Claremont, California, is one of the nation’s most acclaimed college towns, located just 30 miles east of Los Angeles. The city’s upcoming food, shopping and entertainment events make a weekend stay in Claremont an even more enticing getaway from “busy L.A.” Discover Claremont’s “Claremont Is the Place to Stay” hotel and merchant promotion offers a tremendous savings for visitors taking this mini-vacation.

Claremont events that are “worth the drive” – or a train ride on Metrolink to the Historic Claremont Depot – include:

  • March 18 – Claremont Pie Festival, a day-long celebration of pies sweet and savory, organized by I Like Pie bake shop.
  • May 13 – The Butterfly Pavilion at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden opens for the season, through August 6. The 86-acre botanic garden is home to the largest collection of native California flora.
  • May 18-21 – Claremont Film Festival, the ninth annual curation of documentaries and shorts from around the world. Scheduled screenings include the documentary “Meru” about climbing Meru Peak, and filmmaker Kerry Candaele showing “Love & Justice: In the Footsteps of Beethoven’s Rebel Opera.” DoubleTree by Hilton Claremont is the host hotel for this event. Visit com for tickets.
  • June 4 – Mi Casa Es Su Casa wine, spirits and craft beer tasting event at Hotel Casa 425, benefitting the Claremont Community Foundation and Claremont Education Foundation. Call 909-398-1060 for tickets.
  • June 24 – Claremont Village Craft Beer Walk
  • July 13-22 – Midsummer Shakespeare Festival, held outdoors at Pomona College’s Sontag Greek Theater, welcomes patrons to bring picnic baskets and Pinot Noirs. Ophelia’s Jump will perform “Much Ado About Nothing” and “Hamlet” in repertory this year. Call 909-734-6565 for tickets.
  • September 9 – Claremont Village Wine Walk
  • October 28 – Village Venture Arts & Crafts Faire, the largest autumn street fair in the Inland Empire with over 500 arts & crafts booths, takes over the Claremont Village.

Participating Claremont hotels are offering special “Claremont Is the Place to Stay” packages, inspired by the tourism board’s award-winning short that pays homage to film director Wes Anderson. The package includes a comfortable guest room and $100 in Claremont Chamber gift cards – redeemable towards food and services at local hotels, and meals, shopping and services at more than 140 participating Claremont businesses. Guests can redeem cards at many of the city’s most popular eateries, and for nighttime entertainment including lively dueling pianos at PianoPiano, stand-up at Flappers Comedy Club, and live music at The Press Restaurant.

Guests can book directly through participating Claremont hotels: Hotel Casa 425 (909-624-2272), DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Claremont (909-626-2411), Motel 6 Claremont (909-621-4831), Claremont Lodge (909-626-5654), and Knights Inn Claremont (909-626-2431). The package, underwritten by the Claremont tourism board, is subject to availability at each hotel.

Claremont visitor attractions include Folk Music Center, owned by musician Ben Harper and family; Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden; the walkable Claremont Village; Claremont Packing House entertainment center; Candlelight Pavilion dinner theater; vivid examples of California architecture throughout the city and along Historic Route 66; and public walks, galleries and libraries at the Claremont Colleges.

Follow Discover Claremont’s social media channels on Facebook (DiscoverClaremont), Twitter (@visitclaremont), Instagram (visitclaremont), Pinterest (visitclaremont), and YouTube (DiscoverClaremont). A list of Claremont merchants participating in the gift card promotion can be found at http://discoverclaremont.com/giftcards.

As students return to the Claremont Colleges each school year, the City of Claremont’s five hotel properties welcome parents and other campus visitors to stick around and enjoy a relaxing getaway in the “City of Trees.”

From economy to boutique, Claremont’s 449 hotel rooms provide guests with inviting rooms and peaceful nights. Staying in Claremont puts you in walking or bicycling distance to the city’s day spas and salons, locally owned boutiques, galleries and public works of art, and more than 80 pubs, grills, sandwich shops, bakeries, and fine dining restaurants.

Claremont’s attractions include the 86-acre Rancho Santa Fe Botanic Garden, the largest botanic garden dedicated exclusively to California’s native plants; and the world-renowned Folk Music Center museum and store, which is owned by musician Ben Harper’s family. The city’s nighttime entertainment boasts classical, jazz, comedy, dueling pianos, a vibrant college music scene, and performing arts at the colleges and Candlelight Pavilion.

