Looking to escape all the hubbub with a weekend getaway in Southern California? Claremont, a city with an overabundance of trees – and nationally renowned colleges – that just oozes charm, will make you think you got teleported to a college town back East.
To kick-start your restorative weekend trip in Claremont, enjoy a cup of joe and a freshly baked croissant on the patio at Last Drop Café, located in the quaint Claremont Village. From here you can admire the historical architecture, gaze at the San Gabriel mountains and gear up for some boutique shopping in the neighboring stores.
Mount Baldy, just minutes away, makes for an excellent day-trip. Depending on the season, you can hike, mountain bike, zip-line, or partake in a wide variety of fun snow activities. Afterwards, you can take a ski lift up to Top of the Notch Restaurant & Bar, which offers a unique dining experience with amazing vistas.
Another option for nature lovers is Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, the largest botanic garden dedicated to California native plants. If you’re at the Garden during late spring or summer, the Butterfly Pavilion is a must-see.
Claremont Village Awaits
Once you’ve perused an amazing variety of plants, or walked among beautiful butterflies, you can stop at The Back Abbey for a gourmet burger and an artisan crafted beer on the patio. Or you can head over to Claremont Craft Ales (opens at 1 p.m. on weekends), where various gourmet food trucks land daily.
After lunch, you may want to check out the captivating assortment of musical instruments at Folk Music Center, expand your record collection at Rhino Records, do some vintage shopping at The Grove Vintage, or check out some of the art galleries in the Claremont Village or at the Claremont Colleges.
If you’re a serious art lover, you’ll want to plan your weekend trip around the Claremont Art Walk, which is held on the first Saturday of the month and showcases local artists at galleries throughout the Claremont Village.
Claremont Packing House
Come sundown, the Packing House offers a profusion of exciting evening activities. You can catch a live stand-up comedy show at Flappers Comedy Club, do a wine tasting at Packing House Wine Merchants, have dinner and hookah at Casablanca Bar and Grill, or enjoy hand-crafted cocktails at The Whisper House, Claremont’s first speakeasy. On Friday nights, you can shop one-of-a-kind arts and crafts at Art Mart, held inside the Packing House.
Whatever place you decide to go to or activity you choose to partake in while in town, we trust you’ll leave Claremont with shoulders softened, a smile, and effortless breath.
Southern California foodies can select from prix fixe lunch and dinner menus at more than two dozen participating Claremont, California, area hotels and restaurants during the third annual “Claremont Restaurant Week,” July 10-19, 2015.
Claremont Restaurant Week highlights the city’s contemporary dining choices and provides foodies with an opportunity to sample specials created by local chefs. Visitors to Claremont can enjoy an overnight stay at local hotels, each of which will be offering special “Dine and Stay” packages that include $50 in Discover Claremont gift cards – redeemable towards dinner at most participating Claremont Restaurant Week locations.
Join the Claremont Chamber of Commerce for a day of motivation, inspiration and fun at their Women’s Leadership Conference on Friday, March 6, 2015 from 9 a.m.– 3 p.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton Claremont, 555 W. Foothill Blvd. Claremont.
Presented by Claremont Lincoln University, this day-long conference will explore significant topics including the hidden rules of success, personal branding and the history of women. The attendees will also have the opportunity to have a panel discussion with current and former women elected officials.
Featured speakers will include: Lori Giovannoni, a nationally recognized speaker, author and businesswomen; JuliAnn Stitick, nationally-known personal brand and image consultant; and Dr. Peg Lamphier, author and IGE Professor at Cal Poly Pomona. All are welcome and encouraged to attend – as it will be an empowering day filled with practical information for everyone.
Cost per person is $100, which includes a continental breakfast and lunch. Registration is available online at www.claremontchamber.org by Friday, February 27th. For information on becoming a sponsor or exhibitor call (909) 624-1681.
About the Speakers:
Lori Giovannoni is an award-winning speaker, author and businesswoman. Her clients include small businesses, as well as Fortune 500 companies and departments within federal, state and city governments. Lori’s contributions as a volunteer in her community have earned her many awards, including the Athena Award. As the Dean of Executive Women International’s Academy of Leadership, Lori has designed and developed all the courses that comprise the Academy of Leadership.
JuliAnn Stitick, a nationally-known personal brand and image consultant, will speak on personal branding, encompassing communication skills, body language, presentation, wardrobe, client experience, organization and followup. JuliAnn is a trusted image advisor for top level entrepreneurs globally and organizations crossing every industry, including the Oscars, the Golden Globes, Disney, Nordstrom and Lexus.
Dr. Peg Lamphier is an author and Professor at Cal Poly Pomona. Peg attended Arizona State University and the Claremont Graduate School. Her first book was published in 2003 about politics and gender during the Civil War. Peg is currently under contract with Blackwell-Wiley as co-author for a Civil War and Reconstruction text book and is an editor of a four volume Encyclopedia of American Women with ABC-Clio.
Claremont is hosting its second annual Claremont Restaurant Week from July 14-20, 2014. The seven-day “Midsummer Night’s Dine” event showcases the City of Tree’s many grills, sandwich shops, bakeries, and fine dining restaurants. With a growing number of regionally acclaimed restaurants and dozens of locally owned eateries keeping the food scene fresh, it’s no wonder that critics have declared Claremont a “food neighborhood” that’s “worth the drive” for foodies and tourists. Many of Claremont’s more than 75 eateries and hotel restaurants will participate by offering prix fixe lunch and dinner menus, ranging from $10-$40, that highlight their chef’s specialty cuisines. Restaurants confirmed to participate include the following:
Aruffo’s Italian Cuisine
Casa de Salsa
La Parolaccia Osteria
Lounge 425 at Hotel Casa 425
The Last Drop Café
The Loving Hut Claremont
The Orchard at DoubleTree by Hilton Claremont
Packing House Wines
Pappas Artisanal (La Verne)
Pizza n’ Such
Podge’s Claremont Juice Co.
