We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

2019 Rose Bowl Parade

Indiana
Level Contributor
34 posts
16 reviews
2019 Rose Bowl Parade

I’m trying to plan a surprise 60th birthday trip for next year’s Rose Bowl Parade. It’s on my husband’s bucket list!!!!! In so doing I’ve been looking at tour packages vs individually booking lodging, Parade tickets etc. Is staying in Burbank crazy if we are looking for lodging? It seems economical and not a horrible driving distance. I could be wrong though. Any direction, opinion, and whatever can be offered would be greatly appreciated.

27 replies to this topic
Manhattan Beach...
Level Contributor
4,947 posts
120 reviews
1. Re: 2019 Rose Bowl Parade

I live south of LAX and for us, on the morning of the parade, traffic was light. So you don’t have to stay in Pasadena. I recommend that you get reserved seat bleacher tickets online through the official concessionaire Sharps. Burbank might not be optimal when you consider whatever other tourism you have in mind.

Santa Monica...
Destination Expert
for Santa Monica
Level Contributor
22,748 posts
263 reviews
2. Re: 2019 Rose Bowl Parade

Staying in Burbank for almost any reason is not a good choice!

You should stay in Pasadena, where you can walk to the stands to see the parade. Trust me, it is worth it!

Or stay in a hotel along a Metro rail line so you can use the train to and from. Traffic is really bad. I've never driven to the parade, have always used either a charter bus or Metro train.

I'm assuming you want to do and see things while here, so Burbank, being on the "other" side of the hill, with too much traffic and few routes into the city, it takes too long to go to any points of interest. Few restaurants to walk to from there, as well.

What do the tours look like? Feel free to share a link, perhaps we can shed light on whether it's a good bet or if you'll be better off booking on your own. We can help you either way.

Manhattan Beach...
Level Contributor
4,947 posts
120 reviews
3. Re: 2019 Rose Bowl Parade

If you decide to make your own arrangements, rather than a tour, you get bleacher seats along the route from Sharp Seating http://www.sharpseating.com/ . Seats actually go on sale starting tomorrow. We bought our seats much later in the year. You also get parking through them. We chose seats on the south side of the street so that the sun wouldn't be in our eyes. The morning of the parade is typically cold and it gets hot later in the day. The first grandstand gets to hear the bands play. We were in cheaper seats about midway down the parade route and only sporadically heard the bands play since they don't play continuously, but take rests. Driving into Pasadena on the day of the parade, and finding the parking structure, was pretty easy. What I realize that I left out of my earlier post was that traffic was horrible after the parade. We sat for an hour before we could get out of the parking structure. Friends who were a few minutes ahead of us in getting back to their car didn't hit the same traffic jam. The previous advice of taking public transportation sounds good, but you will probably still have to be patient right after the parade in escaping Pasadena.

Pasadena, California
Destination Expert
for Pasadena
Level Contributor
7,100 posts
53 reviews
4. Re: 2019 Rose Bowl Parade

I don't see any reason to pay extra for an organized tour. This trip should be easy to plan on your own.

Since this is a bucket list trip, I'd buy tickets in the best area, which is around the intersection of Orange Grove and Colorado. These are the most expensive tickets, but are near the beginning of the parade route, and most importantly, near the TV cameras, so all the bands and floats will be doing their best stuff. Be sure to choose seats that are walking distance to the Del Mar or Memorial Park Gold Line stations, for reasons I will outline below.

I'm not wild about staying in Burbank for this trip. It isn't very convenient for other sightseeing, and the transit options to Pasadena are poor, committing you to driving and parking on a bad traffic day.

Pasadena hotels will be very overpriced (2x or more the usual rate), and have multiple night requirements.

I like to recommend staying in Little Tokyo, at the Doubletree or the Miyako. This is a more low rise, residential, pedestrian friendly area of Downtown LA, with restaurants both Japanese and modern/trendy. Most importantly, it is on the Gold Line light rail, with a station in Little Tokyo, and is a short metro ride to Pasadena. This is the easiest and smoothest way to travel on 1/1. You won't get caught in traffic, and Metro runs extra trains.

Pasadena, California
Destination Expert
for Pasadena
Level Contributor
7,100 posts
53 reviews
5. Re: 2019 Rose Bowl Parade

For seats, look at Sharp Seating, the only seller of Rose Parade (and pre and post events) tix for @ 75 years.

Look at the Tournament of Roses website for many details about Rose Parade related events.

Also, look to the top right of this page for "Top Questions about Pasadena", and see Rose Parade entry. Plus look at old posts in the Pasadena forum, which has dozens of past questions about the parade.

Indiana
Level Contributor
34 posts
16 reviews
6. Re: 2019 Rose Bowl Parade

Thank you so much for all the information. I’ll rethink staying in Burbank per everyone’s responses. I had already read about staying near the gold line rail and will seek out reasonable hotels. I’ve been checking out tour packages with Al Brooks Rose Bowl Tours. If I was booking a tour it was going to be the most economical tour which was approximately $950 pp I believe. I thought I’d be able to do this at a better rate myself if I could find reasonable rooms. I’m planning on traveling up to Carmel after the parade, hoping for better luck in traveling down PCH. We traveled out January 2017 and were greeted by the horrible rain storms that closed the PCH and also cancelled our Yosemite portion of the trip. Praying for better weather in 2019. 😊

Corona del Mar...
Destination Expert
for San Diego, Orange County, California
Level Contributor
59,930 posts
441 reviews
7. Re: 2019 Rose Bowl Parade

>>> I’ll rethink staying in Burbank per everyone’s responses<<<

Burbank is fine. Pasadena would be preferable, but Downtown Burbank is great and easy to get around from.

I'll have more to add later, but I am traveling right now.

Indiana
Level Contributor
34 posts
16 reviews
8. Re: 2019 Rose Bowl Parade

Scottca075, looking forward to your thoughts as well.

In looking at the Little Toyko area rooms are at an average $300+ a night or there is already no availability or dates haven’t opened up yet. My brain is on overload.

Santa Monica...
Destination Expert
for Santa Monica
Level Contributor
22,748 posts
263 reviews
9. Re: 2019 Rose Bowl Parade

January is smack in the middle of California rainy season, and while our total rainfall numbers are low, you're more apt to find rain, especially up the coast in the area you intend to go. Perhaps consider San Diego, Santa Barbara, or Palm Springs at that time of year, you are way less likely to have to cross those fingers!

Pasadena, California
Destination Expert
for Pasadena
Level Contributor
7,100 posts
53 reviews
10. Re: 2019 Rose Bowl Parade

The Miyako is not allowing you to book that far in advance. Many online reservations systems only allow six months or less. You might try calling.

Don't let your brain explode! You are starting this process very early and will be fine whatever you choose. Of course you can drive from many places in the LA area, such as Burbank. But then you'll be dealing with a very early start, the possibility of lots of traffic on the freeway and/or getting to the parking lot, and expensive parking. Thousands of people do this and are fine with it. And I've heard that the traffic on the freeways isn't as bad as you'd expect (I live in pasadena so I wouldn't personally know).

It is just easier to take the Gold Line and you can start much later-- no fuss, no traffic jams, no parking and much less uncertainty about drive/parking times. Your transit time on the train from Little Tokyo will be much less than the driving/parking mess. If you don't like Little Tokyo, other locations in Downtown LA that are not on the Gold Line can be fine too-- just take a taxi or Uber from your hotel to Union Station or Little Tokyo.

But it is up to you-- people obviously do it both ways.

Reply to: 2019 Rose Bowl Parade
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted