Are you ready to discover the hidden treasures of Claremont? This vibrant city has so much to offer, from charming boutiques and delicious eateries to stunning outdoor attractions. In this article, we will take you on a journey through Claremont’s lesser-known gems, showcasing the beauty and uniqueness that awaits you in every corner. So grab your walking shoes and get ready to explore Claremont like never before!

History of Claremont

Founding of Claremont

Claremont, a charming city located in the eastern part of Los Angeles County, has a rich history dating back to its founding in 1887. The city was established as a resort and agricultural community and was named after Claremont, New Hampshire. Its founders envisioned Claremont as a haven of tranquility and scenic beauty, attracting people seeking refuge from the bustling city life. Today, Claremont still retains its small-town charm while also becoming a center for education and culture in Southern California.

Early development and growth

In its early years, Claremont experienced steady growth as a result of the railway boom in the late 19th century. The arrival of the Pacific Electric Railway brought an influx of visitors and new residents, leading to the establishment of businesses, schools, and churches. The city’s picturesque surroundings and favorable climate played a significant role in attracting people seeking a peaceful and idyllic place to settle down. Over the years, Claremont continued to develop while maintaining its unique character and preserving its historic buildings.

Historic landmarks

Claremont boasts a wealth of historic landmarks that offer a glimpse into the city’s past. One such landmark is the Claremont Packing House, a former citrus packing facility that has been transformed into a vibrant marketplace. The building’s architectural charm has been preserved, showcasing the city’s citrus industry heritage. Another notable landmark is the Pomona College campus, recognized for its stunning Spanish Revival architecture. The campus, designed by renowned architect Myron Hunt, exemplifies the city’s commitment to preserving its architectural heritage.

Parks and Recreation

Exploring Claremont: The Hidden Gems of the City

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Claremont Hills Wilderness Park

For nature enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers, Claremont Hills Wilderness Park is a must-visit destination. Spanning over 2,000 acres, this expansive park offers breathtaking views of the San Gabriel Mountains and provides ample opportunities for hiking, jogging, and picnicking. The park also features a variety of native flora and fauna, making it a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. Whether you’re looking for a challenging hike or a peaceful retreat in nature, Claremont Hills Wilderness Park is the perfect place to reconnect with the great outdoors.

The Wilderness Loop Trail

Within Claremont Hills Wilderness Park, the Wilderness Loop Trail offers a scenic and invigorating hiking experience. This 5-mile trail takes you through diverse landscapes, including oak woodlands, riparian habitats, and chaparral-covered slopes. Along the way, you’ll come across majestic rock formations, wildflowers in bloom, and perhaps even spot some wildlife. The trail is suitable for hikers of all skill levels, making it an ideal choice for both beginners and experienced adventurers.

Thompson Creek Trail

If you’re seeking a more leisurely outdoor experience, the Thompson Creek Trail is the perfect option. This 6-mile trail follows the path of the historic Pacific Electric Railway and meanders through picturesque landscapes, including meadows, woodlands, and wetlands. The trail is primarily used for walking, running, and biking, providing a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. With its scenic beauty and accessibility, the Thompson Creek Trail offers a refreshing outdoor retreat for visitors of all ages.

Art and Culture

Exploring Claremont: The Hidden Gems of the City

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Claremont Museum of Art

Immerse yourself in the vibrant art scene of Claremont by visiting the Claremont Museum of Art. This community-based museum focuses on showcasing the work of local and regional artists, providing a platform for creative expression and fostering a deeper appreciation for the arts. The museum features rotating exhibitions that encompass various artistic mediums, including painting, sculpture, photography, and ceramics. Whether you’re an art enthusiast, a curious visitor, or simply looking for some creative inspiration, the Claremont Museum of Art is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Friday Nights Live

Experience the lively and energetic atmosphere of Claremont’s music scene at Friday Nights Live. Every Friday evening from May to October, the streets of Claremont Village come alive with live performances by local musicians. From jazz and blues to rock and pop, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Grab a chair, find a spot on the sidewalk, and indulge in the melodic tunes that fill the air. Friday Nights Live is not just a cultural event but also an opportunity to connect with the local community and appreciate the talents of Claremont’s vibrant music scene.

