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Visiting Fans Guide To Attending A UCLA Game At The Rose Bowl

Visiting Fans Guide To Attending A UCLA Game At The Rose BowlThe UCLA Bruins football program and the University of Miami (FL) football program share a very unique distinction, both schools play home football games more than 20 miles away from their campuses. The Bruin’s Westwood campus sits a whopping 29 miles from the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. This situation means that fans are traveling to a city, much more than a campus, when attending a UCLA gridiron contest.

Perhaps the most historic football venue in the country, the 89-year-old Rose Bowl is located in the picturesque Arroyo Seco canyon, resting at an elevation of 825 feet. Surrounded by residential hillsides and flanked by the San Gabriel Mountains, the Rose Bowl provides fans with a feeling of serenity, amid the sprawl and congestion of the Los Angeles metropolitan area.   

Aside from hosting UCLA games and the "The Granddaddy of Them All" bowl game, the facility has also hosted five Super Bowl's, Men’s and Women’s FIFA World Cup Finals, as well as events during the 1932 and 1984 Summer Olympics. For these reasons, the Rose Bowl is listed as a National Historic Landmark.

The Pasadena stadium is located 12 miles from downtown Los Angeles, 28 miles from Los Angeles International Airport and 16 miles from the smaller Burbank Airport.

The Rose Bowl’s unique geographical setting makes for beautiful views; however, it also contributes to a difficult traffic flow situation. The venue sits near the intersection of the 134 and 210 freeways, but the need to enter and exit a canyon makes for a significant level of gridlock. Be prepared to deal with traffic before and after the game.  Tailgating is welcome and provides a great excuse for fans to try and get ahead of the congestion. Take a look at UCLA’s guides for directions/parking and tailgating policies.

Before or after visiting the Rose Bowl, a brief two mile drive brings fans to vibrant downtown Pasadena, also known as Old Pasadena. Located over a several block stretch of Colorado Boulevard, this area boasts of literally 100’s of dining, shopping and nightlife destinations. This array of commerce rivals most US big city downtown areas, plus it is very pedestrian friendly. An Old Pasadena highlight is the Paseo Colorado outdoor shopping area.

The South Lake Avenue district, located just south of Colorado Boulevard, provides for another several block stretch of opportunity for fans to eat, drink and buy.          

The Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens offers a renowned library of historic works, comprehensive art gallery and 120 acre botanical garden. This scenic venue rests on the estate of early LA industrialist Henry E. Huntington, in the neighboring city of San Marino.

For Cal Bears fans attending Saturday’s game, the Cal Alumni Association is hosting a pregame rally at the Brookside Golf Club, located immediately adjacent to the Rose Bowl. This event begins at 1:30 pm.


Once outside the Pasadena area, visiting fans have a metropolitan area of 17 million people at their disposal. Below is a snapshot of LA at its best.



LA’s highest concentration of entertainment industry business sits in the San Fernando Valley city.  


“The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” tapes at the historic NBC Studios, once home to Johnny Carson’s legendary program.

3000 W. Alameda Ave.


“Conan” tapes down the street at Warner Brothers Studios. Warner Bros. also offers a full studio tour.

3400 W. Riverside Drive


Hollywood/Universal City

Check out the world famous Hollywood Walk of Fame, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and an excellent view of the Hollywood Sign. The best place to do all this is the Hollywood & Highland Center.

6801 Hollywood Blvd. (intersection of Hollywood Blvd. and Highland Ave)


Universal Studios Hollywood’s famous studio tour and exciting amusement park rides are a thrill for all ages. Also, check out the adjacent Universal City Walk for dining, shopping and entertainment options.

Universal Studios exit off the 101 Freeway


West Hollywood/Beverly Hills

The Sunset Strip is the iconic stretch of road lined with high end hotels, dining and nightlife opportunities. The Mondrian Hotel, Chateau Marmont, House of Blues, Saddle Ranch, The Comedy Store and Laugh Factory are a sampling of the numerous points of interest within the Strip.

Sunset Blvd., between Fairfax Ave. and Doheny Drive


The intersection of Wilshire Blvd. and Rodeo Drive represents the heart of Beverly Hills high society. The world famous 90210 is very pedestrian friendly, with ample and inexpensive parking. Along with the high end dining and shopping options, the city boasts of many reasonably priced opportunities for consumption.

