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For a traveller who enjoys taking a leisurely stroll, Old Pasadena will rank as a highlight.
The area of approx. 5 blocks by 4 blocks has been designated as a National Register Historic District. Building facades reflect the gamut of California architectural styles: Spanish Colonial through Victorian and Art Deco. Shop, dine, people watch. Take in a nearby movie. This resurrected downtown district stands as a monument to what can be accomplished by a community that cares enough to save its inner city.
Updated Jul 4, 2004
Like many old towns across the US, Pasadena's had fell into disrepair but fortunately this one was revitalized with many of the original facades still intact. The main stretch features a wide variety of shops such as Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn and Banana Republic, a couple of my favorites, a Lush bath products store and a Leonidas Belgian chocolate shop and many restaurants including Italian, Mexican and Spanish cuisine along with a Cheesecake Factory.
You may have to drive around for a few minutes to find a parking spot but you should be able to find a spot on the street, bring some quarters to feed the meter. Or if you are staying for a short time, I found a garage on Raymond just south of Colorado that had the first 90 minutes free.
There are some interesting facades along Colorado but the really interesting buildings are off the main street:
Photo #1 City Hall, 100 N. Garfield, built in 1927, Italian Renaissance and Spanish influenced architecture
Photo #2 Pasadena Library, 285 E. Walnut
Photo #3 All Saints Church, 132 N. Euclid
Updated Nov 15, 2007
One of our favorite things to do in Pasadena is wine tasting at Le Petit Vendome Wine and Spirits. Typical wine tasting opportunities are on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. Be aware that the Thursday and Friday tastings could be pricey due to special events that they are holding. Usually on Saturdays, the pours are as low as $1. Tastings are held between 5pm and 8pm. The store is open seven days a week. Another store located in La Canada has different hours. Cheese plates are available for purchase to have with your wine tasting. It's usually quite fun and social.
Please note the new address on Lake Avenue.
Updated Oct 2, 2012
Address: 102 S. Lake Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101
Walk down Colorado Blvd if you like crowds, shopping, walking, unique dining or people watching (one has to enjoy at least one of these things, right)?
This place is packed on the weekends. Along with Third Street Promenade and others, Old Pasadena is an ultimate hang out and outdoor entertainment/shopping venue in the greater LA area. Unfortunately, the sameness of big chain retail shops and restaurants take away from the original quality of the place. This trend is so prevalent in major town centers throught greater Los Angeles.
So, what's different about Old Pas? Well, it is probably the best looking city center, architecturally speaking. There is distingusihed style and a harmonizing mix of colors on shop and restuarant exteriors. It is not too bright and flashy like City Walk at Universal Studios, rather more of an opulent and old-fashioned look.
The greatest problem here is trying to find a place to park especially during the weekend, and, oh yeah, the 4 way diagonal interesections can be tricky also for walking. Well, overall, traffic is not so pretty at all!!
For an educational walking tour, Pasadena does offer them throughout the year, about 5 times or so. Take website for more information.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Memorial Day weekend (last weekend of May)is the unofficial start of the summer in the U.S. Here in Pasadena, people know that the sunny season has arrived when jazz musicians toot their horns, grills start sizzling meats and people pack at Summerfest.
In 2005, Summerfest was held at the world-famous Rose Bowl for the first time, and finally, I attended the fun-in-the-sun event. It was a hot but not severely scorching 3-day party.
More pics of the event to come!
Also check out http://www.pasadenasummerfest.com/
Written Jun 1, 2005
Well, Pasadena is well known for the Rose Parade. Locally, it is almost as known for that "other" parade, Doo-Dah! Basically, if you want to see a good-natured freak show on parade, come here for diversion. The pics on the site tell the story very well. Everyday yet zany characters walk, prance, cartwheel or find some way down the streets of Old Pasadena and show off their quirk. Mostly, the antics along the parade are in good tatse, I mean nothing too bad that the little kids can't view up close. I'll have to capture some shots of my own at last here. I suggest to bring a folding lawn chair to enjoy yourself better. Believe me, Pasadena sidewalk (or that of any city for that matter) is good for just a faw minutes for sitting.
Bring your own water and, perhaps, a packed lunch or some munchies. Or, you can choose to dine at a fine Pasadena establishment along the parade route. Just know that many eateries will be extra-busy during the parade and getting something simple as bottled water can be too expensive. It just may be more convenient to have your own food.
The unoffcial post-parade party place after the parade is at Old Towne Pub.
You may want to make the Doo-Dah parade a rail trip. The parade kicks off just steps away from Memorial Park Godl Line Stop. Parking is available at this station stop but can get packed quickly on weekends, with Doo-Dah parade or not.
Doo-Dah Parade in 20006 is on November 19
Updated Nov 1, 2006
Pasadena is a wonderland for antique shopping in southern California. There is monthly whole flea market at the Rose Bowl with several antqiue dealers and wonderful old treasures to discover. More frequently, there is a chance to find some classic old-fashioned and vinatge items at several antiques shop throughout the city. The link shows the contact info for many of them.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
At Memorial Park, the Levitt Pavilion located at 85 E. Holly Street in Old Town Pasadena holds free summer concerts each year. See the venue's website for schedule and artist performing.
Beginning June 25, 2008 until August 31, 2008.
On Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday evenings the concert is from 7pm - 10pm.
On Friday and Saturday evenings the concerts start at 8pm.
Bring your picnic blanket or low lawn chairs.
Across the street from the park, on the west side of Raymond, is a wine store that has wine tasting available.
Updated Jun 2, 2008
Address: 85 E. Holly Street, Pasadena, CA
If you can't find anything to do, then go to the movies! There are sooo many to choose from, you're bound to find something you would like to watch.
I always use www.fandango.com to see what's playing. If you're not sure of the movie, they provide movie trailers on the site. Don't order your tickets on fandango unless you know it will be sold out (ie. IMAX theater at Universal City Walk). We like to see movies at the Pacific Paseo Stadium 14 at 333 Colorado Blvd. located at the Paseo Colorado Shopping Center, upper level. There is paid parking structures but make sure to take your parking stub with you and validate the ticket inside the theater. It saves you a few bucks on your parking. At the Pacific Paseo there is a bargain matinee price Monday-Thursdays before 4pm, Friday-Sunday & Holidays before 6pm. Right now you would save $2.25 per adult ticket.
The weblink provided below will list theaters in the city of Alhambra at first. So, make sure to check the addresses of the theater you're interested in going to.
There's two Laemmle theaters in Pasadena. One is located in Old Town Pasadena in the Miller Alley. The other is just east of the Paseo Colorado Shopping Center on Colorado Blvd. (north side of the road).
Updated Jun 24, 2008
Pasadena Heritage has a tour of Pasadena’s historic Old Pasadena quarter, a National Register Historic District, on the 1st Saturday of the month. Tours begin at 9:00 am and include a slide presentation and a 90-minute guided walk. Tickets are $10 and reservations are required, you can reserve tickets online.
I'm not going to be there on the right weekend on this trip but this looked like something I would enjoy.
Written Oct 16, 2007
Phone: (626) 441-6333
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