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Getting around Pasadena without a car for Rosebowl Parade

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Union City, CA
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Getting around Pasadena without a car for Rosebowl Parade

How easy will it be for my adult daughter and I to get around Rosebowl parade weekend without a car.

We are taking Amtrak to Los Angeles Union Station and hopefully will stay at a station within walking distance of Union Station. Can anyone recommend a good hotel near Union Station?

We are arriving a couple of days ahead of the parade and want to volunteer for float building (in Rosebowl parking lot) and attend one of the band pre-parade performances (not sure of location).

How easy (or difficult) will this be without a car. We are both comfortable taking subway or bus. As an absolute last resort we will rent a car once we arrive in LA.

Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated.

Yucaipa, California
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1. Re: Getting around Pasadena without a car for Rosebowl Parade

In my opinion, for what it is worth, the area around Union Station is not well suited for a hotel stay. What do you want to do in Los Angeles besides Rose Parade related activities in Pasadena out in the valley? Perhaps you can stay at or near the Hollywood and Highland complex. Public transport should be good at that location and it is better suited as a place to lodge as well as sightseeing.

Edited: 02 November 2010, 01:46
Pasadena, California
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2. Re: Getting around Pasadena without a car for Rosebowl Parade

Things may be getting booked up... so look for a hotel soon. If Pasadena is booked (likely), consider staying in Downtown LA or Holllywood, but in any case, within walking distance of a light rail station (Red Line, Gold Line).

Travelling by light rail in the Pasadena area will be easier than taking buses, especially on Jan 1, when the street traffic will likely be jammed while the trains will have no problem. Metro adds trains on Jan. 1, and according to my husband and sons, who took the Gold Line to the Memorial Park Station for the Rose Bowl Game last year, all went smoothly and they arrived quickly.

Have you looked at the Tournament of Roses website? Lots of good info there, including locations for float decorating and contact info for the decorating companies and organizations:

tournamentofroses.com/events/floatdecorating…

The Rose Palace on Raymond is just a couple of blocks from the Fillmore station of the Gold Line. I'm not familiar with public transportation to the areas near the Rose Bowl, except on game day (when there is a shuttle)-- but I'll bet there will be something. Check the following page for possible details:

tournamentofroses.com/roseparade/paradetrans…

Worst case, just walk to the Rose Bowl from the Memorial Park station. It is a pleasant walk thru a very nice neighborhood with some fine architecture. Maybe 40 minutes, with some hills; @ 1.7 miles. I enjoy this walk, and I am in my 50s and not as fit as I could be if I actually used my gym membership. So if you are reasonably fit, and are wearing comfy shoes, it is probably fine to walk.

Do you have tickets for seating at the Rose Parade? If not, I recommend seeing the parade from a point East of Lake Avenue, where the sidewalks are wider and the crowds thinner. Get off the Gold Line at Lake or Allen, and look for a spot on the sidewalk. Try to get there around 7 am to find a great spot. (We get there a little later, but we haven't travelled across the country to see the parade and won't be sad if we are behind a few folks.)

Let us know if we can answer any other questions-- possible accomodations, restaurants, etc-- as you plan.

Union City, CA
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3. Re: Getting around Pasadena without a car for Rosebowl Parade

Thanks for the information. Yes I have bleacher tickets near the beginning of the parade.

I am looking for a hotel now. I'll post possibilities for vetting as a narrow things down.

Any comments on why the area around Union Station is not suitable? Is is lack of ammenties and attractions or safety, or something else?

Pasadena, California
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4. Re: Getting around Pasadena without a car for Rosebowl Parade

Which hotels are located there? I can't think of any, really. Did you have someplace in particular in mind?

Most of the downtown hotels are in the business center of downtown-- which the station is just outside of-- or there are some in Little Tokyo, which I'd consider a pretty good place to stay, very walkable, with lots of restaurants and pedestrian life.

