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Introduction

Pasadena is one of the oldest cities adjoining Los Angeles and is the main population center of the San Gabriel Valley in Southern California. Pasadena is located at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains, just 11 miles northeast of Downtown Los Angeles. Known as the City of Roses, Pasadena is most famous for its New Year's Day Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game. Over a million people flock to Pasadena every year after Christmas, as visitors come from all over to decorate and view the floats, as well as to attend arguably the most famous college football bowl game of the year. Pasadena also boasts the renowned California Institute of Technology, whose alumni and faculty have garnered 32 Nobel Prizes.

Pasadena has become the most exciting place for nightlife in the San Gabriel Valley. Old Pasadena has many boutiques, national retailers, restaurants and clubs in the western section, with chic shopping and dining on South Lake and abundant services in the eastern area.

As the birthplace of Julia Child and home to numerous restaurants serving cuisine from around the world, Pasadena is a good destination for foodies. Adding to its culinary credentials, one of only 15 Le Cordon Bleu-affiliated culinary schools in the United States resides here. In addition, the first Trader Joe's market opened its doors in Pasadena in 1967. That same store on Arroyo Parkway is still serving customers today.

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Sights and Activities

  • Old Pasadena. A 22-block historical area filled with 200 one-of-a-kind boutiques, national retailers, galleries, restaurants, and clubs. Old Pasadena is one of Southern California's hottest shopping/entertainment areas and gets very crowded on weekends. The area is very hip and young people love the great vibe! Old Pasadena is located between Arroyo Parkway on the east and Pasadena Avenue on the west, with Colorado Boulevard being the main thoroughfare. Get off the Gold Line at Memorial Park and walk south to Colorado. If you expect every building in the area to be old, you'll be disappointed, but fans of architecture from the Art Deco period back to the 19th century have quite a few beautiful buildings to appreciate. You can see many of them from a moving car, but to truly notice and enjoy the decorative details, you will need to park and walk. The Playhouse District and the Civic Center, a few blocks to the east of the district specifically named "Old Pasadena", also have beautiful historic buildings, including the lovely Municipal Building (city hall), built in 1927 and the Pasadena Civic Auditorium (carved on the exterior with the words "THE AUDITORIUM OF THE CITY OF PASADENA" in all caps), built in 1932.
  • Norton Simon Museum, ☎ +1-626-449-6840. Open noon to 5PM Mon, Wed and Thu; 11AM-8PM Fri and Sat; and 11AM-5PM Sun; closed Tue. The sculpture garden closes 15 minutes before the museum. Features seven centuries of European art ranging from the Gothic period to the 21st century, including masterpieces by Van Gogh, Picasso, Rembrandt, Fragonard, Goya, Poussin, Claude Lorrain, Cranach the Elder, Botticelli and many more. The museum also features an extensive collection of South and some Southeast Asian sculpture and a sculpture garden including works of Rodin. You are likely to be amazed by the greatness of the collection of both European and ancient South Asian work, and also by the number of extremely famous and commonly reproduced paintings on view. If you are generally an art lover, you will probably want to allow at least 2 1/2 to 3 hours so as to see most of the collections without feeling rushed. Adults $12; seniors (62 and above) $9; students free with I.D. Free admission on the first Friday of the month from 5PM to 8PM. Parking in the museum's lot is free.
  • Pacific Asia Museum, ☎ +1-626-499-2742. Open Wednesday through Sunday from 10AM to 6PM. Features artwork from Asia and the Pacific Islands spanning 5,000 years, with a range of innovative exhibitions and dynamic programming. Admission is $10; free on the fourth Friday of the month.
  • The Gamble House, ☎ +1-626-793-3334. Tours: Thursday through Sunday from noon to 3PM. Built in 1908 by Charles and Henry Greene for David Gamble of Procter and Gamble, this National Historical Landmark is an architectural masterpiece of the American Arts and Crafts Movement. The house was also the exterior of Doc Brown's house in 1955, in Back to the Future I & II. Filming of the front door and the interior took place at another location. Admission $10.
  • Pasadena Museum of History, ☎ +1-626-577-1660. Open Wednesday through Sunday; hours vary. Near the Gamble House is the Pasadena Museum of History with The Finnish Folk Art Museum, History Center Galleries, and the 18-room Fenyes Mansion. Built in 1905, the mansion contains its original furnishings. prices vary for exhibits and Fenyes Mansion tour.
  • California Institute of Technology. Architectural tours are offered the fourth Thursday of each month at 10:30AM (January through June, September and October) and on the third Thursday in November. A world-renowned institution for the study of science and engineering, Caltech's alumni and faculty have been awarded 32 Nobel Prizes. Albert Einstein studied here as a visiting scholar in the early 1930s. The 124-acre campus offers interesting architectures, laid back atmosphere and colors displayed by ever-lasting blooming flora. Free.
  • Kidspace Museum, 480 N. Arroyo Blvd, ☎ +1 626 449-9144. Open Tuesday–Friday, 9:30AM–5PM; Saturday–Sunday, 10AM–5PM June–August: Monday–Friday, 9:30AM–5PM; Saturday–Sunday, 10AM–5PM. Kidspace offers more than 25 indoor hands-on exhibits, in addition to outdoor spaces, programs and activities, which are designed to encourage a child's growth and development through exploration of the environment, investigation in science, and artistic expression. Adults & Children $10.
  • Robinson Memorial, 100 N. Garfield Ave. The memorial, directly across from City Hall, honors the historic accomplishments of baseball legend Jackie Robinson and his brother, Olympian Mack Robinson with two 9-foot bronze portraiture sculptures. The Robinson brothers grew up in Pasadena. Jackie was the first African-American to play baseball in the previously segregated Major Leagues, and Mack was a sprinter who won a silver medal in the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
  • All Saints Church, 132 N. Euclid Av (Between E. Walnut St. and Thurgood Marshall St.), ☎ +1 626-796-1172. This is a lovely neo-Gothic Episcopal church, with timbered ceilings and beautiful stained glass windows. The rose windows are Tiffany and the windows on the sides are in a neo-Gothic Arts and Crafts style. There is also fine woodwork inside the church. Free.

