The Day Pass Diary: Riding the Metro Gold Line

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In light of the Gold Line’s 10th anniversary, riding the Gold Line from Pasadena to Union Station all day seemed like the best way to celebrate its birthday. Starting at Del Mar Station to view the festivities, I bought a TAP card and purchased a $5 Day Pass to start the adventure.

Here are the stops made along the Gold Line from Del Mar Station to Union Station:

1. Having to be out and about all day, a coffee was much needed. Right across the street from South Pasadena Station is Buster’s Coffee, a cute corner coffee shop serving organic and local brews. There’s nothing like sitting outside on a summer morning enjoying a coffee to start the day, and Buster’s offers both the great coffee and the great atmosphere.

2. Even though it was made out of smooth river rocks gathered from the nearby Arroyo Seco, the Lummis House and Garden was the cool place to hangout in Los Angeles about a century ago. Now, it is a historic home where people are free to tour the builder of the house Charles S. Lummis‘ collection of artifacts of the West, which consists of old books, dishes, photographs, and letters. A little background on Lummis: he walked from Ohio to California in 1885 to take a job as the first city editor of the Los Angeles Times.  Entrance is free and the house is located only a few blocks away from Heritage Square Station.

3. A great place to have lunch off the Gold Line is just one block away from Chinatown Station. Homegirl Café serves dishes made with the freshest ingredients. The menu features a mix of Latina fare and fresh baked goods from Homeboy Bakery, and you get a 20% discount on your bill with Metro. The place not only serves great food, but also helps a great cause. Helping high-risk and formerly gang-involved young women become contributing members of the community, Homegirl Café provides training within the food service industry. After lunch, take a free tour of Homeboy Industries to see Homeboy’s programs in action, like the tattoo removal room or the huge bakery. Tours of Homeboy Industries are available weekdays, Monday – Friday, 9:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

4. Chinatown displays a colorful, vibrant view of Chinese American culture with notable restaurants, shops, and art. The bazaars at Saigon Plaza offer real bargains on clothing, toys, and knickknacks of all kinds. A best seller of the shops are $1 Chinese fans, perfect for a hot summer day!

5. After having delicious Latin food, a serious craving for churros was on the mind. Right outside of Union Station is Olvera Street, a small Mexican neighborhood in L.A. Here you can find shops selling traditional Mexican goods. But one of its best assets is the authentic food, and Mr. Churro did not disappoint. After grabbing one of the most melt-in-your-mouth churros, I enjoyed Mexican mariachi music in the Plaza.

6. Last stop was Memorial Park Station to go to a free concert at Levitt Pavilion in Old Pasadena. This summer, a series of 50 concerts are taking place at the Levitt Pavilion and admission is free. Pre-show festivities with vendors, community partners and food trucks start at 6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m.  Relaxing on an open lawn with a grilled vegetable wrap from Father Nature was the perfect way to end the day.

3 replies

  1. I enjoyed this post immensely. 

    The Arroyo is a beautiful part of our city, and I know that Chloe Rodriguez’s post, and the Gold Line itself,  will encourage more of us to come visit it.


  2. South Pasadena has a farmer’s market right in front of its Gold Line station every Thursday at 4PM. It’s perfect for those heading back home from Pasadena or DTLA.

  3. With all that eating make sure you do a lot of walking! Fortunately the areas around the Gold Line are very walkable.