Art Walk

If you’re a fan of exploring unique art galleries and studios, Claremont’s Art Walk is an event you won’t want to miss. Held on the first Saturday evening of every month, Art Walk allows you to meander through the streets of Claremont Village and discover an array of artistic treasures. The participating galleries and studios open their doors to visitors, offering a chance to engage with the artists, view their latest works, and even make a purchase to support local talent. With its welcoming and inclusive atmosphere, Claremont’s Art Walk is an excellent opportunity to experience the city’s creative spirit firsthand.

Shopping and Dining

Exploring Claremont: The Hidden Gems of the City

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Claremont Village

Nestled in the heart of Claremont, Claremont Village is a charming shopping district where you can find a wide variety of unique boutiques, specialty shops, and art galleries. Strolling along the tree-lined streets, you’ll discover an eclectic mix of clothing stores, antique shops, bookstores, and more. Whether you’re hunting for vintage treasures, searching for the latest fashion trends, or simply browsing for gifts, Claremont Village offers a delightful shopping experience that caters to every taste and interest.

Antique Shops

For antique enthusiasts and collectors, Claremont boasts a remarkable selection of antique shops that cater to a wide range of interests. From vintage furniture and collectibles to rare books and jewelry, these shops are a treasure trove of fascinating finds. Step into a bygone era as you peruse the carefully curated displays and uncover unique pieces with stories to tell. Whether you’re a seasoned collector or looking to add a touch of nostalgia to your home, Claremont’s antique shops are sure to captivate you with their timeless charm.

Local Eateries

Claremont’s dining scene is a vibrant tapestry of flavors, offering an array of culinary delights for every palate. From cozy cafes to upscale restaurants, the city’s diverse food establishments satisfy a range of cravings and dietary preferences. Whether you’re in the mood for farm-to-table cuisine, international fare, or traditional comfort food, Claremont’s local eateries have you covered. Don’t forget to indulge in a scoop of homemade ice cream or a slice of decadent pie at one of the local dessert spots, creating a perfect ending to your culinary journey through Claremont.

Education and Academic Institutions

Exploring Claremont: The Hidden Gems of the City

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Claremont Colleges

Claremont is widely recognized for its prestigious cluster of Claremont Colleges, a consortium of five undergraduate colleges and two graduate institutions. These colleges include Pomona College, Claremont McKenna College, Harvey Mudd College, Scripps College, and Pitzer College, along with Claremont Graduate University and Keck Graduate Institute. Collectively, these institutions offer a comprehensive and diverse range of academic programs and research opportunities. The Claremont Colleges create a vibrant intellectual community, attracting students from around the world who seek a top-tier education in a close-knit and supportive environment.

Claremont Graduate University

As part of the Claremont Colleges consortium, Claremont Graduate University (CGU) stands out as a renowned institution for graduate education and research. CGU offers a wide range of programs, including humanities, social sciences, management, education, and more. With its dedication to interdisciplinary studies and collaboration, CGU prepares its students to make significant contributions to their respective fields and tackle complex global challenges. Whether you’re pursuing a master’s degree or a doctorate, Claremont Graduate University provides a stimulating and nurturing environment for academic and personal growth.

Scripps College

Scripps College is a distinguished liberal arts college for women and is a member of the Claremont Colleges consortium. Recognized for its strong commitment to empowering women and fostering intellectual curiosity, Scripps College provides a transformative educational experience. The college’s rigorous curriculum, vibrant campus community, and emphasis on leadership development prepare its students for success in various fields. With its dedication to encouraging critical thinking and promoting social responsibility, Scripps College equips its students with the skills and knowledge to effect positive change in the world.

Historic Homes and Architecture

Exploring Claremont: The Hidden Gems of the City

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Gould Court

Gould Court, located on Pomona College’s campus, is a historic landmark that showcases the architectural heritage of Claremont. Designed by the acclaimed architect Myron Hunt, Gould Court features a blend of Spanish Colonial Revival and Mediterranean Revival styles. The buildings surrounding the central courtyard exhibit intricate detailing, including decorative tilework, wrought iron balconies, and colorful frescoes. The court serves as a treasured example of the Mediterranean Revival style, prevalent in Southern California architecture in the early 20th century, and stands as a testament to Claremont’s commitment to preserving its architectural legacy.

