Real talk time: East Rancho Dominguez has a definite pride of place and is heading in the right direction, but it is located in an evolving area of south LA County. You'd be wise to visit in person before plunking down your deposit money on a rental apartment. You'll want a car here public transit is available, but not always the most reliable or convenient. You'll have great freeway access to the 710 a main artery connecting the Port of Long Beach to Los Angeles and LA's fabled freeway system.
The Southern California setting means there's not a bad time of year to relocate here -- no weather concerns will slow you down. You'll want to have the regular list of renter documents with you: credit history, references, proof of income and deposit money (usually 1- to 2-months' worth of rent will suffice).
It's not easy to divide up a less than 1-square-mile area into further neighborhoods, so we'll stick with the general areas of the town. This area isn't tremendously "walkable" in the sense that there's no city center, historic district or shopping scene to take in. As mentioned, car is king here, as in most of Southern California.
Southern area: Here, you'll find the park and the brand spanking new library, along with apartments for rent and a few places to grab a bite such as at Maya's Mexican or Sunny's Chinese.
Northern area: Here OK, all over town you'll find 1- and 2-bedroom houses for rent in this almost exclusively residential neighborhood. There are a few mini-mart type services and some great local taco stands here, but not much else in the way of services within the neighborhood's boundaries.
You'll note a lot of Dominguez-monikered areas in these parts. Neighboring Rancho Dominguez is a heavily industrial and commercial area and it's not where you'll be looking for your next rental home. Rancho Dominguez, however, used to be, well, a Rancho covering the Compton, Carson and north Long Beach areas and beyond. And, like nesting dolls (to mix national heritages), Rancho Dominguez was part of the vast Rancho San Pedro a Spanish land grant made by the King of Spain in 1784 to Juan Dominguez.
In its heyday, Rancho San Pedro covered virtually the entire South Bay area from Manhattan Beach, across the Palos Verdes Peninsula, south to western Long Beach and inland to the Rancho Dominguez and East Rancho Dominguez areas. The land was mainly a grazing area with some Spanish settlers. The Rancho survived the land's transfer from Spanish to Mexican to American control. The sprawling original Rancho was sold off bit by bit, with southern parts that extended down to what is now the Port of Los Angeles acquired by the railroad industry. Local history here encapsulates California's growth and the establishment of its identity. If you move here, make sure you check out the Dominguez Rancho Adobe to learn more about your town's namesake and history.
Locals are fiercely proud of what they've accomplished, despite lacking a traditional municipal government. They rely on Los Angeles County for support and services. Visit the new multi-million dollar library and pristine parks and you'll quickly understand their pride. East Rancho Dominguez Park features a gym, a large community building, and, of course, the Williamses' tennis courts.
You'll be able to easily furnish your new rental apartment in East Rancho Dominguez thanks to the IKEA in Carson a short drive away. While you're there, visit the South Bay Pavilion, a traditional shopping mall with everything you want under one roof and, soon, a movie theater, too.
Sports fans will appreciate the proximity to Stubhub Center home of the LA Galaxy Major League Soccer Team (also on the Dominguez Hills campus). Regular season games are popular here, as are exhibition games featuring teams from around the globe like FC Barcelona, Chelsea FC and even the Mexican National Team.
When you get hungry, check out Maya's Mexican Restaurant -- a short stroll from the park or Tamaleria La Dona for some amazing tamales. You're in the greater LA Area now; there's literally no kind of food you can't find and no activity or entertainment that isn't within 20 minutes (or 2 hours, depending on traffic).
When you need some culture, visit the already-mentioned Rancho Dominguez Adobe for a local history lesson. And if the inland weather gets too warm, head for the waterfront. Hop on the 710 and in less than 15 minutes, you'll be in Long Beach, ready to enjoy a stroll in Shoreline Village or a visit to the Aquarium of the Pacific -- a world-class aquarium complete with the cutest otters this side of Monterey Bay. With restaurants, shopping and the yearly Long Beach Grand Prix, you'll be glad to be a resident of your new region, with its easy access to everything, affordability and its bright, self-starter future.