Itineraries

Three-Day Itinerary

The Best 72-hour itinerary to enjoy Claremont, California

A woman walking down the street and the purple jacaranda trees are all blooming behind her.

The beautiful, suburban city of Claremont, only 30 miles east of downtown Los Angeles and nestled in the foothills of the San Gabriel mountains, is full of tree-lined streets, a dynamic culinary scene and dozens of locally-owned boutique shops. This charming town’s walkable, upscale village offers a casual California vibe.

The city of Claremont is a community that provides an extraordinary number of things to see and do for foodies, nature enthusiasts, inspired artisans and families. 

Suppose your travels bring you to Claremont for at least 72 hours. If so, this three-day itinerary will give you a taste of Claremont’s personality, character, and charm. It’s a hidden gem full of life and offers the quintessential Southern California laid-back lifestyle.

Come explore Claremont with us!

DAY ONE: AM 

A hiker at the top of a trail with arms up high because she can't believe she just finished her wilderness hike.

Start your morning the way the locals do – enjoy the great outdoors! The Claremont Hills Wilderness Park is an exhilarating perfect start to your day – before it gets too hot! If you’re up for it, why not take an adventurous hike or a family trek through the San Gabriel Mountains and the Angeles National Forest.

You’ll have eight fantastic hiking trails, biking trails and running trails to choose from, ranging from a little over 4 miles up to 12 miles, plus a few extra steps.

The Sycamore Canyon Trail offers stunning views of the valleys and mountains. There are easy, moderate and hard levels to choose from. During your hike, the whole family can become secret “nature” agents. All you have to do is use the Agents of Discovery app and hike trails like the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park Loop.

After your invigorating journey on foot, it’s time to cool off with a refreshing and delectable lunch at The Back Abbey. Their pet-friendly, covered patio is the best! Relax with a Belgian brew or one of their creative cocktails as a gentle breeze mellows you into the moment. It’s true, it’ll be challenging to choose between the innovative Brunch choices, salads, sandwiches or the “best burger in town”, but the great news is you can always come back another day. Make sure to save room for the French Churros or the Maple Bourbon Beignets, which are out of this world. 

AFTERNOON

A blue cow statue is outside a building on the sidewalk and a sign says Vintage on the window.

Stroll around The Village Plaza and check out some distinctively-Claremont shopping boutiques.

  • Stop by the Grove Vintage for some bohemian additions to your wardrobe, and then head a couple of shops over to their sister shop, The Grove Home. Full of hipster home decor and unique gift items, you’re sure to find the perfect souvenir of your visit.
  • Search for your favorite comic books in A Shop Called Quest.
  • If you love artisanal products, vomFASS is a retailer of high-quality extra virgin olive oils, balsamic and fruit vinegar, spices, gourmet foods, whiskeys and craft spirits. They entice you with a “try before you buy” experience that’s divine, leaving you inspired and felicitous.
  • Ready for a sweet treat, I Like Pie bake shop has the most delectable, individually-sized, sweet & savory pies, coffee & ice cream. Pull up a chair in this heavenly, European-style town square, which features an interactive fountain with playful sculptures, and enjoy!

A box of 12 mini pies all decorated in a fancy way. The box is open and another bag that says I Like Pie is behind it.

Now it’s time to visit an era that preferred the “sedimentary” lifestyle. Just a quick drive or bike ride away is The Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology, located at the Webb Schools. It’s ​​a center of paleontological research for the international scientific community and an interesting dive into prehistoric times. Of course, you don’t need an epoch to experience everything in the two circular 4,000 sq. ft. exhibition halls, but the chronological display of the now-extinct fossilized predecessors is captivating. Overall, the Alf Museum is a delight for all ages!

EVENING

For your first sunset in Claremont, you’ll want to ensure you have a front-row seat at the James Turrell Skyspace, “Dividing the Light”.  First park near the campus of Pomona College and then, you’ll find it located in the Draper Courtyard.