At the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Claremont ($149-$350), elegant, contemporary guest rooms and suites offer comfort and convenience with luxurious Sweet Dreams® beds, 32-inch flat screen LCD televisions, in-room safes, refrigerators, and high-speed Internet access. Relax with friends, alumni or business associates in its lush courtyard, enjoy a cocktail or meal by the waterfall, and dine in casual elegance at The Orchard Restaurant, serving a wide selection of California Mediterranean Fusion influenced dishes. Piano Piano’s high-energy, all-request show keeps guests singing laughing into the night!

Hotel Casa 425 ($195-$400) is a stylish boutique hotel and lounge opening onto a tranquil courtyard in the heart of historic Claremont Village. The only sophisticated boutique hotel in Southern California’s Inland Empire, Casa 425 merges California mission architecture with contemporary styling and features 28 sophisticated guest rooms, an onsite lounge and full bar, a beautiful outdoor living room featuring water fountains and fire pits, meeting and event space, and more.

Claremont Lodge ($49-$80) offers unbeatable accommodations with comfortable stylish rooms, including available jacuzzi suites. Amenities include an outdoor swimming pool and free Wi-Fi.

Motel 6 Claremont ($69-$129) features one of Southern California’s finest tennis facilities available year-round with eight championship tennis courts. Guest amenities include free local shuttle and free use of its championship tennis courts; group and private tennis lessons are available for an additional fee.

Knights Inn Claremont ($55-$85) provides free Rise & Dine continental breakfast and an outdoor pool. Features include free Wi-Fi, available laundry services, and parking for vehicles of any size.

Visitor information and a complete listing of restaurants, hotels, boutiques, day spas, events and more can be found at www.discoverclaremont.com.

“Share the Secret” About Claremont

Claremont_SQ-LogoClaremont hotels invite visitors to come “Share the Secret” about Claremont with a special getaway package. The “Share the Secret” hotel package includes a guest room and $100 in Discover Claremont gift cards, redeemable for hotel dining or at more than 140 Claremont restaurants, boutiques, day spas and entertainment venues.

Package includes:

-Comfortable Guest Room
-$100 in Claremont Chamber of Commerce gift cards

Book directly at participating Claremont hotels, based on hotel availability, from October 1, 2015, through January 31, 2016.

The hotel package, underwritten by the Claremont tourism board, is subject to availability at each hotel. The promotion is tied to a new tourism video, inspired by the style of film director Wes Anderson, which highlights several of the city’s hotels and attractions.


 

Mt. Baldy Adventure Outing Package

mt_baldy_logoDiscover Claremont is partnering with Mt. Baldy Ski Lifts to provide ski lift passes and lunch vouchers as part of a Claremont hotel room package. With lift passes, guests have access to enjoying a number of activities up on the mountain, including hiking, mountain biking and disc golfing.

Package includes:

-Guest Room

-Two Sugar Pine Lift (ski lift) passes to the top of the mountain – good for any open date, including for special events

-Two $10 Lookout Lunch vouchers, good towards food at the Top of the Notch Restaurant

Book directly at participating Claremont hotels, based on hotel availability. 

Visitors to Claremont will find a variety of hotel choices to fit most any traveler’s budget and needs. From economy to boutique, Claremont’s 449 hotel rooms serve thousands of annual guests.

Whether as a gateway to an early-morning skiing or cycling adventure, a relaxing getaway to experience local shopping and dining, or for a college visit, Claremont’s five lodging choices match the uniqueness of the town itself: Three locally owned motor inns near Interstate 10, a full-service business hotel and conference center on Historic Route 66 for business travelers and guests, and an upscale boutique property in downtown Claremont that caters to couples and business travelers alike.

The Claremont Five are the preferred destination hotels for visiting college dignitaries and students’ parents, Fairplex visitors, area skiers and cyclists, and business persons seeking a peaceful respite from Ontario and other Inland Empire cities.

Claremont Village

Hotel Casa 425 ($$$) – http://www.casa425.com/ 

Casa 425 is a stylish boutique hotel and lounge opening onto a tranquil courtyard in the heart of historic Claremont Village. Located on the town square and within steps of fine restaurants, cafes, boutiques, art galleries and the prestigious Claremont Colleges, Casa 425 is the only sophisticated boutique hotel in Southern California’s Inland Empire. The hotel merges California mission architecture with contemporary styling and features 28 sophisticated guest rooms, an onsite lounge and full bar, a beautiful outdoor living room featuring water fountains and fire pits, a fitness room, meeting and event space and more.

