If you are visiting Claremont, California, with teens, chances are you are going on college tours. Recently my teen daughter and I decided to make it a girls weekend while touring several of the colleges in Claremont. We started with a morning campus tour followed by lunch then spent the afternoon exploring. It was the ideal way to see several campuses without college tour overload. For your trip, here are the top things to do Claremont California with teens.
Top Things to do in Claremont California with Teens
Got a bright kid? The highly ranked Claremont Colleges are about 30 miles east of Los Angeles. We toured several of the campuses and sharing all the details.
Harvey Mudd College
Forming a consortium of five undergraduate and two graduate liberal arts colleges, the Claremont College campuses adjoin each other and cover approximately one square mile in central Claremont, an Los Angeles suburb. Students can easily walk in-between campuses and we did during our campus tours.
With 2,000 courses offered across all the colleges, students can take classes at any of the five campuses. In total, there are 7,700 undergraduate students and 3,600 faculty and staff.
Most undergraduate students live on campus all four years with 2/3 of the students from outside of California. The students can also use any of the seven dining halls located across the five campuses and most do.
Several clubs are open to all Claremont College students and the intermural teams enjoy a good-natured rivalry. The Claremont Colleges don’t offer Greek Life organizations though host lots of organizations and school-led outings.
The Claremont Colleges also pooled their resources for a central library and bookstore. The schedules for each college are aligned and their systems connected.
Each college offers it own tour and information session. Self-guided tours are always available as well.
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Explore Claremont Village
To get a real feel for Claremont, we headed to Claremont Village, a charming shopping and dining district in the center of town. I found lots of parking along the streets so we strolled by foot.
Near the intersection of W. First St. and N. College Ave, I found Claremont’s MetroLink station, southern California’s commuter rail system.
My daughter and I window shopped in the Claremont Village as well. Finding lots of locally-owned shops, we browsed through The Hens’ Kitchen Shoppe, located at 141 N. Yale. Then visited The Claremont Forum Bookstore for used books, located at 586 W. First St.
The Claremont Village even hosts a farmers market on Sundays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Visitors will find lots of seasonal festivities, like Halloween fun and a Holiday tree lighting too.
Claremont’s Chamber of Commerce offers gift cards, honored at local restaurants and retail shops across Claremont Village.
Claremont Lewis Museum of Art
With its location inside the Claremont Depot, this museum is dedicated to the art and artists of the area. It offers a permanent exhibit along with visiting exhibitions.
Located in the Claremont Depot at 200 W. 1st St. Adult admission is $5 and free for kids under 18. It is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.
Cruise down Route 66
After pulling into Claremont, I saw the familiar sign. Route 66, or the Main Street of America, runs through Claremont on its way to its terminus in Santa Monica. Since Route 66 is also known as Foothill Blvd., a major thoroughfare in Claremont, it’s hard not to cruise down Route 66 at least once. This is an easy one of the top things to do in Claremont, California with teens.
Claremont Hills Wilderness Park
Visitor can enjoy the vast chaparral landscape at the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park, located at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains and the Angeles National Forest. This area offers 5 miles of trails for hiking along with viewpoints.
Located at 1700 Danbury Rd. Open from sunrise to sunset. Parking is located at Mills Avenue and Mt Baldy Rd. Parking permit required.
The California Botanic Garden
Next to the San Gabriel foothills, I explored one of the best gardens for California. Known for their collection of California native plants, the California Botanic Garden offers 86 acres to stroll along with an events area and a gift shop. It is one of the top things to do in Claremont, California with teens.
Located at 1500 N. College Ave. it is open Tuesday to Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Adults admission is $10, students are $6 and kids over 3 are $4.
During one of the college tours, the student tour guide mentioned how students head up to Mt. Baldy to relax during the weekend. As she pointed to the mountain in the background, she mentioned it’s just 15 miles from the Claremont Colleges. This is one of th top things to do in Claremont California with kids.
Mt. Baldy, the highest peak in the San Gabriel Mountains, offers year-round fun. With wintertime skiing at a 10,000-foot peak with a resort with lifts and lessons. Mt. Baldy Resort also offers scenic chair lift rides as well as tubing and sledding.
Summertime fun includes hiking, mountain biking along with a scenic chair lift.
Located at 8401 Mt. Baldy Rd.
Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology
This museum is located on the Webb High School campus, the only nationally accredited museum on a high school campus in the U.S. Mr. Alf was a paleontologist and educator that was passionate about taking students fossil hunting on breaks.
The Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontogy offers 4,000-square-feet and two display areas: Hall of Footprints and the Hall of Life.
Located at 1175 W. Baseline Rd., Claremont. Open Wednesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Adult admission is $12 and kids (5 -18) enter for $9. Visitors will have to check in with The Webb Schools security kiosk and possess a valid ID.
Where to Eat in Claremont
Looking to sample some local restaurants, we tried several during our visit.
Eureka Burger, located at 580 W. First St, features burgers, salads and craft cocktails. Eureka Burger boasts lots of outdoor seating as well.
Some Crust Bakery, located at 119 Yale Ave, is a must for cookie lovers. We stopped for an afternoon snack and a coffee to-go.
I like Pie Bake Shop, located at 175 N. Indian Hill Blvd, for pie lovers. I got a mini pie, just the right size to pop into my mouth. Yum.
Saca’s Mediterranean Restaurant, located at 248 Second St, serves up a massive salad and features outdoor seating.
Village Grille, located at 148 Yale Ave, serving up diner classics since 1949. Offers an original diner with friendly waitresses and counter service.
Where to Stay in Claremont
For my stay in Claremont, I enjoyed a large room overlooking the pool, outfitted with two double beds dressed in white cotton linens at the DoubleTree Claremont Hotel. My room featured a work desk with a charging station along with task lighting and an ergonomic chair. In the corner of the room, an upholstered chair with an ottoman and a reading lamp provided a place to read.
During my stay, I dined at The Orchard each morning for the full breakfast buffet. With an omelette bar, assorted French pastries, Belgium waffle bar, and hot breakfast staples like French toast, scrambled eggs, along with sausage and applewood bacon, I can’t imagine anyone leaving hungry.
Disclosure: I was hosted by Visit Claremont during my stay. Though I attended general information sessions at the colleges and took the standard college tours.
Know Before You Go:
- If touring the colleges during the school year, a parking pass will be required. Though during the summer, the colleges are empty.
- I found the signage at the colleges lacking and the admissions buildings hard to find so give yourself extra time.