Pasadena is one of Los Angeles County’s first incorporated cities, famous for its Rose Bowl football games and tournaments.
Since its incorporation in 1886, many other places to visit have made their name here beyond historical attractions.
Gardens, galleries, theatres, and more provide you with plenty of options for vacation visits!
Here are our picks for the 30 best and fun things to do in Pasadena, California.
Things To Do In Pasadena
1. The Gamble House
The Gamble House of Pasadena, California was once the home of David and Mary Gamble, whose last names you might recognize from the renowned Procter & Gamble Company.
The home was furnished and designed in 1908 and now continues to bear much of its original opulence and historical charm.
In 1978, the Gamble House became a National Historic Landmark, cementing it as one of Pasadena’s most visited tourist attractions.
From the outside, it stands out against a desert-like backdrop, with a dark wooden facade and an overall appearance that makes it resemble a ski lodge.
It’s a great example of American architecture of this style.
One-hour tours are available four days a week after noon, each one led by an informed docent.
If you want to go more in-depth, longer specialty tours are also available, bringing you through the little intricacies of the architecture and furnishings of the home.
Address: 4 Westmoreland Pl, Pasadena, CA 91103, United States
2. Historic Old Pasadena
California hasn’t always been a vibrant, bustling hotspot of activity.
Historic Old Pasadena is a mark of its old charm, preserved in a fun and interesting way for the world of today.
Once upon a time, this area was a mere desert town, quiet and even laid-back.
There are plenty of ways to keep yourself occupied on this historic side of the city.
Museums, galleries, dining, shopping, and more, for all ages, coat this place with color and delight.
More than 200 different boutiques and stores add variety.
In addition, events occur throughout the year here with varying subjects, ranging from wine and food to arts and crafts and from historical showcases to musical performances.
A combination of modern comfort and old-world whimsy, it’s no surprise that this Historic Old town is one of the city’s top tourist hotspots!
Address: 1 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91105, United States
3. The Fork in the Road
If you’re looking for free things to do that don’t take up too much time and are more hidden in Pasadena’s list of attractions, you can’t go wrong with The Fork in the Road.
Easily one of the most quirky and unique spots in this California city, it’s a huge sculpture at St. John avenue and Pasadena avenue intersection.
As its name suggests, this 18-foot-tall work of art is in the shape of a large fork.
The eclectic work was created by Ken Marshall and Bob Stane, two local business owners in the area.
They first erected the fork without city permission, which caused it to be removed until proper licenses were purchased.
It remains to be speculated if there is any deeper meaning to The Fork in the Road or if it is really just a visual pun, but it’s known for more than just photo opportunities.
It commonly hosts charity events, especially food drives, and has become a must-visit among guests to the city!
Address: S St John Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105, United States
4. Jet Propulsion Laboratory
It’s hard to imagine something as cool-sounding as a “Jet Propulsion Laboratory” not being among the top things to do in Pasadena, California!
Founded in 1936 as a partnership between renowned institutes Caltech and NASA, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory began its life by seeking developments for aviation and space.
Now, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory has expanded its expertise to include activities related to robotics and astronomy.
Among the many contributions that it is responsible for include the Curiosity rover, the Mars Science Laboratory, and the NuSTAR X-ray telescope, as well as a huge range of other deep space, robotic, and astronomy projects and missions.
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory is located on Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena.
Tours must be booked in advance and provide informational and fascinating education from local guides.
You’ll get to look at flight operations centers, the spacecraft assembly plant, and the von Karman Visitor Center.
Keep your eyes open for JPL science and technology demonstrations, too!
Address: 4800 Oak Grove Dr, Pasadena, CA 91109, United States
5. Tournament House and Wrigley Gardens
Virtually everyone has heard of Wrigley chewing gum.
Created by magnate William Wrigley Jr. Born in Pennsylvania, Wrigley’s success across the nation allowed the 19th century-born businessman to purchase many different homes in many different states.
Including one in Pasadena, California called the Tournament House.
