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Things to do in and around Pasadena

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Calgary
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Things to do in and around Pasadena

My wife and I will be staying in Pasadena for two nights Sunday Aug 12 and Monday Aug 13. We will have a rental car so getting around is not a problem. I was just wondering if there is anything worth seeing in and around Pasadena (say in neighbouring areas such as Glendale, Burbank and Alhambra). I have already looked in the Pasadena forums and Old Pasadena sounds interesting so we will definitely take a walk around there. Is there anything else that we should see that is within a short drive of Pasadena? My wife is not really into museum-type places so the Gamble House and Huntington Library is probably out. We already have a fairly full itinerary but we will likely have a couple of two-hour blocks where we will be left to our own devices and I would rather go somewhere than stay in our room. Thanks in advance for any advice you care to impart.

Santa Clarita...
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1. Re: Things to do in and around Pasadena

The Huntington Library has many beautiful gardens - Chinese garden, Japanese Garden, rose, jungle and on and on. You may enjoy visiting Pinkie and Blue Boy paintings, but there is so much to see here beside the Library and Art. There is also an outdoor cafe, and many places just to sit and relax. Closed on Mondays.

The Los Angeles County Arboretum is in Arcadia, and that, too, is nice. There are usually plenty of peacocks to keep you entertained.

You can also take the Gold Line to Union Station in LA - walk around the historic station and cross the street to Olvera Street - Mexican atmosphere. Probably very busy on Sunday. Or take the Gold Line to Union Station, and then take the Red Line one stop to the Civic Center. Follow the signs for Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral. At the information booth there, you can ask for directions to the Walt Disney Concert Hall, which is one block up, and another block to the left. There are audio tours; however on the tour you do not see the concert hall (auditorium).

You can take Hwy 2 and drive up to Mt. Wilson above Pasadena.

If the weather is clear, you can see some great views down below of LA from there. The road is winding, so take it easy.

Fremont, California
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2. Re: Things to do in and around Pasadena

Downtown Pasadena has lots of stores, restaurants, etc.

What type of food do you like?

We went to Sushi Roko and its great for sushi and Asian Fusion.(not sure what your tastes are).

http://www.sushiroku.com/

Its in a great area to enjoy the evenings.

There is a Cheesecake Factory that is pretty good and central to things.

Barcelona is great for tapas (recommend reservations as its small but good.)

http://www.barcelonapasadena.com/menu.html

and we also like Red, White, and Bluez

www.RedWhiteBluezz.com

is a good wine bar...with music (get directions from their web site as on one of the side streets.)

Ice Club Comedy House....if you like comedy...is often fun!

(depending who the comedian is if you like comedians).

http://www.icehousecomedy.com/

(Call for reservations...if it is a popular comedian you want to see.)

For Burbank area - Griffith Observatory, Gene Autry Western Museum, and the Zoo (however it sounds like your wife may not enjoy that.). LA Dodgers may or may not be in town.

Its fun if you like baseball.

Alhambra - its pretty much "Asian" central for San Gabriel Valley. If you like dim sum or Chinese or Asian fusion food, there are lots of great little restaurants here. There is also the San Gabriel Mission - on Mission Blvd. - if interested in just driving past some of early California mission history.

Calgary
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3. Re: Things to do in and around Pasadena

Thanks Mere and Mini for all the great suggestions. Taking the Gold Line to downtown is a great idea! I did some research and found out that the Del Mar Gold Line station is only 0.5 miles from my hotel and that it only takes 26 minutes to get to downtown. Perfect! Walking around Alhambra and taking in a Dodgers game (if we have time) also sound very appealing. I didn't know Dodgers Stadium is so close to Pasadena. Just a few more questions if you don't mind:

1. Is there a particular street or block where all the Asian shops and restaurants in Alhambra are concentrated? Is there a asian shopping mall? Or are all the shops/restaurants spread out?