The Garner House

The Garner House, nestled in the lush grounds of Memorial Park, is a historic home that offers a glimpse into the Victorian era of Claremont’s history. Built in 1902, this charming Craftsman-style residence reflects the architectural trends of the time, featuring intricate woodwork, stained glass windows, and a welcoming wraparound porch. Today, the Garner House serves as a popular venue for weddings, special events, and community gatherings. Stepping inside this beautifully restored home is like taking a step back in time, offering a unique and nostalgic experience for visitors.

Casa de Salsa

Casa de Salsa, formerly known as La Casa Primera de Rancho San Jose, is a historic adobe residence that dates back to the early 19th century. This charming adobe home, built in the traditional Spanish Colonial style, is nestled amongst Claremont’s rolling foothills. Casa de Salsa serves as a reminder of the city’s rich cultural heritage and offers a window into the past. Today, the adobe is home to a vibrant salsa dance studio, where locals and visitors alike can partake in classes and events that celebrate the artistry and spirit of Latin dance.

Religious and Spiritual Sites

Claremont United Church of Christ

The Claremont United Church of Christ is not only a place of worship but also a pillar of the community. This progressive congregation welcomes individuals from all walks of life and is dedicated to fostering inclusivity, justice, and social change. The impressive architectural design of the church, with its soaring ceilings and stunning stained glass windows, creates an awe-inspiring atmosphere. Whether you’re seeking spiritual guidance, engaging in community service, or attending one of the church’s inspiring events, Claremont United Church of Christ offers a welcoming sanctuary for all.

Padua Hills Theatre

Nestled in the serene Padua Hills, the Padua Hills Theatre is a unique venue that intertwines natural beauty with artistic expression. The outdoor amphitheater, surrounded by majestic oak trees and scenic vistas, is a popular site for theatrical performances and cultural events. The theatre showcases a diverse range of productions, including plays, concerts, and dance performances, offering visitors an opportunity to experience the arts against the backdrop of Claremont’s natural splendor. Whether you’re a theater enthusiast or simply looking for a memorable cultural experience, the Padua Hills Theatre is sure to captivate and inspire.

Khyentse Foundation

The Khyentse Foundation is a Buddhist organization that promotes the study and practice of Buddhism worldwide. Located in Claremont, the foundation serves as a hub for Buddhist scholars, practitioners, and enthusiasts. The foundation’s tranquil setting fosters an environment conducive to meditation, reflection, and the pursuit of spiritual growth. Through its various programs and initiatives, the Khyentse Foundation aims to make the wisdom and teachings of Buddhism accessible to all, promoting peace, compassion, and understanding. Whether you’re a seasoned practitioner or simply curious about Buddhism, the Khyentse Foundation offers a welcoming space for exploration and learning.

Outdoor Activities and Sports

Claremont Golf Course

For golf enthusiasts, the Claremont Golf Course offers a scenic and challenging 18-hole golfing experience. This well-maintained course features rolling fairways, strategically placed bunkers, and immaculate greens, providing a rewarding experience for golfers of all skill levels. With its stunning views of the San Gabriel Mountains and its tranquil setting, playing a round of golf at the Claremont Golf Course is a delightful way to enjoy the outdoors and improve your swing.

Claremont Tennis Club

The Claremont Tennis Club is a haven for tennis enthusiasts, offering a range of amenities and programs for players of all ages and skill levels. Whether you’re a beginner looking to learn the fundamentals or a seasoned player seeking friendly competition, the club’s well-maintained courts and experienced staff provide an ideal setting for honing your tennis skills. The club also offers social events and tournaments, creating a vibrant and inclusive tennis community that fosters friendship, camaraderie, and a love for the sport.

