Arts and Culture? Check. The San Gabriel Valley is home to several unique museums, shops, and venues that scream culture. Historical landmarks, funnel cakes as big as a flying saucers, world famous paintings, and unique exotic gardens - from the west side of the valley to east and everything in between, there are numerous opportunities that await the cultural adventurer. From the Huntington Gardens to Art Walks in Claremont, there is something for everyone.
There are several towns in the San Gabriel Valley that have reoccurring Art Walks that feature fine art, music, and a good time. The Village in Claremont hosts an Art Walk the first Friday of every month. In downtown Pomona there are over three dozen galleries for viewing every second and last Saturday of the month. Pasadena also hosts several Art events throughout the year.
This beautiful facility is home to the historic annual L. A. County Fair and more than 300 other quality year-round educational, multi-cultural and entertainment events tailored for business and industry and for the enrichment and enjoyment of Southern California's adults, youth and families. More than three million guests visit the FAIRPLEX annually as guests of special events and the County Fair. Please visit their website at www.fairplex.com for a current calendar.
The Pasadena Symphony and POPS
The Pasadena Symphony and POPS, the city’s two foremost orchestral institutions, feature southern California’s top musicians in engaging concerts all year round. The Pasadena Symphony’s Classics Series runs from October through April at the acoustically exquisite Ambassador Auditorium. The Pasadena Pops and Principal Pops Conductor Marvin Hamlisch perform outdoor concerts throughout the summer at the LA County Arboretum. Students in 6th through 9th grade are encouraged to audition for the Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestra, which was recently featured on Fox’s hit show GLEE. www.PasadenaSymphony-Pops.org
Huntington Library, Art Collection and Botanical Gardens
Developed by Henry Huntington in 1903, the botanical gardens now span nearly 150 acres and feature over 14,000 different species of plants. Three art galleries and a library showcase a collection of magnificent paintings, sculpture, rare books, manuscripts and decorative arts. Highlights of the collection include the Ellesmere manuscript of Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, a Gutenberg Bible, Thomas Gainsborough’s masterpiece, The Blue Boy, and Sir Thomas Lawrence’s, Pinkie. www.huntington.org
A natural "bowl" in the San Rafael hills provides a secluded setting for Descanso Gardens. The first inhabitants of the area were the Los Angeles basin's Gabrielino Indians. Descanso now includes a world-class rosarium, lilac garden, bird sanctuary, and xeriscape, as well as a Japanese teahouse and a gift shop. www.descansogardens.org
Pacific Asia Museum
Pacific Asia Museum was founded in 1971 as a center for the arts and cultures of Asia and the Pacific Islands. The only museum in Southern California devoted solely to Asia and the Pacific, Pacific Asia Museum fosters cultural understanding through the arts. www.pacificasiamuseum.org
Tournament of Roses
Each New Year's Day, the world focuses its attention on Pasadena, California, U.S.A., home of the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game. It's a celebration more than a century old--a festival of flowers, music and sports unequaled anywhere in the world. Interviews may be with the past Rose Queen, the head of the Tournament, and the last winner of the Rose Bowl (football coach). www.tournamentofroses.com
Located in Pasadena, Vroman's is Southern California's oldest independent bookstore.In addition to its well attended author reading series, they also offer writing workshops and art classes. Through their "Give Back" campaign, Vroman’s supports National Public Radio (NPR), the Los Angeles Zoo, the Pasadena Museum of History, and the Pasadena Public Library. www.vromansbookstore.com