Casa 425 also offers a host of complimentary amenities for guests including a European-style breakfast each morning, bicycles to borrow, wireless Internet service, use of fitness room and garage-covered parking. Each of the very spacious guestrooms offers a flat-screen television, Tempur-Pedic bed, coffee maker, refrigerator with complimentary water, plush robes and an oversized tub and separate shower. The hotel has several family-friendly rooms with two queen beds or one king and one twin bed, as well as some pet-friendly rooms (fee and advance pet reservation is required).

Business travelers seeking stylish accommodations will appreciate Casa 425’s discerning service and relaxed atmosphere. Guest rooms offer up-to-the-moment amenities, including high-speed Internet access, desk with comfortable chair and same-day dry cleaning. Casa 425 also offers a sophisticated yet relaxing venue for your upcoming event whether a wedding, business meeting, luncheon, board retreat, or just a private party. The Outdoor Living Room is ideal for larger gatherings and will accommodate up to 250 guests. The beautiful and private Casa Room is ideal for an intimate dinner, luncheon or a more formal business meeting and will accommodate up to 50 guests. 

Historic Route 66

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Claremont ($$$) – http://doubletreeclaremont.com

Beautifully appointed and newly renovated guest rooms with one king or two double sized beds. The DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Claremont’s elegant, contemporary guest rooms and suites offer comfort and convenience with luxurious Sweet Dreams® beds, 32-inch flat screen LCD televisions, in-room safes, refrigerators, and high-speed Internet access. Guests can stay connected and productive on the road at its fully equipped, 24-hour Business Center. Relax with friends, alumni or business associates in its lush courtyard and enjoy a cocktail or meal by our waterfall. Dine in casual elegance at The Orchard Restaurant, serving a wide selection of California Mediterranean Fusion influenced dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. After hours, Piano Piano pits two piano players face to face on baby grand pianos, performing a high energy all request show that will keep guests singing and laughing into the night! Enjoy a relaxing day at the full service Essentials Day Spa on property. And don’t forget about those famous DoubleTree cookies provided upon check in, served nice and warm! 

Near Interstate 10

Claremont Lodge ($) –http://www.claremont-lodge.com/ 

Enjoy unbeatable accommodations near the cultural and recreational center of southern California with comfortable stylish rooms, cable television, and swimming pool; some rooms with in-room spas. 

Hotel Claremont & Tennis Club ($$) http://www.myhotelclaremont.com/.

“Come To Where The Racquet Is.” The Hotel Claremont features one of Southern California’s finest tennis facilities available year-round with eight lighted championship tennis courts. Contact the hotel for information regarding tennis package weekends for singles, couples or groups. The Hotel Claremont & Tennis Club provides guests with such amenities as free local shuttle, free use of its championship tennis courts, group and private tennis lessons available for an additional fee. Hotel guests also enjoy a daily continental breakfast, which includes fresh waffles, fruit and cereal, and free Wi-Fi. 

Howard Johnson Express Inn Claremont ($) – http://bit.ly/hojoclaremont

Enjoy “homey” accommodations at a reasonable price. Features include free Wi-Fi, complimentary continental breakfast, outdoor pool, 24-hour front desk service and free cribs. In rooms, the hotel offers a refrigerator, 25-inch color TV with cable TV service, coffee maker, iron and ironing board, hair dryer. An in-room safe is also available for a small fee. The property offers both smoking and non smoking rooms. 