Many NBA teams, including the Heat and Celtics stay in the high end Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire Hotel

Main area of interest lies north of Olympic Blvd., south of Santa Monica Blvd and west of Canon Drive.  


Melrose Ave. combines funky fashion with high end style, amid one of the city’s most colorful streets.   

Melrose Ave., between La Brea Ave. and San Vicente Blvd


Robertson Blvd. is among LA’s best places to encounter a celebrity. This few block stretch is filled with trendy points of enjoyment.

Robertson, between Wilshire Blvd. and Santa Monica Blvd.


The Grove is a beautiful outdoor mall, with self contained ambiance, highlighted by a performing fountain and an enjoyable soundtrack. The adjoining Farmer’s Market is a great stop for anyone who loves food.

189 The Grove Drive



Comprising 419 acres, UCLA’s beautiful campus presents a serene, scholastic feel, set amongst the Westside of Los Angeles. The campus borders the ritzy enclaves of Bel Air, Holmby Hills and Beverly Hills.

Westwood Village offers a bevy of dining, shopping and hotel options.


Santa Monica/Venice

Situated due west of the above areas, the communities of Santa Monica and Venice present an enjoyable laid back ocean front feel.

Santa Monica’s Ocean Ave. provides for picturesque, elevated views of the Pacific Ocean, while standing under a line of endless palm trees. The legendary Santa Monica Pier rests at the intersection of Ocean Ave. and Colorado Ave. 

Two blocks east of Ocean Ave. resides the Third Street Promenade. The three block pedestrian mall, popular with both locals and tourists, is filled with a bevy of dining, shopping and entertainment options, as well as a wide array of street performance possibilities. At the far southern point of the Promenade sits the fashionable Santa Monica Place outdoor mall. 

The Shutters on the Beach hotel is home to the Spurs when they visit LA.

Montana Ave. and Main St. are also excellent options for fans looking to enjoy interesting streets and a pleasant Pacific Ocean breeze. 

Santa Monica Beach rests immediately west of Main St.

The Venice Beach Boardwalk is the home of every crazy character one could ever fathom to see. Aside from the unique shopping and dining opportunities present, the Boardwalk is also the site of world famous Muscle Beach, the basketball courts made famous in “White Men Can’t Jump” and a bustling skate park.  

Abbott Kinney is a trendy street of opportunity, located slightly east of the Boardwalk area.


The Mavericks stayed at the nearby Ritz-Carlton, Marina Del Rey, during their second round playoff thrashing of the Lakers.


South Bay

Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach are classic Southern California beach cities, located just south of Los Angeles International Airport. Both cities are filled with pristine, active beaches, as well as outstanding  shopping, dining and nightlife options, all placed within a brief stroll to the sand.  Manhattan is slightly more upscale, with Hermosa being more of a party location.

Manhattan Beach is home to many sports figures, including Maria Sharapova.

Intersection of Manhattan Beach Blvd. and Highland Ave. is the center of Manhattan Beach life.

Pier Ave. and Hermosa Ave. is the center of Hermosa Beach activity.


Downtown Los Angeles

Long just a working, daytime focused downtown, this portion of LA is basking in a bevy of new dining and entertainment options. The spectacular LA Live complex is your best bet while downtown.

LA Live boasts a Grammy Museum, as well as many restaurants and bars, including an ESPN Zone and Lucky Strike Bowling Alley.

The Staples Center, Los Angeles Convention Center, Nokia Theater and JW Marriott/Ritz-Carlton all lay within the grounds of the AEG owned complex. The JW Marriott was the headquarter hotel for the 2011 NBA All-Star Game, 2011 Pac-10 Men’s Basketball Tournament, as well as housing TCU during last winter’s Rose Bowl.

The rooftop restaurant/bar at the Standard Hotel and pool deck bar at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel provide great views of downtown LA’s modern skyline.



Located 32 miles south of the Rose Bowl, the “Happiest Place on Earth” is great fun for fans young and old.

Take the 134 Freeway west to the 5 south, upon entering Anaheim simply follow the signs to the facility parking lots.



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