Home to the eclectic and fabulously expensive art collection of millionaire industrialist Norton Simon (the marketing whiz behind Hunt's Ketchup, Max Factor cosmetics, Canada Dry Ginger Ale and more), this modern castle made of teak and stone features art from around the world and a stunningly-landscaped garden.
While the Simon's treasures include modern and contemporary works, as well as a slew of European paintings from the 14th to 18th centuries (including three of Rembrandt's most famous), it's the comprehensive South and Southeast Asian collections that draw the most attention. Several controversial pieces may or may not have been smuggled into the U.S. by temple-plunderers, including a 10th-century Indian idol called the Shivapuram Nataraja, and the rotating displays of Japanese woodblock prints belong to a collection that Simon purchased from a cash-strapped father of eight, architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
The art continues out in the garden, where bold bronzes like Henry Moore's 1966 Draped Reclining Woman highlight fragrant patches of lavender, a eucalyptus grove and 180 species of plants. Be advised, though, that the cafe here has some of the worst and most expensive coffee in town; you’d be better off heading a few blocks west on Colorado Blvd. and finding beverages and a snack in Old Town Pasadena.
The best route to take by transit: Bus: 10, 180/181, 256, 780.