10 Best Things to Do in Pasadena, California (2023)

Are you planning to visit Pasadena, California? In this article, we’ve mentioned the 10 best things to do in Pasadena, California that you should experience there to make the most of your trip.

Pasadena is situated on the outskirts of Los Angeles; there are various famous counterparts near Pasadena that suppress the beauty of this beautiful city. It is the 9th-largest city in Los Angeles County.

Pasadena is a hidden gem, and you can find various entertainment spots near it, such as San Gabriel Mountain, which is the most famous place there.

Pasadena offers a variety of activities such as shopping, historical exploration, active entertainment, and dining. You can uncover the old secrets of Pasadena or visit some mysterious historical places.

Interesting Facts about Pasadena, CA

  • The Tournament of Roses Parade and the annual Rose Bowl football game are both celebrated in Pasadena, California. 
  • The city of Pasadena is known for its scientific and cultural institutions. 
  • The Arroyo Seco, a significant geographical feature with its origins in the San Gabriel Mountains’ Angeles National Forest greenbelt, is located in Pasadena. 
  • Two of the most well-known television programs to use it as a backdrops are Brothers & Sisters and The Big Bang Theory. 
  • With the founding of the California Art Club, Pasadena Arts Institute, and Pasadena Society of Artists in the early 20th century, it has long been a center for the visual arts.

Here are some of the things that you must do in Pasadena and make the most of your trip. 

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10 Things to Do in Pasadena, California

1. North Simon Museum

 North Simon Museum

It is the best private collection of artwork and artifacts gathered by Norton Simon in the early 1900s. You can see more than 12,000 artworks, but visitors are allowed to see only 1,000 on display.

There are various lectures, classes, and programs hosted by the museum in order to teach visitors various artworks. One can find the work of big artists who had a great place in the industry there.

  • Location: 411 West Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena, CA
  • Opening Hours: 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM (except Tuesday and Wednesday)
  • Famous For: It is famous for its Artwork.

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2. The Rose Bowl

the rose bowl

The Rose Bowl has been one of the most iconic places for various college sports functions since the 1900s. The building still has its original structure, but it has undergone several renovations in the few last years that have cost around $150 million dollars. 

Most of the activities at this place are conducted during the monsoon or during the winter. Except for sports activities, there are various cultural activities that take place here.

  • Location: 1001 Rose Bowl Dr., Pasadena, CA 91103, US.
  • Opening Hours: 8:30 AM to 5:30 AM (except Saturday and Sunday)
  • Famous For: Conducting various activities throughout the year.

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3. Tournament House and Wrigley Garden

Tournament House and Wrigley Garden

William Wrigley Jr., despite the fact that he belongs to Pennsylvania, created this house. He had a great and successful career, due to which he bought various estates in various states. 

Now this place is officially the home of the city’s Tournament of Roses Association. Visiting Tournament House and Wrigley Garden is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Pasadena, California.

  • Location: 391 S Orange Grove Blvd, Pasadena, CA 01184, US
  • Opening Hours: 2:00 PM and 3:00 AM (Only on Thursday)
  • Famous For: It is a historic attraction.

4. Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)

Jet Propulsion Laboratory

The next interesting thing to do in Pasadena is visiting Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The Laboratory was founded in 1936 and has been at the forefront of technological advancement in space research.

It has a partnership with NASA and Caltech and now even works in astronomy and robotics. The lab is open for visitors during scheduled hours, and one needs to register before visiting the lab.

Tours include visits to the tourist and flight management centers as well as the often off-limits rocket construction complex, as well as an informative and entertaining narrative by a skilled community interpreter.

  • Location: 4800 Oak Grove Dr., Pasadena, CA 91109, US.
  • Opening Hours: 7:00 AM to 4:45 PM
  • Famous For: Various research activities.

5. Old Pasadena

Old Pasadena

Old Pasadena won’t let you down if you’re searching for a genuine historic downtown adventure.

The multicultural city, which is 10 miles from downtown LA, offers a wide range of entertainment options for both adults and children, including libraries, art, theatres, cinemas, dining, and commerce.

The many planned acoustic and outdoor activities that take place all year round, including the Old Pasadena Dessert Buffet Tour or any of the several sidewalk installations, are open to visitors.

  • Location: 1 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91105, US.
  • Opening Hours: 24/7
  • Famous For: Historical Insight

6. The Fork in the Road

The Fork in the Road

If you want to see something in the distance that is unique as well, then “The Fork in the Road” is the best thing.

It is loved by photographers, foodies, and Americans alike. The structure is around 20 feet tall and was made by two local men for fun.

  • Location: S. St. John Ave., Pasadena, CA 91105, US.
  • Opening Hours: 24/7
  • Famous for: Creative brains of local people

7. The Gamble House

The Gamble House Pasadena

David and Mary Gamble, the founders of the Procter & Gamble Company, owned the house. Most of the furniture present there is original and provides a historical charm.

It was built in 1908, but in 1978 it became a national historic landmark and one of the most visited tourist attractions. It shows great American architecture and takes around 1-2 hours for the whole tour.

  • Location: 4 Westmoreland Place, Pasadena, CA 91103, US.
  • Opening Hours: 11:15 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Famous for: Architecture

8. City Hall

City Hall

This is the most iconic place in the whole city and will provide you with a glimpse of Renaissance architecture as well as the history of the city.

