Los Angeles as a city and a county is very large. We kind of like to separate by towns, valleys, and/or cardinal directions (North, South, East, West). Some of these cities that I’m going to mention, I don’t even know what to call them. They are sometimes part of the San Fernando Valley or San Gabriel Valley. But what I’ve been hearing all my life is that they are called Foothill Communities because they lie next to the mountain ranges in Los Angeles; near the foot’s hill. Some also lie next to the 210 freeway (the Foothill Freeway). These cities are Burbank, Glendale, and Pasadena just to name a few. Maybe they’re just suburbs? They don’t really have much going on, but if you want to live, breathe, and travel like a local, you might want to check these places out.
Burbank and Glendale are the closest foothill community being that it’s on the other side of Griffith Park. You can see Burbank when you hike the Hollywood Sign. It’s almost like Hollywood 2.0 as it houses Warner Brothers Studios (Studio Tours), Disney, etc. Instead of flying to LAX, you may find yourself at Burbank Airport (a.k.a. Bob Hope Airport). Usually, I compare the prices between Burbank and LAX and usually Burbank is a lot cheaper to fly out of or into, but definitely a lot closer to where I live and less traffic! Well, the 5 is a lot better than the 405 on certain days.
A common and popular bakery is located both in Burbank and Glendale. Portland has it’s Voodoo Dolls, New York got Shake Shack, and LA has both In-N-Out and Porto’s. I don’t know how people can take this food items on the plane without finishing it all before they land, but since Porto’s is a few miles away from Burbank Airport, people love bringing them to other cities in the US of A (not sure if you can bring Internationally). The original Porto’s is located in Glendale; but both are equally delicious and are known for it’s long lines. You might as well try it all! I recommend their potato balls, guava, cheese, or guava cheese rolls, triple chocolate mouse cake, mango mousse cake, and Italian cheesecake. They’re so yummy.
Glendale also house the third largest mall in Los Angeles County the other two being Westfield Topanga and Del Almo Mall. You may find more selections here than you would find at the Beverly Center or the Grove which pretty much is tourist central. Across from the Glendale Galleria is the Americana, which is also owned by the same people who owns the Grove and across from that is the newly opened Museum of Neon Arts. Admission to MONA is $8 for adults, $5 Students and Seniors (65+), and $4 Glendale Residents. Children 12 and under are free.
One thing I found recently on Instagram was the Brand Library. It’s a park/gallery/ library. It’s an interesting place. If I could guess, it was a house turned into a library because it has fireplaces. It’s just a good place to unwind. The building also looks kind of like the Taj Mahal but not really. It does have the Indian feel.
If you keep going on the 134 East to the 210 East from Glendale, you will end up in Old Town Pasadena. Pasadena is and used to be where all the rich folks lived. Esp. in San Marino. Here you’ll find houses comparable to Beverly Hills. Below is a list of things to see:
1. Pasadena Rose Parade: if you find yourself in Los Angeles from New Years to around Jan 3-5, you can see the rose parade. On Jan 1st, Pasadena always host its annual rose parade (Jan 2 if the first lands on a Sunday). Floats that are covered with roses runs down Colorado Blvd and ends up at Sierra Madre for display.
I remember when I was little, my mom used to drag me out of bed at the wee early hours and we would try to find a place to sit/stand to see the parade. Some people even stay overnight. Nowadays, it’s more like watch it on KTLA and go to Sierra Madre. However, if you don’t want to do that, you can always buy tickets to sit at the bleachers along Colorado Blvd. Tickets varies between how close you are to the beginning/ end of the parade.
2. Old Town Pasadena: If you go down Colorado Blvd., you’ll find small restaurants and shops from brand names to small boutiques. Around here, you will also find the Pasadena City Hall and Civic Auditorium
3. Rose Bowl and Colorado Street Bridge: from Old Town Pasadena, you can drive to/on the old Colorado Street Bridge (a.k.a Suicide Bridge) towards the Rose Bowl. This bridge is kind of creepy but antique looking at the same time.
The rose bowl is where the Rose bowl plays on Jan 1. It is also where you have concerts and the Rose bowl swap meet that is held every other Sunday. If you run the whole rose bowl, it can help you with training you on a 5k because the whole circumference is about that much.
4. Hiking: the mountains near Pasadena/Arcadia area has a lot of trails. Some of my favorites are Eaton Canyon and Strutevant Falls. Watch for signs on parking. On weekends you may need a permit.
5. Santa Anita Race Track: want to bet on some horse racing? This is our own version of Kentucky Derby. The 626 Night Market and the Ramen Festival is held here as well.
6. LA Arboretum & Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens: 2 separate gardens but each unique.
The LA Arboretum’s main attraction is the Queen Anne’s Cottage and their wild animals running around; specifically the peacocks (peafowls). They also have wild ducks. It’s kind of nerve wrecking because you’re walking around and next thing you know these animals start squawking to let you know they’re around. Btw, for some reason they walk in pairs. Admission is $9 for adults, $6 for Students and Seniors (62+), and $4 for Children (5-12).
The Huntington Library is one of the largest gardens in LA County and probably one of the expensive ones at $23 on weekdays and $25 on weekends for adults. Students and Senior are $19/$21 and Youth is $10/$10. I think it’s the best out of all the gardens in LA. You get a mixture of both gardens and museums at the same time but the gardens are the main attractions esp the Chinese and the Japanese Gardens.
I havent really explored any further of these parts of Los Angeles but will. I know one thing on my bucket list is the Bridge to Nowhere. Anyone want to Bungee Jump with me?