  1. Claremont Village. “Discover the charm, explore the change.” A European-styled village with more than 150 unique restaurants, shops, bakeries, day spas, art galleries, entertainment venues, hotels, lounges and more. Walking these streets will immediately make you feel you’re no longer in Southern California.
  2. Local dining. American, Afghan, Argentinean, French, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Mediterranean, Mexican, Persian, Thai and more. There are nearly 80 restaurants to sample in Claremont, most with local operators, and some with top chefs, including 2011 Best Chef in the Inland Empire Jose Ruiz of Tutti Mangia Italian Grill. The variety and abundance makes this a weekend trip you want to make several times a year.
  3. The Packing House. Originally built in 1909, the College Heights Lemon
    Packing House has been recently renovated to include shops, galleries, dining and night clubs. Home to Flappers Comedy Club and Hip Kitty Jazz & Fondue, it also features vintage clothing stores, a cooking academy, and a nationally famous bookstore, Thoreau’s Bookshop, that provides donated books to inmates.
  4. A boutiquing paradise. Claremont Village is filled with locally owned stores that offer a window shopping experience second to none. Clothing boutiques including Amelie, Nectar and The Little Dress Shop, the teas of the world shop Bamboo Tea House, and even a vintage clock store, American Clock Co., are among dozens of unique gift stores and merchants that give the downtown area its unique vibe. Many stores feature locally designed clothing, jewelry and handicrafts from local artists, and locally sourced materials, as well as Fair Trade sourced merchandise. The Packing House and Old School House also feature additional galleries and artisan shops.
  5. Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden. The largest botanic garden dedicated exclusively to California’s native plants, the Garden displays about 2,000 taxa of California plants spread across 86 acres, including plants native to the California Floristic Province as a whole – from southern Oregon to Baja California. In addition to featuring a world-class botanical library and graduate-level education program, the Garden offers horticulture and community education programs to the public to encourage the use of California native plants in home landscapes.
  6. Locally baked goods and sweets. From sweets at the Some Crust Bakery and morning treats at the Last Drop Café to bagels made fresh all day long at 42nd Street Bagel Café, Claremont Village is a Sweet Tooth’s delight. Local chocolatier A. Kline’s candy shop is filled with hand-dipped treats, and creamery Bert and Rocky’s features more than 31 unique, homemade ice cream and sherbet flavors.
  7. Wine and cheese. A walking tour of Claremont’s shops finds such unique stops as The Packing House Wine Merchants. This wine bar and shop located on the western end of the Packing House offers a world of wines by the glass and varietals from growing regions all over the globe and offers light bites from a new executive chef. The Cheese Cave, a busy cheese shop on Yale Ave., offers dozens of cheeses from around the world, their own hand-pressed olive oils, and a selection of unique foods.
  8. Bike-friendly streets. Awarded a Silver Level by the League of American Bicyclists, Claremont’s streets are ideal for bicycling. For families, Claremont’s tree-lined streets offer majestic views of historic homes and the town’s college campuses, and easy rides to the Claremont Village to find an ideal eatery. Experienced cyclists can tackle the same route as the 2011 Amgen Tour of California from Claremont to Mount Baldy.
  9. Pubs and grub. Befitting a college town, Claremont features several unique pubs that feature good food, live music and televised sports. From the Back Abbey’s “Best in L.A.” pub burgers and dark ales, to the live bands that play The Press Restaurant’s stage, Claremont has a scene that’s all its own.
  10. Dinner Theater and Historic Route 66. The Foothill Blvd. corridor includes the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Claremont and the popular Candlelight Pavilion dinner theater that is housed within the gymnasium of the Old School House, Claremont’s original 1911 school building.
  11. Seven world-class colleges. A consortium of five undergraduate and two graduate schools of higher education all within walking distance. Internationally recognized for producing leaders in business, government and the professions. Check their calendar athttp://www.collegescalendar.org/ for stimulating presentations, musical productions and other events.
  12. The Village Square. Newly built in 2007, the Village Square and public plaza is surrounded by shops, restaurants and the boutique hotel and lounge Hotel Casa 425, and is home to the Laemmle 5 Claremont Theatre. A modern public art fountain meanders through the square, providing both soothing water sounds as well as space for outdoor picnicking and music.
  13. The great outdoors. In Claremont’s backyard are Mount Baldy and the majestic San Gabriel Mountains.
  14. Free parking. Indeed, there is one place in Los Angeles County where you can keep your quarters and credit cards in your pocket: Claremont offers free parking throughout the city. 

Families and avid cyclists alike should plan a weekend in Claremont to enjoy dozens of bicycle-friendly and scenic routes with varying degree of challenges, the city’s unique European-like village atmosphere, and a broad range of hotels, restaurants, spas and nightlife.

For families and casual riders, Claremont is easily navigated on bicycle at just 14 square miles, and the city takes great pride in being a leader in providing bicycle-friendly initiatives for visitors. The League of American Bicyclists has acclaimed Claremont as a Bronze-Level Bicycle Friendly Community, noting Claremont’s funding of bike lanes, road diets (reducing the number of vehicle lanes), and intersection improvement. The Claremont Hills Wilderness Park has an additional 10 miles of mountain bike trails and five miles of shared use pathways.