The hall has a beautiful garden and fountain and is also a popular spot for wedding shoots. The city hall is even mentioned in some of the blockbuster movies and web series.

  • Location: 100 Garfield Ave., Pasadena, CA 91101, US.
  • Opening Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Famous For: Wedding Photoshoots

9. Eaton Canyon Nature Center

Eaton Canyon Nature Center

Tourists of all generations are welcome to investigate the 7,600-square-foot structure and the 190 acres of zoology, botany, and geophysical environment preservation that it lies on at the Eaton Canyon Nature Center, which is situated at the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains.

  • Location: 1750 N. Altadena Dr., Pasadena, CA 91107.
  • Opening Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Famous For: Environmental Preservation

10. Caltech Science Museum

The Arnold O. Beckman Room at Caltech’s Science Museum has a collection of documents and is devoted to the history of chemistry and the contributions Arnold O. Beckman made to science and philanthropy. The medical center honors the doctor’s remarkable life.

  • Location: 1200 East California Boulevard, Pasadena, CA.
  • Opening Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Famous For: Educational Institute

Where to Stay in Pasadena, California

Pasadena, which is 16 kilometers from Downtown Los Angeles, provides a tranquil and opulent retreat from the crowded streets and hectic crowds with its rich history and stunning art-deco buildings.

At all these top hotels in Pasadena, leave your anxiety at the check-in counter.

1. Overall Best hotel in Pasadena – Hilton Pasadena

This hotel places visitors in the center of San Gabriel Valley and is conveniently situated just moments from popular attractions, such as the Rose Bowl parade route.

It also offers state-of-the-art facilities and services. The on-site pool is available to visitors.

  • Location: 168 South Los Robles Avenue, Pasadena, CA
  • Amenities: WiFi, Shared lounge/TV area, Lift. 
  • Food Information: A coffee house on site, Snack bar, Bar, and Restaurant. 

2. Best Luxury Hotel in Pasadena – The Langham Huntington, Pasadena

There are 23 acres of beautiful gardens all around The Langham Huntington, Pasadena. At this opulent resort, visitors can unwind in the heated outdoor saline pool or get treated in the on-site spa.

There are various dining options. The resort also has three lit tennis courts and a cutting-edge fitness center.

  • Location: 1401 South Oak Knoll, Pasadena, CA
  • Amenities: Mini Market On-Site, Shared lounge/TV area, Barber/beauty shop, Room service.
  • Food Information: Fruits, Wine/champagne, Kid meals, Special diet menus, Snack bar, Breakfast in the room, and Bar. 

3. Best Cheap Hotels in Pasadena – Pasadena Hotel & Pool

The Pasadena Hotel & Pool is a hotel with a restaurant serving dinner and breakfast small plates in the historical town of Pasadena.

There are contemporary bedrooms with free WiFi. The distance to Norton Simon Museum is 2.6 kilometers.

  • Location: 928 E Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena, CA
  • Amenities: Outdoor swimming pool, Parking on-site, Bar, Free WiFi
  • Food Information: 1 restaurant on site,  À la carte

Where to Eat in Pasadena

The most well-known suburb of Los Angeles offers a wide variety of dining alternatives, both new and old, ranging from traditional delis and burger joints to eateries presenting inventive interpretations of Spanish and Indonesian cuisine.

Here are the most famous restaurants in Pasadena, California –

1. Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse

Bring a date to a Brazilian steakhouse or arrange a special lunch there. Visit Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse to savor unlimited meat if you prefer all-you-can-eat dining.

Location: 234 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91101, United States

2. Houston’s

Houston’s is a classy restaurant ideal for a refined evening. If you want to dine here, you must adhere to their dress code. 

Location: 320 S Arroyo Pkwy, Pasadena, CA 91105, United States

3. Nick’s Pasadena

It is the ideal location to get a wide selection of cuisines that are certain to satisfy the tastes of each of your family members.

Location: 336 S Lake Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101, United States

Conclusion – Best Things to Do in Pasadena, CA

So, these are the best things to do in Pasadena. The city of Pasadena is so beautiful and shows you various sides of its history. One must surely visit the city during the monsoons for the best experience. You should definitely experience the things that we’ve mentioned in this article if you want to make the most of your trip.

FAQs on Best Things to Do in Pasadena, California

1. What are the most popular attractions in Pasadena, California?

The most popular tourist attractions in Pasadena, California, are The Gamble House, Historic Old Pasadena, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Eaton Canyon Nature Center, The Rose Bowl Stadium, North Simon Museum, USC Pacific Asia Museum, the Caltech Science Museum, and City Hall.

2. What is the best time to visit Pasadena, California?

The best time to visit Pasadena is during the monsoons.

3. What are the best restaurants in Pasadena, California?

There are various best restaurants in Pasadena, California, such as Houston’s, II Fornaio Pasadena, Yard House, Nick’s Pasadena, Bone Kettle, The Arbour, and Perle Restaurant.

4. What are the best accommodation options in Pasadena, California?

There are various hotels in Pasadena, such as Hilton Pasadena, The Westin Pasadena, The Langham, GreenTree Pasadena, Hotel Le Reve Pasadena, Best Western Pasadena Inn, etc.