Things To Do In And Around Pasadena, California

Paula Deen....2011 Rose Parade Grand Marshall
Paula Deen....2011 Rose Parade Grand Marshall

Rose Parade

I just learned the identity of the 2011 Rose Parade Grand Marshall. She is.....wait for it..."The First Lady Of Cooking," Paula Deen. It's with that knowledge that I decided to write this hub. I realize that many will be visiting Pasadena during that time, so I thought I'd give the visitors a few unique and interesting places to see, and things to do.


First and foremost, you must get a firsthand photo of the Rose Bowl. Then there's Old Town Pasadena, it is an absolute must see, especially for shoppers, and those that might consider themselves as having discerning palates. The places to shop and eat are staggering, I'll get to that later.

The Norton Simon Museum is high on my list of must do's, it's located on Colorado Blvd. In fact if you watch the Rose Parade on television you'll always see the museum as a backdrop.

The Famous Pasadena Playhouse is recommended, because it was there that a lot of famous stars got their start. Stars such as, (of course if you're old enough to remember these), Raymond Burr, (Perry Mason), Dustin Hoffman, (Tootsie), Gene Hackman, (The French Connection), Robert Young, (Father Knows Best, and Marcus Welby), Rue Mc Clanahan, (The Golden Girls). See more information by following the link,

JPL, (Jet Propulsion Laboratories) NASA. To some this might not be a desirable place to see, however to others, just to see a connection to the space exploration first hand is a real turn-on. They provide guided tours to certain portions of the laboratory. There's a saying in Pasadena, that everyone that lives in the Pasadena area has either worked there or has had a family member work there.Yes, as a matter of fact I worked there.

There is much more that I could recommend, in Pasadena, however I'll save those for another time, because there are so many more things around Pasadena that I would like to steer you towards.

Los Angeles

I'd like to mention that from downtown Pasadena to downtown Los Angeles is only 7 Minutes, just FYI. So all of the sights to see and things to do, that I list, will be no more than 40 miles from Pasadena. Forty miles on Los Angeles county freeways will seem like ten miles on freeways elsewhere, at least that's how it seems to me.

Of course, most visitors to the area will do the usual things, Hollywood, Walk of Fame,(on Hollywood Blvd). Grauman's Chinese Theater, Sunset Boulevard, Disneyland, Universal Studios, and the Wax Museum, so I won't spend anytime on those.

Let's begin with a place that most have read about, but few that visit ever see, and that is Venice Beach Boardwalk. I have lived here for over forty years, and believe me it never gets old. To me it's not just the water, which is captivating, but the people are a sight to see, and the overall ambiance is just amazing.

Don't miss the Queen Mary in Long Beach, ( I also encourage a trip along the coastline, winding your way through Santa Monica, and ending in Malibu. That's a trip you won't soon forget.

There are major museums galore. Just to name a few: Getty Center Museum,Peterson Automobile Museum, Natural History Museum, African American Museum, The La Brea Tar Pits, and The Museum Of Tolerance. I would like to elaborate on these, however I don't want to make this article too long. So my suggestion is if you intend to visit any of these museums do your research on the Internet. I highly recommend the La Brea Tar Pits.

As I mentioned most will visit Universal Studios, but for a change why not visit The Warner Brothers Studios. Tours are provided daily through the studios.

Places To Eat In Pasadena

Since the Grand Marshall is Paula Dean, I think it's fitting that we give you some of the best places to eat, in and around Pasadena. Earlier I mentioned that I'd tell you about Pasadena eateries. Well here goes.

These are just a few places I've eaten and highly recommend. In Old Town I recommend The Cheesecake Factory,(not just cheesecakes), Barney's Beanery, Mi Piace,(pronounced, me pea a chee), The Melting Pot, (all fondue restaurant), IL Fornaio. These restaurants are all found on Colorado Blvd in the heart of Old Town.