For riders seeking longer, more challenging rides, Claremont is well-known as a key starting and finishing spot for a strenuous road circuit along the Glendora Ridge Road through the San Gabriel Mountains, as well as many established and safe routes to cities as far away as Long Beach.

Gaining in popularity is the ride up to Mount Baldy. Claremont hosted Stage 7 of the 2011 Amgen Tour of California, a nearly 100-mile ride from city’s historic train depot that climbed close to 10,000 vertical feet in elevation and finished at the base of the Mount Baldy ski resort. Amateur cyclists seeking to experience the same road course as the professionals will find Claremont to be an ideal wake-up-and-ride starting point or an evening dine-and-stay experience. Local cyclists usually complete the circuit by riding downMt. Baldy Roaddirectly into Claremont.

Claremont’s ever-growing bicyclist population has created many clubs willing to offer tips. Ranging from college groups to baby boomers, these groups regularly announce events, trips and other useful information. Local bicycle shops include Jax Bicycle Center near the Claremont Depot.

Getting to Claremont is easy. Metrolink’s bicycle-friendly San Bernardino line stops in Claremont, giving weekend riders a short train ride from Union Station in downtown Los Angeles or other neighboring cities. Claremont’s historic train depot is located in the heart of the Claremont Village, a short bicycle ride away from the Claremont Colleges and shopping along Historic Route 66 California. Bikestation Claremont provides bike storage facilities at the depot to members.

Claremont’s five hotel choices range from economy to upscale. Options include the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Claremont on Historic Route 66, and the Hotel Claremont & Tennis Club near Interstate 10. The budget-minded cyclist will appreciate the Claremont Lodge or Howard Johnson Express Inn Claremont south of downtown, while the boutique Hotel Casa 425 offers upscale accommodations in the heart of the Claremont Village. Casa 425 also offers bicycle rentals to its guests (the DoubleTree will be adding this service soon).

Claremont features more than four dozen cafés and restaurants across a wide range of cuisines, including many locally famous eateries that families and cyclists alike will appreciate discovering.

Just a few blocks from boutique hotel Casa 425 to Harvard and Yale avenues, early morning risers will find locally crafted pastries and coffee at popular Claremont eateries or can enjoy midday noshing at local brunch spots peppered throughout the village. Claremont is also home to a variety of international cuisines and restaurants, while nightlife reigns at numerous hotspots at the College Heights Lemon Packing House (532 W.First St.), in the Village and throughout the Claremont Public Plaza. More than a dozen day spas and salons can also help sooth sore muscles and freshen windworn skin after a day of riding.

Located just 30 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, the City of Claremont prides itself on being a showcase community in Southern California. Its tree-lined streets, Village shopping districts, five distinctive hotels and spas, and stately college campuses have made it a destination for tourists and locals alike. More information about dining and staying in Claremont can be found at http://www.discoverclaremont.com and http://www.thevillageclaremont.com/.

New Tourism Website Features Claremont Restaurants, Day Spas, Boutiques and Visitor Events

CLAREMONT, Calif. (March 27, 2012) – Travelers to Los Angeles County and the Inland Empire seeking to escape the urban sprawl will find a pleasing collection of restaurants, day spas, attractions and hotels in Claremont. The city’s tourism board has launched a new website, DiscoverClaremont.com, that provides a descriptive overview of Claremont hotel accommodations, links to the more than 80 restaurants in Claremont, and a list of the region’s visitor attractions.

Guests to Claremont will find information on DiscoverClaremont.com about the city’s many “relaxing” amenities, like its dozen day spas and salons; popular galleries in the Claremont Village and at the Claremont Colleges; its numerous unique, locally owned boutiques; local bike-friendly and outdoor activities in the San Gabriel Mountains, including nearby Mount Baldy; and Claremont’s thriving food,  music and entertainment scene.

“More and more tourists are finding Claremont is truly the perfect getaway to take time to exhale and relax,” said Andrew Behnke of Discover Claremont, the Claremont tourism board. “We strive to turn your visit into an experience that you’ll be talking about for a long time. By visiting the new DiscoverClaremont website, you’ll get an idea of what Claremont has to offer for many return visits.”

Claremont hotels will feature special shopping, spa and dining packages, as well as post last-minute getaway deals on DiscoverClaremont.com. Hotel choices in Claremont range from economy to upscale, including luxury boutique Hotel Casa 425 in historic Claremont Village and the lush garden, resort-type setting at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Claremont. Budget-minded tourists will find the Hotel Claremont and Tennis Club, Claremont Lodge and Howard Johnson Express Inn Claremont.

