7 Things to do in Pasadena….

Being a Pasadena native (I spent my first ten years in that glorious city), I admit, I may be a bit biased to the LA suburb & its surrounding areas, but, guys? There is just so much to see, do & enjoy in a relatively small area. Along with Pasadena, you have Sierra Madre, San Marino, Arcadia & Alhambra, not to mention Glendale & Los Feliz is within whistling distance. And The Autry Museum. The Los Angeles Zoo. And Dodger Stadium. It’s just a great area & I think you would have to be crazy if you don’t find something to love within these parts of Los Angeles. I had such a blast working on the Belmont Shore post, that I thought I would round-up some of my favorite must-see spots to hit in the Pasadena region. Enjoy! xo

Paseo Colorado Mall
What was once a mall in need of some TLC has since turned into the perfect outdoor shopping arena in Pasadena loaded with boutiques & eateries. While you have that great line up of shops & restaurants, you’re also right at the beginning of the awesome Colorado Blvd, aka-Old Town Pasadena, which is home to loads of shops & sights to see. In the summer, 2 must-see’s are Make Music Pasadena & their chalk art festival.

Vroman’s Bookstore
Vroman’s has held a special place in my heart since I was a little girl. My Grandmother spent many years working next door at J. Herbert Hall’s Jewelers (which, sadly, closed down in 1998) & would come home nearly every day from work with a book or trinket for me from this famed book shop. She got to see & meet many a celebrity on her lunch hour while they held a book signing, too! From their web-site:

“Vroman’s Bookstore holds an important place in Southern California’s history. For many years, Vroman’s was the largest bookstore west of the Mississippi, and it continues to be the oldest and largest independent bookstore in Southern California. In 2009, Vroman’s bought another beloved independent bookstore, Book Soup in West Hollywood, after its owner died and the store was in danger of closing.  

Vroman’s is also famous for its world-class author signings and events. The store hosts over 400 free community events a year including children’s storytimes, trivia nights, craft classes, bake-offs, and special launch parties, and has hosted such authors as President Bill Clinton, President Jimmy Carter, Irving Stone, Upton Sinclair, Ray Bradbury, David Sedaris, Salman Rushdie, Walter Mosely, Joan Didion, Barbara Walters, Anne Rice, Neil Gaiman, and Justice Sonia Sotomayor.”

12 Angry Men at Pasadena Playhouse.
12 Angry Men at Pasadena Playhouse.

Pasadena Playhouse
Another gem, just down the street from Vroman’s, The Pasadena Playhouse has been where I have seen some of my favorite performances in theatre. While they have had the honor to host such amazing, elaborate productions with Broadway stars such as Ben Vereen &  Wayne Brady, I love that the vibes at The Playhouse remain very ‘at-home’, & their talk-back evenings with the stars of their shows give the chance to see just how down to earth & fun their casts & creative teams are. They offer a much more intimate, personal connection than other large theatres in LA often can.

The Gamble House
Of Procter & Gamble fame, this home is able to present its visitors architecture as a fine art, & I got to visit for the first time awhile back & I was taken aback at both it s beauty & calm surroundings.

Kids Space Museum
I admit, I have not been here since I was a kid myself. But, being that its right by The Gamble House, it would be the perfect spot to go with your little ones following a visit to the Gamble Home. Let me know if you can still “host the evening news” as I recall doing there afew years back 😉

The Gamble House
The Gamble House

The LA County Arboretum & Botanic Garden
Where can you walk & stroll around where both Tarzan’s Johnny Weissmuller & Katy Perry have also stood? The Arboretum in Arcadia, of course! 😉 While they’re able to give off the African illusion in the old Tarzan films & Katy learned to ROAR in the, er, jungle, that was really all directly across the street from The Santa Anita Race Tracks (another great spot to check out!). This is another center I grew up at as a child, & it’s a wonderful outdoor experience for the entire family…psst…you might just spot a peacock, too.

Only Place Cafe
Head on over to the adorable small town of Sierra Madre, & treat yourself to a delicious meal at Only Place. I still see the local mechanic in Sierra Madre, & always enjoy a late breakfast here while I wait for my car. Dog friendly & breakfast til 2p daily,  It’s also directly across the street from The Sierra Madre Playhouse 😉

Have you been to any of these sights? Where do you recommend? xo




  1. Kara

    March 24, 2015 at 8:21 am

    I am adding Pasadena to my list of places to visit. I’ve never been but my daughter would love that museum 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    1. AlongComesMary

      March 24, 2015 at 10:29 am

      Its seriously one of the best cities!!! You & your family would love it.

  2. Jamie

    March 24, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    Pasadena was always a favorite of mine in LA… but that little town of Sierra Madre.. I’m drawn to those main streets… still my favorite festival, “The Chalk Festival” took place at the Paseo Colorado every year!

    1. AlongComesMary

      March 25, 2015 at 9:22 am

      I’m so excited for it again, & Make Music!:)

Comments are closed.