Go Hiking At Eaton Canyon Trail
This popular local trail is easy and leads to a pretty waterfall. The trail is 3.5 miles and depending on which day you go, expect it to be heavy traffic.
This is the one trail I thoroughly enjoy because I can get through it and not feel at any point that I will not make it. The scenery is great the best part is youll get to a waterfall. Its small but nice.
It is dog-friendly. But be advised that you may see wildlife in the area while hiking. Eaton Canyon is a natural and wildlife-preserved area.
The Raymond 1886 Pasadena California
The Raymond 1886 is one of Pasadena’s most important restaurants, housed within the caretaker’s cottage building of the city’s former 19th-century Raymond Hotel, which featured 300 rooms and entertained celebrities such as Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton during the 1920s. Though the hotel was closed and razed in 1931 due to the Great Depression, its legacy continues today in the restaurant helmed by executive chef Jon Hung, which has been acclaimed by international publications such as Food and Wine, The Huffington Post, and Thrillist. Excellent land and sea entrees are served up throughout the week, including pork belly with sweet and spicy chili, steamed blue mussels in green curry sauce, porchetta vignole with roasted cherry tomatoes, and dry-aged ribeye service for two.
1250 S Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105, Phone: 626-441-3136
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Start Planning To Attend The Rose Parade
One of the top things to do in Pasadena is attending the Rose Parade. This New Years Day celebration is a local pride and joy for over a century
This is a great family-friendly event. For locals and visitors that come from afar to celebrate and some begin festivities on New Years Eve. Drive down Colorado Boulevard the morning of New Years Eve and youll start to see people camping out to hold their spots overnight. Many traditions take place during these hours.
Confession: We do live right off the route. We can hear the festivities from our home as the New Year is rung. We even wake up on New Years morning to the sounds of the Parade however, we have yet to attend the parade.
What kind of local does that make me? Im an introvert that prefers to watch it peacefully from her warm cozy living room. What can we say? Crowds arent for everyone.
Post Parade Float Showcase
This leads me to the post-parade events. If you cant make it to the parade, you can enjoy the fun after it by seeing the parade floats. The floats are showcased for two days. If you cant make it on Jan 1st, plan for Jan 2nd. It is fun and a great family activity that could end up being a yearly tradition.
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Check Out The Huntington Library Art Museum And Botanical Gardens
While the Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens technically lie on the border of San Marino, theyre always present on every list of fun things to do in Pasadena. Explore the meandering paths lined with lush greenery and flowers that connect the gardens, research library, and art exhibits.
Care for a more organized Pasadena activity? The organization hosts painting classes, lectures, and other special events regularly. Visit on the first Thursday of every month and youll roam the 120 acres for free.
Amara Chocolate And Coffee Pasadena Ca
Amara Chocolate and Coffee is a cozy, spacious Venezuelan café in Pasadena. It is a great place to discover Venezuelan specialties, such as arepas grilled corn flatbread stuffed with all sorts of delicious ingredients or cachapas grilled crepes made with yellow corn. However, the cachapas and arepas are not the main reason people are flocking to Amara from all over Los Angeles. It is their drinkable chocolate, with or without coffee, and melted chocolate served with typical South American churros long fried pastries perfect for dipping. The Venezuelan sipping chocolates are wonderful, made with 63% cocoa, dark and slightly bitter, perfect for mixing with coffee, milk, and all sorts of other things. Try the Raymond sipping chocolate with salted caramel marshmallows or the Americano coffee with Venezuelan dark chocolate without milk. It is easy to get addicted to these exquisite beverages, and the menu is full of interesting mixes.
55 South Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105, 626-744-1765
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Where To Stay In Pasadena California For Sightseeing
- The iconic The Langham Huntington, Pasadena, Los Angeles provides the most luxurious place to stay in Pasadena. This five-star landmark hotel encompasses over 23 acres of lush gardens for an easy escape into nature, just nine miles north of downtown Los Angeles. Guests feel like royalty while staying in one of the 375 guest rooms, including deluxe patio rooms and cottage suites. Other resort amenities at the hotel include an array of dining options, signature Afternoon Tea service, and the award-winning Chuan Spa.
- Alongside a moderate rate, the Hilton Pasadena has an excellent location for exploring Pasadena. It’s within short walking distance of Old Pasadena, where a surplus of shops, restaurants, and Southern California architecture defines many days. The hotel also provides a complimentary shuttle service to other town attractions, including the Rose Bowl Stadium. Overnight accommodations at Hilton Pasadena include standard and deluxe rooms, many with great views of the San Gabriel Mountains.