P.F Chang,(on Colorado, located in the Mall), California Pizza Kitchen, ( on N. Los Robles). Saladang, (S. Fair Oaks), Houston's, Parkway Grill, (both on S. Arroyo Parkway). Roscoe's Chicken and Waffle, (N. Lake Ave). Twin Palms, (S. Delacy).

Of Course, there's McDonalds, Burger King, Carl Jr's, all On N. Lake Ave.

These are the Pasadena restaurants that I recommend, but there are many many more, perhaps your favorites will be found among some of those.

Famous Eateries In Los Angeles

I've never dined at these places, however I've heard from reliable sources that while dining there you're bound to see celebrities. So if that's your thing, have a go at it

STK, 755 N. La Cienega Blvd, West Hollywood. Mr. Chow's, 344 N. Camden Dr. The Ivy, 113 Robertson, Los Angeles. Boa Steakhouse 9200 W Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood.

I can't say that I've seen stars at these places, but I do enjoy, and recommend them. The Stinking Rose, (everything garlic), loooved it! 55 N. La Cienega Blvd, Beverly Hills. Benihana, (Japanese restaurant), 38 N La Cienega, Beverly Hills.

As you would expect there are many, many more of these restaurants that I could have named, however time and space doesn't allow.

There's one more location that I'd like to list that not only has famous eateries, but also entertainment, shopping, and there you're guaranteed to see celebrities.The Grove, located at 189 The Grove Drive. The Grove is located in close proximity to the CBS Studios, (The Price Is Right).


I hope that I've given you enough information to have an enjoyable visit to Pasadena.  Please click on the links provided in the article to get more information on the places that I listed. Enjoy, Enjoy, Enjoy!

show route and directions
A markerPasadena, California -
Pasadena, CA, USA
[get directions]

B markerBeverly Hills, California -
Beverly Hills, CA, USA
[get directions]

C markerThe Grove, Los Angeles, California -
The Grove Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90036, USA
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Comments 26 comments

telltale profile image

telltale 6 years ago

Of the number of times I have been to LA, I should have visited Pasadena - at all the times I was there then, I either stay in Laguna Hills, Irvine or Anaheim, but somehow, I did not get time to visit Pasadena... well, it's not a regret, but will make it a point in my next visit. Thanks for the highlights about Pasadena - will try to time it next I am in LA around the Rose Bowl Parade. Thanks for the hub!

fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 6 years ago from Southern California Author

Thanks telltale, for taking the time to read and leave a comment. By all means you should visit ye ole city, I guarantee you'll enjoy the time you spend. Please come again.

Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

Thank you for a very comprehensive hub. Even if I never see it but your description made me feel I was there.

BobbiRant profile image

BobbiRant 6 years ago from New York

I've never been to CA but this makes me want to visit. I really like this hub. Thanks so much for sharing it.

fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 6 years ago from Southern California Author

Thank you both so much for stopping and leave such nice comments. I hope one day you both can visit, I am sure if you do you will enjoy it. Thanks again, see you later.

creativeone59 profile image

creativeone59 6 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

Thank you freta, for all of the information your hub gave us. Soubds very exciting. Thank you for sharing. creativeone59

dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

I am still looking for that "...little old lady from Pasadena" that drives fast cars... Seems they had a song about her... I forget her name. I will never forget "what's her name."

fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 6 years ago from Southern California Author

Thank you creativeone and dallas for stopping. Yes it is exciting creativeone.

Oh dallas, I don't think she ever had a name, but I think it was Jan and Dean that wrote about her. If I'm wrong someone please correct me.

Again thank you both for stopping by, see you later.