This incredible public art installation takes place beneath an illuminated canopy. There you’ll find a window to the sky. A slowly changing colorful light show alters the viewer’s perception. The calming, zen sound of a tinkling water fountain can be heard. Subsequently, beneath the opening the light and water slowly mirror and reflect the differences between night and day.

Finish your evening with a dinner at the Tutti Mangia Italian Grill, an upmarket Italian eatery that serves steaks, seafood & more classic fare in a dimly lit, romantic space.

Looking for ambiance? Skyspace and Tutti Mangia are sympatico. Both are intimate and enchanting, with a little spice. No need to look any further, Claremont has you covered for date night!

DAY TWO: AM

First, grab a savory or sweet pastry and an espresso at Claremont’s oldest bakery – Some Crust Bakery – offering hand-made baked goods for over 100 years. 

Once you’ve fueled up, make sure you have a bottle of water, a hat and sunscreen for a post-breakfast, self-led walk through the California Botanic Garden (formerly the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden). A horticulturalists dream, this richly diverse conservatory of native California plants and trees is spread across 86 acres, attracting birds, pollinators, tiny, curious reptiles and roaming mammals.

Navigate the main paths and visit the three main garden areas: SoCal Gardens, Mesa Gardens, and California Habitats. Each section explores the different garden trails that lead to scenic shaded areas with water features or sculptural pieces. Sit, take a break to sketch or write poetry, and enjoy the quiet natural beauty.

A child in a black t-shirt learning about the flowers of the Botanic Garden.

AFTERNOON:

You might brie getting hungry after your morning excursion, so time to gouda the Cheese Cave. This rustic cheese shop with a global selection of the non-colloquial version is a little slice of cheese heaven. The full-service, cut-to-order cheese shop is family owned and operated. You’ll find boutique wines, handcrafted local beers and artisan salami. Make sure you leave with some chocolates, honey, olives, crackers and gourmet sandwiches. 

Shhh… We’re letting you in on a local secret. So many unique Claremont shops are located in the downtown, tree-lined, college-named streets. There’s no better place for exploring the over 150 shops, boutiques, galleries, salons, spas, and restaurants. 

The Folk Music Center & Museum – owned by Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Ben Harper’s family –  features a collection of rare and antique musical instruments. You’ll also find artifacts from around the world. Ben’s mother is usually found behind the counter. In addition, there are classes, workshops and musical performances happening every month. 

The outside building at night of the Folk Music Center.

Amelie, Nectar and the new Maple Boutique offer the latest fashion trends for women’s clothing and accessories. Men will love Xerxes and Authentix Sneaker and Clothing Boutique for fabulous finds. 

Ready for a little self-care?

First, relax at Mint Leaf Natural Products and Thai Bodywork. It’s a day spa with luxury massage services. Equally important, you might want to bedazzle your toenails and fingernails with a professional mani/pedi from Claremont’s Hands Down.

EVENING

Glowing head to toe, you’re ready for dinner and an entertaining night out. Bardot serves up inventive Cali-French-inspired plates in a hip environment. The outdoor patio is the place to be with heaters in the colder months and misters on warmer evenings.

Be sure to try the goat cheese lollipops, truffle-parmesan fries, duck taco a l’orange and the Kurobuta pork chops. Of course, you can’t go wrong with a steak and one of their 3 House Dipping Sauces: Chimichurri, Béarnaise, and creamy horseradish.

The Bardot menu with an appetizer and a drink.

After dinner, head to the PianoPiano Dueling Piano Show, featuring performers who frequent the Las Vegas piano scene. With showtimes from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. on weekends, you’ll be able to catch a show even if your dinner runs overtime.

This lively lounge – decorated in a burlesque 1920s Prohibition-era style with a sassy upscale atmosphere – encourages audience participation through song requests and interactive sing-alongs across all music genres.

