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Old 12-18-2011, 12:30 AM
237 posts, read 596,181 times
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Many of the shops and restaurants in Old Pasadena are open the day BEFORE the Tournament of Roses Parade (although, this year the day BEFORE is NEW YEAR"S DAY and the official holiday and parade the next day), but the vast majority will be closed because of the parade, and New Year's falling on a Sunday this year may mean merchants may choose NOT to open that day as well. So, try to take in Pasadena no later than the Saturday before the parade. Also, on New Year's Day observed being a Monday, a lot of other places of interest and shops and restaurants throughout the entire city and metro area may be closed, as well. Tuesday is when all should be back to normal.

Just Pasadena itself is a good get-away. I would add the Norton Simon Museum of Art as another truly great museum in Pasadena. It is actually along the parade route and just a few blocks from Old Pasadena. Consider the Metro Gold Line to get around or to access the parade or NYE MADNESS along the parade route at www-mta-dot-net.
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Old 12-18-2011, 12:41 AM
16,056 posts, read 20,681,313 times
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Originally Posted by MsMurphy64 View Post
You said something about the water...I would so recommend whale watching..its good in winter and summer....long beach downtown.....
I would add Venice Beach, it is a must see. Prepare for very different experience, it is like on the movies.....
Downtown Ventura is very nice, "old school" spainish looking buildings, lots of antique shops, artsy buildings, neat sidewalk ethnic resturants. I love going there. Too much to do in a few days for sure. Tex you did a great job, you should do a tour service lol
Also, light windbreaker, sweats for the beach. It will be chilly. Be safe, have fun...post pics!!!
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Old 12-20-2011, 09:32 PM
3,088 posts, read 4,431,662 times
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Originally Posted by Swandaddy View Post
So, I'm pulling the Albert Pujols and taking my talents to Los Angeles. Definitely planning on doing the Rose Parade. A: any pointers on that and B: what absolute must sees that are specific to LA would you recommend seeing while I'm there? Of course, there's probably going to be the standard go to Hollywood be a dumb tourist and stalk celebrities day, and a night or two out on the town (GLBT) but other than that I wanna def make the most of my time there, have a blast, but also have an experience that gives a true feel to LA--what corner dive restaurants would I just have to eat at, are there any ocean-related activities that can be done in January, what would recommendations be as to something that attests to the history of the region/how it became great/etc? Thx in advance for your thoughts.
If I were you, I would do the Rose Bowl game and visit the Tournament of Roses 391 S. Orange Grove Blvd, Pasadena. If that's not already sold out. I think that's an important part of LA's history. Tournament of Roses > Home

Definitely eat at In N Out. That is a right of passage for every Angeleno.

Christmas Tree Lane History – Altadena's Christmas Tree Lane

I would also shop at Rodeo Drive, the Beverly Center, and The Grove on Fairfax.

Then, there's the Hollywood stuff.

Since you're set on history, then, you should visit downtown LA. That is the heart and soul of the city and if I were to point my finger to anything that made it great, that would be it.

Good luck!

Last edited by Jay100; 12-20-2011 at 09:44 PM..
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Old 12-22-2011, 09:06 PM
Location: Chicago
302 posts, read 417,598 times
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Thank you so much for the suggestions/ideas so far. Gradually still putting together the agenda albeit with the Christmas interlude going on at the same time. Nevertheless, I am looking forward to this trip and it'll be here before u even know it! :-)
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Old 01-07-2012, 03:53 PM
Location: Chicago
302 posts, read 417,598 times
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Hey everyone,

Just got back recently from said LA trip and let me say I had the most wonderful time. It truly is a great city, and the parade was wonderful. Got fortunate with the weather (I'm guessing even for LA standards), as except for the first day when it was foggy and 60, every day was sunny and 80 during the day and about 50 at night. Takes a big chunk out of winter, eh.

We put 650 miles on the rental car, including a quick day trip to Palm Springs to check out the main strip of Palm Springs and eat at a Mexican restaurant whose name escapes me but was really good.

One day was the parade and then we went up and saw the floats in the after-parade; that was basically a full day. Did an evening in Silver Lake, getting Gobi's Mongolian BBQ and Thirsty Crow Bar (very nice!).

The Hollywood walk of fame and the Griffith observatory were another day. The Griffith observatory is amazing, the views are wonderful and the contributions to astronomy are not to be omitted. It was interesting to see that only during the period near the winter solstice the sun sets on the Pacific Ocean from that vantage point.

Another day was Santa Monica Pier and Venice Beach. Venice beach is amazing, and I want to come back sometime just to specifically spend a 3 day weekend there! In addition, I was pleasantly impressed with Abbot Kinney road right there, which felt like a little slice of Wicker Park/Bucktown. Ate at Gjelina which was very nice.

Those are pretty much the highlights of the trip, but the most impressive thing IMO was just how absolutely friendly and free-sprited everyone was while there. There is this constant buzz of the creativity of the human spirit, encapsulated by the skipping, singing and dancing of the pedestrian crossing the street and the art-work in an electronic store that I found pleasantly delightful.

A handful of pics will be attached--I just found out the filesize is too large and I gotta get rolling. I'll try to load them up later.
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