20 Things To Do in Pasadena

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Source: Prayitno

Pasadena is a city in Los Angeles County. It is probably best known for hosting the annual Rose Bowl football game and Tournament of Roses Parade. However, this is only the small part of what Pasadena has to offer. The City of Roses is home to many scientific and cultural landmarks, botanical gardens, shopping centers, and many more attractions. The list could be even longer but we decided to suggest 20 places for any future visitors.

1. The Gamble House

Source: Ken Lund

This is a National Historic Landmark and museum. It was built in 1908 as a home for David B. Gamble. The Gamble House shows influence from both American and Japanese architecture. Visitors can admire to its lovely interior and peaceful atmosphere. The architects put a lot of details into exterior too with porches used for relaxing and beautiful gardens. This three-story architect’s masterpiece was included in the top ten houses list of all time by the Los Angeles Times in 2008. A great place to visit.


  • Name: The Gamble House
  • Phone: +1 626-793-3334
  • Address: 4 Westmoreland Pl, Pasadena, CA 91103, United States

2. Jet Propulsion Lab

Source: Delventhal

Jet Propulsion Laboratory is the leader of the robotic research of the solar system in the country. Current major active projects are the Cassini–Huygens mission orbiting Saturn, the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity, the Dawn mission to the dwarf planet Ceres and asteroid Vesta, the Mars Science Laboratory mission, the Juno spacecraft en route to Jupiter, the Cassini–Huygens mission orbiting Saturn, the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity, the Juno spacecraft en route to Jupiter, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, the Dawn mission to the asteroid Vesta and planet Ceres, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, the Juno spacecraft en route to Jupiter, the NuSTAR X-ray telescope, and the Spitzer Space Telescope. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab offers various tours year-round for visitors who would be eager to learn about the laboratory as an entity.


  • Name: Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Phone: +1 818-354-4321
  • Address: 4800 Oak Grove Dr, Pasadena, CA 91109, United States
  • Hours: Monday to Friday 7 am – 4:45 pm

3. Pasadena Playhouse

Source: Canon in 2D

The Pasadena Playhouse is the 686-seat historic performing arts venue which is an important medium for the American Theatre. This was the first American theatre to produce all of  Shakespeare’s plays and it offers at least 300 performances annually. Their College of Theatre Arts produced legendary actors such as Dustin Hoffman, Gene Hackman, and box-office heartthrob William Holden. This is certainly one of those places that keep memories alive. No reason to avoid it.


  • Name: Pasadena Playhouse
  • Phone: (626) 356-7529
  • Address: 39 S El Molino Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101, United States
  • Hours: Monday to Sunday 1 – 6 pm

4. Arlington Garden

Pasadena has several plazas and significant public landscaping, but this is the city’s only dedicated public garden. Arlington Garden is an illustration of urban open space. It features paseos, gardens, and plazas. This three-acre lot offers harmony and peace for all the visitors. The Garden is open year-round, rain or shine. Admission is free.


  • Name: Arlington Garden
  • Phone: +1 626-441-4478
  • Address: 275 Arlington Dr, Pasadena, CA 91105, United States

5. IPIC Theaters

Source: Ray Bouknight

This theater provides such a fun movie viewing experience with their recliner seats, provided blankets and pillows, and free popcorn. That is not all, though. Guests can order a full meal up to 30 minutes before the movie showing and have it delivered to their seat by pleasant workers. With you meal you will have the option to accompany it with a glass of wine or a cocktail from the Salt Lounge. This appears to be a movie night at home, but maybe even slightly better because other people are doing the work for you.


  • Name: IPIC Theaters
  • Phone: +1 626-639-2260
  • Address: 42 Miller Alley, Pasadena, CA 91103, United States

6. Ice House Comedy Club

Source: sean hobson

Ice House opened in1960. Since then, this vintage comedy club has been Pasadena’s go to for music and comedy. Notable comedians have graced this club including the late Robin Williams, Jay Leno, and Jerry Seinfeld. There are two showrooms today, a courtyard, and approximately 7,000 visitors each month. Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, and Harry Basil are some of the upcoming performers. You should try looking at Groupon for the great, fresh deals regarding this comedy club.


  • Name: Ice House Comedy Club
  • Phone: +1 626-577-1894
  • Address: 24 N Mentor Ave, Pasadena, CA 91106, United States

7. Eaton Canyon

Source: Tracie Hall

There are so many things to do at Eaton Canyon that at least one feature is bound to appeal to your potential partners. You can go hiking or horseback riding or even watching the running water. You can find it all. The path to Eaton Canyon Falls is a popular and usually crowded hike that begins as a fairly easy walking experience but advances in difficulty as you approach the falls. If you would rather avoid physical activity, there is still much opportunity to view wildflowers in the spring and a plenty of birds during the crowning of migration in April and May.


