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47 Things Every Sagehen Should Do Before Graduating

Illustration: 47 Things to Do at Pomona College
Urban Lights image by Elliot Harmon

The Urban Lights installation in front of the L.A. County Museum of Art is by Chris Burden '69.

The “Claremont Bubble” is so comfortable that it takes a little effort to break out of it.

There's so much to do within the square mile or so of college campuses and the little college town of Claremont, that there's always a danger that students won't take full advantage of the multitude of opportunities the greater Los Angeles area has to offer.

That's why President David Oxtoby, in his inaugural address, called on the College to build a stronger connection to Southern California. “We need to know our region better, and Los Angeles needs to know Pomona better,” he said. Oxtoby asked students, faculty and staff to come up with a list of 47 things every Pomona student should do in the Los Angeles area before he or she graduates.

The original list debuted in 2004 and was a joint effort of students, alumni and faculty. In 2010, the list was revamped with a group of students and faculty. Each year, the Smith Campus Center and Student Programs sponsors several trips to these locations utilizing Pomona’s 25-passenger bus (The “Sagecoach”). These trips serve to introduce and even immerse students in the culture of Southern California.

  1. Watch the sun set at Joshua Tree National Park. (For 47 bonus points, stand on the San Andreas Fault on the way.)
  2. Experience these iconic LA restaurants: Pink’s Hot Dogs, Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles and Handel’s Ice Cream.
  3. Vroman's Bookstore image by Clinton Steeds

    Vroman's Bookstore in Pasadena.

  4. Visit a major LA art museum: The Getty, LACMA, MOCA, Norton Simon.
  5. Try some ethnic cuisine in at least one of these historic neighborhoods: Olvera Street, Chinatown, Little Tokyo, Korea Town, Little India.
  6. Plug into some great music at Disney Concert Hall or the Hollywood Bowl.
  7. Attend live theater.
  8. In-n-Out image by Flickr user istolethetv

    Secret menu items at In-n-Out include the Neapolitan shake and "animal-style" fries. 

  9. Join the live audience for a TV show taping.
  10. Listen to some live music at an LA club.
  11. Visit Old Town Pasadena...don't forget to check out Vroman’s Bookstore.
  12. Order from the secret menu at In-N-Out.
  13. Amuse yourself at a theme park.
  14. Hit the slopes at a local ski resort.
  15. Catch a wave at a nearby beach.
  16. Watch a grey whale breach.
  17. Tour a California Mission.
  18. Laugh till you drop at a comedy show.
  19. See one of L.A.’s 10 professional sports teams play.
  20. Ride the Ferris wheel at the Santa Monica Pier.
  21. Hollywood Sign image by Fabio Ikezaki

    The Hollywood Sign. See photo credit

  22. Shop at a farmers market.
  23. Go native at Rancho Santa Anna Botanic Garden.
  24. Wake with the sun bears at the San Diego Zoo.
  25. Go back in time at the LaBrea Tar Pits.
  26. Check out Griffith Park: hike to the Hollywood sign or visit the Observatory.
  27. Learn about the history of L.A. through the murals of the Great Wall of Los Angeles.
  28. See the Watts Towers.
  29. Check out a presidential library—or two... (Nixon, Reagan)
  30. Revisit the glamour days of Hollywood's movie palaces at Grauman's Chinese Theater.
  31. Find the Pomona stars in the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
  32. Window shop along Rodeo Drive or Melrose.
  33. Coachella image by Flickr user emilydickinsonridesabmx

    The annual Coachella music and arts festival is one of the nation's premier music events. 

  34. Stroll around the Pomona Arts Colony.
  35. Climb Mount Baldy.
  36. Take time to give back--join a community engagement project through the Draper Center.
  37. Eat a deep-fried Twinkie at the LA County Fair.
  38. Join the Sustainability Office on a Toxic Tour.
  39. Museum of Jurassic Technology image by Flickr user saschapohflepp

    The Museum of Jurassic Technology is in Culver City.

  40. Check out the muscles, musicians and performers at Venice Beach.
  41. Hike the Claremont Wilderness Park.
  42. Take a dip at Deep Creek Hot Springs.
  43. Touch a shark at the Aquarium of the Pacific.
  44. Escape for a road trip to Las Vegas, San Francisco or the Grand Canyon.
  45. Rise above it all on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.
  46. Stop and smell the flowers at the Huntington Gardens and Library.
  47. Play a game of broomball.
  48. Spend a day or two at the Coachella Music Festival.
  49. Join an OTL trip to the Channel Islands or Catalina Island.
  50. Grab some friends for a midnight run to Donut Man on historic Route 66.
  51. Visit a quirky museum.(Ex: Museum of Neon Art, Museum of Jurassic Technology)
  52. Don’t forget your own backyard: the Claremont Village.

Photo credits: All photos used under Creative Commons license. Los Angeles County Museum of Art photo by Elliot Harmon. Joshua Tree photo by Flickr user villamon. Vroman's Bookstore photo by Clinton Steeds. In-N-Out photo by Flickr user istolethetv. Mission at San Juan Capistrano photo by Wendy McCormick. The Hollywood sign photo by Fabio Ikezaki. Coachella image by Flickr user emilyrides. Museum of Jurassic Technology photo by Flickr user saschapohflepp.