The Press Restaurant
Saca’s Mediterranean Cuisine
“Claremont Restaurant Week will showcase our growing, local culinary scene that is comprised of some terrific young chefs, experienced and daring proprietors, menus filled with locally sourced ingredients, and restaurants serving craft beers and ales that complement their meals,” said Maureen Aldridge, CEO, Claremont Chamber of Commerce. More details and a growing list of participating restaurants can be found at www.ClaremontRestaurant.com.
The 31st Claremont Folk Festival takes place on Saturday, May 31st, 2014, with gates opening at 10:00am. The festival features a wide range of music, art and learning experiences, housed within the natural beauty of The Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden.
General Admission and VIP Seating tickets are available. Children 12 and under are admitted free, except in the VIP section. VIP tickets are limited and the price includes prime reserved seating and VIP lanyard. VIP tickets must be purchased for children. For more information and tickets, visit http://folkmusiccenter.com/folk-festival/.
Musical Performers: Ben Harper and his mother Ellen, Very Special Musical Guests (to be announced May 5), Dave Alvin & The Guilty Ones, The Gonzalo Bergara Quartet, The Coals, The Chapin Sisters, The Ooks of Hazzard, Blue Highway, Steve James, Rick Shea, Ross Altman, Peter Harper, Phoebe Bridgers, and Old Brown Shoe
Storytellers: Angela Lloyd Karen Rae-Kraut
Music and Art Teachers: Ukulele Bartt, Jason Arimoto, John Rockwell, Homero Chavez, Rick Shea, Kevin Marin, Steve James, Leigh Adams, Ray McNamara, Gonzalo Bergara, Ross Altman, Kent Besocke, Chris Wahl, Bob Hurton, Sue Geeting, Phoebe Millerwhite, and Sue Bush
Workshops: Cajon Drumming, Songwriting, Bottleneck Slide Guitar, Gypsy Guitar , Banjo, Beginning Ukulele, Reggae Style Ukulele, Fancy Fingers on the Ukulele: Right Hand Stuff, Mosaic Making Studio, Drum Circle, Fine Art with the dA Center for the Arts, Body Percussion & Boomwhackers, Harmonica, Protest Songs, Open Jam/Song Circle
Kids Passport Activities: Song Quilt, Face Painting, Butterfly Pavilion, Zen Painting, Sunflower Planting
Local artists will be selling a variety of art, musical instruments and more. Gourmet food trucks and local micro-breweries will provide food service in designated areas during the Festival.
Festival attendees will have exclusive access to Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden for the day. The entire 86 acres will be open for self-guided tours and exploration. RSABG members can receive a discount code by contacting The Garden development office @ firstname.lastname@example.org or (909) 625-8767 ext 221 (4 ticket max).
The Garden is a living museum, much different from a park or other recreation area, so personal food, glass bottles, and animals (with the exception of identified service animals) are not allowed. We do encourage bringing refillable bottles of water for personal hydration.
This is a Rain or Shine Event. No refunds.
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.
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.
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!
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The great outdoors. In Claremont’s backyard are Mount Baldy and the majestic San Gabriel Mountains.
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/.
The voice of Southern California Seniors, Not Born Yesterday, reported on a recent trip to Claremont, overnight at the DoubleTree by Hilton Claremont, and walk through the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden.
This spring and summer Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden (RSABG) is abuzz with activities including the Butterfly Pavilion and David Rogers’ Big Bugs art exhibition. A new event—Bugs and Brews offers adults an opportunity to enjoy California’s native garden and party, too.
The Garden is opening the gate Thursday nights from 6 until 8:30 p.m., for Bugs and Brews, May 24 through June 21, 2012. Guests 21 and up are invited to enjoy evening strolls in the Garden, view David Rogers’ Big Bugs and mingle with others over beers for just $10 for RSABG members and $15 for public. Local brothers Curt and Andy Dale bring their mircobrews to California’s native garden and live music provides a soundtrack to the Big Bugs playful art exhibit. Tickets available at the gate or by phone at (909) 625-8767 ext. 224.
The opening weekend of the third annual Butterfly Pavilion (May 12 and 13) at RSABG welcomed approximately 500 visitors. The seasonal exhibit, featuring Southern California native caterpillars and butterflies along with their habitat plants, is open daily 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., through July 29, 2012. Tickets are $2 in addition to standard Garden admission for all guests 3 and over..
David Rogers’ Big Bugs, a traveling exhibition of gigantic proportions, is on display at the Garden until July 15, 2012. Big Bugs is a collection of huge sculptures of arthropods created by carving and polishing beautiful hardwoods and manipulating young willow saplings. The exhibition is free with standard Garden admission. A free audio tour is available; please check in at the admission kiosk for details.
Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, founded in 1927 by Susanna Bixby Bryant, is the largest botanic garden dedicated exclusively to California’s native plants. The Garden is located on 86 acres in Claremont, approximately 35 miles east of Los Angeles. RSABG, a private, nonprofit organization, offers educational programs and special events throughout the year and is home of the Botany Department for Claremont Graduate University. The Garden offers a superb selection of California native plants for sale at Grow Native Nursery in Claremont and West L.A. (Westwood).
Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, located at 1500 N. College Ave., Claremont, California, is open daily from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., except Jan. 1, July 4, Thanksgiving and Dec. 25. Free parking; accessible paths throughout the Garden. The California Garden Gift Shop is open daily from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Admission: free for RSABG members; $8 adults; $6 seniors and students; $4 children 3-12. For more information please call (909) 625-8767 or visit www.rsabg.org.