The thing that stands out most about the city of Alhambra is the vast number of historic homes. The city was seen as one of the best places to live in California 100 years ago and much is being done to restore this opinion with new homes joining the historic buildings and many Americans choosing to settle down in this historic city. For tourists, aside from the homes themselves, there are a handful of attractions worth visiting in Alhambra. Some of which explore the vast history of life within the city and others aiming to create history for the city. These are the best things to do in Alhambra.
1. Historic Homes of Alhambra
Alhambra was once called the “City of Homes” and no trip to the city is complete without a look at some of the historic homes that Alhambra has to offer. The houses are not grand like the Newport Mansions but they are of historic importance and include Craftsman, Bungalow and Spanish Colonial houses. A self-drive tour is a great way to see the homes and the Bean Tract, named for James Bean a former lumber tycoon, is a great place to start due to the high concentration of historic homes in this area. Midwick Tract, is another area that was sought after many decades ago and also includes a number of important homes.
2. Ohana Brewing Company
Craft beer is becoming a big deal in the United States and beer aficionados, or anyone with an interest in business, should make it a priority to check out this small brewery in Alhambra. The owner is the youngest sole shareholder of a brewery in the United States and the beers brewed here have won several awards and are also renowned in the Los Angeles area, being sold in many bars and restaurants. Tours of the brewery are available, a great way to learn more about not only the brewing process but also the success story of the young entrepreneur behind the business. Also at the brewery is the tasting room with six different beers on tap.
3. The Mosaic Lizard Theatre
Founded in 1993, the Mosaic Lizard Theatre is an excellent venue to immerse yourself in fresh new works, classic and contemporary plays, as well as up and coming talent to the LA theater scene at exceptionally low prices (even lower if you happen to be a student or senior citizen). This contemporary theater prides itself on its diversity and is welcoming to all ages and backgrounds. Sketch comedy and improvisation has been an on going occurrence at the little theater and shows are often played to “sold out audiences” and are quickly gaining critical acclaim from such media outlets as LA weekly and The Pasadena Star News.
4. Burke Heritage Park and Alhambra Historical Society Museum
Alhambra is a city with a rich in heritage and history and both Burke Heritage Park and the Historical Society Museum are a great venues to immerse yourself in just that. The admission to the museum is free of charge; opening hours however are not so accommodating, the museum is open on the second and fourth Thursday of each month, 2p.m to 4p.m. or any other day by appointment. On display you will find a fine collection of period clothing donated by city residents, a large assembly of memorabilia, furnishing and books donated by various organization.
5. The Romana Museum of California History
Chartered in 1887 the Ramona Parlor is the second largest parlor in southern California and is unique in the fact that it has its very own community museum, it is easily located in the historical San Gabriel District and is open Saturdays 1pm – 4pm. The museum itself was first opened in 1972 and offers a diverse assortment of historical pieces and vestiges showcasing Californian history. A fascinating collection of photographs is also on display some of which depicting the 1906 earthquake of San Francisco.