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Other nearby towns:  South Pasadena    Monrovia    Montrose    San Marino    Sierra Madre


Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena On January 1st of every year the Norton Simon Museum on Colorado St. becomes the backdrop for the Rose Parade. 

In the distance there is snow on the mountains.  Yes, it snows in Southern California!

The Norton Simon Museum is home to a superb art collection spanning the centuries and the world.  Inside you will find works by Impressionists including Degas and Manet along with Indian and Southeast Asian Art.  Most of the art exhibited is from the private collection of Norton Simon.  Parking is free.

  Burghers of Calais To welcome visitors outside the entry to the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena is Rodin's monumental "Burghers of Calais".  Many other sculptures can be found in the interior garden surrounding the pond accessed from the lower level of the museum.

Our personal favorite is the Pasadena Museum of California Art on Union St.   Art starts inside the garage on the street level where you will see graffiti art commissioned by the museum.  (Free parking.) Upstairs in the gallery spaces are changing shows of California art from 1850 to the present.  The shows are always very interesting and can be enjoyed even by the non-art lover.  This museum, founded in 2002, is small and a visit to it can easily be combined with a visit to the Pacific Asia Museum next door.

Pacific Asia Museum Pasadena The Pacific Asia Museum in Los Robles and Union was originally a private home. Today it contains a notable collection of ceramics and other art work from East Asia and the South Pacific.

The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens is, technically, in San Marino.  From Colorado Street in Pasadena, go south on Allen until it ends at the entrance to the Huntington.  This former home and estate of Henry and Arabella Huntington is internationally famous -- with good reason.  There is something for everyone here -- from old manuscripts to Blue Boy and Pinkie to a desert plant collection to the newest addition: a traditional Chinese garden built by craftsmen brought from China.  It will take more than one afternoon to see it all.


We strongly suggest that you pick up a free copy of the Pasadena Weekly to see what is playing at local theaters, music venues, and jazz clubs.  There is much, much more than we list here.

The Pasadena Playhouse opened in 1917 and plays are performed there to this day.  The famed Pasadena Academy of Dramatic Arts,  part of the playhouse, was attended by actors such as Dustin Hoffman, Mare Winningham, Gene Hackman and Diahann Carroll.   

The Boston Court is an equity-waiver theatre in the Playhouse District that often mounts experimental and/or new plays.  But you may also find yourself watching a Shakespeare classic in this very modern theatre.

Classical Music

From the earliest days of Pasadena in the 1870s, music was a part of the city's life.  Today, Pasadena is home to the Pasadena Symphony which performs at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.  The Symphony and the California Philharmonic Orchestra have merged because of the current economy.

There are many bookstores in Pasadena, including the famous Vroman's on Colorado Blvd. in the Playhouse District.

Pasadena Library courtyard The Pasadena City Library , founded in the late 1800s, is the heart of the local literary world.  The Central Library building on Walnut St. is  architecturally interesting.  Even if you don't want to check out a book, the building is worth a visit. Be sure to look at the fairytale fireplace in the children's reading room.

Once a year in April, the Library sponsors an event called "One City, One Story".  For this event 5 books are nominated, then one book selected, and everyone in Pasadena is encouraged to read the book.  There are special lectures tied to One City, One Story.

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Other sights to see on this website:
Bradbury Building detail chinatown los angeles california Lucky Baldwin's home Arboretum
See the amazing Bradbury building where 'Blade Runner' was filmed. Visit Chinatown from the Gold Line station and see this colorful neighborhood. See Lucky Baldwin's home in the Los Angeles Arboretum.

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