Norton Simon Museum

Location: 411 West Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena, Ca 91105

Phone: 626-449-6840


Hours: Wed-Mon noon-6:00 PM, Fri noon-9:0000 PM, Closed Rose Parade Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas

Fees: $8 for adults, $4 for seniors (62and above), free children and students(with ID), free everyone 6-9PM on first Friday of the month

Comments:  This is primarily an art museum which has a beautiful garden with a pond, multicolored water lilies and photogenic landscaping with flowers. The grounds of the Museum have a long history of beautiful gardens. The original garden was planted in the 1870s. It was the most extensive garden in Pasadena, filled with plants from all over the world, many being planted by the donors themselves, including botanist John Muir. The garden at the Norton Simon Museum is a living work of art providing tranquil and inspirational surroundings for the Museum and its visitors. Many come to sketch the attractive landscaping and featured sculptures or simply relax and enjoy the atmosphere. Conceived in 1999 by noted Southern California landscape designer, Nancy Goslee Power, the current 79,000-square-foot garden includes more than 180 species of trees, shrubs, vines, ground cover and perennials. Complete with a meandering pond and a small waterfall, the garden is home to many sculptures integrated into the landscape.

All packages larger than 11X15 inches must be checked. Except for the traveling exhibits, photography is permitted without flash or tripods, both inside and out. Due to planting around the pond, one can get to within three or four feet of the pond edge and not directly over the lilies. Although one can take photos of Rembrants, the light level is low and either a short focal length F/1.4 lens or a stabilized lens and high ISO is required. The impressionists are a little brighter.

Directions: From the 210 westbound, get off at Fair Oaks and go south to Colorado and continue west across the bridge and right to the museum located on the north side of Colorado Blvd just west of the Arroyo Secco Bridge. The entrance to the parking lot is almost hidden in bushes and the sign is quite small. The return is very simple, exit the museum and turn right and right again on the first turn, cross the freeway and take an immediate right following the sign to San Bernadino. A fly over gets one to the east bound freeway.

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