and dining
Day 7 Relax at Mile Square Regional Park

Food and Drink Scene of Westminster

When in Westminster, make sure to try these local foods and drinks:

Must-Try Dishes

  • Pho: A Vietnamese noodle soup that has a beef or chicken base, with noodles, vegetables and garnished with basil and bean sprouts.

  • Banh Mi: A Vietnamese sandwich that’s filled with a variety of meats, pickled vegetables and chili sauce - it’s a fusion of French and Vietnamese cuisine.

  • Banh Xeo: A Vietnamese rice flour crepe, filled with shrimp, pork, bean sprouts and herbs. Served with dipping sauce.

Local Beverages

  • Vietnamese Iced Coffee: A strong coffee that is mixed with sweetened condensed milk, served over ice. It’s a popular traditional drink.

  • Fresh Coconut Juice: A refreshing drink that’s served in a fresh coconut. It’s perfect for a hot summer day.

Where to Stay in Westminster: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Westminster offers several accommodation options for tourists:

  • Best Western Westminster: A budget-friendly hotel that offers clean rooms and a swimming pool.

  • Westminster Inn: A 2-star hotel that has a good location, spacious rooms and free breakfast.

  • Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa: For a more luxury experience, the Hyatt Regency provides stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, a full-service spa, and a golf course.

What to Buy in Westminster: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Don’t leave Westminster without purchasing these local souvenirs:

  • Ao Dai: A traditional Vietnamese costume, perfect for women.

  • Sai Gon Sandwich: A special bread that’s used for Banh Mi.

  • Conical Hat: Traditional hats made out of “nón lá” and great for sunny weather.

Local Culture and Customs of Westminster

Westminster has a unique cultural identity that involves blending Vietnamese and American cultures.

Best Time to Visit Westminster

Westminster is an all-year-round destination, but its peak season is during the summer months. The weather is typically warm and sunny between June to August, making it the perfect time to enjoy the beaches and outdoor activities.

Do’s and Don’ts of Westminster


  • Do try the Vietnamese food: Westminster is known for its authentic Vietnamese cuisine, which is a must-try for any food lover.

  • Do bring sunscreen and a hat: The California sun can be strong, so it’s important to protect your skin.

  • Do take a Vietnamese language course: It’s always good to learn a few local phrases to better immerse yourself in the culture.


  • Don’t ignore the traffic laws: It’s important to follow the traffic rules when driving in the city.

  • Don’t disrespect the local customs: It’s important to show respect towards the local customs, traditions, and people.

Safety and Health

Safety in Westminster

Westminster is a relatively safe city with a low crime rate. It’s still important to take safety precautions, such as locking your doors and keeping an eye on your belongings.

Health in Westminster

Westminster has several hospitals and healthcare facilities that provide excellent medical services.

Getting to Westminster: Transportation Options and Logistics

If you’re flying in, the John Wayne Airport (SNA) and Long Beach Airport (LGB) are the most convenient options.

Airports Near Westminster

  • John Wayne Airport: Located in Santa Ana, only 8 miles away from Westminster.

  • Long Beach Airport: Located in Long Beach, which is approximately 13 miles away.

Bus Stations Near Westminster

  • Westminster Metrolink Station: This bus station connects to other cities in Orange County and beyond.

  • Orange County Transit Authority (OCTA): Provides local bus services.

Other Options

Renting a car is also an option, but it’s important to remember that traffic can be quite heavy during peak hours.

How to Get Around in Westminster

The best way to get around Westminster is by car or bike.

Car Rentals in Westminster

  • Enterprise Rent-A-Car: They offer car rentals with a wide range of models and prices.

  • Hertz Car Rental: Hertz has several locations in Westminster, and offers pick-up and drop-off services.

Bike Rentals in Westminster

  • Wheel Fun Rentals: They offer bike rentals and are conveniently located in Huntington Beach.

  • Huntington Beach Bicycle Rental: Provides a wide selection of bike rentals in Huntington Beach.

Where to Go Next from Westminster: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Here are some nearby destinations and excursions that you can add to your itinerary:

  • Laguna Beach: Known for its art scene, beaches and luxury resorts.

  • Newport Beach: Ideal for those who want to explore the harbor, go shopping and dine.

  • Disneyland: For a fun-filled day with the family or friends head to Disneyland for an unforgettable experience.


Westminster’s combination of culture, history and natural beauty make it a perfect destination for anyone looking for an authentic California experience. Whether you want to explore the outdoors, immerse yourself in Vietnamese-American culture or simply relax on the beach, Westminster has it all.