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Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena

Los Angeles, CA
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Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena, Los Angeles California


The Norton Simon Museum has some wonderful artwork, displayed in an elegant modern two-story building. We especially loved seeing the Van Gogh paintings downstairs. They are so much better in real life- you can see the thick application of paint- wow! There was a little too much of Degas' ballerinas- but if you like Degas, you'll love this gallery.
The museum is fairly large but you can see all of it in one day if you've got stamina. There are some excellent European paintings from the last several centuries: Raphael, Botticelli, Renoir, Monet, Picasso, and Matisse. There are also some Asian sculptures.
Outside, the lily-pond sculpture garden (inspired by Monet's garden in Giverny) is lovely, and there is a small cafe where you can buy a sandwich.
For kids, there's an audio tour designed especially for them, but as with most serious museums, kids might tire pretty quickly of looking and not touching. This museum is better as a date just for the two of you than a family outing with young kids.
Afterwards, walk around Old Town Pasadena (where Fair Oaks Ave and Colorado Blvd meet) with its chic cafes offering food from all around the world and upmarket clothing stores. Grab a tart at Aux Delices Bakery. Cheesecake Factory is always an easy place to eat with kids though this one is very busy (see address below).
While you're in Pasadena, you mustn't miss the Huntington Gardens. It's an unforgettable place, with many themed gardens, an absolute paradise on earth!


Photo Gallery

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The lily pond and sculpture garden outside the Norton Simon Museum.
The lily pond and sculpture garden outside the Norton Simon Museum.
Doesn't this make you want to go to the Norton Simon right now?
Doesn't this make you want to go to the Norton Simon right now?


411 W. Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, call (626) 449-6840, or visit their website.
The museum is located on the corner of Colorado and Orange Grove Blvds, near where the 210 and 134 Freeways intersect.
From the 134 Freeway eastbound, exit at Orange Grove Blvd, go straight through the intersection onto Colorado Boulevard. The Museum is on the left.
From the 210 Freeway westbound, take the 134 Freeway west and exit at Orange Grove Blvd. Turn left and then left again at the next light, Colorado Blvd. The Museum is on the left.
There is plenty of free parking.
For directions from other freeways, click here.
Open M,W, Th 12-5pm, F, S 11-8, and Sun 11-5. Closed on Tuesdays. Closed on Rose Parade Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day.
Cost is $15, seniors $12. Children aged 18 and under enter for free, as do students with college ID!
Admission is free the first Friday night of every month from 5-8pm.
Aux Delices Bakery, 16 W. Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, call (626) 796-1630.
Cheesecake Factory, 2 West Colorado Blvd, call (626) 584-6000.

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Visitor Ratings

Overall Visitor Rating:

12/22/2009 12:56
wow, i can't wait to see this ...maybe tomorrow !!

10/15/2009 15:49
Great museum, bit of everything. Enjoyed Pasadena- nice, lot of money, great restaurants to visit

10/01/2009 15:01
I can't beileve I missed this. :( Will be back in Pasadena and sure to visit.

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Last Updated: Fri, 09 Nov 2018 23:59:35 GMT