Tourists seeking art and culture will find details on DiscoverClaremont.com about such local treasures as the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, the Candlelight Pavilion Dinner Theatre, and the museums, libraries and galleries at the Claremont Colleges. Claremont also features the only paleontology museum located on a high school campus in the nation, the newly remodeled The Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology.

An updated calendar of events for Claremont visitors will feature information about the city’s popular “Village Venture” and “Blues and Brews” events, as well as the weekly Sunday Farmers and Artisans Market in the Claremont Village. The DiscoverClaremont.com website also tells you where to find professional jazz, rising regional rock bands, Las Vegas-style piano shows and even belly dancing.

A romantic getaway right in Southern California? Try a village! Southern California couples considering a romantic weekend getaway will find Claremont a very inviting choice with a range of creative and relaxing options.

This lush, European village-like “city” in the middle of urban Southern California quickly transports couples into an idyllic, romantic setting where they can stroll tree-lined streets adorned with charming shops, outdoor cafés, historic neighborhoods and nearby college campuses.

Claremont abounds with highly rated restaurants, inviting boutiques and evening entertainment to let couples design their own custom getaways that will provide lasting, loving memories.

Begin by considering the range of lodging options. Local hotels, such as Hotel Claremont and Tennis Club, Hotel Casa 425, the DoubleTree by Hilton Claremont Hotel, Claremont Lodge and Howard Johnson Express Inn Claremont, provide a full range of amenities and price levels.

Next, find the perfect dining experience with dozens of locally owned restaurants throughout the city, including many in the Claremont Village. Top choices include La Piccoletta (Italian fare at 114 N. Indian Hill Blvd.), The Back Abbey (Bistro, 128 N. Oberlin Ave.), Arrufo’s (Italian, 126 Yale Ave.), Harvard Square Café (French, 206 W. Bonita Ave.), La Parolaccia Osteria Italiana (201 N. Indian Hill), Tutti Mangia (Italian, 102 Harvard Ave.), Viva Madrid (Spanish, 225-B Yale Ave.), and Union on Yale (American, 232 Yale Ave.).

Or consider an evening at the Candlelight Pavilion Dinner Theatre, which provides patrons with fine dining and performances the caliber of the Broadway shows. The 2012 season includes “Aida,” “The Music Man,” “Miss Saigon” and “Anything Goes.” Make reservations at www.candlelightpavilion.com

With dinner secured, it’s time to enjoy the rest of those special moments.

Couples may find inviting a quiet morning or midday walk among the many shops of the Claremont Village. Start the day with the warmth of a special brew of coffee, homemade pastries or crafted breakfasts at one of the local cafés, such as the Last Drop Café (119 Harvard Ave.) or Some Crust Bakery (119 Yale St.). From there, consider a tour of the internationally famous Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, or visits to the many local museums and art galleries.

The San Gabriel Mountains beckon to the north, and a dramatic view of Southern California is just minutes away by driving up Padua Ave.and continuing onto Mt. Baldy Rd. Couples who enjoy hiking and mountain biking together will find trails in the Claremont Hills, Marshall Canyon and the Glendora Ridge.

To start or end an evening with drinks, appetizers and/or dessert, consider the intimate settings found at the Lounge of Hotel Casa 425, walk across the street to the Packing House Wine Merchants, or enjoy the selections at Walter’s (310 Yale St.).

If nighttime entertainment is part of your romantic retreat, consider musical choices at the Hip Kitty Jazz and Fondue (502 W. First Street), the PianoPiano dueling piano bar at the Doubletree Hotel (555 W. Foothill Blvd.) or The Press restaurant (129 Harvard Ave.).

A complete listing of shops, hotels, events and more can be found at www.discoverclaremont.com.

Due east from Hollywood, at the edge of Los Angeles County, lies a town that a studio executive might have ordered up as a real-life Main Street USA movie set.

It might look like an Eastern seaboard village with blocks of bustling, locally owned shops. Or maybe a small Midwestern, railway town with a train depot within walking distance of trendy restaurants and hearty pubs. Or even a Southern community with its tree-lined streets of well-kept craftsman homes providing the ideal setting for a leisurely bicycle ride.