- For a unique hotel with a favorable rate, The Astro Pasadena Hotel provides a retro feel with modern accommodations. This motor inn was completely renovated in 2016, and now, all 25 rooms feature decor with a distinct Googie design. This Space Age decor also comes with in-room amenities like 55-inch televisions and air-conditioning. Some rooms at The Astro also feature romantic Jacuzzi tubs.
Admire The Famous Gamble House
The Gamble House is an iconic home in Pasadena built during the height of the Craftsman-style architectural movement. Designed by the architectural firm Greene and Greene, the house is now known as a Pasadena attraction and National Historic Landmark.
The mission of the Gamble House is to inspire the publics understanding and appreciation of architecture as fine art. Pay a visit, go on a tour, and awaken your inner architecture nerdthis is the best-preserved work of Arts and Crafts architects Charles and Henry Greene.
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What To Do In Pasadena California
In Pasadena -or closely nearby- youll find great shopping from brand names, antique stores, Rose Bowl Flea Market, and thrift shops.
Find great eats, bars, and pubs, and dine out at some of the most delicious spots.
Go hiking. Or spend time admiring some of Pasadenas historic and preserved architecture.
As Pasadena locals, we are here to tell you that there are plenty of things to do in Pasadena. Its part of the reason we moved here several years ago. Actually, far prior to us residing here, wed take weekend day trips or weeknight trips from Los Angeles proper to enjoy what Pasadena has to offer.
Then we decided to move here.
We have a friend, whose family is originally from Pasadena, who told us for years that Pasadena would be our home . She said it suited our lifestyle and personality. Boy, was she right!
So, it recently came to our attention that wed mention Pasadena spots here and there. Whether on this website or social media, but never truly written about the city we truly appreciate and made a home in. Its about time.
The other day we were sitting at dinner, at one of the many amazing restaurants in Pasadena, and hubby says, We really dont need to leave Pasadena if we dont want to.
And, its true! We were sitting at the back patio of the dining establishment, having a beautiful time with excellent food and we felt like we were on vacation. The only thing we are missing here is a beach. But we do have a waterfall we can hike to at Eaton Canyon.
The Pasadena Symphony And Pops
If you want entertainment tonight, check out the schedule of the Pasadena Symphony and POPS.
Music-lovers will find that, among stuff to do in this California city, this might be among the most wonderful!
Performances put on by POPs and the local symphony are inexpensive or free, put on by the community, and criminally underrated!
The Symphony plays in many different locations, such as at City Hall, All Saints Church, the LA County Arboretum, and Ambassador Auditorium.
Many different shows are held here annually.
Stand-alone performances of Mozarts Symphony No. 4, and even An American in Paris, are favorites.
There are also longer concert series, like the Sierra Auto POPS Summer Series, the Moonlight Sonata Gala, and the Singpoli Symphony Classics series.
If you plan to book a ticket, try doing so in advance to guarantee a seat!
Not very far from the Pasadena Symphony and POPS is the beautiful city of Los Angeles! If you plan a road trip within a 30-mile radius, be sure to check out our pick of some of the fun things to do in Los Angeles and some fun things to do in Santa Monica!
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Local Dining And Night Life
Now that COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, bars, clubs and restaurants are back open for business. Show your favorite local hotspots your support.
Its time to start getting back out there and having a little fun again, while still being as smart and safe as possible. This is going to be a great summer in Pasadena!
Ice House Comedy Club
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Looking to unwind in Pasadena?
The Ice House Comedy Club should be on your list of where to go.
Opened in 1960, this delightful club began its life as a venue for folk music.
It has since had its stage performed upon by big names in the comedy world, like George Carlin, Jerry Seinfeld, Lily Tomlin, Jay Leno, and Robin Williams.
Now, two showrooms and a courtyard continue to welcome guests to the Ice House Comedy Club.
Over 7,000 visitors stop by monthly, with some well-known and new acts all providing variety and diversity to this humble Pasadena stage.
200 seats provide plenty of space to sit!
Address: 24 N Mentor Ave, Pasadena, CA 91106, United States
Exploring other parts of California? Why not check out some of the things to do in Solvang, CA?
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Pasadena Museum Of History
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The Pasadena Museum of History documents this California citys rise since its beginnings in the mid-1870s when it was a mere settlement built by pioneers seeking a new way to begin their life.
About five decades later, locals began to set up a historical society with the goal of preserving heritage, and that society was the basis for what is now the top institution for knowledge of Pasadena!
Since its creation, the Museum of History has undergone a few changes.
Its current iteration, housed on a former estate, is often simply called The History Center.
It started in the early 90s and is home to galleries, a climate-controlled archive, a research library, a museum shop, and a conference room, with various permanent and temporary exhibits on display at all times.
Historical clothes, art, and documents provide insight into the past of the city, and a mix of lectures, workshops, and guided tours always invite you to learn more.