  • Name: Eaton Canyon Nature Center
  • Phone: +1 626-398-5420
  • Address: 1750 N Altadena Dr, Pasadena, CA 91107, United States
  • Hours: Monday to Sunday 9 am – 5 pm

8. Le Petit Vendome Wine Tasting

This shop recently relocated to a new place between Wells Fargo Mortgage and Smitty’s Restaurant. You should always confirm the wine tasting schedule online, but wine tasting at the Le Petit Vendome usually happens every Friday and Saturday between 6:30 and 8 pm. Any weekly wine tasting will focus on a particular region or category of wine. What is really neat is that all sampled wines are offered to tasters at affordable or below retail prices.


  • Name: Vendome Wine & Spirits
  • Phone: +1 626-396-9234
  • Address: 102 S Lake Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101, United States
  • Monday to Saturday 10 am – 8 pm, Sunday 12 – 5 pm

9. Old Town Pasadena

Source: Ken Lund

The true downtown of Pasadena hosts many activities for those looking for fun in the City of Roses. You can take a walk along Colorado Boulevard in the Old Town to experience a myriad of shopping and dining options. You can take a look at the Castle Green and other prominent buildings. There is the Farmer’s Market every Sunday with free activities for the young ones.


  • Name: Old Pasadena
  • Phone: +1 626-356-9725
  • Address: 23 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91105, United States
  • Hours: Sunday to Thursday 11 am – 8 pm, Friday to Saturday 11 – 12 am

10. Rose Bowl Stadium

Source: Ray Terrill

Speaking of roses, The Rose Bowl is most famously known for the annual college football game of the same name. On the other hand, there are concerts, regular flea markets, and special events draw in the crowds year-round. Also notable, stadium tours are made available for those who are simply drawn to the Loge Lounge, the original 1922 locker room, and all the famous history that has happened here.


  • Name: Rose Bowl
  • Address: 1001 Rose Bowl Dr, Pasadena, CA 91103, United States
  • Team:  UCLA Bruins football

11. Kidspace Children’s Museum

Source: Jeremy Miles

If you have children in your family, this might be a good place to visit since kids need an outing that is all about them. There is a ton of hands-on displays for the little ones and plenty of outdoor programs and activities. The outdoor Robert and Mary Galvin Physics Forest looks like a wonderful place to let kids use their whole mind and bodies to play and explore. You can take a look at their website for current programs available for all age ranges.


  • Name: Kidspace Children’s Museum
  • Phone: +1 626-449-9144
  • Address: 480 N Arroyo Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91103, United States

12. Free Concerts at Levitt Pavilion

Source: CCvia

The Levitt Pavillion Pasadena is a non-profit arts organization which hosts a Music Festival of about 50 free concerts over the course of each summer. Performances include former grammy winners, and a mixture of genres, from Jazz to Latin to up-to-date alternative and indie acts. You have some activities for the children’s entertainment and even food vendors. Just be sure to get there early to find a good spot to enjoy the show.


  • Name: Levitt Pavilion Pasadena
  • Phone: +1 626-683-3230
  • Address: 85 E Holly St, Pasadena, CA 91103, United States

13. Norton Simon Museum

Source: Parker Knight

This museum features one of the most extraordinary private collections in the world. Norton Simon contains works ranging from a 2,000 year period that include paintings from the 20th-century European masters, European Renaissance, and magnificent sculptures from South and Southeast Asia which were made more than a millennium ago. Regular admission is $12 but it is free for any visitors the first Friday of every month from 5 pm to 8 pm.


  • Name: Norton Simon Museum
  • Phone: +1 626-449-6840
  • Address: 411 W Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91105, United States
  • Hours: Monday 12 – 5 pm, Wednesday to Thursday 12 – 5 pm, Friday to Saturday 11 am – 8 pm, Sunday 11 am – 5 pm

14. Pasadena City College Flea Market

Source: Bradley Fortner

Whenever the Rose Bowl Flea Market seems too expensive or too overwhelming for you, consider this a great alternative. The PCC Flea Market is being held the first Sunday of each month from 8 am to 3 pm. It features tons of great vendors and it is FREE to enter. Just as important, parking is just $2.


