City Reviews Travel & Hotels

Perfect Pasadena

City Hall at Dusk in Pasadena

Surrounded by rolling hills, and set apart from the hustle, bustle, and grime of downtown Los Angeles sits the urban oasis of Pasadena. With wide streets, mature trees, and stately homes, it’s easy to see why Pasadena is the film location of choice for those wanting suburban perfection. Host to college football’s world renowned, Rose Bowl, Pasadena has held the event every January — on New Year’s Day — for the past 90 years. The Bowl is a huge event drawing fans from wintery weather to the delightfully mild 65-degree temperatures and sunshine. While the city does have excellent educational facilities, making one incredibly fortunate to go to school in Pasadena, it should not be mistaken for just another college town; the community is more Perfect Family Life versus College Scruff.

The cultural facilities in Pasadena are refreshingly satisfying while maintaining it’s locally rich flavor. Stage productions, at the 100-year old Pasadena Theater, are performed in a setting of historical significance and wonder. What it lacks in sophisticated plumbing, it makes up for in architectural detail. After enjoying a show, there are plenty of interesting options for food and drink.

And then there’s the The Langham Huntington, Pasadena (formerly The Ritz-Carlton). This is a very special hotel, built in the early 1900s with east coast residents in mind, looking to vacation in the perfect climate of Pasadena during their unbearable winters.  The hotel has stood the test of time and is now very much a destination hotel where you can easily take a six-person family and thoroughly enjoy the grounds for days. The region of Pasadena has a heavy Asian influence. At The Langham Huntington this is evident in the ridiculously cool Japanese tree and pond garden featuring a red bridge, perfect for lingering and pondering. Additionally, the spa at The Langham Huntington offers Chuan Body + Soul treatments used to help soothe your specific element whether it be fire, wood, water, metal, or earth. By asking a series of questions, therapists determine your element and base your massage treatment and aromatherapy scent on these findings.

Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens offer a historical and artistic experience. It’s much like walking into the time of Dowtown Abbey. The Huntingtons — who also built the The Langham Huntington — were a colorful couple with Mrs. Huntington drawing inspiration from Marie Antoinette. The grounds of the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens include their actual home preserved for our historical pleasure. The Huntington also has a really impressive exhibit on the history of the written word, which spans from the time of The Canterbury Tales to modern society and everything in between with a focus on the rights and struggles of those marginalized such as American Indians and American slaves.

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