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Events and Festivals

Holidays

  • New Year’s Eve - The US celebrates the outgoing of the old year and incoming of the New Year quite dramatically. Every state boasts its own parties to ring in the New Year, but none is more extravagant than New York’s Time Square, which sees people overflowing into the neighboring restaurants, bars, parks, beaches, and neighborhoods.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day (officially Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. and sometimes referred to as MLK Day) is an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around King's birthday, January 15. The holiday is similar to holidays set under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. The earliest Monday for this holiday is January 15 and the latest is January 21. King was the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law.
  • St Patrick’s Day - March 17 celebrates the US’s large Irish population. Many cities around the country boast boisterous parades and Irish-themed parties, especially New York and Chicago, where the river is dyed green. Be wary of the drunkenness that dominates as this is definitely a party-day.
  • Memorial Day - Memorial Day is an important holiday throughout the United States, but not for crazy festivities. Parades commemorating wartime heroes are often held and the day is also the ‘unofficial’ start of summer. Most visitors follow the crowds to parks and beaches, which are capped off with informal BBQs.
  • Independence Day - Also known as the Fourth of July, Independence Day celebrates the US’s break from the British during the 18th century. Barbecues, street parties, beach trips, and weekend getaways are commonplace to appreciate freedom.
  • Labor Day is a public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws, and well-being of the country. It is the Monday of the long weekend known as Labor Day Weekend. It is recognized as a federal holiday. Beginning in the late 19th century, as the trade union and labor movements grew, trade unionists proposed that a day be set aside to celebrate labor.
  • Halloween - Halloween is a fun holiday on October 31 for all generations to dress up in costumes and relive their youth. Children walk around the neighborhood trick-or-treating for candy, while adults attend parties. Other seasonal events include haunted houses, pumpkin farms and carving, and corn mazes.
  • Thanksgiving - On the fourth Thursday in November, Thanksgiving is held in almost every home in the US. Tourists will have a hard time finding anything to do as the country essentially shuts down in observation. A typical Thanksgiving meal consists of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie commemorating the original Pilgrim’s feast at Plymouth Rock.
  • Christmas - On December 25, Christians celebrate Christmas as the pinnacle of their calendar by attending church and opening gifts from Santa Claus. Almost everything shuts down to promote family togetherness. The northern regions hope to experience a “white Christmas,” with trees and festive lights blanketed by snow.

Sport

  • Super Bowl Sunday - the world’s most watched sporting event and one of the highest grossing TV days of the year, Superbowl Sunday is a spectacular extravaganza. Held the first Sunday in February, the Superbowl is the final playoff game between the NFL’s top two teams. The venue rotates every year around America, yet the local parties seem to remain. Pubs, bars and restaurants are great places to enjoy the Superbowl or locals throw their own parties with different variations of betting.
  • The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball (MLB) in North America, contested since 1903 between the American League (AL) champion team and the National League (NL) champion team. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff, and the winning team is awarded the Commissioner's Trophy. As the series is played during the fall season in North America, it is sometimes referred to as the Fall Classic.

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Getting There

By Plane

The Los Angeles metro area is served by five major commercial airports and more than a dozen private airports. Three of the major airports are in L.A. County proper while the other two are nearby.

  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX IATA), 1 World Way, +1-310-646-5252. LAX is one of the major ports of entry for international flights to the United States as well as a major destination for domestic flights so it can be quite busy, especially around holidays. Nearly all major airlines as well as some smaller regional airlines fly into LAX. All of the major rental car agencies have a location near the airport with hundreds of cars available for rent.
  • Bob Hope Airport (BUR IATA), 2627 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, +1-818-840-8840. Alaska, American, Delta, JetBlue, SeaPort, Southwest, and United fly into this airport located in the San Fernando Valley, northeast of Downtown L.A.
  • Long Beach Airport (LGB IATA), 4100 Donald Douglas Dr., Long Beach, +1 562 570-2600. American, Delta, and JetBlue fly into this airport located in southern Los Angeles County. It is also the west coast hub for JetBue.
  • Ontario International Airport (ONT IATA), 1940 East Moore Way, Ontario in adjacent San Bernardino County, +1 909 937-2700. Aeromexico, Alaska, American, Delta, Southwest, United and Volaris serve this airport located 37 mi (59 km) east of Downtown Los Angeles, about a 40-minute drive without traffic.
  • John Wayne Airport (SNA IATA), 18601 Airport Way, Santa Ana in adjacent Orange County, +1 949 252-5200. Alaska, American, Delta, Frontier, Southwest, United, and WestJet serve this airport located 40 mi (64 km) southeast of Downtown Los Angeles, about a 45-minute drive without traffic.