DAY THREE: AM

Awaken your mind, body and soul at Claremont Sanctuary Pilates – a fully-equipped boutique pilates studio with only state-of-the-art STOTT PILATES® equipment – providing customized programs for novice and elite athletes.

A breakfast favorite of locals, Walter’s creates eclectic fare from Mexican omelets to plates of pasta & Afghan dishes in a relaxed space with an ambient outdoor patio. The décor features one-of-a-kind photographs and artwork by several local artists, conjuring the comfort of home with just a touch of the exotic. 

AFTERNOON

As one of the first cities in Southern California to declare itself a Fair Trade Town, shopping at these boutiques support the principles of Fair Trade through ethical and sustainable purchasing choices:

Rio de Ojas offers a unique blend of Mexican folk art, Day of the Dead art, Mexican chocolates, home decor, hand-painted Mexican dishes and imported Spanish foods. 

Buddhamouse Emporium promotes peace, beauty, and well-being. Discover beautiful jewelry, large crystals, transcendental statuary, inspirational books and artistic creations at this spiritual center.

Two women walk out of a building with arches. The building is covered with ivy and the women are dressed in shorts and a skirt for beautiful summer weather.

Sipping award-winning beers and sampling local ciders and ales is a great way to experience all the locally made products; plus, there’s always something to celebrate when in Claremont. Fortunately for visitors, you’ll find that a few of the most popular places to imbibe are all within walking distance of each other at a local industrial park. The atmosphere on any given day (Tuesday-Sunday) is inviting and relaxed.

Make your way through tastings at Claremont Craft Ales for its Jacaranda Rye IPA and other seasonal offerings, while Ironbarks Ciderworks offers fresh fruit ciders (gluten-free) and slushies. Of course, you’ll love the laid-back, unpretentious, dog-friendly, casual vibes and the food trucks that pop up if you need a snack. 

EVENING

Wake up your inner ’90s nostalgia with a dose of vintage games in the most family-friendly retro arcade. Lost Levels features an extensive collection of old-school game machines and video game consoles inside the historical Claremont Packing House. As you head down the secret stairway towards a bygone era, it may provoke wonderfully evocative feelings of yesteryear.

A distorted wide angle view of the Packing House building in Claremont.

Time to share a specialty charcuterie cheese platter paired with a boutique wine as you sit on the wooden deck of one of the most historic buildings in the Inland Empire. Packing House Wines restaurant and wine shop – recently named one of Wine Spectator’s ‘Best of’ – offers wine tastings and Wine Classes 101 for those who would like to appreciate a sommelier’s discerning palate.

Aren’t you curious about what pairs well with Brillat and Jam, Bacon-Wrapped Dates with Blue Cheese or Mac and Cheese? 

Claremont is the perfect Southern California destination, and we’ve got several itineraries for you to look at if you’re coming back for another fun weekend. We hope you’ll return for an extended stay in the “city of trees and Ph.D.s” soon.

Two-Day Itinerary

Here’s a  fun-filled itinerary for a fab 48 hours in Claremont!

Overhead city view of Claremont city with mountain range in the back and blue sky above.

Claremont is a charming historic California city on the eastern edge of Los Angeles County. This picturesque town, surrounded by the San Gabriel mountains, offers its residents an uninterrupted, sprawling view. Tree-lined streets throughout the city lead to numerous boutiques selling upscale home goods, clothing and specialty items, many made in California. The Claremont Colleges, private liberal arts and graduate schools, bring a casual, laid-back vibe, but its energy is not just of a college town. There is also a wide range of outdoor activities and cultural entertainment spots to enjoy. A dynamic culinary scene, lively music and eclectic arts scene make the 91711 one of the coolest zip codes to explore in Los Angeles. 

Thinking of spending the weekend in the beautiful city of Claremont? Whether you’re a nature lover, foodie, craft beer aficionado, historical architecture enthusiast or just someone who wants a weekend getaway along Route 66, Claremont makes a great California adventure. So come check out the small-town charm with your friends and family.

