Last year on our bumper road trip, we stopped off in LA. Instead of staying in the hustle and bustle of one of the busiest cities on earth, we headed to Pasadena for a more sedate taste of that LA Life.
OK now real talk here. Our love of The Big Bang Theory may have played a major part of us choosing Pasadena. We simply had to eat at the Cheesecake Factory where fictional Penny works and the boys eat. Of course it was nothing like the TV show but hey, when in Rome eh!
Pasadena has a relatively small population of 140,000 and a super quaint small town feel to it. With the major hub of shops and bars being in a 21 block stretch everything you could need is close to hand.
We stayed at the Marriott on Fair Oaks Avenue, just a stones throw away from the middle of Pasadena old town. The hotel is just mere metres away from the historic route 66 section that runs through LA too. The hotel is new and modern with parking onsite and a much needed outdoor pool after those hot days exploring Pasadena.
Our favourite bar of choice was The Blind Donkey on East Union Street, Pasadena which specialises in bourbon and whiskey. A nice locals bar with great bar snacks and enough drinks to keep anyone happy.
As the main hot spots of Pasadena are so compact, after a wander round old town and over to the City Hall, you can check out the pretty outdoor mall at Paseo Colorado. Very American, very stereotypical LA shopping experience. Again, not going to lie, we may have visited the PF Changs here just because of TBBT. Shhh we’re fans ok!
As Paul’s uni friend lives out in LA with his beautiful wife it would be rude not to pay a visit. Congregation Ale House, Pasadena is another great place to grab some delicious upscale bar food and some good beers. Another locals place it felt very much like a good pub back in Newcastle. The Beer Cheese Pretzel was the food of gods. If I could get that gooey delight shipped to me, I would!
We loved the vibe of Pasadena and would most definitely visit again. Relatively close to the big hitters of LA but far enough removed to be chilled, Pasadena didn’t have a touristy feel to it at all. The people were super friendly and welcoming and everyone who heard us speak, just wanted to know more about England.