LAX is the airport many travelers use when visiting the Los Angeles area and is the far more likely point of entry if you're on an international flight. LAX generally features lower fares and more nonstop and frequent service when compared to the other airports. Flying into LAX is the best option if this is the closest airport to your destination, and even if LAX is further away the fare is often simply too good to pass up. However, if your destination is closer (or almost as close) to one of the other four airports, and the fare really isn't a huge difference, then consider those airports. For instance, if you plan to spend most of your time in the San Fernando Valley, there is the Bob Hope Airport in Burbank. If your visit will be centered around Orange County, Knotts Berry Farm and/or Disneyland, there's the John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana or even the Long Beach Airport. If you will be staying in the Inland Empire or San Gabriel Valley in the east, there's the Ontario Airport. These airports can save a lot of hassle because they are less busy than LAX. Also, the L.A. area is so wildly spread out and populated that going anywhere will generally require a lot of driving, as well as possibly enduring traffic jams. On any random day at any particular time (day or night), a traffic jam can develop and it is not unheard of to take an hour just to go a few miles on the freeway. So using the nearest airport will only be of convenience to you.

All five airports lack direct train services; only the Bob Hope Airport is somewhat proximate to a Metrolink commuter rail station (not to be confused with the Metro Rail service). LAX has a comfortable, fast, and relatively frequent express bus service, the LAX FlyAway, to a variety of regional centers including Union Station (in Downtown), Hollywood, and Westwood.

LAX does not cater to small general aviation; Burbank (ICAO: KBUR) does, but is considered high-traffic for this type of flight; Long Beach (ICAO: KLGB) does, but has a very complicated runway system and, again, is considered high traffic. General aviation will fare much better at L.A. area airports that do not handle commercial flights at all. Much of Los Angeles is Class Bravo or other controlled airspace, but due to the number of airports and the generally good weather, Los Angeles makes a fantastic flying destination.

Private pilots will prefer smaller general aviation airports such as Van Nuys (ICAO: KVNY), one of the world's busiest private jet airports, as well as Hawthorne, or any of the other small airports in the area that do not handle commercial flights; Santa Monica (ICAO: KSMO) recently reduced their runway length to restrict aircraft size to smaller planes. Air taxi and air charter companies including Los Angeles Private Jets and ElleJet can access private aircraft at any of L.A.'s private aviation airports, as well as planes in your area for flights to Los Angeles.

By Train

Los Angeles' main Amtrak and commuter train station is Union Station, at 800 N. Alameda St. next to the Hollywood Freeway (US-101) in Downtown Los Angeles. The station is a spectacular example of Mission Revival architecture, with a spacious waiting room and courtyards with outdoor seating, as well as some eating establishments on-site. It's also well connected to L.A.'s public transit system, with a Metro Red/Purple Line subway station (in the basement), a Metro Gold Line light rail station (on platforms 1 and 2, parallel to the Amtrak and Metrolink trains), and the adjacent Patsaouras Bus Plaza (at the east portal of the station) which serves local buses and LAX Flyaway shuttles to Los Angeles International Airport. A Budget and Hertz rental car desk is also located in the station; more rental car options are available at LAX.

Union Station is patrolled by private security staff and people lingering too long in the seats may be asked to show a ticket. Taxis are available at the main entrance off Alameda Street and the station is within short walking distance to the Civic Center and Olvera Street. Chinatown and Little Tokyo are also nearby. Be warned that it can get quite uncomfortable in the station especially when it is hot and/or there are a lot of people. Great for business travel but perhaps not the best for families or any large group of people. Free guided tours of Union Station are available on the 2nd Sunday of each month. No reservations are required; tours begin at 10:30AM at the information booth inside the Alameda Street entrance.

Union Station is the region's primary train station and has the best public transit connections, but there are several other Amtrak stops within the region that may be better located to your destination, namely in the Inland Empire, Orange County, and the San Fernando Valley. L.A. is massive, so make sure you get the right stop.

