Day Trip: Pasadena

Story and photos by Alexa Moreno

Wanderlust affects us all, but obstacles like time and money often stand in the way. Feeling the need to get away but don’t want to spend an arm and a leg? Well, you don’t have to! Located just over an hour from Long Beach, Pasadena is the perfect getaway to satisfy your need for a change of scenery. If you’re looking for a place to shop, dine and get in touch with nature, Pasadena has everything you need for a perfect day trip.


Arlington Garden

275 Arlington Drive, Pasadena

This beautiful garden is filled with plants that flourish in our California climate, providing the perfect background for those Instagram-worthy selfies. Filled with tons of tables and seating areas, the garden is also a great place for a romantic lunch in the sun. With plenty of street parking making it easy to access, this is a must-see in Pasadena. The garden is open to the public every day from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., rain or shine.


Vroman’s Bookstore

695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

Located on the Historic Route 66 Highway, Vroman’s Bookstore is one of the oldest independent bookstores in Southern California, making it a necessary stop for lovers of history and literature alike. Get lost in the sea of books, apparel and cool trinkets. With books spanning topics from tarot cards to fine dining, you will find yourself spending countless hours perusing the shelves.


La Grande Orange Café

260 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena

Modeled after an old train depot, La Grande Orange Café is a great place to grab a drink and a bite to eat with some friends. Located right next to the Metrolink, the restaurant has a constantly rotating stream of customers, which keep the vibe consistently upbeat. While their selections are on the pricier side, the food and drinks are definitely worth the few extra bucks. To save a little cash, go during their happy hour for $8 signature cocktails and $7 draft beers and wine. Make sure to try their amazing deviled eggs with bacon at just $8 for a half dozen or their delicious rotisserie prime rib French dip ($21).


Vanilla Bake Shop

88 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

Located in the heart of Old Town Pasadena, Vanilla Bake Shop sells some of the most delicious pastries anywhere in the city. With an array of different cookies, cupcakes and macarons to choose from, this spot is a sweets-lover’s paradise. The friendly staff and picturesque store make coming to the shop a treat in and of itself. Make sure to try their dark chocolate cupcake with dark chocolate buttercream sprinkled with sea salt. At only $3.95 each, these cupcakes are the most delicious way to end the day.

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