Beyond the beaches, but not quite to the mountains or desert. Beyond the master-planned suburbs, but not quite to sprawling bedroom communities. Beyond the Kellogg Hill interchange, but not quite the Inland Empire. It’s the kind of town that you fell in love with on a vacation to Maine – or was it Indiana? – but never thought you’d find again in Southern California.

It’s Claremont.

The City

The eastern-most city in Los Angeles County, Claremont is 30 miles east of downtown Los Angeles along Interstate 10. It’s a destination quite unlike any other in Southern California: A hidden gem within the sprawling, urbanscape of the L.A. basin.

Some still call it The City of Trees and PhDs, a legacy born more than 100 years ago with the founding of Pomona College amidst acres of foothills adorned with citrus ranches. In fact, it was only in 1889 that the town’s “shade tree committee” reported a gift of 250 trees, which were planted throughout the community shortly thereafter.

But the city is so much more than its seven nationally renowned colleges and 23,000 city-owned trees: It’s a true getaway from the everyday bustle of commuter Los Angeles, and a gateway to the mountains and deserts.

Claremont Village

It begins with a walkable – and yes, tree-lined – downtown. Claremont Village is adorned with more than 150 locally owned boutiques and galleries, restaurants, eateries and pubs with entertainment and music. The Claremont Depot, a California historical landmark, greets visitors at the south end of downtown, servicing the Amtrak and Metrolink trains that stop there daily.

Leaving the depot, pleasant strolls along Yale and Harvard Avenues and Claremont Village’s numbered streets await visitors, calling to mind a classic New England cape town or a mid-American downtown. The architectural features of Claremont’s downtown buildings reflect a city that came to rise in the early 1900s, with its classic bank and shop facades, and then grew with the rise of the automobile as seen in some of its more modern storefronts.

Across Indian Hill Blvd. are two unique shopping and arts centers – the modern Village Square Public Plaza, built in 2007, and the sharply retrofitted Packing House, a tribute to the city’s citrus roots that reopened in 2007.

The Public Plaza is surrounded by shops, restaurants and the boutique hotel Hotel Casa 425, and is home to the Laemmle’s 5 Claremont Theatre. A modern public art fountain meanders through the square, providing both soothing water sounds as well as space for outdoor picnicking and music.

The College Heights Lemon Packing House is one of four working packing houses that lined the railroad tracks during the city’s citrus heydays. In fact, Claremont citrus growers were among the first to organize a cooperative method for marketing their fruit, a coop which later became known as “Sunkist.” Art galleries, night clubs, a wine bar and dining now call the Packing House home.

Historic Route 66

While much of Claremont was built close to the train depot, Historic Route 66 runs alongFoothill Blvd., 12 blocks to the north. The businesses and restaurants along this district include the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Claremont and the popular Candlelight Pavilion dinner theater that is housed within the gymnasium of the Old School House, Claremont’s original 1911 school building that now is home to additional, unique retail shops and eateries.

Just upCollege Ave.from Route 66 is the famous Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, the largest botanic garden dedicated exclusively to California’s native plants. Encompassing 86 acres, the Garden displays about 2,000 taxa of California plants and includes those native to the California Floristic Province as a whole – from southern Oregon to Baja California. In addition to featuring a world-class botanical library and graduate-level education program, the Garden offers horticulture and community education programs to the public to encourage the use of California native plants in home landscapes.

The Colleges

Internationally recognized, locally admired and academically respected, the Claremont Colleges define the city in multiple ways – from the contagious intellectual capital that is nurtured by a traditional American educational system to supporting retail establishments to the overall lifestyle and commitment to community preservation.

Clustered both geographically and academically, the seven Claremont Colleges – five undergraduate and two graduate campuses – enable their students to attend a small, tightly-focused college even as they enjoy the benefits their “big school” seven-college consortium offers: cross-enrollment in classes; participation in a host of multi-campus social, academic, political, creative and religious organizations; all-campus dining privileges; and participation on a host of highly competitive NCAA Division III men’s and women’s athletic teams.

The Culture, the Arts

Naturally, the colleges foster the arts and independent studies.  Museums include The Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology, the Claremont Museum of Art, the Folk Music Center Museum, and multiple galleries both at the colleges and around town. Walks about the Village and on the campuses will reveal dozens of pieces of world-class public art.