Amtrak routes serving Los Angeles are the following:

The Coast Starlight runs daily between Los Angeles and Seattle via Portland and the San Francisco Bay Area, with another L.A. County stop in Van Nuys in the San Fernando Valley.
The Pacific Surfliner runs several trains daily between San Diego and Los Angeles, with some trains traveling north to Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo. There are several stops in the San Fernando Valley (it shares a route with the Coast Starlight but stops at more stations) and in Orange County.
The Southwest Chief runs daily to Chicago via Fullerton, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, Barstow, Needles, Grand Canyon (at Williams/Williams Jct and Flagstaff); Albuquerque and Kansas City. It also makes stops in Orange County (Fullerton) and the Inland Empire (Riverside and San Bernardino).
The Sunset Limited runs three times a week out to New Orleans via Pomona, Ontario, Palm Springs, Yuma, Tucson, El Paso and San Antonio. Additionally, Amtrak's Texas Eagle service between San Antonio and Chicago incorporates the Sunset Limited to provide a direct connection to Los Angeles.
The San Joaquin from Fresno and Sacramento goes no further than Bakersfield (about 115 miles to the north). However, coordinated bus travel to Union Station on a single ticket is available from Amtrak. From the San Joaquin Valley (also known as the Central Valley), this is the only option available that involves any train service. Since the track is generally west of the State Route 99 freeway, it serves different cities than the Greyhound bus line.

Metrolink is an extensive regional train network with rail lines radiating out from Union Station to surrounding suburbs and counties, stretching as far as Riverside, Lancaster, Oceanside, San Bernardino, and Oxnard.

Several Metrolink lines overlap Amtrak's routes or serve the same cities via a slightly different routing, and Metrolink tickets tend to cost significantly less than Amtrak tickets. Metrolink frequency varies between lines, with service dropping considerably during the weekend; Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner runs far more frequently on the weekends and always runs later in the day than overlapping Metrolink trains.

Fares are based on how far you travel, falling in the range of $5-$15 for one-way fares. Tickets must be bought from vending machines on the platform, and are checked by fare inspectors on board. Metrolink tickets also cover free travel on many connecting local transit systems, including L.A. Metro, where a Metrolink ticket effectively works as a day pass for the date stamped on your ticket. If you're thinking of using Metrolink to day trip on the weekend, you'll want to get the $10 weekend day pass, which is good for unlimited travel on Metrolink (and connecting transit) on either Saturday or Sunday.

By Car

Several major freeways enter the Los Angeles region. Interstate 5 is the primary north/south freeway through Central L.A., heading south to the Mexican border through Orange County and San Diego, and heading north through the San Joaquin Valley to Sacramento, continuing on through the Pacific Northwest before eventually reaching Canada. From the south, Interstate 405 splits off from I-5 in Orange County and is a more direct route to Long Beach, the South Bay, and the Westside, so long as you don't travel during rush hour. From the north, I-5 is the most direct option from the San Francisco Bay Area (linked to I-5 by I-580), while U.S. Highway 101 is the most direct option from California's Central Coast.

From the east, Interstate 10 is the primary road into the region, heading east from L.A. through the Inland Empire and the California desert (via Palm Springs) before crossing through into Arizona and continuing across Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and the Florida panhandle to Jacksonville, FL.

And while they don't directly connect to Los Angeles proper, Interstates 15 and 40 are important links from the north and east. I-15 runs north/south through the Inland Empire (where you can connect to several freeways to L.A. proper), continuing north through Nevada and Utah (via Las Vegas and Salt Lake City) and heading on through the Rocky Mountains (Idaho and Montana) to the Canadian border. I-40 is one of the nation's primary east-west road links, cutting a long route across the middle of the country. In California, I-40 terminates at I-15 in the town of Barstow; from there, follow I-15 south into the Inland Empire and connect from there to Los Angeles.

If driving into or through the L.A. area, be sure to make note of when you'll be arriving so as to try to avoid one of the area's notorious traffic jams. See the Get around section below for more detailed info on getting around L.A. by car.

By Bus

Buses connect Los Angeles to San Diego, San Francisco Bay area, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Bakersfield and Sacramento through various cities in the San Joaquin Valley in California and the western part of the U.S. to as far as Salt Lake City, Seattle, Dallas and Denver in the U.S. Southbound buses towards Mexico typically cross through San Ysidro/Tijuana and Calexico/Mexicali. Locally a number of bus companies have multiple terminals and stops in different parts of the city.

Greyhound/Cruceros, Intercalifornias, Tufesa and El Paso-Los Angeles Limousine Express have their own separate stations located in and around the infamous 'Skid Row' area east of Downtown L.A. Skid Row is sketchy during the day and even more so at night, so taking a taxi to get there is recommended. Bolt Bus and Megabus have curb side stops at Union Station. Be aware that many of the same bus companies have additional stops or depots scattered throughout the greater Los Angeles area, particularly in El Monte, East L.A., Colton and/or Huntington Park, but they can be elsewhere too. Some of which may be closer to your final destination.

