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Big City Family Fun

Explore Claremont California while College Shopping

Pomona College. College Shopping in Southern California. what to do in Claremont California with teens
Stroll through the Claremont College campuses while visiting Claremont, California, like Pomona College. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

College tours with your teen don’t have to be a trudge from one campus to another in a mad rush to find the right school. On a recent weekend getaway to Los Angeles, my teen daughter and I decided to make it a girls weekend. Starting with a morning campus tour we followed it up with lunch and an afternoon of exploring. It was the ideal way to see several campuses. For your trip, I’ve pulled together a list of what to do in Claremont California with teens.

What to do in Claremont California with Teens

Got a bright kid? Find the highly ranked Claremont Colleges about 30 miles east of Los Angeles. I toured several of the campuses for college recruiting tours recently and got all the details.

Pomona College

Claremont-McKenna College

Harvey Mudd College

Pitzer College

Scripps College

Forming a consortium of five undergraduate and two graduate liberal arts colleges, the Claremont College campuses adjoin 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.

what to do in Claremont California with teens College Shopping in Southern California.
Claremont-McKenna attracts students studying economics and government affairs. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

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.

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.

Located in the Claremont Depot, I found the Claremont Museum of Art. Located at 200 W. 1st St, it offers $5 admission for adults and free for kids under 18.

Tour the Claremont Colleges in Southern California and discover a charming community 30 miles east of Los Angeles. Find a pedestrian-friendly downtown and mountain recreation just minutes away. Also find gardens, shopping and dining along with lodging. #Claremont #California

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 and The Claremont Forum for used books.

The Claremont Village even hosts a farmers market on Sundays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Along with lots of seasonal festivities, like Halloween fun and a Holiday tree lighting, find fun off-campus too.

Claremont’s Chamber of Commerce offers gift cards, honored at local restaurants and retail shops across Claremont Village.

Cruise down Route 66. Best Colleges in Southern California. what to do in Claremont California with teens
A drive down Route 66 is a must while visiting Claremont. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

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.

Visit Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden. Best Colleges in Southern California.
A walk through the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden showcases plants that thrive in Southern California. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

TheRancho Santa Ana 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 Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden offers 86 acres to stroll along with an events area and a gift shop.

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden is located at 1500 N. College Ave. and open everyday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Adults admission is $9, students and kids over 3 $4.

Mt. Baldy

During one the college tours, the student tour guide mentioned how students head up to Mt. Baldy to relax during weekend breaks. As she pointed to the mountain in the background, she mentioned it’s just 15 miles from the Claremont Colleges.

Mt. Baldy, the highest peak in the San Gabriel Mountains, offers year-round fun. With wintertime skiing at a 10,000-foot peak and summertime camping and hiking, outdoor enthusiasts are minutes from the recreation area. Mt. Baldy is located at 8401 Mt. Baldy Rd.

Walk down the downtown streets of Claremont and stop for a burger at Eureka. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

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.

The 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.
Tour the Claremont Colleges in Southern California and discover a charming community 30 miles east of Los Angeles. Find a pedestrian-friendly downtown and mountain recreation just minutes away. Also find gardens, shopping and dining along with lodging. #Claremont #California
credit: Catherine Parker

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