Things to do in LA and Pasadena

Things to do in LA

  1. Disneyland: “The happiest place on earth” and its little sibling, Disney’s California Adventure
  2. Universal Studios Hollywood: Studio style theme park
  3. Hollywood: Hollywood Boulevard and the Walk of Fame, Grauman’s Theatre and Hollywood and Highland
  4. Rodeo Drive: Packed with exclusive shops
  5. Venice Beach: Los Angeles kitsch and over-the-top culture. Check out Muscle Beach, street performers and tacky shops
  6. Sunset Boulevard: Perhaps one of the world’s most famous streets, it began as a route between the stars’ posh neighbourhoods and the Hollywood studios. It runs from downtown to the ocean, passing through the “Sunset Strip” on its way
  7. The Beaches: My favorite beaches are Manhattan, Redondo, Hermosa, Newport and Huntington
  8. Santa Monica Beach and Pier: Lots of shops on 3rd street, the beach and the seaside amusement park on the pier are a must
  9. Knott’s Berry Farm: Knotts’ Southern California Resort includes Soak City U.S.A. and a theme park-full of family shows and rides
  10. Queen Mary: Once the largest ship afloat, docked in Long Beach
  11. Six Flags Magic Mountain: Roller coaster heaven
  12. Olvera Street: shop, listen to mariachi music, watch folklore dances and dine at several authentic Mexican restaurants. Tour the Avila Adobe, the oldest existing house in LA. Other restored historic buildings include the Old Plaza Church and the Old Plaza Firehouse.
  13. Los Angeles train station: found at the end of Olvera Street, the train station is beautiful and designed in the old mexican style
  14. Shopping: Along with Rodeo drive and 3rd St there are plenty of places to shop like Glendale Galeria, The Beverly Center and the Hollywood and Highland Center
  15. Hiking: go for a night hike in Griffith Park or a day hike in Altadena’s Eaton Canyon
  16. Surfing: some of the best waves around!!
  17. Museums:
    1. California Science Center: Through hands-on experiences in the galleries at the California Science Center, you’ll learn about human inventions and innovations, the processes of living things and more. Also features a seven-story IMAX theater
    2. Getty Center: Overlooking the California coastline and the L.A. skyline, the Getty Center surrounds guests with breathtaking views and a world-class art collection including European paintings, contemporary photographs and decorative arts
    3. Getty Villa: An educational center and museum in Malibu dedicated to the study of the arts and cultures of ancient Greece, Rome and Etruria
    4. Hollywood Bowl Museum: New exhibit of the renovation of the Hollywood Bowl bandshell and great moments in classical music, jazz, and rock & roll
    5. Homestead Museum: Historic site featuring two homes dating from the 1840s and 1920s and a private cemetery
    6. Los Angeles Maritime Museum: Located in San Pedro, inside the former Municipal Ferry Terminal building, this museum is dedicated to celebrating the maritime history of coastal California
    7. Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust: LAMH dedicates itself as a primary-source institution, one that commemorates those who perished and those who survived the Holocaust by housing the precious artifacts that miraculously weathered the war, the ghettos, and ultimately, the death camps

Things to do in Pasadena

Pasadena is a suburb of LA and is (depending on the traffic) about 15 – 20 minutes from Downtown. If you just want to explore the city, the Pasadena Convention and Visitors Bureau has a set of 10 Walking Tours of Pasadena you can download.There is a lot to do, so we thought we’d pull it all together for you here (yes it is Captain and First Mate Contiki at your service):

Things to do in Pasadena:

  1. Rose Bowl: the Rose Bowl is the home stadium for UCLA football and hosts the annual Tournament of Roses Football game (a big deal in college football) Most notably, in my opinion, it is the stadium that hosted the 1999 Women’s World Cup 😉 There is a golf course that surrounds the stadium and it is a great place to go for a run or a power walk
  2. Dodger Stadium: about 15 minutes down the road is Dodger Stadium so check out the schedule to see if there is a home game during your visit. If there is, enjoy a brew, a Dodger Dog and some garlic fries while you take in the American Pastime
  3. Old Town Pasadena: – hopefully your hotel is right near the heart of Old Town Pasadena – Colorado Blvd has tons of shops, restaurants, bars and movie theatres
  4. Paseo:Paseo is also located on Colorado Blvd and is only a few blocks from Old Town. It is an outdoor mall with lots of shops, restaurants and bars
  5. The Norton Simon Museum: best know for the extensive collection of Impressionists, but also have a great collection of south and southeast Asian Art
  6. The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens: the estate of railroad and utilities ‘robber barren’ Henry E. Huntington – it has 120 acres of Botanical Gardens on the outside and inside features one of the most extensive research libraries on American literature and art. Absolutely stunning.
  7. JPL: a branch of NASA that creates and monitors all the he unmanned robots, satellites and other research vessels that get sent into outer space
  8. The Gamble House: a craftsman-style architectural gem that was created by architects Greene and Greene – tours are available Wednesday through Sunday – Pasadena is filled with beautiful homes so just going for a drive and checking them all out is enjoyable
  9. The Pacific Asia Museum: consists of six galleries around a Chinese courtyard – exhibits consists of ceramic, textiles, painting, sculptures and other decorative arts from all Asian countries

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