Los Angeles
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5. Re: Getting around Pasadena without a car for Rosebowl Parade

I agree with the others that there's no need to stay that close to Union Station but if you really want to, the nicest hotel located nearby would be the Kyoto Grand Hotel and Gardens. Other options (which are closer to Motels, really) would be Miyako, Best Western Dragon Gate Inn and the Royal Pagoda. These are all in Chinatown or Little Tokyo areas. In fact, the Dragon Gate Inn and the Royal Pagoda are both really closer to the Chinatown station on the Gold Line than they are to Union Station.

Chicago, Illinois
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6. Re: Getting around Pasadena without a car for Rosebowl Parade

Try the Millenium Biltmore (two stops from Union Station on the Red Line) at Pershing Square station. http://www.millenniumhotels.com/Millenniumlosangeles/LosAngelesppc/?s_kwcid=TC|5371|millenium%20biltmore%20-%20los%20angeles||S|b|5424938434

Also the Kyoto Grand Hotel http://www.kyotograndhotel.com/ the Gold line serves Union Station/ Little Tokyo and Pasadena The transfer point between the red and gold lines is Union Station so either hotel would work for you.

Pasadena, CA
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7. Re: Getting around Pasadena without a car for Rosebowl Parade

I have a few suggestions. Definitely try the Millenium Biltmore, which often has good rates for weekends. If you don't mind taking a chance you can use Priceline to bid on a hotel in the downtown area. If you've never used Priceline to bid for a room before, go to www.biddingfortravel.com and review EVERYTHING related to hotel bidding. This is a website dedicated to helping people navigate the Priceline process, will list the hotels that are usually "won" on Priceline, etc.

Most downtown large hotels will be within walking distance of one of the Metro stations on either the Red Line subway, or the Blue or Gold line light rail system. You can easily connect to the Gold Line to Pasadena from either of the other 2 lines. There is a lot more to do downtown than there used to be, especially if you're staying near the LA Live, Nokia, Staples Center area.

Yucaipa, California
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8. Re: Getting around Pasadena without a car for Rosebowl Parade

>>>Any comments on why the area around Union Station is not suitable? Is is lack of ammenties and attractions or safety, or something else?<<<

I was speaking of the immediate area around Union Station and I am basing this on a few past visits to Olvera Street, which is right near it. (I've also popped into Union Station when going to Olvera Street.) Now, the last time was a real long time ago, so someone here will probably post whether it has changed or not. While the station and Olvera Street are safe and charming, there are poor people surrounding the area.

When we went to take a look at the historic Catholic church that is on the other side of Olvera Street from the station there were many people selling things and seemed to desparately want us to purchase something from them. There have been a couple of times when I was in Olvera Street and people begged me for money, which I gave because their stories seemed real and they seemed needy and I did not want for anything at the time so I was happy to share. One person followed me asking for more. I didn't feel threatened, just sort of trapped. That is probably rare, though.

The reason I don't think staying in the area surrounding Union Station is suitable for your getaway is not safety so much as happiness. In my opinion, Union Station and Olvera Street area are fine areas to visit and I would actually like to do so again, but to stay there would be spending more time in a poor neighborhood than is necessary. I don't know if it has changed since I was last there, though.

Edited: 04 November 2010, 15:39
Pasadena, California
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9. Re: Getting around Pasadena without a car for Rosebowl Parade

I've been there quite recently and have not had that experience. I think Union Station and Olvera Street are definitely worth a visit-- but the area immediately surrounding them is not too lively, not much street life despite newer condo/apartment complexes going in very recently. Sort of a warehouse/light industrial area in the surrounding few blocks, for the most part. So not a great walking area after dark, in terms of liveliness and people around. China Town and Little Tokyo are just a few blocks away though , and the main business district is just a little farther. China Town and Little Tokyo are on the Gold Line so if you stayed there you wouldn't need to transfer trains to get to Pasadena.

Anyway, I don't think there are many hotels, if any, right at Union Station.

Yucaipa, California
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10. Re: Getting around Pasadena without a car for Rosebowl Parade

Also, I hope you do realize that Pasadena is not in Los Angeles, but in the San Fernando Valley above LA. The San Fernando Valley is beautiful, especially in the winter with the clear skies and the mountains in the distance. If you don't have anything you want to see in LA/Hollywood, with the plans that you have it would be nice to stay in Pasadena if you can.