2. Would you recommend driving to a Dodgers game or should we take the transit, considering the Del Mar Gold Line station is so close to my hotel? Is there a metro station near the stadium? If so, will that station and the Del Mar station in Pasadena still be opened after the game? Baseball games typically take over three hours to play out so we would need this stations to stay open until 11:00 PM. If we drive, how much time should we give ourselves to get to Dodgers Stadium from Pasadena?

Thanks again for all your helpful suggestions!

Santa Clarita...
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4. Re: Things to do in and around Pasadena

I'm sorry I'm not familiar with Alhambra.

As for public transportation, you can take the Gold Line to Chinatown, and all I could find was two transfers on a bus with a ride of 3 minutes each to Dodger Stadium. Perhaps for a game, they have a shuttle, or maybe take a cab to the Chinatown Station (or Union Station - always taxis there).

The last train on Sunday leaves Union Station at 11:52, Chinatown 11:54 p.m, and arrives at Del Mar at 12:11 a.m. I took these times from the Saturday, Sunday, Holiday schedule.

www.mta.net -- I used terms as "Chinatown Gold Line" and Dodger Stadium. Also, your hotel will undoubtedly have some good information for you.

Also, I haven't been to Chinatown for awhile, but perhaps others will have some restaurant recommendations.

Claremont...
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5. Re: Things to do in and around Pasadena

Hi, I grew up in Pasadena andjust noticed your question re: Alhambra. So, I thought i'd give you my $.02 :)

A good place to start Heading South from Pasadena, passing S Pas. and heading into Alhambra would be Garfield Ave/ Main St.

There's shopping CTRs and a movie theater continue heading south you don't have to go to far to experience the Asian community of the San Gabriel area, its a great hub of wonderful Asian restaurants and such, but not a great place to venture to if your unfamilar to the area. Its heavily congested, and quite a distance from central Pasadena.

I'm not sure what part of Pasadena you're staying but IMHO Pasadena's a large enough city not (just population but miles) to find plenty to do in only a couple of day's. it might even be more of a hassle to try driving around all over LA , Alhambra, Glendale etc. Believe me you won't be bored even if your not interested in the cultural aspects/museums of the area!

Anyway, hope I helped, have a great time in Pasadena!

Claremont...
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6. Re: Things to do in and around Pasadena

Oh, BTW if you do go to Dodgers Stadium, Just drive, its so worth the hassle. The transit system in LA and surrounding areas can be a fun adventure but as you might have heard. LA is not a good mass transit city and you can't walk everywhere not even in Pasadena! Have fun :)

Calgary
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7. Re: Things to do in and around Pasadena

Thanks again to everybody for their suggestions. Taking the Gold Line to downtown LA, the Griffith Observatory, Old Pasadena, and dim sum in Alhambra are options we now have available when we have some downtime in Pasadena. And it looks like we will get an opportunity to go to the Dodgers game so I will drive to the stadium rather than take transit, as tedandlisa90 suggested. Thanks!

Fremont, California
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8. Re: Things to do in and around Pasadena

There are lots of Asian restaurants in many places....

Valley Boulevard is a popular one with lots of choices.

Rosemead is also popular one with lots of choices.

Also close to Pasadena is Arcadia on Baldwin Avenue.

Here's a site to many of the good dim sum places in LA - you can look for names of dim sum places on these streets for possibilities.

In Chinatown in Los Angeles (close to Dodger Stadium) Empress Pavillion and Ocean Seafood are quite good (however can get busy).

Lots of great places ...both dim as well as late night Chinese bistro cuisine (which is wonderful and inexpensive if you have dinner late or want a late night snack as they stay open late with good food.)

Calgary
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9. Re: Things to do in and around Pasadena

Thanks for your input, Mini. Did you forget to add a link regarding good dim sum places in LA? I would appreciate it if you can send me the link. Thanks!

Fremont, California
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10. Re: Things to do in and around Pasadena

…citysearch.com/bestof/winners/dim_sum

Sorry....I forgot and thanks for asking!

Have a great trip!