Weekend Getaway: Claremont #TravelTuesday
Whenever I visit Claremont, I’m always struck that this beautiful and diverse city is not somewhere far away. It’s literally under an hour from my house. With so many great places to pick from for a mini getaway in Los Angeles, Claremont might easily win my vote. You could even head on out for the day, yet who would want to leave? While they have just wrapped up the annual Restaurant Week, read on for some great options when you check into Claremont.
The DoubleTree by Hilton on Foothill Boulevard is a gorgeous place to call home in Claremont. I had a great balcony that came in handy to relax on and refuel for my day. Sipping my in-room Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Morning Blend helped, too. They also feature a full breakfast buffet with all food prepared daily on premises.
Another handy option, especially if you want to be in the heart of the Claremont Village, is the posh Hotel Casa 425. In 2007, the city went through a major makeover with their packing buildings as they were renovated to become what is now the well-loved Packing District. This is where you will find The Junction Restaurant, Packing House Wines and many other world-class shops. I especially loved this part of town after seeing all to be seen in the Village. With its old world charm to it, the Packing District is all about keeping it modern in the college city. You cannot go wrong at either hotel!
No visit to Claremont is complete without a stop to Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Gardens. It’s located just off Foothill and well over 80 acres of natural beauty to be seen. It brought to mind The Huntington Library, with their gorgeous koi ponds, Joshua trees and trails. They currently have a real treat for all to check out: The Butterfly Pavillion. Guests young and old will love seeing the caterpillars (touch them, too!) before entering the pavilion filled with monarch butterflies, fluttering in all their majestic glory.
If you love music, Claremont is the place for you: On one side of Yale Avenue, get your fix of vinyl and used CDs at Rhino Records, and just across the street is The Folk Music Center. Owned by world-loved musician, Ben Harper and his family, The Folk Music Center has been selling beautiful instruments, since 1958. They also host open mic nights and offer music lessons. The moment you walk into this shop you can feel its history and the love for this gorgeous shop.
Ready to have a few drinks and hear a great, interactive show? Look no further than Piano Piano, conveniently next door to The DoubleTree. Piano PIano is one of the best dueling piano bars in Los Angeles, but, warning! They can get very adult with their language, and this is certainly reserved for the adults, I know I speak for us all from IFWTWA when I say we had a hilarious and great time.
Think I sampled enough from Restaurant Week? I actually have more dining recommendations. Check out Some Crust Cafe which has adorable, home-like decor and delicious pastries as well as excellent house coffee. I had the pleasure of trying their gluten-free chocolate chip cookies. In all their soft, gooey perfection.
One of my favorite morning stops was 42nd Street Bagel. It reminded me of an adorable Times Square cafe. The AM staple is all about bringing a slice of New York to Claremont. The bagels rival those you find in Manhattan and the walls are adorned with Broadway posters like The Lion King, Wicked and my personal favorite; the Bagel Man. Have you seen it? A bit like The Music Man! While they do not currently offer a gluten-free bagel, they have many other dishes like eggs or fruit.
If you are gluten-free and do need a bagel fix, I was so excited to see that our next stop, The Last Drop Cafe. They’re extremely gluten-free friendly, and even have a bagel option. Their staff couldn’t have been sweeter, and I got to try their Vegan Out Sandwich on gluten-free toast. Verdict? The presentation was gorgeous with thick slices of avocado to make your mouth water. Yet, I will have them hold the french onion dressing next time.
With so much to see, eat , and do, I hope you will consider Claremont the next time you need to get out-of-town for awhile. For more information, visit them HERE at Discover Claremont. xo
(Disclosure: I was apart of a wonderful sponsored press trip to Claremont, CA, with fellow members of IFWTWA. All opinions are my own & Claremont is absolutely wonderful.)