811 Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena
This South Pasadena spot makes incredible French pastries—shiny globes of mousse, tiny tarts, and picture-perfect croissants.
Norton Simon Museum
411 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
The Norton Simon Museum has the most impressive permanent collection in LA, including a great wing of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art. They also have a lovely sculpture garden with a couple of pieces by Rodin contemporary Aristide Maillol—it’s a nice place for a glass of wine between galleries.
1001 Rose Bowl Dr., Pasadena
Bring little kids for a weekend matinee or let teens do their own thing later in the evening (and rest easy—masks are required any time you leave the car and spaces are set six feet apart). This may be the perfect summer 2020 activity—the film curation is on point, social distancing is enforced, and snacks are (safely) for sale. Pro tip: Buy tickets online, but get there early, as spaces are assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Juice Served Here (Closed)
57 E. Holly St., Pasadena
In addition to being incredibly convenient for satiating juice cravings (there are locations sprouting up all over the city) this the perfect juice gateway drug for cleanse newbies: Beyond their most popular drink, Green Milk, which is like having dessert for dinner, the Charcoal Lemonade is delicious, despite the suspiciousness of drinking montmorillonite clay and activated charcoal (in contrast, the jalapeño-laced beet juice is tough to swallow). You can also add in extras to ease the process: We opted for the raw soup (a carrot-based gazpacho) and the coconut superfood bar (nice when you miss the sensation of chewing). Bonus points for the DO ME (FIRST, 02, 03, 04, 05, LAST) directions on the caps and the recent addition of lifestyle-y giftables at most outposts. There are additional locations in Studio City, Downtown, Venice, Silver Lake, Hollywood, Santa Monica, and West Hollywood.
4 Westmoreland Pl., Pasadena
An architectural survey of Los Angeles isn't complete without seeing the work of brothers Charles and Henry Greene who pioneered the Arts & Crafts movement in California. The Gamble House in Pasadena is a particularly outstanding specimen of their endemic architectural style, as Greene & Greene custom-designed every single joint and beam in this 1908 bungalow, from the remarkably crafted staircase to the stained glass doors in the entryway, to the furniture and even the textiles—all full of references to the local natural surroundings. There's a standard hour-long tour, though architecture buffs and carpentry aficionados will appreciate the longer, more intensive options, one of which is led by a woodworker.
1975 Lincoln Ave., Pasadena
Susanne Hollis specializes in fine antiques from Asia, Europe and South America, in addition to more contemporary pieces from her own collection. From an 18th century Chinese desk from the Qing Dynasty to a 1930's Art Deco table, there's always an interesting piece for the home in here.
480 N. Arroyo Blvd., Pasadena
While the physical Kidspace property is closed due to current restrictions, the seriously robust online offering makes this temporary loss easier to handle. Kidspace-at-Home has a full online roster of creative programming tailored around arts-and-crafts, science, and animals for all age groups. The art projects are especially well conceived and involve the bits and pieces you probably already have at home: painting rocks from the garden, making rainbow popsicles to slurp outside, even homemade slime (parents, don’t panic—it’s an easy-to-contain mix of corn starch, dish soap, water, and food coloring).
Huntington Botanical Gardens
31151 Oxford Rd., Pasadena
At 120 acres, almost every iteration of plant life is represented at this San Marino resource: Fortunately, it's broken out by themes. There's a Rose Garden, a Palm Garden, a Chinese Garden, a Japanese Garden, and so forth—but what really stands out is The Desert Garden, where you can see some 5,000 species of cacti and other succulents.
5018 York Blvd., Pasadena
The fine beer selection here is complemented by great gastropub food (we love the truffle grilled cheese and fried chickpeas).
Olive & June
146 S. Lake Ave., Pasadena
While you wouldn't normally liken a nail salon to a really great-looking home, that's the prevailing vibe at this perennially-bustling Beverly Hills nail shop. They employ the city's best nail artists when they're not on shoots or catering to clients at home, which means it's kind of the place to go if you want something specific and intricate. While the Beverly Hills location is their original flagship, there are now locations in Santa Monica and Pasadena as well. Photos: Bonnie Tsang.