Bolt Bus, bus stop at Union Station, 800 Alameda St (100 yds to left of the main entrance, at the north end of the building), toll-free: +1-877-BOLTBUS (2658287). Offers service to/from San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland on one route and from Las Vegas via Barstow on another route. Buses to/from San Francisco make an additional stop in front of the Florentine Gardens in Hollywood at 5951 Hollywood Blvd while buses going to/from Las Vegas stop at a Carl's Jr Restaurant in Ontario at 1625 E 4th St.
"Cabin" (formerly Sleep Bus), (Bus stop) Ocean & Arizona Ave in Palisades Park, Santa Monica. Overnight service to the Los Angeles area (Ocean & Arizona Ave in Palisades Park in Santa Monica) from San Francisco (Bayside Lot @ 1 Bryant St). This is an actual sleeper bus featuring twin size bunk beds with privacy curtains, power outlets, and free wifi.
El Paso Los Angeles Limousine Express, depot at 260 E 6th St (SW corner of E 6th St & Wall St, east of Downtown in Skid Row), ☎ +1-213-623-2323, +1-323-265-3232, toll-free: +1-866 691-9732. Travels along I-10 between Los Angeles, Indio, Phoenix, Las Cruces and El Paso on one route and on I-15 to Las Vegas and North Las Vegas on another route. They have additional depots at 11825 Valley Blvd in El Monte; 620 W Mill St in San Bernardino, and at 4425 S Atlantic Blvd in East Los Angeles.
Flixbus, (depot) Vignes Lot 501-503 E Cesar E Chavez Ave (Parking lot at E Cesar E Chavez & Vignes north of downtown.), ☎ +1 855 626-8585. Connects Los Angeles to Las Vegas (via Ontario, Victorville, Barstow); to Tucson (via Ontario, Palm Springs, Blythe, Phoenix, Mesa) and to San Diego (via Anaheim). They also have additional stops at USC (W Jefferson & Flower St); West L.A./Santa Monica at 10021 National Blvd; and UCLA at 592 Gayley Ave (at Gayley & Strathmore).
Greyhound & Curceros-USA, depot at 1716 E 7th St (along 7th St between Decatur and Lawrence in Skid Row east of Downtown. Taxi stand on east side of building at Decatur), ☎ +1-213-629-8401, toll-free: +1-800-231-2222. Connects Los Angeles to Sacramento (via Bakersfield, with some of the buses continuing north to Seattle. Some of the buses go up along I-5 while other make multiple stops along Hwy 99); San Francisco Bay Area, El Paso (via Blythe, Phoenix, Tucson, etc); San Bernardino, San Diego (some buses stop in Santa Ana while most are direct); Las Vegas (some continue to Salt Lake City while others go towards Denver); and Tijuana. They have additional stops and depots in Hollywood (5951 Hollywood Blvd); North Hollywood (11239 Magnolia Blvd); El Monte (3501 Santa Anita) and Long Beach (1498 Long Beach Blvd).
Hoang Express, bus stop at Metro Gold Line Chinatown Station, 1231 N Spring St (NW corner of Spring and College), ☎ +1-714-839-3500, toll-free: +1-888-834-9336. Travels between SoCal (San Diego, El Monte, Los Angeles, Westminster); northern California (San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland and Sacramento) and Arizona (Phoenix, Chandler and Tempe). They also have additional stops at the ABC Supermarket at 8970 Bolsa Ave in Westminster and at Thuan Phat Supermarket at 2650 N Rosemead Blvd in El Monte. $60-65 to Bay Area; $80 to Sacramento.
International Bus Lines (formerly Intercalifornias), depot at 655 S Maple St (NW corner of Maple & 7th, east of Downtown in Skid Row), ☎ +1-213-629-4885, toll-free: +1-888-834-9336. Buses go up to San Fernando, Bakersfield, Fresno, and San Jose/Stockton (route splits/joins in Madero) and down to Tijuana via Santa Ana and San Ysidro. They also have additional depots at 1305 S Atlantic Blvd in East Los Angeles and the Mariposa Beauty Salon at 11430 Laurel Canyon Blvd, Suite C in San Fernando. Prices vary depending on your destination.
National Charter Bus Los Angeles, 926 S San Pedro St, Unit 2634, Los Angeles, CA 90015, ☎ +1 323-201-2618, e-mail: la@nationalbuscharter.com. 24/7. Local charter bus provider facilitating travel to Los Angeles from San Francisco, San Diego, Denver, and Phoenix.
LuxBus, on request for hotel pick up/drop off, toll-free: +1-877-610-7870. Operates to/from Las Vegas, Anaheim, and San Diego.
Megabus, bus stop at Bus Bay 8 in Union Station's Patsaouras Plaza (opposite side of the tracks from Union Station; a pedestrian tunnel under the tracks links Pastsaouras Plaza with Union Station itself). Goes up to Oakland (via San Jose and San Francisco) and to Las Vegas on two separate routes. Buses going to/from the Bay area also make another stop at Bay #9 at the Burbank Metrolink Station.
Los Paisanos, depot at 612 Wall St (E 6th St & Wall St, east of Downtown in Skid Row), ☎ +1-213-228-9988, +1 626 444-5300, toll-free: +1-866-771-7575. Travels along I-10 between Los Angeles and El Paso via El Monte, Ontario, Fontana. Some of their buses go up along I-15 to Las Vegas from Ontario. They have additional depots at 11635 Valley Blvd in El Monte and 1603 Valley Blvd. Suite C in Fontana. Crosses into Mexico via El Paso/Cd Juarez. (updated Apr 2016 | edit)
Rapid Connections LLC, bus stop at Greyhound Terminal, 1716 E 7th St and in East LA at Marianna & Olympic Blvd, ☎ +1 559 442-3000. Buses goes up to Sacramento via San Fernando, Bakersfield, Fresno, Modesto, Stockton and several other places along SR-99; and down to Tijuana via Santa Ana and San Ysidro.
Santa Barbara Airbus, ☎ +1 805 964-7759, toll-free: +1-800-423-1618. Connects LAX to Carpinteria, Santa Barbara and Goleta.
TAP Royal, (Bus depot) 767 Maple Ave (Maple Ave & 8th), ☎ +1-213-533-8700. They also have another terminal at 2474 E Florence Ave, Huntington Park CA 90255. They offer bus service between California, Arizona (Phoenix, Tucson and Nogales); and Las Vegas NV in the U.S. and along the Hwy 15 corridor to Guadalajara through Sonora, Sinaloa, Nayarit and Jalisco in Mexico. Crosses the border in Nogales and in San Ysidro/Tijuana. Travels the I-5/Hwy 99 corridor between Tijuana, Huntington Beach, Bakersfield, Fresno and Modesto.
Rapid Connections LLC, bus stop at Greyhound Terminal, 1716 E 7th St and in East LA at Marianna & Olympic Blvd, ☎ +1 559 442-3000. Buses goes up to Sacramento via San Fernando, Bakersfield, Fresno, Modesto, Stockton and several other places along SR-99; and down to Tijuana via Santa Ana and San Ysidro.
Tres Estrellas de Oro (TEO), depot at 2414 E Florence Ave, Huntington CA 90255 (SE corner of Florence & Santa Fe Ave), ☎ +1-323-588-9188. Connects Los Angles to Sacramento, El Paso and Tijuana (via San Ysidro) on multiple routes.
Tufesa, 611 Maple Ave (Along Maple Ave between 6th & 7th St), ☎ +1 213 489-8079. Connects Los Angeles to Sacramento (via multiple cities in San Joaquin Valley), Oakland, Salt Lake City (via Ontario, Fontana, Las Vegas, St George); Hermosillo (via Phoenix, Tucson, Nogales) and Tijuana (via Anaheim, San Ysidro) on multiple routes. They also have an additional station at 5201 E Olympic Blvd in E L.A. and a stop in a parking lot at E 3rd St & E Ford Blvd.