Bike Trails

Claremont’s picturesque landscapes and well-maintained trails make it a paradise for cyclists of all levels. The city is home to a network of bike trails that wind through scenic areas, connecting parks, neighborhoods, and cultural sites. Whether you prefer a leisurely ride along the Thompson Creek Trail or a more exhilarating journey through the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park, there’s a trail suited for every rider’s preference. Exploring Claremont on two wheels allows you to take in the natural beauty of the city at your own pace, providing an enjoyable and eco-friendly way to experience the outdoors.

Annual Events and Festivals

Claremont Village Wine Walk

The Claremont Village Wine Walk is an annual event that combines the best of wine tasting and shopping. Held in the charming Claremont Village, this event allows visitors to stroll through the streets while sampling a variety of wines from different regions. Local merchants open their doors to showcase their products, creating a festive atmosphere filled with music, art, and culinary delights. Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or simply looking for a fun and lively event, the Claremont Village Wine Walk offers a delightful evening of indulgence and discovery.

Claremont Pie Festival

Indulge your sweet tooth at the annual Claremont Pie Festival, a celebration of all things pie-related. This family-friendly event features pie baking contests, pie-eating contests, live entertainment, and a pie marketplace where you can sample and purchase an array of delicious pies. The festival’s vibrant atmosphere, with its aroma of freshly baked pies filling the air, creates a delightful ambiance that captures the essence of Claremont’s community spirit and culinary heritage. Whether you’re a pie enthusiast or simply looking for a fun-filled day of festivities, the Claremont Pie Festival is sure to satisfy your cravings for delicious desserts.

Village Venture Arts & Crafts Faire

The Village Venture Arts & Crafts Faire is a highly anticipated event that transforms the streets of Claremont Village into a bustling marketplace. This annual fair showcases the work of local artisans and crafters, offering a wide range of unique handmade items, including jewelry, ceramics, textiles, and more. As you meander through the vibrant booths, you’ll have the opportunity to meet the artists, learn about their creative processes, and perhaps even take home a one-of-a-kind piece. With its lively atmosphere, live entertainment, and diverse array of crafts, the Village Venture Arts & Crafts Faire is a beloved tradition that embodies Claremont’s commitment to supporting local talent.

Local Businesses and Entrepreneurship

Farmers’ Market

The Claremont Farmers’ Market is a beloved community institution that brings together local farmers, artisans, and residents. Every Sunday morning, the streets of Claremont Village come alive with a vibrant market, offering a plethora of fresh produce, artisanal goods, handcrafted products, and more. Established in 1986, the market has become a gathering place for locals to shop, socialize, and support local businesses. As you wander through the stalls, you’ll have the opportunity to connect with the farmers and artisans, learn about their practices, and savor the flavors of locally grown and produced goods.

Claremont Village Craft Faire

If you’re searching for unique handmade crafts and artisanal products, the Claremont Village Craft Faire is an event that should not be missed. Held twice a year, this juried craft show brings together talented artisans from across the region, showcasing their creations in a lively and festive atmosphere. From handcrafted jewelry and pottery to textiles and home decor items, the fair offers a wide variety of distinctive and high-quality products. Supporting the Claremont Village Craft Faire not only allows you to discover remarkable handmade treasures but also enables you to contribute to the success of local artisans and entrepreneurs.

The Inkwell Print Shop

The Inkwell Print Shop is a local business that embodies Claremont’s entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to craftsmanship. This independent print shop specializes in creating custom-designed paper goods, including wedding invitations, greeting cards, and stationery. The shop’s skilled artisans utilize traditional printing techniques and premium materials to produce stunning and personalized pieces that capture the essence of life’s special moments. Whether you’re in need of bespoke wedding stationery or a thoughtful gift, The Inkwell Print Shop offers a personalized and artistic touch that sets it apart from mass-produced alternatives.

As you explore Claremont, you’ll discover a city that seamlessly blends history, art, nature, and community. From its historic landmarks and architectural treasures to its vibrant cultural scene and outdoor recreational opportunities, Claremont offers something for everyone. Whether you’re a history buff, an art lover, a nature enthusiast, or simply seeking a welcoming and engaging community, Claremont invites you to experience its hidden gems and create lasting memories. So, pack your sense of adventure and prepare to embark on a journey of discovery in this charming city.