Two Days in Claremont gives you just a peek of all this charming city has to offer

DAY ONE: AM

Claremont Village Grille is a ’50s-style diner with retro vibes and the cutest Pancake Dippers in town. Try the Corned Beef Hash or Biscuits and Gravy for a heartier breakfast. The vintage American diner culture means an extensive menu featuring American staples like hamburgers, fries, and club sandwiches. It’s so good; you might want to return for lunch too!

Family sitting at a table in a 50s style diner with red booth and black and white checkered floor.

Get your steps in early with a “walkabout” of Claremont’s historic downtown area. It’s the best way to get to know this hidden gem of Southern California. Start in the Claremont Village, then head to the Packing House area and the Claremont Village Square. Be the first to step inside the boutiques and locally owned shops when they open. Find 40 eateries, 50 boutique stores, and over a dozen art galleries in this thriving downtown area. You’ll find so many unique finds on your stroll-and-shop that you’ll understand why this walkable college town is so beloved by locals and visitors alike. 

AFTERNOON

Time to head to Wolfe’s Market to begin your afternoon picnic adventure. Housed in an original Route 66 building, this family-owned and operated specialty kitchen was founded (as a grocery store) in 1917 and has provided incredible quality and service for over four generations. Of course, you could order ahead online or on their app, but why would you want to miss watching them make all the delicious sandwiches in person? Plus, you’ll want to see the yummy side salads they have that day — potato, cole slaw, rotelle pasta, fruit salad, kale salad and so much more!

Enjoy your picnic at the nearby Memorial Park, the site of the annual Fourth of July celebration and the Summer Concerts In the Park. While there, take a tour of the Garner House for an in-depth understanding of Claremont’s history. In the 20s, one of the community’s leading families lived in it, surrounded by a grove of orange trees. Thoughtfully restored to the same conditions and furnishings –- minus the grove, now the 7.2-acre park — it’s a glimpse of what life was like in Claremont long ago. 

Flavors like Snickers Cheesecake, Maple Walnut and Caramel Cashew are some of the more than 200 ice cream choices from Bert and Rocky’s. There’s also a wide variety of homemade dipped items, fudge, bark, and caramel-covered apples to tempt your sweet tooth. 

EVENING

The Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery at Scripps College focuses on a thorough academic education for future curators, gallerists, instructors, conservators, and directors of museums. A highly coveted internship program readies students to enter the fields of arts administration, curating and art conservation. Offering four exhibitions annually plus a private collection, the museum is open to visitors daily from 12 pm to 5 pm and closed on Sundays. It serves as a great visual resource for those with a passion for art history. You’ll find within everything from contemporary art, ancient art, photography collections and other major exhibitions.

Bronze sculpture of a woman in white dress with tree growing out from behind her in gallery at a museum in Claremont
Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery at Scripps College.

A favorite place – of both locals and visitors — to unwind after a long day of exploring is the Casa 425 Lounge. Located within the stylish boutique hotel of the same name, you’ll find a tranquil outdoor courtyard under shady trees with intimate bistro tables and relaxed seating around cozy gas fire pits. The Lounge serves savory, small-bite, eclectic California cuisine, premier wines, beer on draft and hand-crafted cocktails. It’s a modern and airy gathering space where you can relax, listen to live music or enjoy a meal or happy hour. Try the Ahi Tartar Tower, the Parmesan Truffle Pommes Frites and the Wagyu Sliders.

This is a destination within a destination, so you may be fortunate enough to only walk a few feet to your bed for the night. Enjoy the modern decor and the aesthetic of the Instagram-worthy accommodations at Hotel Casa 425, some with large soaking tubs and private balconies. 

Four people sitting by a fire pit outside in a courtyard for happy hour.