Now, the home is the setting of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association, which is responsible for the organization, planning, and execution of the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl football games.
It houses numerous educational materials and exhibits pertaining to these fun attractions, but it’s also one of the places to visit for beauty and aesthetics.
Italian Renaissance design makes the Tournament House impressive and loved, with opulent features and 21 rooms, each one richly paneled.
Floors are inlaid with marble and the ceilings are ornate and regal.
Outside, the Wrigley Gardens are even more incredible, with 4.5 acres of floral display comprising more than 1,500 floral varieties, including annuals, roses, and camellias.
Address: 391 S Orange Grove Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91184, United States
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6. Eaton Canyon Nature Center
Known as one of the best places to see in California, the Eaton Canyon Nature Center is arguably the best Pasadena, California location for sightseeing and activities related to nature and the great outdoors.
It sits at the San Gabriel Mountains’ base, with the center itself spanning 7,600 square feet and its surrounding nature preserve totaling an impressive 190 acres.
If you’re looking for what to do and would like to get a lot of walking done in Pasadena, well, look no further!
The visitor’s center here is packed with live animals and interactive exhibits, with native plants and habitats displayed within for a fascinating and educational look at the local landscape and wildlife.
Surrounding the center, the grounds of the nature preserve begin.
Hiking trails, picnic trails, equestrian areas, and staging locations appropriate for all ages span the environment.
Scheduled walks and tours provide further ways to get to know the diverse area.
Address: 1750 N Altadena Dr, Pasadena, CA 91107, United States
7. The Gold Bug
If you’re looking for cool things to do in Pasadena, California, you’ll be impressed by the Gold Bug.
The Gold Bug is one of the best places for unique, one-of-a-kind curiosities and offbeat products.
Located in Old Pasadena, it is an esoteric store owned and operated by a family.
At the Gold Bug, you’ll find a variety of different items for many varying intents and purposes.
Rare insect displays, original art, steampunk collectibles, jewelry made from or inspired by nature, chandeliers, school prints, Japanese-imported tactile clothing, and Andy Paiko original bell jars are just among some of the treasures you’ll find.
Whether you’re an artist, lover of the strange, or upscale alternative, you’re sure to find something you love here.
Address: 34 Union St, Pasadena, CA 91103, United States
8. Norton Simon Museum
The Norton Simon Museum is the home of one of California’s top collections of private art, gathered by the titular Norton Simon, an industrialist who began his art ownership in the early 1900s.
Over 12,000 different works of art are a part of the permanent collection, spanning over a century of artistic influence and style and transporting you out of Pasadena as you browse.
Famous art held here include masterpieces such as Rembrandt van Rikin’s Portrait of a Boy, Giovanni di Paolo’s Branchini Madonna, and Vincent van Gogh’s Mulberry Tree.
The Norton Simon Museum also hosts rotating exhibits, lectures, classes, workshops, programs, and guided tours hosted by knowledgeable and helpful staff.
Situated on West Colorado Boulevard, the Norton Simon Museum is one of the most delightful Pasadena attractions.
Address: 411 W Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91105, United States
9. The Rose Bowl Stadium
The Rose Bowl Stadium, a National Historic Landmark, is easily the most iconic college sports location in Pasadena, California, if not the whole country.
Constructed in the early 1920s, it boasts much of its original architecture, though over 150 million dollars’ worth of renovations have ensured its quality and modernity over the years and kept it as one of the city’s most loved things to see.
A lot of the sporting activities that occur at the lovely Rose Bowl Stadium take place during the winter and fall, which is essentially when football season really kicks into gear.
Other times, the stadium is home to festivals, fairs, religious services, celebrations, and live entertainment, and visitors are always welcome to go on a guided tour to learn more about the stadium’s history.
The world’s largest flea market is also held here, not to mention the famous Tournament of the Roses Football Game.
If you’re in town this weekend, why not check their schedule to see if anything fun is happening?
Address: 1001 Rose Bowl Dr, Pasadena, CA 91103, United States
10. The Pasadena Symphony and POPS
If you want entertainment tonight, check out the schedule of the Pasadena Symphony and POPS.
