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Day trip Metro Gold line - Pasadena or Sierra Madre Villa?

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Swansea, United...
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Day trip Metro Gold line - Pasadena or Sierra Madre Villa?

The LA Metro Gold Line looks like it has interesting possibilities for day trips. I would like some advice regarding which is the best trip to do. We like old architecture and mountainous scenery. From checking on google and TA it looks like Pasadena for architecture and possibly Sierra Madre for mountain views?

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1. Re: Day trip Metro Gold line - Pasadena or Sierra Madre Villa?

i went to pasadena when i was in LA last year , took the goldline , nice ride and had a good day in pasadena ( couldnt find the little old lady though ) would go back again for sure

Swansea, United...
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2. Re: Day trip Metro Gold line - Pasadena or Sierra Madre Villa?

Thanks Chris, Pasadena looks like an interesting old west town with fairly close proximity to the San Gabriel mountains. I don't know much about the place yet but will do more research, We are in LA for 8 nights next May so I think we will go to Pasadena. Also I notice the Gold Line metro stops very conveniently for Old Pasadena at the Memorial Park stop.

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3. Re: Day trip Metro Gold line - Pasadena or Sierra Madre Villa?

Definitely do more research on beautiful Pasadena. There are some amazing homes to see and tour, the Huntington Botanical Garden in nearby San Marino is worth visiting, lots of shops and restaurants, Norton Simon Museum, and much more. Here's a link to their forum where you can probably find more things to do and restaurant suggestions:

tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g32859-i719-Pasade…

If you want to see some mountains, take the Metro Rail to Claremont. It's a gorgeous college town at the foot of Mt. Baldy. Lots of trails there if you like, or visit the Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Garden. Claremont looks like it was moved from New England with lovely homes, mostly from the early 1900s, great tree lined streets, and a cute village center. The Claremont Colleges have galleries and just walking through the campuses (it's a consortium of 5 small colleges) is a nice time, especially Scripps for it's rose gardens and Pitzer for their xeriscape gardens. Between Pasadena and Claremont, you can really get a feel for what it may have been like to live here in 1910. What I love are the large trees! Both cities were built up well before air conditioning, and builders really knew their stuff in terms of keeping homes cool without it. We could all learn something from the past, especially reducing energy use.

Edited: 08 June 2014, 16:54
Pasadena, California
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4. Re: Day trip Metro Gold line - Pasadena or Sierra Madre Villa?

Yes, Pasadena makes a great day trip, depending on your interests.

You do NOT want to get off at Sierra Madre Villa Station; this is in the city of Pasadena, but in the far eastern section, where there is little of interest to any visitor.

You probably want to exit at Memorial Park Station. This is at the eastern edge of the Old Pasadena district, one of the most attractive pedestrian shopping/dining/strolling areas in the LA area. There are 3 museums within walking distance: the world-class Norton Simon, which is a few block walk from Old Pasadena but worth it (you could also take a bus along Colorado Blvd to get there from Old Pasadena, if you aren't a walker); the Pacific Asia Museum; and the Pasadena Museum of California Art. You could also take a walking tour of lovely turn of the century neighborhoods, one of which features many houses by famed local architects Greene and Greene, including the Gamble House, which can be toured.

Huntington Gardens is not walking distance, but I believe there is a bus to get there from Pasadena. Huntington Gardens is a destination worth at least 4 hours; you'd need to work the rest of your visit around it.

Swansea, United...
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5. Re: Day trip Metro Gold line - Pasadena or Sierra Madre Villa?

Thank you PlumeriaD that's great advice because I didn't know about the Metro Link service which is different to the usual Metro lines. The botanical gardens in Claremont look lovely as does the Frank G Bonelli park in Pomona, though that seems to be more difficult to get to on the Metro Link. Will check Pasadena more for certain as everything seems set up for a day trip there in terms of short walks from station to attractions.

Pasadena, California
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6. Re: Day trip Metro Gold line - Pasadena or Sierra Madre Villa?

Claremont is a nice little town, but I don't think any of the trails are near the Metrolink station, which is down in the "flats", right in the middle of town and near the colleges. The trails up on Mt. Baldy are many miles from town.

And depending on the time of year, you may not really have much of a view of the San Gabriels from either Pasadena or Claremont, both of which are at the foot of this range. The view is often obscured by, ah, "haze" during the warmer months. And while they are attractive mountains that rise quite dramatically from the valley floor, they don't really constitute alpine scenery even at the best of times. Unless, of course, you can get way up into them for a hike.

Will you have a car? Where are you staying?

Edited: 09 June 2014, 00:11
Swansea, United...
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7. Re: Day trip Metro Gold line - Pasadena or Sierra Madre Villa?

Thanks Pasca I have decided that Pasadena is definitely worth us visiting, as you say there are a lot of things to see there, and from what I have seen on google streetview it looks a very quaint place.

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8. Re: Day trip Metro Gold line - Pasadena or Sierra Madre Villa?

You do sound like you'd enjoy a visit to the Gamble House. Look at the tour schedule on:

gamblehouse.org.

The bookstore there has a map to a walking tour of the neighborhood, which includes several more Greene and Greene houses, and one by FL Wright (concrete block, sort of Aztec-y, in poor condition). I really love that walk and can tell you turn-by-turn directions if you like.

Swansea, United...
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9. Re: Day trip Metro Gold line - Pasadena or Sierra Madre Villa?

Thanks again Pasca, I was thinking that the botanical gardens in Claremont are a bit of a trek from the Metro Link station. We won't have a car so will rely solely on public transport plus the tourist Hop on Hop off for LA sightseeing. We are staying at the Days Inn on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. The Gold Line is very convenient for Pasadena so we won't bother with going out of our way for mountain views. Often you can get great views from the train anyway.

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10. Re: Day trip Metro Gold line - Pasadena or Sierra Madre Villa?

I also say that Pasadena has just about everything you're asking for and more. There are a lot of Craftsman style houses and interesting "old money" mansions that might be within a close distance to you off Orange Grove Blvd. - a few miles from where the Gold line ends. The Civic Auditorium has and interesting Egyptian- style (IIRC) ceiling inside and the Ambassador Auditorium a more modern 60s style I believe. You can also get a nice view of the mountains though not too close up. I've lost count but at one time there were over 300 restaurants in Pasadena so lots to do, historical, and good choice of food.

Edited: 09 June 2014, 01:28