Six Reasons to visit Pasadena, California
After the famous Rose Parade and Rose Bowl football game is over, is there any other reason for tourists to visit Pasadena? On my recent trip to Pasadena, I was enlightened about this wonderful old California Town. The revitalized old Pasadena, a National Register Historic District, is a charming place to visit, with its many trendy restaurants and boutiques, all at home in historic buildings.
So, what should you definitely see in Pasadena? Start with a tour, and then hit these great Pasadena attractions.
Take a Tour of PasadenaOne of fun things we did here was take a Melting Pot Food Tasting tour. Our group walked from restaurant to restaurant with a guide giving us a colorful tutorial on buildings we passed and the restaurant we were about to enter. We entered places we would never have found ourselves. Interesting old plazas, one could only find by accident. Our samplings included, Asian, Mexican, Indian and award winning gelato. What a delicious way to experience the Pasadena historic district. On the Melting Pot Tour we discovered Pasadena is home to one of the new Gold Class Movie Theaters. Although I did not see a movie, I did tour the theater. They give new meaning to dinner and a movie. The pricy tickets, approximately $29.00 per person include popcorn and red carpet treatment. You may order dinner to eat during the movie. Guests relax in comfortable oversized reclining chairs. The lobby is a lounge where guest can enjoy adult beverages before and after viewing a first-run movie.
Visit the Pasadena Playhouse and the Playhouse DistrictWe could not bypass the Playhouse District or attending a play in the historic Pasadena Playhouse. The present playhouse, built in 1924, in the style of Spanish colonial revival architecture. The Pasadena Playhouse Association has been producing plays on this site since 1917. Going to see a production in this grand old theater was a treat. The public artwork and architecture in the district invites a daytime stroll.
Visit the Gamble HouseWe have been to visit many historical homes, but never one built as uniquely as the Gamble House, built 1908 for David and Mary Proctor, of Proctor and Gamble, to be their winter home. Visitors to the house are in awe of the woodworking and joinery techniques used in the house. There are 17 species of wood carved and hand-rubbed. The furniture designed and built to compliment the rooms and woods used. The 6100 square foot house is a masterpiece of architecture and craftsmanship. The family wintered in the mild weather of Southern California. I found it amusing that each bedroom had a sleeping porch attached where most of the family slept outside -- all winter. Tours offered by reservation, Thursday through Sundays by the University of Southern California.
Norton Simon MuseumThe more recent pinnacle of Pasadena would be the Norton Simon Museum. Sitting on 80 acres in the heart of Pasadena is famed businessman Norton Simon's collection of Old Masters, Impressionists, Modern Art and Indian and Southeast Asian Art. Well laid out in design the museum provides a delightful day of pleasure for visitors. The outdoor restaurant sits amid the sculpture gardens in a serene setting.
A Stay at the Historic Langham HuntingtonWe stayed at the iconic Langham Huntington, Pasadena Hotel. First opened in 1907 as Hotel Wentworth, Henry Huntington purchased hotel in 1911, it later became the Ritz-Carlton, always noted for its personal service and guest attention though out the years. It is still a premier luxury hotel with extensive grounds, gardens and excellent service. Even though it has had many renovations to upgrade conveniences, they have left some of the history intact, the grand Viennese and Georgian ballrooms still display original architecture and fixtures. The restored historic picture bridge is still an attraction along with the Japanese Gardens. The bridge built in 1932 has 42 original panel painting of California locations present on it. The spa is the only Hotel spa in Los Angeles that offers treatments based on traditional Chinese medicine. Langham Huntington is noted for their afternoon High Tea served in the Lobby Lounge. Many notables have stayed there through the years and still do, movie stars, football players, etc. The hotel runs a shuttle to and from the Rose Bowl and Rose Parade. Guest looking for luxury will find it here. The Hotel's stylish up-to-date Tap Room and award winning cuisine served in the Royce Restaurant offers trendy entertainment, upscale wines and beer selections with cozy couches in the bar, attracts non-guest customers as well and it is a lively place to be.
Visit the Huntington LibraryThe same Henry Huntington who once owned the Langham Hotel left Pasadena with another Gem, the Huntington Library. This San Marino Ranch land, where he built his home, was converted to a research institution, using his collection of books, his life-long passion, after his death, to form the greatest research libraries in the world-- the Gutenberg Bible is on display here. Henry and his wife Arabella also amassed a world-class collection of British and French art, also on display here, creating yet another unique experience for visitors to enjoy in Pasadena.
Bobbie Green grew up in southern California. She is a member of the North American Travel Journalist Association. She is a freelance writer and has been published in various Senior Wire Publications, The Desert Valley Times, Nevada Magazine, Mesquite Local.com, Travel World International, and Leisuretravelreports.com. Besides enjoying her love of travel by doing it as often as she can, she enjoys photography and attends numerous travel trade functions. Presently she is enjoying desert living in Mesquite Nevada.