Music-lovers will find that, among stuff to do in this California city, this might be among the most wonderful!
Performances put on by POPs and the local symphony are inexpensive or free, put on by the community, and criminally underrated!
The Symphony plays in many different locations, such as at City Hall, All Saints Church, the LA County Arboretum, and Ambassador Auditorium.
Many different shows are held here annually.
Stand-alone performances of Mozart’s Symphony No. 4, and even An American in Paris, are favorites.
There are also longer concert series, like the Sierra Auto POPS Summer Series, the Moonlight Sonata Gala, and the Singpoli Symphony Classics series.
If you plan to book a ticket, try doing so in advance to guarantee a seat!
Not very far from the Pasadena Symphony and POPS is the beautiful city of Los Angeles! If you plan a road trip within a 30-mile radius, be sure to check out our pick of some of the fun things to do in Los Angeles and some fun things to do in Santa Monica!
11. USC Pacific Asia Museum
The USC Pacific Asia Museum is a testament to all of the Asian immigrants that have settled in Pasadena and the surrounding area of California since the 1800s, during the era of the gold rush.
In 1971, the museum was built in the USC Pacific Asia Museum with the mission of promoting understanding among cultures and preserving the art and cultures of Asian residents.
As one of Pasadena’s historical tourist attractions, the USC Pacific Asia Museum is equal parts educational and fun.
Over 15,000 pieces are on display, including many created by immigrants from Asia and the Pacific islands and a fair number dating back thousands of years.
A mix of contemporary and classic works provide varied experiences, with performances, festivals, exhibitions, lectures, workshops, and classes also taking place.
Among the USC Pacific Asia Museum’s most interesting offerings are their programs involving the arts, such as haiku writing and Chinese calligraphy, and their exercise classes for tai chi and yoga.
There is also the much-loved Royal Taste exhibition, that teaches you about the lavish lifestyles of Chinese princely courts.
Address: 46 N Los Robles Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101, United States
12. Pasadena Museum of History
The Pasadena Museum of History documents this California city’s rise since its beginnings in the mid-1870s when it was a mere settlement built by pioneers seeking a new way to begin their life.
About five decades later, locals began to set up a historical society with the goal of preserving heritage, and that society was the basis for what is now the top institution for knowledge of Pasadena!
Since its creation, the Museum of History has undergone a few changes.
Its current iteration, housed on a former estate, is often simply called The History Center.
It started in the early 90s and is home to galleries, a climate-controlled archive, a research library, a museum shop, and a conference room, with various permanent and temporary exhibits on display at all times.
Historical clothes, art, and documents provide insight into the past of the city, and a mix of lectures, workshops, and guided tours always invite you to learn more.
Address: 470 W Walnut St, Pasadena, CA 91103, United States
13. Mount Wilson Observatory
The Mount Wilson Observatory, situated on the zenith of San Gabriel Mountains’ Mount Wilson, is the place to go for gorgeous views involving all the best panoramas and sights of Pasadena, Los Angeles, and California beyond.
The observatory dates back more than a century and is the location where Edwin Hubble first discovered galaxies outside the Milky Way that were moving away with the aid of an eight-foot telescope mirror.
In other words, it’s here where humanity learned of the ever-expanding universe!
But that’s not the only famous experiment conducted here.
Albert Michelson, a Nobel winner, came here in 1926 and made the world’s first measurement of the speed of light with a reflecting mirror that awaited a brilliant beam from the observatory 22 miles away.
Now, the Mount Wilson Observatory houses the chair and telescope used by Hubble in his discovery as part of the humble observatory museum.
The museum also has all sorts of pictures of space and the cosmos.
Outside, you can walk along the paths often paced through by geniuses of science like Albert Einstein.
It’s a wonderful way to put yourself in the shoes of the greats!
Address: Mt. Wilson Road, La Canada Flintridge, CA, United States
14. The Pasadena Playhouse District
One of the best things to do in California is to visit the Pasadena Playhouse District!