Address: 470 W Walnut St, Pasadena, CA 91103, United States
Enjoy The Norton Simon Museum
Outdoor garden and sculpture at the Norton Simon Museum
Love a good art museum?
The Norton Simon Museum was previously known as the Pasadena Art Institute. It holds a vast European, Asian, modern, and contemporary art collection.
Take a break from the art inside and explore the sculpture garden. There is a beautiful pond surrounded by lush greenery, flowers, and pathways. Walk around and see all the beautiful sculptures throughout. Follow the map they provide, and dont miss any of the sculptures.
Stay up to date with the current and upcoming exhibitions.
- The museum is currently closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
- Open 12 pm to 5 pm
Top Foodie Pick: Check out our favorite Greek spot in Pasadena, Cafe Santorini
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The Church Of St Andrew
For most visitors with limited vacation resources, heading to Europe to see great works of art from the Renaissance masters is about as likely as a trip to the moon.
Thankfully, for visitors to Pasadena, theres a more convenient and inexpensive way to do that.
Featuring a towering Romanesque spire, impressive old-world architecture, and a mural of the Madonna rivaling those in Italy, the Church of St. Andrew has been a Pasadena icon since it was built more than a century ago.
Its still a functioning church, so its not always open to visitors, so give them a call or ask around town before making a special trip to check it out.
Rose Bowl Stadium Pasadena California
Built in 1922, the Rose Bowl Stadium is a National Historic Landmark as well as a Pasadena icon. Having recently undergone a $164.5 million renovation, the Rose Bowl Stadium maintains the overall look and feel of the old stadium while benefitting from much-needed improvements such as a new press box, wider tunnels, and restoration of the field hedge.
Visitors can attend a variety of events at the stadium, which is famed for the Tournament of Roses Football Game, and you can also attend celebrations, religious services, as well as the worlds largest flea market. There are guided tours of the stadium so visitors can experience countless historic moments in US sports history.
1001 Rose Bowl Drive, Pasadena, CA 91103, 626-577-3100
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Go Ice Skating At The Pasadena Ice Skating Center
After being closed for some time due to the pandemic, the Pasadena Ice Skating Center is now open.
While this ice skating rink is used for lessons, ice hockey, and other events you can find on their schedule, they are open for public skating. You can also rent the rink for groups and parties.
- You must register online to purchase admission and skate rentals.
Pasadena Ice Skating Center | 300 E Green St, Pasadena
Take A Pasadena Walking Tour
Want to learn more about Pasadena, book a guided walking tour with Pasadena Walking Tours. Every week they have 1-2 different tours exploring Pasadena and also another tour exploring the haunted side of Pasadena. Sometimes there is even a tour available for South Pasadena.
Check their calendar for more info on dates and times: .
- Cost: $25 pp
- Tours are 2 hours
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City Hall Pasadena California
Sitting on 170,000 square feet, City Hall has been one of the towns most historic landmarks since 1927. Visitors can tour the building, which was influenced by early Renaissance and 16th century Italian architecture and designed by John Bakewell and Arthur Brown.
There are over 235 rooms and passageways that run through the architectural marvel, and the dome of the building is 26 feet high and 54 feet across, on top of which is a lantern. Visitors of all ages will appreciate the architecture and historic beauty found in City Hall.
100 Garfield Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101, 626-744-4000
Tournament House And Wrigley Gardens
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Virtually everyone has heard of Wrigley chewing gum.
Created by magnate William Wrigley Jr. Born in Pennsylvania, Wrigleys success across the nation allowed the 19th century-born businessman to purchase many different homes in many different states.
Including one in Pasadena, California called the Tournament House.
Now, the home is the setting of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association, which is responsible for the organization, planning, and execution of the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl football games.
It houses numerous educational materials and exhibits pertaining to these fun attractions, but its also one of the places to visit for beauty and aesthetics.
Italian Renaissance design makes the Tournament House impressive and loved, with opulent features and 21 rooms, each one richly paneled.
Floors are inlaid with marble and the ceilings are ornate and regal.
Outside, the Wrigley Gardens are even more incredible, with 4.5 acres of floral display comprising more than 1,500 floral varieties, including annuals, roses, and camellias.
Address: 391 S Orange Grove Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91184, United States
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Take A Self Guided Tour Of The Pasadena Civic Center District
The Pasadena Civic Center District is a vibrant place adorned with Beaux-Arts and Mediterranean Revival buildings. The area is home to an abundance of Pasadena attractions and has set the stage for many films and television shows. So, if it all feels like a big movie set to you, youre not too far off from the truth.
The City Hall and the Civic Auditorium are must-see places to visit in Pasadena, serving as centerpieces of the district. There are also many delicious eateries to check out in this district, as well as a variety of cool shops, from name-brand boutiques to family-owned antique shops.