By Boat

Long Beach has a Carnival Cruise Lines terminal. 231 Windsor Way, Long Beach, +1 562 901-3232.
San Pedro has a cruise ship terminal that all of the major cruise ship lines (except Carnival) sail from. Berth 90-93, San Pedro, +1-310-514-4049. Fax: +1-310-514-4057.

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Getting Around

By Public Transport

The Metro Gold Line serves the Arroyo Seco Parkway, Old Pasadena, and East Pasadena. Visitors can take it to connect to other Los Angeles-area rail lines or Amtrak, or go east towards Azusa.

Pasadena is primarily served by the county-wide Metro and the local Pasadena ARTS network. Additional (mostly commuter) service is available from Foothill Transit, Montebello Bus Lines, and LADOT.

Metro's 780 Rapid bus goes from Pasadena to visitor-oriented areas of Hollywood - it's an (often interesting) ride that takes about an hour.

By Foot

Pasadena as a whole is large enough to require use of a car or public transit, but it is a very pedestrian-friendly city. Many hotels and motels are located within easy walking distance of major shopping and entertainment areas like Old Pasadena, the Playhouse District and South Lake Avenue.

By Bike

Metro operates a bike share system, with numerous stations scattered across Pasadena. Single trips are $3.50 for 30 minutes of use (credit or debit card required), or you can load a monthly pass onto a TAP card for $20 which gives you free rides shorter than 30 minutes and $1.75 for every thirty minutes after that.