The Pasadena Playhouse District is the city’s cultural center, packed with theatres, art galleries, fine dining, and all the fun things to do in Pasadena – especially if you’re heading there at night!
The USC Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena Museum of California and Art, Furious Theatre, Boston Court Performing Arts Complex, and of course, the Pasadena Playhouse, all call this district their home.
You’ll be spoiled for choice for ways to keep yourself occupied with all the different venues, but the Playhouse is undoubtedly the star of the show.
With 686 seats, it was the first theater in the country to produce and showcase the plays of Shakespeare.
Since then, it has continued its excellence, with a minimum of 300 performances carried out on a yearly basis.
15. Lucky Baldwin’s
Who was Lucky Baldwin?
In the late 1800s, he was a significant figure known in California.
He founded the Santa Anita Racetrack and earned big at several speculative minds.
He also allegedly promised marriage to two women and then broke off the engagements, leading to two different assassination attempts by their families!
Despite all the good, bad, and fun parts of his reputation, few could deny his contributions to the state.
This eventually led to the naming of Baldwin Hills and Baldwin Park.
In addition, there are three branches of Lucky Baldwins – and the first one is right in Pasadena as one of its places to visit.
Opened in 1996 by Peggy Simonia and David Farnworth, Lucky Baldwin’s is a British-type pub that is located in one of the Historic Old Town’s oldest buildings.
It has a whopping 63 beer types available on tap and serves all sorts of traditional British fare, including some pretty well-known fish and chips.
It also often hosts events, like IPA Festivals, Belgian Beer Festivals, and Octoberfest. Expect the brews to be flavorful and dark!
Address: 17 S Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105, United States
16. St. Andrew Catholic Church
You needn’t go to Europe to find some amazing Renaissance masters’ art.
As it turns out, you can find them in California at the St. Andrew Catholic Church!
For years, this church has been among the best ways to view such stunning work, and it’s made its mark as one of the great choices when it comes to what to do in Pasadena.
The 125-year-old church itself has a majestic old-world design, complete with a Romanesque spire.
Though not always available for tourists since it’s a public, working church, the times when it does open its doors are worth penciling in on your schedule.
The most famous attraction of the St. Andrew Catholic Church is its mural of Madonna that rivals Rome’s own.
All murals within church walls are the work of Carlo Wostry, an Italian artist, and are vibrant in both hue and detail.
In fact, they are so beautiful that Italians were, at some point, angry about their existence!
Parishioners loved Wostry’s work and collected their funds in order to commission him again and again.
After more than five years of work, in 1930, Wostry had finished covering the St. Andrew Catholic Church with beautiful artwork.
Address: 311 N Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA 91103, United States
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17. Kidspace Children’s Museum
The Kidspace Children’s Museum is one of Pasadena, California’s most fun places to go if you’re bringing kids with you!
Built in Caltech in 1979, this museum is rife with activities, interactive exhibits, informal showcases, exciting events, and informal educational lessons that are sure to thrill and delight.
The Kidspace Children’s Museum welcomes more than 200,000 visitors on an annual basis, and for good reason.
It’s great for inspiring children and encouraging them to be creative and imaginative.
Among the favorite spots here are the Stone Hollow Amphitheater, the Kidspace Critters area packed with bugs and reptiles, the Arroyo Adventure Garden, the Imagination Workshop for learning about mechanical workings of items, and the Robert & Mary Galvin Physics Forest outdoors.
Address: 480 N Arroyo Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91103, United States
18. Huntington Library and Gardens
The Huntington Library and Gardens are historical Pasadena attractions, created by Henry E. Huntington, a collector and railroad magnate, in 1919 to bring together gardens, art, and books.
At its core, the establishment is an institution for collections-based research and education.
An art collection separated into three galleries showcases American, British, and French art of the 18th and 19th centuries throughout the grounds.
The Huntington Library boasts all sorts of rare books and other collections.
Outside, the botanical gardens span 120 acres and change regularly with different flowers and exhibits.
The Chinese Garden, Desert Garden, Japanese Garden, and Rose garden provide different environments with all sorts of lovely blooms to see.
