Claremont has a charming walkable college town with an East Coast vibe. There are tree-lined streets, natural gardens, artisan bakeries, restaurants serving cuisines from around the world, and vintage stores.
Underneath the canopy of an urban forest, the town’s history is preserved in its walkable neighbourhoods filled with arts and crafts, eclectic revival and Victorian architecture.
A Favorite Hidden Gem with Angelenos: One of the Most Quintessentially California Places to Visit
Claremont, home to the seven private campuses known collectively as the Claremont Colleges, both embraces tradition and exudes youthful energy.
It’s an easy day trip from LA, but Claremont’s diverse attractions and ideal balance of urban savvy and village atmosphere make lingering worthwhile.
What is it that makes college towns so vibrant?
Whatever the magic qualities, Claremont, home to the highly respected Claremont Colleges, seems to have them in abundance, especially around its inviting tree-lined core known as the Village, a blend of interesting shops, historic buildings and diverse eateries.
Claremont’s dining scene is quite strong… with standouts like Some Crust Bakery, Viva Madrid! and Union on Yale. But it’s the beer where Claremont really shines, thanks to a Belgian beer-centric gastropub, the Back Abbey, and Claremont Craft Ales brewery. Claremont students aren’t lying when they say that they major in French and minor in Belgian beer thanks to the Back Abbey.
For a weekend retreat, Claremont offers a far-away from LA feeling, though it’s only 30 miles from the metropolis. It’s a perfect getaway to enjoy a spa day or shopping day, with several day spas and salons and adorable boutique shops featuring unique jewelry, home décor, art, and antiques.
It’s easy to see why this small town is often called the quintessential college town. There are, after all, seven colleges within its boundaries, and it’s clear the town’s commerce district, called “the village” — chock full of coffeehouses, cafes, bars serving a plethora of craft brews, movie theatres, a comic book shop, and the obligatory Birkenstock store — is designed to be a mecca for college students.
A darkhorse contender for best college town, Sunset Magazine named Claremont, California as one of the greatest college towns in the west, and we’re inclined to agree.