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Eat

  • Mijares Mexican Restaurant, 145 Palmetto Drive - Palmetto and Pasadena Ave, ☎ +1 626-792-2763. Pasadena's oldest restaurant is it's best kept secret! A local favorite, this restaurant and bar serves delicious Mexican cuisine in a delightful, family-style setting.
  • Orean's: The Health Express, 817 N. Lake Ave (north of the 210 Freeway), ☎ +1-626-794-0861. Vegetarian/vegan fast food, yummy. A bit on the pricy side for fast food - about for a five dollars per person.
  • All India Cafe, 39 S. Fair Oaks Ave (just south of Colorado Blvd. in Old Pasadena). Good Indian food.
  • Marston's, 151 E. Walnut St (between Fair Oaks and Marengo). Great breakfasts in a converted old home. Come early because the crowds start to build up on weekends in the late morning. Esepcially recommended is the corn flake encrusted french toast.
  • Kabuki, 88 W. Colorado Blvdin Old Pasadena and 3539 E. Foothill Blvd in Hastings Ranch. Popular Japanese food chain, moderately priced.
  • The Hat (Lake & Villa), ☎ +1-626-449-1844. Pastrami sandwiches, chili fries, Orange Bang, and other stuff that's bad for you but so good.
  • Cafe Verde, 961 E. Green St. A gem worth hiding from the world but karma would kick in. This intimate shoebox sized restaurant packs a wallop taste in every bite. A fusion of California style cuisine with strong Latin influences is a delight to the senses. Too much to describe here, just click the link, read THE professional review, and I'm sure I'll see you there sometime.
  • Fu Shing Restaurant, 2960 E Colorado Blvd, ☎ +1-626-570-0725. Chinese food - try the sweet and pungent shrimp.
  • La Nueva Posada, 2835 E Foothill Blvd. Mexican food. Try the margaritas and say hello to the always-smiling Peter! This is a family-owned business and they really care about their customers.
  • Camerons Seafood, 1978 East Colorado Blvd (2 blocks east of Allen Ave east Pasadena), ☎ +1 626-793-3474. Voted Pasadenas Best Seafood Restaurant, for 24 straight years. Mesquite grilled fresh seafood daily, steaks and chicken, wonderful cheers style bar, lots of free onsite parking, handicap accessible, Sunday brunch, 7 days lunch and dinner happy hour, great food est 1984. Camerons is on the famous rose parade route. Established in 1984 Camerons brings the ocean to you with over 30 different fresh seafood daily, grilled, or try the fmaous macadamia nut halibut, or some parmesan crusted sole. Awesome New England Clam chowder, made fresh daily as well as our Manhattan clam chowder. Fresh Blue point oysters from the Chesapeake bay, or some Hawaiian Ahi. Camerons has it all plus private dining and meeting rooms for that special event.
  • Lovebirds Cafe & Bakery, 921 E Colorado Blvd, ☎ +1 626 583-8888. Mon-Fri: 6AM–5PM Sat: 8AM–3:30PM. Fresh sandwiches made from bread baked on the premises and yummy smoothies,you can't go wrong
  • Carmela Ice Cream, 2495 East Washington Blvd (E. Washington Blvd. and N. Altadena Dr.). Easily the best ice cream spot in and around Pasadena. This small artisan ice cream and sorbet maker uses local farmers market produce and organic dairies to create unique flavors, such as Salted Caramel, Brown Sugar Vanilla Bean, Lavender Honey, Lemon Basil Sorbet, and Cucumber Sorbet. Ice cream and sorbet-making classes available too. Must try. $3.50/Scoope.
  • Dog Haus, 105 N Hill Ave., Ste. 104 (N. Hill Ave. and E. Union St.). Gourmet hot dogs, sausages, and burgers served on King's Hawaiian Bread with massive toppings such as fried egg, haus garlic aioli, caramelized onions, grilled jalapeños, smoked bacon, curry ketchup, dill pickle chips, blue cheese crumbles, and all the usual suspects. Sides include fries, onion rings, and tater tots. Good soda selections. $5.95 and up.
  • La Caravana Restaurante Salvadoreno, 1306 N Lake Ave (N. Lake Ave. and E. Washington Blvd.), ☎ +1 626 791-7378. If you have never eaten Salvadorian foods before, come try the pupusas. They are a traditional Salvadoran dish made of thick, hand-made corn tortilla that is filled with a blend of cheese, pork, refried beans, and/or loroco. For first timers, try the Plato Tipico, which comes with rice, beans, one choice of pupusa, grilled pork, tamales, cheese, fried plantains, and vegetables. There is also a mini pupusas sampler plate. About $3/pupusa and $10/plate.
  • Roma Italian Deli and Grocery, 918 N Lake Ave (N. Lake Ave. and E. Mountain St.), ☎ +1 626 797-7748. A small Italian grocery store with a wide selections of cheeses, prosciutto, salami, pastas, olive oils, and homemade bread. The store also makes a simple but delicious sandwich consists of bread, cold-cuts, and olive oils. The sandwich maker is a helpful 80-year-old man who would sometimes let you sample a slice of cheese or meat as he goes on in making the sandwich. Just go up to the sandwich counter and say "one sandwich, please" and nothing else. About $5.
  • Euro Pane Bakery, 950 E Colorado Blvd., Ste. 107 (Colorado Blvd. and N. Lake Ave.), ☎ +1 626 577-1828. This small artisan bakery makes some of the best sandwiches, homemade bread, and desserts in Pasadena. It is famous for its open-face egg salad sandwich (yolky-creamy) and decadent macaroons. (Flavors include Blackberry, Hazelnut, Mocha, Passion Fruit, Pistachio, Raspberry, and Salted Caramel.) $7 and up for sandwiches.
  • El Taquito Mexicano Truck, 510 S Fair Oaks Ave (S. Fair Oaks Ave. and W. California Blvd.). 6PM - As late as it takes. No trip to Southern California is complete without experiencing eating tacos out of a food truck. Try the carne asada (beef), al pastor (pork), or whatever strikes your fancy. (Cabeza, anyone?) Choose red or green sauce. (Red is spicier.) Wash them down with a cold can of coke or Mexican soda. The truck is parked on the lot of Nishikawa Automotive. Do not get confused with the yellow taco truck nearby. $1.25/Taco.

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Drink

  • Jones Coffee Roasters, 693 S Raymond Ave (S. Raymond Ave. and E. California Blvd.). A great local coffee house that roasts its own beans on site! It is situated in an obscure but tastefully decorated warehouse. Friendly and knowledgeable staff and owners. On unspecified days they even have homemade tamales for sale.

