Pasadena Neighborhood Snapshot
- Visit the Huntington Library: In addition to a collection of 18th-century British art, this library has 4 million manuscripts and 700,000 books, including the Gutenberg Bible.
- Walk through the Huntington's Botanical Gardens: Set aside a couple of hours to enjoy the expansive lawns and stately trees surrounding the Huntington Library.
- See American craftsmanship at the Gamble House: The teak staircase and cabinetry are just a few of the highlights at this home, built in 1908.
- Check out the Norton Simon Museum: This small museum's fine collection features works by Renoir, Degas, Gauguin, and others
- Hang out in Old Town Pasadena: Spend the afternoon walking around this 12-block historic town filled with cafés, restaurants, and shops.
Lêberry Bakery & Donut. If you've been hesitant to try vegan or gluten-free baked goods, the heavenly doughnuts, pies, cakes, cinnamon rolls, and more at this Black and Asian American family-owned shop—all made from quality ingredients—will turn your world upside down. 445 E. Colorado Blvd. leberrybakery.com
Pie 'n Burger. This small and charming diner does two things really well: pie and burgers. Most seats are counter-style, with a griddle searing up patties. Burgers are pretty simple but the pies are killer. 913 E. California Blvd. www.pienburger.com
The Raymond 1886. Carved out of an old cottage, head to the patio (especially for happy hour) as chefs dish out everything from microfarmed oysters and truffle polenta to seared salmon and mac and cheese. 1250 S. Fair Oaks Ave. www.theraymond.com
To reach Pasadena from Downtown Los Angeles, drive north on the Pasadena Freeway (I–110). From Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley, use the Ventura Freeway (Highway 134, east), which cuts through Glendale, skirting the foothills, before arriving in Pasadena. There are several city parking lots located in Old Town Pasadena with low rates, all close to Colorado Boulevard, the main drag. On-street parking here is also widely available with few restrictions.
Planning Your Time
The Huntington Library should command most of your time. Just be sure to keep the summer heat in mind when you visit—the gardens are more pleasant during the cooler morning hours. A stop at the beautiful Gamble House shouldn't take more than an hour, leaving plenty of time for an afternoon visit to the Norton Simon Museum, one of the area’s best spots to enjoy world-class art. Unless you're planning on seeing a game or hitting the flea market, you will probably want to skip the Rose Bowl. Head to Old Pasadena in the evening, when the wide boulevards and leafy side streets come to life.