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Friday, December 30, 2016

ROUTE 66 Landmarks and Historic Downtowns- San Bernardino to Pasadena





Here are some Inland Empire and San Gabriel Valley Route 66 landmarks not to be missed, again from east to west...

Picture courtesy of Flickr
Keith_Rock under CC BY-ND 3.0 license
Glen Helen Park, Devore - As you exit the Cajon Pass via Interstate 15, you're gonna go west on Interstate 215.  That large park in the hills just south of the freeway is Glen Helen Park.  It was here on two weekends, Labor Day in 1982 and Memorial Day in 1983, that Steve Jobs' partner Steve Wozniak spent a good deal of his Apple fortune to stage two huge rock concerts, the Us Festival.  Up to 375,000 people packed the huge lawn for acts such at The Clash, Tom Petty, Van Halen, The Ramones, The Pretenders, David Bowie, and many more.  The lawn quickly turned to dirt, then mud.  The heat was pretty much unbearable but misters and free-flowing water helped to keep things cool.  The area just over the hill is where much of the audience camped out for each of the three-day festivals.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia
Cogart Strangehill under CC-BY-SA license
Original McDonald's Restaurant, San Bernardino - Actually the second restaurant the McDonald brothers started but the first one using their name.  The owner of the Juan Pollo chain has bought the property and turned it into a museum.  A modern functioning McDonald's is just down the street.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia
Marcin Wichary under CC-BY license
Wigwam Motel, Rialto - As Route 66 heads into Rialto, the iconic Teepee shaped rooms appear with the inn's slogan, "do it in a teepee."
Bono's Restaurant and Deli, 15395 Foothill Bl., Fontana - Old locals sometimes call it "Fontucky," but it's here you'll find one of only six orange shaped juice stands left in the state.  The owner plans to put it back in business but for now it's just for looks.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia
Cliff Hutson under CC-BY license
  -  Downtown Upland - Turn left on Euclid then left again on 9th Street.  Old timey village with a gazebo in the middle.  Not the most lively place at night, though.  Try Caffe Allegro for some really good Italian food or come to the Lemon Festival in May.
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Binksternet under CC-BY-SA license
Heritage Park, La Verne - This area was once covered in orange groves.  A small one is preserved here.  Saturdays, from January through March, you can pick oranges for $5 for a large bag.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia
Phu "Son" Nguyen under CC-BY license
Old Town, La Verne - Dating back to the 1890's, this little downtown...originally called Lordsburg...was the heart of a Brethren community.  It's surrounded by the University of La Verne, which dates back to 1891, and is Tim's alma mater (see below).

  -  Downtown San Dimas - Cute, Western themed downtown.  A ghost town at night.  Turn left on San Dimas Ave. to Bonita.
  -  Downtown Glendora - mid 20th century type of downtown, coming back to life with new restaurants, shops, and entertainment.  Turn right (north) at Glendora Ave...at the retro Route 66 Arco station.

Foothill Drive In Theater, Azusa - The theater's long gone...its land being used for the expansion of Azusa Pacific University...but the college has preserved the marquee.

  -  Downtown Azusa - At the corner of Azusa Ave. & Foothill (Route 66).  It has become one of the top stops on the Gold Line light rail for food and drink Try Max's for some great margaritas and enchiladas.

San Gabriel River, Irwindale/Duarte - Usually dry, this river drains Azusa Canyon (or San Gabriel Canyon) to the north.  The bridge that is a quarter mile to your north is an old Pacific Electric trolley bridge.

The cities you're now driving through have roots back to the Spanish land grant days...Rancho de Azusa, Rancho de Duarte, and Rancho Santa Anita which mostly became Arcadia and Sierra Madre.  A land speculator named William Monroe developed what became Monrovia in 1886.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia
Flickr user Living in Monrovia under CC-BY-SA license
  -  Old Town Monrovia - Turn right (north) on Myrtle.  Pretty and lively downtown area dating back over 100 years, probably second only to Old Pasadena right now.  Many restaurants, a movie theater, and shops.  A large variety of ethnic foods in a three block stretch: Mexican (Rudy's,  La Adelita), Cuban (Marengue), Greek (The Monrovian), Italian (Bellasera), Vietnamese (Pho Lemon), Chinese (Wang's) and more.  Every Friday night is Festival Night here.


Photo coutesy of Wikimedia
Flickr user living in Monrovia under CC-BY-SA license
Aztec Hotel, Monrovia - A well preserved old hotel, now mostly used for apartments.  The lobby and gardens are very beautiful.  There's a bar and restaurant here but I can't vouch for them.  Tim and I used to get our hair cut here at the barber shop but he's gone now, I don't know what happened to him.

Past the Aztec, turn left on Mayflower and return to Huntington Drive and turn right, as you turn, notice the diner style McDonald's on the corner.  A plaque inside has a letter written by Dick McDonald  telling the story about how their first restaurant was actually here in Monrovia (approximately at Huntington Dr. and Shamrock Ave)  It was called the Aerodrome and was moved to San Bernardino and renamed McDonalds.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia
TheBluZebra under CC-BY-SA license
Santa Anita Park, Arcadia - One of America's premiere horse racing facilities.  Home of the Breeder's Cup and the Santa Anita Handicap.  Seabiscuit raced here.  So did Spectacular Bid, John Henry, and many others.  It's not uncommon to run into trainers watching their horses run during breakfast at Clocker's Corner.  Racing in October and late December through April.  One of my favorite places to go.

  -  Downtown Sierra Madre - Turn north on Michilinda then right again on Sierra Madre Bl.  Quiet and quirky old section.  Probably the only city in Los Angeles County without a traffic light.  They have an old fashioned playhouse that puts on some pretty darn good shows.  Try Lucky Baldwin's on the corner of Baldwin Ave. for some great Belgian beer and pub food.  This is where the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers  was filmed.



Tournament of Roses, Rose Parade, Pasadena - Continuing along Colorado Bl. into Pasadena, once you pass Sierra Madre Bl., you're traveling on the Rose Parade route until you get to Orange Grove Ave. in Old Pasadena.
  -  Old Pasadena - One of the great urban renewal success stories.  Wildy popular with tons of restaurants, night spots, shops, and theaters.  Huge area.  Metro's Gold Line runs right through it.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia
Mike Dillon under CC-BY-SA license
Suicide Bridge (Colorado Street Bridge), Pasadena - Beautiful arch bridge at the edge of town that, yes, has been the scene of a few jumps.  It turned 100 years old in 2013.

We'll end the landmark list if you look to the north of the bridge...
Rose Bowl, Pasadena - This New Year's Day landmark has seen many classic games.  It can hold around 110,000 fans because most of the seats are wooden benches.  You can take a look when no games are scheduled by going through the south entrance.  UCLA now uses this stadium as its home field for football.

-Darryl
Copyright 2010 - Darryl Musick

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