DAY TWO: AM

Would it be worth it to add a little fitness to your morning? Worth Fit Studio in Claremont offers spin classes, aerial yoga and barre pilates. Led by expert instructors, waking up with a bit of spin and sculpt might even add a spring to your step. So whether you’re into resistance training or a rhythm ride, your heart will be pumping, and you’ll be ready to seize the rest of your day. 

Grab a coffee that’s always good to the last drop at The Last Drop Cafe. This local hangout with sidewalk seating features coffee, sandwiches, baked treats and more.

The Sunday Farmer & Artisans Market, hosted rain or shine by The Claremont Forum, happens weekly from 8 am to 1 pm along Harvard Ave. at Second St. It’s an open-air market with over 100 grower and artisan members participating. Bring a bag with you because here you’ll find the freshest and most nutritious fruits, vegetables, bakery items, eggs, honey, meat products, cut flowers and potted plants, all at the season’s peak. In addition, you’ll probably find a few delicious treats to snack on as you walk around. Everything comes from responsible California Certified family farmers.

This weekly market is also perfect for finding the most unique artisanal, quality crafts made locally. In addition, a roster of rotating local artisans sells clothing, jewelry, handcrafted items and more. They’re more than happy to explain how their handi-works are created and sourced, and you’ll probably never find another like as extraordinary. 

Street closed off for farmers market with food stands and many people walking through it. Trees hang across and over the street.

AFTERNOON

The Claremont Lewis Museum of Art, located in the Claremont Depot, features the work of Claremont area artists and promotes cultural vitality. The Museum showcases a mix of painting, sculpture, and other media to inspire art lovers of all ages as it celebrates the community’s rich artistic legacy. A permanent collection and various exhibitions are on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, from 12 pm to 4 pm. Since you happen to be in the Claremont Depot, be sure to notice the fresco on the ceiling of this restored Spanish Colonial Revival style of this 1927 building that now serves as the transit center for Metrolink commuter trains. 

EVENING

Gus’s BBQ is traditional Southern cooking, serving up some of the best real pit BBQ since 1946. Once you try some of their Brisket, Pulled Pork or Baby Back Ribs – seasoned overnight and then smoked low and slow for up to 14 hours — you’ll be craving it every time you sip a sweet tea. They use whole pecan logs to create their signature smoke flavor, and it’s lip-smacking, finger-licking and satisfyingly delicious! The Southern Fried Chicken, Gumbo and Fried Catfish dishes are also delectable, mouth-watering choices. Hold your horses; make sure you order some Deviled Eggs and the Cast Iron Cornbread (with a kick)! As you live and breathe, I reckon ya’ll are going to have the best BBQ as all get out! If you know, you know!

A plate of tri tip, green beans, corn, grits, potatoes, baked beans and more at a BBQ restaurant.

After dinner, just a few footsteps away is The Whisper House, a stylish tavern turning out Prohibition-era–inspired drinks. Talented mixologists prepare hand-crafted concoctions featuring custom homemade bitters and syrups made fresh daily. This 1920s-inspired speakeasy has a copper top bar where you can sit and be mesmerized by the bartenders’ skills as you watch them prepare your one-of-a-kind cocktail. 

A weekend in Claremont offers just a taste of everything this incredible city in Southern California has to offer. We hope you’ll come back soon and stay for a bit longer. We’ve got more handy itineraries if you’re looking to plan another trip soon.

One-Day Itinerary

Here’s a one-day itinerary for how to spend 24 hours in Claremont.

Becoming familiar with a city and exploring it like a local rather than a tourist has to be one of the most rewarding aspects of travel. The city of Claremont, California, is a quintessential suburban, small town located just 30 miles east of Downtown Los Angeles near the Inland Empire. It’s a town you feel at home in immediately. During your stay, you’re sure to glimpse the essence and unique characteristics beloved by the people who live there. A visit to Claremont is an authentic experience that’ll most likely have you planning a return trip. 

