Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Have Fun In South Pasadena California

Although only nine miles from downtown Los Angeles, the city of South Pasadena retains a small town charm that sets it apart from other areas of the sprawling Los Angeles metropolitan area. The small city's attractive tree-lined streets make frequent appearances in films and commercials. Residents take pride in their plethora of locally-owned small businesses. All in all, South Pasadena makes a nice respite from urban life. Best of all, this taste of small town living is located on the Gold Line, making South Pasadena only a short train ride away from Union Station in downtown Los Angeles or the heart of Old Pasadena.


1. Arrive by train at South Pasadena's Mission Station, located on the Gold Line. Try to come on a Thursday evening so that you can enjoy the year-round South Pasadena Farmer's Market, located adjacent to the station. The market offers fresh produce, crafts and plenty of great food options.

2. Learn about South Pasadena's fascinating history at the South Pasadena Historical Museum, located in the historic Meridian Iron Works Building at 913 Meridian Street. Among other claims to fame, South Pasadena was once home to the United State's first ostrich farm.

3. Get lunch-to-go at one of South Pasadena's many cafes or delis. Nicole's Gourmet Foods, 921 Meridian Avenue, offers fresh sandwiches, as well as cheeses, salads, and pastries. The Munch Deli, 1028 Mission Street, has a dedicated local following for its delicious sandwich offerings.

4. Enjoy a picnic at Garfield Park, located at the corner of Stratford Avenue and Mission Street. This park has something for everyone: a bustling playground, tennis courts, a rose garden, a picnic area (as well as scattered picnic tables), plentiful benches, rolling grassy hills and meandering paths.

5. Shop at South Pasadena's many unique stores. You can buy everything from a vintage stove to a new pair of walking shoes to a couture gown. Book 'em Mysteries, located at 1119 Mission Street, offers endless options for weekend reading, while the Dinosaur Farm is the toy store destination of choice for thousands of area children and their parents. Many other stores, including antique stores, gift shops, and other purveyors of items of all kinds, line the main commercial corridors of Mission Street and Fair Oaks Avenue.

6. Take time to stroll some of South Pasadena's attractive streets. You may find that some houses or streets look familiar; the city is a favorite destination for film crews, often drawn to the city because its architecture and trees can pass for locations in the Midwest or on the East Coast. The "Halloween House," from the movie "Halloween," is centrally located across from the Mission Street Station at 1000 Mission Street. Several house exteriors from the "Back to the Future" movies were filmed on the 1700 block of Bushnell Avenue; Michael J. Fox movie buffs will recognize the intersection from the rooftop van "surfing" scene from "Teen Wolf" at Fair Oaks Avenue and Mission Street.

7. Enjoy dinner at one of the city's many restaurants. Options range from the family-friendly Fair Oaks Pharmacy and Soda Fountain, located at 1526 Mission Street, to a more romantic destination such as the 750ml bistro and wine bar at 966 Mission Street. Top off the day with a play at Fremont Centre Theatre, 1000 Fremont Avenue.

Tags: South Pasadena, Mission Street, Fair Oaks, Avenue Mission, Avenue Mission Street, downtown Angeles, Fair Oaks Avenue