THE SAN GABRIEL and Pomona Valleys may not be known as “the valley” when you think of Los Angeles, but they encompass more area than you probably think. With so much ground to cover, I decided to select some of the best attractions around the two valleys for you and your mom to explore. This includes the best flea market around where you can treat yourself and mom, one of the last remaining operating drive-in movie theaters, L.A.’s best botanical gardens, plenty of outdoor activities and more. So come on over to the (true) east side of Los Angeles County and discover some of the best things to see and do this Mother’s Day.
Rose Bowl Flea Market
Search for hidden treasures and vintage finds every second Sunday of the month at the Rose Bowl Flea Market. There are over 2,500 vendors and endless bits and bobs for sale at one of America’s best flea markets. You can find everything from old photographs and rustic furniture to collectible comic books and vintage clothes. Walking through the entire flea market will take you a few hours and a lot of digging, but you’ll walk out with some amazing finds. Bring cash, and remember that bargaining for deals and lower prices is totally acceptable.
Rose Bowl Flea Market, 1001 Rose Bowl Drive, Pasadena, CA, (323) 560-7469 www.rgcshows.com/rosebowl.aspx
Brunch at the Pomona Valley Mining Company
Flowers for mom look better on Pomona Valley Mining Co.’s tables facing a view of the Pomona Valley, and with their incredible Sunday Mother’s Day Brunch, mom and the rest of the family will be happy with the specially prepared selections and the quality time spent together. With a beautiful morning view of the Inland Empire, Sunday Brunch at Pomona Valley Mining Company is a great way to enjoy the weekend with your family. With a made-to-order omelette station, a hot carving station, freshly prepared carne asada, scrambled eggs, and a seasonal variety of over a dozen freshly prepared hot foods – Sunday morning is something to look forward to!
To make your reservation please visit: www.pomonavalleyminingco.com/
Vineland Drive-in Movie Theatre
At $9.50 for a double feature, the price can’t be beaten. Unlike many other drive-in theaters, the Pacific Theaters Vineland drive-in offers up-to-date movies and not just reruns of the same old classics. Arrive early to get a good spot, and bring a portable radio to tune into the correct station in order to get the perfect sound quality. Treat yourself and Mom, make yourself comfortable in your own car with pillows, blankets, snacks, and maybe even an order from In-N-Out.
Vineland Drive-in is one of the few remaining drive-ins in Los Angeles. Located in the City of Industry, the space is a swap meet by day and a drive-in movie venue by night. Open seven days a week, folks get to watch a movie under the night’s sky inside the comfort of their own cars. For more information visit: http://vinelanddriveintheater.com/ (626) 961-9262
Inspiration Point via Castle Canyon
After all the good food, burn some calories by hiking up six miles to Inspiration Point. San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys have many great hiking trails, but this hike is definitely one of the more unique and rewarding ones. The hike starts off fairly easy but will get steeper as you go and is worth it for the amazing view of LA from the top. If the hike to Inspiration Point is too much, a good place to stop is at the historical hotel ruins about halfway up. Definitely remember to bring enough water, sunscreen, and snacks.
Starting Point: Cobb Estate, Lake Ave & E Loma Alta Dr., Altadena, CA
Los Angeles County Arboretum
and Botanic Garden
Get ready for a photo-op and several selfies of you and mom at the LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden. The multiple waterfalls, ponds, rose gardens, and trees make it the perfect place for taking beautiful pictures. Peacocks roam freely around the garden and because they are not afraid of visitors, it is very easy to get close to them. There are weekly classes, such as yoga in the garden, and events for people of all ages.
Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, 301 N Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA, www.arboretum.org
Old Town Pasadena
What mother/daughter duo date would be complete without shopping? Head on over to Old Town Pasadena for a little shopping, entertainment and dining. Start your day with some delicious baked goods from popular Asian bakery 85C Bakery Café and get caffeinated over at Intelligentsia. Shop on Colorado Avenue and the Paseo Mall, relax and enjoy a movie at the Arclight or see a play at the Pasadena Playhouse. Last but not least, take advantage of the booming food scene. Visit Union or Racion both have been selected on J. Gold’s 101 Best Restaurants 2015 in the L.A. Times.
No matter what you decide to do for mom she will be eternally grateful that you thought of her and put in some effort to make the day memorable. Happy Mother’s Day!
Tanya Schwied is a contributing writer to Jlife Magazine.