How to spend a perfect 24 hours in Claremont

Let’s say you only have a small window of time to visit Claremont; perhaps you have a layover while on a train ride or a sojourn from a long road trip. So here’s a one-day itinerary with multiple things to see, do and eat to experience this incredible city just like a local. 

Claremont’s charming and walkable village is full of historical architecture, tree-lined streets, locally-owned shops and boutiques. There are also seven colleges in Claremont, so while it’s considered a college town, the allure of this hidden gem in Southern California is the hospitality you feel when you visit, even if only for a day. So let’s explore it like a local!

Courtyard full of trees and students walking between two buildings at Scripps College

AM

Hop off the train at the historic Claremont Depot — or park your car — and Creme Bakery is a unique artisan shop on Harvard Ave across the street. Handmade, organic ingredients and traditional recipes create some of the most delectable Viennoiserie, pastries, cookies, tarts, French baguettes and rustic loaves of bread. But, of course, you’ll want to buy extra to hide away in your bag for later.

If you think you’ll need an extra caffeine fix, grab an Iced Caffe Mocha Latte or a Raspberry Iced Tea from the Last Drop Café across the street. Here you’ll find all the specialty coffees, teas and smoothies options you could dream of drinking throughout the day. You can even liven up your drink with Boba, those tasty, chewy Tapioca pearls popping up in drink shops everywhere.

AFTERNOON

Whether touring schools for your kid’s future or curiosity, the seven Claremont Colleges are all within about a square mile. They are some of the most picturesque and historical public areas to visit. Five undergraduate and two graduate universities are resplendent with beautiful lawns and colorful gardens. The lush grounds are just one reason to check out these highly ranked liberal arts campuses. Do not miss the fabulous art installations and nature-inspired, eco-conscious modern architecture you might see along the way.

  • At Scripps College, visit The Margaret Fowler Garden and the “Inscription Walk”, featuring inspirational quotes from famous women throughout history.
  • At Claremont McKenna College, take some insta-worthy photos at Chris Burden’s “Meet in the Middle” sculpture of metal benches and street lamps. While on campus, view the stunning all-glass “living room” that enjoys an open view of the quad.
  • At Harvey Mudd College, don’t miss Flemish-Italian sculptor Giovanni Bologna’s Venus statue in the koi pond.
  • The Benton Museum of Art at Pomona College offers some of the most compelling and experimental exhibitions from innovative artists, focusing on cutting-edge art.

We Olive & Wine Bar in Claremont Village on Yale Ave. is a relaxing place to enjoy some al fresco dining, a glass of wine and a chance to taste the most incredible olive oils and balsamic kinds of vinegar. We guarantee you won’t be leaving without a bottle – or ten – of We Olive oils! The best part is you’ll be able to refill your bottles on every return visit (at a reduced cost). So imagine how delightful the Anjou Pear Olive Oil and Fig Balsalmic taste is when drizzled over an amuse-bouche, salad or cheesy crostini appetizer. 

EVENING

¡Toma! One does not live on bread and olive oil alone, so make sure Viva Madrid is on your bucket list for dinner. This lively restaurant on Yale Ave. serves up authentic Spanish flavors and experiences in the form of tapas, paella and other Basque-style delicacies. Be sure to try the Champiñones al Ajillo (mushrooms), Paella Canaria (sausage & chicken), Cordero a la Miel (lamb) and of course, the Arroz con Leche (creamy rice pudding) for dessert. Whether you eat dinner early or late, Viva Madrid can accommodate you! Your dining experience will be full of Buenos Tiempos!

Watching the sunset is always a magical experience, but have you ever seen the divided daylight and night sky? James Turrell’s Skyspace, “Dividing the Light”, is one of the most glowing and beautiful ways to witness nature’s phenomenon. Turrell’s free art installation at the Pomona College Draper Courtyard heightens the viewer’s awareness of light, sky, and perception. Both the sunrise and sunset programs last about 40 minutes. 

Are you thinking about planning another visit to Claremont? Then, we’ve got the perfect itineraries for you!

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