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Sleep

  • Hilton Pasadena, 168 S. Los Robles Ave, ☎ +1 626 577-1000. Within walking distance of Old Pasadena. Features 296 rooms. Expensive Wi-Fi and breakfast ($19,95++). Complimentary shuttle within 2 miles of hotel. Complimentary swimming pool.
  • The Langham Huntington, 1401 S. Oak Knoll, ☎ +1 626 568-3900. Built in 1907 when Pasadena was the prime destination for the affluent traveler, The Huntington is the last resort hotel left in town and is nestled in one of the more pristine residential parts of the town. Located on 23 acres with historic ballrooms and gardens, a spa, award-winning dining, and 380 guestrooms.
  • Old Pasadena Courtyard by Marriott, 180 N. Fair Oaks, ☎ +1 626 403-7600. Located in the heart of Old Pasadena with 314 rooms and complimentary Wi-Fi.
  • Sheraton Pasadena, 303 Cordova St, ☎ +1 626 449-4000. Features 311 rooms. Across from the shops and restaurants of Paseo Colorado. Free shuttle within 3 miles of hotel.
  • The Westin Pasadena, 191 N. Los Robles Ave, ☎ +1 626 792-2727. Features 350 rooms, outdoor pool, state-of-the-art workout facility, and Heavenly Beds.
  • Comfort Inn, 2462 E. Colorado Blvd, ☎ +1 626 405-0811. Features 54 rooms, microwave, refrigerator and Wi-Fi in all rooms.
  • Holiday Inn Express, 3500 E. Colorado Blvd, ☎ +1 626 792-1363. Features 81 rooms, Wi-Fi, outdoor pool, and free hot Express Start Breakfast.
  • Howard Johnson Pasadena, 1599 E. Colorado Blvd, ☎ +1 626 304-9678. Features 60 rooms, free Wi-Fi, and continental breakfast.
  • Pasadean Inn, 400 S. Arroyo Parkway, ☎ +1 626 795-8401. Free breakfast, Wi-Fi and parking.
  • Pasadena Travelodge, 2131 E. Colorado Blvd, ☎ +1 626 796-3121. On Rose Parade route. Free Wi-Fi and continental breakfast. In-room refrigerator, microwave and coffee maker.
  • Quality Inn Pasadena, 3321 E. Colorado Blvd, ☎ +1 626 796-9291. Free Wi-Fi, business center, fitness room and pool. Pets allowed.
  • Ramada Inn, 2156 E. Colorado Blvd, ☎ +1 626 793-9339. Features 75 rooms, elevator, pool, iPod docks, refrigerators, and Wi-Fi. Complimentary continental breakfast. On Rose Parade route.
  • Rodeway Inn & Suites, 2860 E. Colorado Blvd, ☎ +1 626 792-3700. Free continental breakfast, Wi-Fi and parking.
  • Saga Motor Hotel, 1663 E. Colorado Blvd, ☎ +1 626 795-0431. On Rose Parade route. Complimentary continental breakfast and parking, Wi-Fi and heated pool.
  • Super 8 Motel, 2863 E. Colorado Blvd, ☎ +1 626 449-3020. Free parking, deluxe breakfast, pool, cable TV, and refrigerator.
  • Vagabond Inn Executive Pasadena, 1203 E. Colorado Blvd, ☎ +1 626 449-3170, fax: +1 626 577-8873. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM.

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Keep Connected

Internet

There is a very small internet bar/cafe culture in the USA. Even then most of the internet bars/cafes tend be located in major urban centers. Accessible WiFi networks, however, are common. The most generally useful WiFi spots are in coffee shops, fast-food chains, and bookshops, but also restaurants and hotels more and more have a network to connect on. Some of them might require you to buy something and you might need a password too, especially in hotels.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The general emergency phone number is 911. The USA has a great landline phone system that is easy to use. The country code for the U.S. is +1. The rest of the telephone number consists of 10 digits: a 3-digit area code, and a 7-digit number. Any small grocery store or pharmacy has pre paid domestic or international phone cards. These phone cards are very cheap and offer good rates. The once ubiquitous pay phone is now much harder to find. Likely locations include in or near stores and restaurants, and near bus stops. The cellphone network in the states is slowly getting better but is still not as good when compared to other western countries. Cell phones tend to operate using different frequencies (850 MHz and 1900 MHz) from those used elsewhere in the world (2100 MHz). This used to prevent most foreign phones from working in America. Phones must be tri- or quad-band to work in the U.S. Fortunately, technology has meant that most phones should now be able to pick up one of the U.S. networks. Prepaid phones and top-up cards can be purchased at mobile phone boutiques and at many discount, electronics, office supply and convenience stores. A very basic handset with some credit can be had for under $40.

Post

The US Postal Service is a very good and well priced mail system. There are post offices in every small and large town for sending packages internationally or domestically. Although some might keep longer hours, most are open at least between 9:00am and 5:00pm. If wanting to send a letter or postcard it is best just to leave it in a blue mail box with the proper postage. First-class international airmail postcards and letters (up 28.5 grams) cost $1.10. There are also private postal services like FedEx, UPS, TNT and DHL, which might be better value sometimes and are generally very quick and reliable too.

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This is version 8. Last edited at 9:45 on Jun 14, 19 by Utrecht. 3 articles link to this page.

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