15 Best Things to Do in Pasadena, CA
Known as The City of Roses, Pasadena is home to a unique history and culture, with plenty of attractions to make it an intriguing place to explore. Even locals such as George Azadian, Pasadena Employment Lawyer, can experience the wonders of Pasadena over and over again without growing tired of them. This Southern California town is famous for its nearly perfect weather, craftsman-style homes, and of course, the Rose Bowl. Whether it’s shopping or museums or simply a drive through Pasadena’s palm tree-lined avenues, there’s a lot to do and even more to discover. Listed below are several locations you should experience on your next visit to Pasadena, California.
Norton Simon Museum: Paintings from the European Renaissance, 20th century European old masters, and sculptures from South and Southeast Asia make the Norton Simon Museum one of the most impressive private collections in the world. There are also various sculpture gardens, making this the perfect environment for any art lover.
The Gamble House: This craftsman-style home has been beautifully preserved as a California and National Historic Landmark. Mixed in with other suburban homes in Pasadena, the Gamble House belonged to Dr. Emmett Brown, the on-screen character in Back to the Future. For architecture enthusiasts in particular, the Gamble house is a an architect’s dream. Book a tour in advance to learn all about the history of the home and visit the gift shop before you leave for some craftsman-style objects and books.
Old Pasadena: The real downtown of Pasadena is a favorite among visitors. The streets are lined with unique shops as well as familiar chain stores. Take a walk down Colorado Boulevard and survey the old architecture or enjoy a meal on the restaurant terraces. The Farmer’s Market opens every Sunday, offering free activities to kids of all ages. The highlight of this town is the annual Rose Parade, which you can catch if you’re in Pasadena on New Year’s Day.
Pasadena Playhouse: Pasadena Playhouse is a historic performing arts venue known for being the first American theatre to produce all of William Shakespeare’s plays. It is an influential medium for the American Theatre and they showcase at least 300 performances each year. Every production is high quality and the theatre’s small size means that there are no bad seats.
Rose Bowl Stadium: Known for the annual college football game, this stadium has a famous history accented by the look of the Bowl, which has been carefully retained over the years. Stop by for a game or take a tour of the original locker room, Loge Lounge, and the rest of “America’s Stadium”. Regular flea markets, concerts, and special events also draw in visitors year-round.
Jet Propulsion Laboratory: NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab leads the robotic exploration of the solar system in the country. They also offer various public educational events, including stories of field campaigns, research efforts, and a planet sky viewings. Tours are offered year round for visitors who would like to learn about the laboratory or witness a working lab in action.
Eaton Canyon: This natural landmark is a popular attraction for everyone; from hiking to horseback riding, there are many avenues to explore the canyon. For those who are not interested in much physical activity, during the spring months you can view the wildflowers and birds during the crowning of migration. The most popular hiking trail leads to Eaton Canyon Falls, a moderately difficult hike, but not one that deters even children and dogs.
Arlington Garden: Native plants fare well in the Southern California climate, and they are displayed in this public garden. It is a peaceful place for a stroll, meditation, or a nice book. The surroundings are quiet and visitors can not only contemplate the beautiful scenery but can appreciate the drought tolerant plants, trees, and flowers. The garden also facilitates a learning place for gardeners looking for inspiration and guidance on how to improve an existing garden in Pasadena.
Pasadena Museum of California Art (PMCA): The PMCA was founded to honor the rich and eclectic history of California, both artistic and cultural. Including historical and contemporary art, the museum’s vision is to showcase the state’s artists exclusively. They develop temporary exhibitions with independent curators, allowing for flexible and dynamic programing. Visitors can also learn about the artists who lived in the area and contributed to California culture. The museum is conveniently located and an interesting attraction to people of all ages.
Pacific Asia Museum: This historic building has served as a center for art, culture, and learning in Pasadena since 1924. The museum itself is one of the few U.S. institutions dedicated to the arts and culture of Asia and the pacific Islands. Its mission is to further intercultural understanding through the form of art. The beautiful artwork and sculpture is a hit with adults and kids alike.
Pasadena Ice Skating Center: Open year round, this ice skating rink is a hit even in the summer. With great service and activities for children and adults, the skating center provides fun and entertainment for people of all ages. On top of that, the rink was originally constructed in the Pasadena Convention Center’s old Historic Ballroom, incorporating a bit of Pasadena’s rich history within its walls.
Levitt Pavilion: The Levitt Pavilion Pasadena hosts a Music Festival comprised of 50 free concerts over the course of each summer. The non-profit arts organization brings in past Grammy winners, along with a variety of genres to suit the varied tastes of music fans, from Latin to Jazz to contemporary alternative and indie performances. Food vendors and children’s activities keep younger kids entertained while the adults enjoy the show.
Kidspace Children’s Museum: With an abundance of hands-on experiments for kids who love to explore, along with outdoor activities and programs, the Kidspace Children’s Museum makes for a fun family experience. The outdoor Robert & Mary Galvin Physics Forest contains 12 exhibits to nurture the children’s love of science and teach him how common physics concepts such as levers and pulleys work.
Pasadena City College Flea Market: On the first Sunday of every month, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., this flea market features a variety of great vendors and is free to enter. It is known for selling antiques and collectibles, from high-end to rummage sale type items. Best of all, proceeds from every flea market benefits student scholarships and student activities at Pasadena City College.
- City of Pasadena City Hall: The Pasadena City Hall not only serves as the central location for the city government, but is also a significant example of the City Beautiful architectural movement of the 1920s. With the clear blue skies of Pasadena in the backdrop, the building is a popular location for pictures and leisurely walks. Take the stairs up to the top floor for a wonderful view of the city, and don’t miss the local garden.
From its rich cultural and artistic history to the high collective IQ and scientific discovery, the town of Pasadena has many claims to fame. It is a beautiful location for your next vacation, with plenty to do for the entire family, so be sure to stop by these locations to get the most out of your visit to Southern California.