Need to stop to eat or rest?
This Pasadena, California location has you covered!
There are four dining options, with the well-loved Rose Garden Tea Room being a common favorite and The Cafe existing as a great family-friendly simple eatery.
Address: 1151 Oxford Rd, San Marino, CA 91108, United States
19. California Cactus Center
Pasadena is a desert city, so it makes sense that the California Cactus Center is among its fun options for what to see!
It might be relatively small compared to many other nature attractions in the area, but its contents are rare, unique, and delightful, making it well worth a trip.
The state has no shortage of succulents, due in part to the many nurseries just like the Cactus Center that exist in it.
They supply cacti and succulents to cities, towns, universities, businesses, and much, much more.
But apart from just providing typical flora, the Cactus Center is also home to many rare specimens of these plants.
Many are taken from across the planet, transplanted in some cases and locally grown in others.
A few of these cacti then have offspring made to be sold, with many being bred with the purpose of conserving and saving their species.
The owners of the Cactus Center are always happy to help visitors pick out the right succulent or cactus and provide information regarding their plants.
They also own a one-eyed cat!
Near to the center, you’ll find a number of other gardens and arboretums to check out, too.
Address: 216 S Rosemead Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91107, United States
20. Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden
Japanese Gardens aren’t exactly rare in Pasadena or in California, but the Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden is on another level.
It’s one of the only examples in Pasadena of a private garden of this theme made before World War II and it’s a hidden gem, marked as one of the rarer places to see in a neighborhood.
The American interest in the aesthetics of Japan began sometime in the early 20th century when the United States and Japan started developing relations for trade and political purposes.
One such pair that loved the appearance of Japanese design was a couple consisting of Charles and Ellamae Storrier Stearns.
In 1935, they hired Kinzuchi Fujii, a landscape designer, to design a Japanese Garden over two acres, just for them.
Fujii’s work included a waterfall and a hill measuring 25 feet.
It also had a tea-house, made in Japan according to detailed plans and then shipped here to be set up.
Shortly after, the years of the Depression hit America and tensions rose between the nation and Japan.
This led to the interest in Japanese aesthetics slowly decreasing, making this garden one of the last of its kind to be made.
Sadly, Fujii was sent to an internment camp in 1942 and would not see the garden after that.
When the Stearns passed away, their estate was sold, and the garden slowly began to decline in condition in the 1970s, and in 1981, the tea-house burned in a fire.
Luckily, the former gardener of the Stearns was eventually hired by the present owners to help fix up the Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden, and it is now opened to the public!
Today, a new, meaningful addition is also present: a tree that is descended from a surviving Camellia of the Hiroshima atomic bombing in 1945, representing peace.
Address: 270 Arlington Dr, Pasadena, CA 91105, United States
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21. Pasadena City Hall
Though it is primarily a government building, Pasadena City Hall is still one of the tourist attractions in this California city that can be fun to visit, especially for the architecture and history.
The building was completed in 1927 and embodies a mix of Spanish and Italian Renaissance styles dating back to the 16th century.
Covering 170,000 square feet of ground, City Hall boasts a six-story tower, a beautiful inner courtyard, and eye-catching red tiles on its roof.
Over 235 passageways and rooms live within the 26-foot-tall and 54-foot-wide structure.
It’s stunning enough that many stop to photograph it!
Address: Garfield Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101, United States
22. Pasadena City College Flea Market
If you want to find out how California locals might spend their morning this weekend, head over to the Pasadena City College Flea Market.
Every month on the first Sunday, from 8 in the morning to 3 in the evening, the PCC Flea Market opens its doors with affordable vendors and low-cost parking!
The PCC Flea Market is among the Southland’s largest, with more than 500 stalls selling all manners of items, like books, food, toys, tools, clothes, and antiques.
The market began operations in 1977 and has since raked in enough profits to sponsor $30,000 in scholarships every year.
It provides students with jobs and adds financial fundraising and backing to multiple programs on campus!
A trip to the PCC Flea Market is a great way to get in touch with the local culture.