A Way of Life

To visit Claremont is to be welcomed into a town that embodies the phrase “community spirit.” Its annual Village Venture Arts & Crafts Faire each October welcomes more than 20,000 visitors to Claremont Village. Community-oriented events such as Friday Nights Live! (summer), Claremont Farmers and Artisans Market (Sundays), First Friday Art Walks and classic-car Cruise Nite in the Village reflect a true slice of Americana in Southern California.

At just 14 square miles Claremont is easily navigated on bicycle, and the city takes great pride in being a leader in providing bicycle-friendly initiatives for visitors. The League of American Bicyclists has acclaimed Claremont as a Bronze-Level Bicycle Friendly Community, noting Claremont’s funding of bike lanes, road diets (reducing the number of vehicle lanes), and intersection improvement. The Claremont Wilderness Park has an additional 10 miles of mountain bike trails and five miles of shared use pathways. It’s no wonder the AMGEN Tour of California selected Claremont as a host city for its 2011 tour.

And indeed, Claremont is still a city of trees: It has been a winner of the National Arbor Day Association’s Tree City USA award for more than 20 years.

A Surprising Retreat

With its lush, European village-like setting, Claremont is an ideal destination for intimate, relaxing getaways. This “city” in the middle of urban Southern California quickly transports couples into an idyllic, romantic setting, perhaps taking them back to a different era as they stroll tree-lined streets adorned with charming shops, outdoor cafés and historic neighborhoods. And Claremont’s thriving community of spas, yoga and pilates centers, such as Essentials Day Spa & Salon, are ready to provide visitors with an array of personalized services and treatments to make their getaways complete.

Now, you get the idea why many chose Claremont to live, to learn, to enjoy nature…and to relax.

CLAREMONT, Calif.Oct. 5, 2011 — While the fall brings Santa Ana winds to Southern California, it also brings studentsback to the seven world-class colleges in Claremont and a renewedopportunity for visitors and tourists to the Los Angelesarea to catch live localmusic and fairs.
The birthplace of Grammy-winner Ben Harper, Claremont is home to a wide variety ofmusical performances, ranging from classical at the Pomona College Department of Music, tostudent choral and orchestra performances at Scripps, Claremont McKenna,Harvey Mudd, and Pitzer Colleges, andtraditional jazz at the Hip Kitty Club inthe Claremont Packing House. Local pubs and clubs feature Los Angeles County and Inland Empire areabands performing seven nights a week.
 
The famous Folk Music Center and Museum in Claremont Village is owned by Ben Harper‘s family and includes acollection of rare and antique musical instruments and artifacts from aroundthe world. The Folk Music Center offers classes and workshops for buddingmusicians, a lineup of musical performances from local and international folk performers,and an Open Mic on the last Sunday of every month.
 

Followingare some highlights of Fall in Claremont 2011:

 
October 22 – 30th Annual Village Venture Arts & Crafts Faire
 
 
The Claremont Village is filled with over 450 arts & crafts booths including photography, pottery, jewelry, clothing, and garden knick-knacks at this annual faire. Just in time to kick off the holiday shopping season, visitors to Claremont will find something unique for everyone on their lists. Over 20,000 people attended in 2010. More information at http://www.claremontchamber.org/.
 
     
 
October 22 – Things That Go Bump in the Night at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden
 
 
Meet the bats, owls, insects, spiders and plants who own the Garden at night. Pack a picnic dinner and flashlights and discover the wonders of the nocturnal world. Advance ticket purchase recommended; purchase tickets online or at the admission kiosk. More information athttp://www.rsabg.org/.
 
     
 
November 5 – Marley’s Ghost concert at the Folk Music Center
 
 
Since forming in the mid-’80s, Marley’s Ghost has built a singular reputation among discerning roots-music lovers for its instrumental virtuosity, ultra-tight four-part harmonies and animated live performances.  They blend English folk, Jamaican reggae, Gospel, Country and R&B. More information at http://www.folkmusiccenter.com/.
 
     
 
December 4 – Holiday Open House and Free Garden Admission Day at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden
 
 
Visitors receive free Garden admission, can visit with Santa and make crafts with the kids, and enjoy holiday gift sales, festive live music and prize drawings. More information at http://www.rsabg.org/.
 
     
 
Claremont’s weekly Farmer and Artisans Market, Sunday Mornings at 2nd Street and Indian Hill Blvd.
 
 
The market features fresh local and organic produce, plants, flowers and cheeses, gifts and jewelry made by local craftspeople, used books and more.
 
     


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