Veronica Allen profile image

Veronica Allen 6 years ago from Georgia

I love, love, love Paula Deen! - You know she hails around these parts of Georgia. Such a sweet lady. Thanks for all the great things to do in Pasadena.

fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 6 years ago from Southern California Author

Hi Veronica, glad to see you. Yes I know that she's from Georgia, in addittion I can hear the Georgia Peach in her. Thanks for stopping, looking forward to seeing you again.

pmccray profile image

pmccray 6 years ago from Utah

My husband and I have decided to pull up stakes and return to California (Utah winters are getting old). I really don't want to return to Los Angeles proper, but Pasadena sounds quite interesting. Think I'll check it out. Voted up, marked useful, awesome, beautiful, bookmarked and shared.

fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 6 years ago from Southern California Author

By all means Pam come and check us out, you won't be disappointed. Thanks for stopping, and taking the time to leave a comment. See you soon, possible here in Pasadena.

wilsontom profile image

wilsontom 6 years ago from new delhi

i have never heard about Pasadena, it seems to be the places having lots of fun. love to be there but cant...thanks for sharing this hub

fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 6 years ago from Southern California Author

Well,wilsontom, I'm happy to be the bearer of information about Pasadena, and I hope one day you will be able to visit. Thanks for stopping by, hope to see you again soon.

denise mohan profile image

denise mohan 6 years ago from California

Hey Girl, Bein' from San Diego puts me pretty close to u. The next time I pull thru ur area, maybe we should grab lunch. Gonna go for GL show soon, ever seen him? That's a good new hub. Getting free tix to see other shows like, Ellen, Tonight Show, etc. I took my husband and 2 girls to see Ellen about 10 yrs.. That was when the audence give-aways were a Grammy C.D. & the movie "Tuscan Sun". So we got 4 of each and were good for regifting! Go now with this new material. Love to see a good informative hub on great tapings in Burbank and places to dine at after.

fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 6 years ago from Southern California Author

Well hello to you too Denise, I look forward to seeing you sometimes. I have to admit I don't know what GL show is, sorry. LOL! That would be a good hub, but nowadays I don't know how to go about getting tickets. I used to go to all the shows here back in the day. Although I could find out. Anyway good to hear from you. See you soon.

denise mohan profile image

denise mohan 6 years ago from California

George Lopez...u gotta see him, very funny. You can google tickets for any show. You do hub an awful lot so just make sure you take a day off once in a while you know like a news fast. I admire all the kudos you have on hubs BUT make sure you take your ME time.

fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 6 years ago from Southern California Author

Thanks Denise, for the info on GL, (LOL). Thanks for the advice on the hubbing, but I run into dry spells an awful lot. I wish that I could write a little more than I do, I go weeks at a time without writing a word. You should see some of our fellow hubbers. I've actually been on the site for almost 2 years and only have 107 hubs as of today. I could do more if I didn't take so much ME time. Thanks again for stopping,and your kind thoughts. I'll see you real soon.

Garnetbird 5 years ago

Very Interesting Hub--It made me miss being in the area. I've lived in the Hollywood and pasadena area and sometimes miss the things you just can't see or do here in the Mts./I especially loved the Norton Museum and the Tar Pits. Pasadena has wonderful places to eat-I remember having my first chicken with wine sauce there--wonderful!

fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 5 years ago from Southern California Author

Hi Garnetbird, you've named some of my favorite things to do here in Pasadena. I hope you come back to visit once in awhile. Thanks for visiting.

Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago

Nice hub. I'm going to bookmark this for future reference. I always wish I could visit Southern California more often. So nice and warm there. :)

fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 5 years ago from Southern California Author

Yes Om Paramapoonya, this would be the time to visit, especially with the worldwide bad weather related to La Nina. So really do consider visiting one day. Hope to see you later.

stars439 profile image

stars439 5 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

Very nice description of a lovely place. God Bless You.

fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 5 years ago from Southern California Author

Thanks very much stars439, for your kindness, and for stopping, please come again.

DeborahNeyens profile image

DeborahNeyens 4 years ago from Iowa

Thanks for recommending this hub, fastfreta. Just the type of thing I was looking for!

fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 4 years ago from Southern California Author

Thank you deborahNeyens. I hope you enjoy yourself. I will be back in Cali on Feb 14, and will be glad to be there. I've been away too long, (almost two months, this time). I'd like to hear from you when you get back home, as to how helpful this hub was.

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