  • Name: PCC Flea Market
  • Phone: +1 626-585-7906
  • Address: 1570 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91106, United States

15. South Lake Ave

Source: Zeetz Jones

If you have exhausted your capacity for shopping on Colorado Boulevard, then take a stroll down Lake Avenue. South Lake Ave features retailers, markets, shops, and restaurants. We would recommend Euro Pane Bakery for macarons, Mediterranean Cafe for lunch and Abricott for breakfast.


  • Name: South Lake Avenue
  • Phone:  626 792 1259
  • Address: 251 South Lake Avenue, Suite 180, Pasadena, CA 91101
  • Website: http://www.southlakeavenue.org/

16. Vroman’s Bookstore

Source: John Nakamura Remy

This is Pasadena’s oldest bookstore, and also one of the finest in Los Angeles County. This is the perfect spot to spend a rainy afternoon reading, perusing or simply hanging out, and they also have loads of signings, readings, and other community-oriented events on their schedule to keep you coming back regularly. Two locations for your convenience, one on Colorado Boulevard and the other on Foothill.


  • Name: Vroman’s Bookstore
  • Phone: +1 626-449-5320
  • Address: 695 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91101, United States
  • Hours: Monday to Thursday 9 am – 9 pm, Friday to Saturday 9 am – 10 pm, Sunday 10 am – 8 pm

17. Pasadena Showcase House of Design

Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts is a non-profit California organization. Their members invest their time and skills to produce the Pasadena Showcase House of Design which is held annually. It is one of the largest, the most successful, and oldest house and garden tours in the United States. The members of Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts are joined together by their faith in the power and beauty of the music. Their goal is to provide funding to programs that serve the community through various music programs that nurture the study and recognition of music, present music as a medium towards healing and health, offer music education knowing that the study of music enhances other educational subjects, as well as cultural improvement, and ensure that music is available to a wide range of audiences. The commitment and hard work of PSHA’s volunteers have improved the lives of innumerable people and brought an enduring legacy to the community.


  • Name: Pasadena Showcase House of Design
  • Phone: +1 626-578-8500
  • Address: Pasadena, CA, United States

18. California Institute of Technology


The California Institute of Technology is a private research university established in Pasadena. The college attracted influential scientists including Arthur Amos Noyes, George Ellery Hale, and Robert Andrews Millikan. The university is one of the Institutes of Technology in the United States which aims to be primarily dedicated to the education of technical arts and applied sciences. Caltech is frequently mentioned as one of the world’s best universities. If you are looking for a place to get you inspired, this could be it. Despite its small size, 33 Caltech students have won a 34 Nobel Prizes (Linus Pauling being the only person in history to win two separate prizes) and 71 students have won the United States National Medal of Science or Technology. There are 112 faculty members who have been chosen for the National Academies. In addition, many faculty members are associated with the NASA and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute as well.


  • Name: California Institute of Technology
  • Address: 1200 E California Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91125, United States
  • Acceptance rate: 8% (2014)

19. Pasadena City Hall

Source: Graham

The large circular tower at the front of Pasadena City Hall sets the tone for what to expect from the remainder of the city: wealth, beauty, and an atypically well-preserved architectural history. You can spot its 206-foot-tall main feature, a wide range of arches and domes, from all over town, but it is best appreciated up close. Walk through the courtyard filled with roses, where you can come across a wedding photo shoot, to admire the Renaissance-inspired details. It will always be a special building after it doubled as Pawnee City Hall in Parks and Recreation.


  • Name: California City Hall
  • Address: 100 Garfield Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101, United States
  • Phone: +1 626-744-4000

20. Brookside Park

Source: Bang Nguyen

Just south of the Rose Bowl, this 62-acre park provides a scenic green area for locals and out-of-towners alike. Set against the beautiful San Gabriel Mountains, you will find lots of open space to run and play among the multifunction sports fields, along with some shade close to the pirate ship-themed playground. There is a proper fitness trail around the park, but you will find many active people jogging and biking along a trail that flanks the entire east side of the park. If you are willing to spend some more money, you can stop by the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center’s pools or the Kidspace Children’s Museum. Parking is not an issue, thanks to the 90,000-seat stadium, but do not forget that the Rose Bowl Flea Market sets up shop the second Sunday of every month, while UCLA team plays home games on Saturdays throughout the fall.


  • Name: Brookside Park
  • Address: Pasadena, CA 91103, United States
  • Phone: Phone number (818) 771-5544

So, when you wonder whether you want to visit Pasadena after the famous Rose Parade and the football game, I hope this article will provide enough reasons in doing so. Be enlightened about the delightful old California Town. Let revitalized old Pasadena and a National Historic District charm you. Visit its trendy restaurants and boutiques when you want to return to the present time. There is a plenty of fun for everyone.

Have a good Trip and Travel!