It’s one of the more laid-back points of interest in the sense that it’s not the most touristy of your options.
Arguably, though, that’s why you should visit it!
Address: 1570 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91106, United States
23. Arlington Garden
Known as one of the best vacation spots, the Arlington Garden is the only dedicated public garden in Pasadena, California.
As an open, urban three-acre garden space, it’s perfect for sightseeing, unwinding, and relaxing, and it’s among the best free things to do in Pasadena to boot.
It has the mission of promoting regenerative gardening, urban wildlife, and environmental consciousness in planting.
The site of the garden used to be a 710 freeway staging ground, but community opposition had the compacted lot left unused.
A council member of the city eventually asked community members to help create the garden.
The plan began in 2002 and was put into practice in 2005 with the goal of creating a water-wise garden suitable for the Mediterranean climate of the state.
The garden is interesting to explore and examine.
Photographers, students, artists, and tourists alike can enjoy the Italian-style landscaping of winding paths and olive allées.
Cactus gardens and rare, native plants make for a unique and exciting experience, especially for nature-lovers.
Breathtaking and endangered plant species include the rainbow manzanita, San Diego ambrosia, and bush anemone, which all flourish in the Pasadena climate.
Drought-tolerant plants make for a fascinating educational experience, so those who want to keep or care for similar plants can learn from their upkeep here.
If you need a break from your bustling vacation this weekend, why not bring a picnic basket and have a picnic at dedicated tables, shaded by alcoves, or bring a book along and read it beneath the groves?
The Arlington Garden is open all year long, no matter the weather!
Address: 275 Arlington Dr, Pasadena, CA 91105, United States
24. The Bubble House
Visiting the Bubble House is one of the most fun things to do in Pasadena for the sheer amusement of its design alone!
It was created in the years following the second world war.
Mass migration and the Baby Boom were resulting in lots of people being in America, but far too few houses to hold them.
Wallace Neff, an architect famous for his incredible work in designing Pickfair and many luxury celebrity homes, came up with a quick and clever solution.
He took gigantic balloons made of rubber, inflated them, and covered them with a mix of gunite and wire mesh.
He then deflated the balloons, and in just 48 hours, homes known as Airform houses were finished!
Neff went around America – and then the world – inflating these open-plan Airform structures again and again.
He believed that they would eventually become the standard of the world, but Americans weren’t fans of the rounded design.
In the end, only 3,000 Airform houses out of the originally planned 400,000 were made.
Today, only one Airform home remains – and it’s in Pasadena.
Neff and his brother lived here until his passing in 1982.
It sits, lonely, in Pasadena as a reminder of a rather odd turn in the career of an otherwise prolific and loved architect.
Address: 1097 S Los Robles Ave, Pasadena, CA 91106, United States
25. Planetary Society
The Planetary Society is a hub for space science and should be among the places to visit in Pasadena, California that you opt for if you’re curious about the universe beyond earth!
The fun location was founded by Carl Sagan and two colleagues in 1980.
But what, exactly, does the Planetary Society do?
Anything related to space!
Whether seeking extraterrestrial life and intelligence, developing a sample return system to return rocks from space, watching the skies for possible asteroids and objects nearing earth, or exploring planets, the Planetary Society is into it.
The society is also responsible for creating the biggest distributed computing experiment through the [email protected] project, one of the predecessors of mainstream cloud computing.
Originally, the Planetary Society’s HQ was housed in one of the bungalows of Vista del Arroyo, rich in history and built between 1920 and 1938.
Most were abandoned in the 1980s when the government sold them to private owners, but they were eventually renovated back to a better state in 2008.
Sadly, the society has since moved out, but it’s interesting to hear that it once lived in such a historic spot!
Address: 60 S Los Robles Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101, United States
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26. Vroman’s Bookstore
Pasadena was once a resort town rich in ostrich farms and fruit orchards.
At this time 118 years ago, Andrew Clark Vroman decided to open a store that was a combination of a photographic supply shop and a bookshop.
