Located just 15 km from Hollywood the historical leafy neighbourhood of Pasadena makes for a great one-day escape from LA. Add these stately houses, art galleries and cultivated gardens to your agenda.
Norton Simon Museum
Frank Gehry renovated the galleries at this striking 22-room manse in Carmelita Park, but the stash of American and European art is as equally impressive. Among the incredible 12,000-piece private collection are works by Rembrandt, Degas and Picasso plus an exquisite range South and Southeast Asian art. Outside, enjoy an amble around the lush, manicured sculpture garden and refuel at the alfresco cafe.
Historic house, botanical garden and art gallery all rolled into one: the alabaster Beaux-Arts abode containing the richly furnished library and British, Dutch and French art works is worth visiting alone, but it’s the 12 idyllic gardens that really steal the show. Don’t miss the California Garden planted with more than 50,000 types of native flora.
Another outdoor option is this popular 1930s-built house and garden, which is also home to the Sturt Haaga Gallery repping rotating contemporary art and botanical exhibitions. Zen out in the tranquil Japanese Garden complete with tea house and koi-filled ponds.
Rose Tree Cottage
This quaint tea room recalls ye olde England with its chintzy decor, elegant china and bow-tied wait staff and it’s the top choice for afternoon tea. Pinkies out as you graze on fresh pastries, finger sandwiches and scones with clotted cream while sipping on freshly brewed loose-leaf tea.
Pasadena’s mega stadium seats 90,000 and is host to all of LA’s major sports events and concerts. While you might be too late to snap up tickets for Ed Sheeran or Jay-Z and Beyonce, it’s worthy of a gander when in town. The mammoth Rose Bowl flea market is held on the second Sunday of every month.
Norton Simon Museum / 411 W Colorado Blvd / Pasadena / +1 626 449 6840 / 12pm-5pm Mon & Wed-Thu / www.nortonsimon.org
Huntington Gardens / 1151 Oxford Rd / San Marino / +1 626 405 2100 / 10am-5pm Wed-Mon / www.huntington.org/
Descanso Gardens / Descanso Dr / La Cañada Flintridge / +1 818 949 4200 / 9am-5pm daily / www.descansogardens.org
Rose Tree Cottage / 801 South Pasadena Avenue / +1 626 793 3337 / 10am-6pm daily / www.rosetreecottage.com
Rose Bowl / 1001 Rose Bowl Dr / Pasadena / +1 626 577 3100 / opening times vary / www.rosebowlstadium.com/