Thus, Vroman’s Bookstore on Colorado Boulevard was born, and Vroman would grow his business and sprout branches to be one of the biggest book dealers in and near California – and everywhere west of the Mississippi.
One of the highlights of the bookstore’s prolific background is the 1939-launched popular author series.
Book signings since then have been attended by great authors like Salman Rushdie, Joan Didion, and Neil Gaiman.
Vroman’s Bookstore remains one of the largest independent bookshops in America, and the first of its branches remains in Colorado Boulevard.
It definitely should be on the list of what to do for bibliophiles and is a wonderful place to read, buy books, and attend events.
Address: 695 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91101, United States
27. Levitt Pavilion
Levitt Pavilion spends most of its year empty in Memorial Park, Pasadena, California.
But then, in the summer, it transforms into one of the city’s free points of interest, packed with fun performances and activities in a mini-Hollywood Bowl!
Every summer, a Musical Festival is held here that involves 50 concerts, all with no fees, featuring Latin, blues, Americana, jazz, rock, and more from Grammy-winning performers.
Food vendors line the streets and kids’ shows are set up to entertain families with children.
If you plan to attend, be sure to get there earlier enough to nab a good place to watch shows from!
Address: 85 E Holly St, Pasadena, CA 91103, United States
28. Bungalow Heaven
Termed as one of the most beautiful places in America, Bungalow Heaven marks one of the world’s most wonderful collections of bungalow homes, making it one of the most luxurious Pasadena attractions.
When the last century came to a close, Victorian architecture slipped out of style as the size of the middle class grew and they sought well-made, affordable homes.
The American Arts and Crafts Movement kicked off at around this time, a result of the shifting architectural tastes over the years.
One of the movements’ famous expressions was via the Craftsman Bungalow.
They’re known for a signature style – hanging eaves, rooflines with low pitches, stone-work and wood all handmade, porches, and durable shelter. Less fun, more practicality!
In Pasadena, California, many of these bungalows live on.
Bungalow Heaven is a district in the city that houses an impressive 800 or so Craftsman bungalows that date back to the 1900s up to the 1930s.
The homes are all preserved beautifully and the district has earned its spot on the National Register of Historic Places.
Find it, fittingly, in the Old Town Historic District!
29. Colorado Street Bridge
The Colorado Street Bridge is a rather sobering spot in California built approximately a century ago.
A Beaux-Arts work that was once found along the old Route 66, over 100 suicides have occurred here since 1913.
It got so bad at one point that the city of Pasadena has to station a constant police patrol.
The most deaths happened, perhaps predictably, during the Great Depression.
In 1989, fences were set up reaching 8 feet in height to deter suicides.
However, it still seems to attract troubled individuals, and many believe the bridge to be haunted.
Some daredevil pilots have tried to fly beneath it, and many death-defying stunts have occurred here – including some that failed.
Despite its sad and somber history, the Colorado Street Bridge is one of the things to see in the city thanks to its design.
It spans 1,500 feet and rises above the Arroyo Seco, hovering 150 feet above.
Those who go on its walkways will be treated to beautiful northern and southern views, all at once!
Address: 504 W Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91105, United States
30. Ice House Comedy Club
Looking to unwind in Pasadena?
The Ice House Comedy Club should be on your list of where to go.
Opened in 1960, this delightful club began its life as a venue for folk music.
It has since had its stage performed upon by big names in the comedy world, like George Carlin, Jerry Seinfeld, Lily Tomlin, Jay Leno, and Robin Williams.
Now, two showrooms and a courtyard continue to welcome guests to the Ice House Comedy Club.
Over 7,000 visitors stop by monthly, with some well-known and new acts all providing variety and diversity to this humble Pasadena stage.
200 seats provide plenty of space to sit!
Address: 24 N Mentor Ave, Pasadena, CA 91106, United States
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Start Planning Your Trip To Pasadena
There are countless fun Pasadena attractions that make this city delightful and whimsical in equal part.
Hopefully, this list has helped you choose the best things to do in Pasadena for your trip to this historical location!