Jun 03

Day Trip to Claremont

By Deanne Hollis-DeGrandpre


Bert & Rocky’s Cream Company

Claremont is a true college and art town in the Inland Empire. There is a high concentration of private colleges in Claremont, together, they are frequently referred to as the Claremont Colleges.

Looking to kill an afternoon with the family? Consider driving out to Claremont Village. Claremont has a beautiful town square, The Village, with quaint little shops. During the Christmas season, the town is decorated as quintessential small-town. A real gem in the Inland Empire.


Pack up the kids, stroller and all, and the family dog…because Claremont is best on foot. It costs about zero dollars to walk with family in tow block after block. Just about every corner has a beautiful mural worth viewing up close. I suggest attending one of the monthly historical walks or the weekly Claremont farmer’s and artisan’s market (hosted by the Claremont Forum, a non-profit group. The farmer’s and artisan’s market takes place every Sunday from 8:00 in the morning until 1:00 in the afternoon.


Village Grille Claremont

The Village Grille

We searched and searched for a dog-friendly café like those in Arrowhead and Big Bear and finally found one – the Village Grille, a 50s diner! What a wonderful place and fantastic staff. If you go, be sure to ask for Gretchen – she is extremely friendly and a wonderful waitress. When we told Gretchen we wanted to mention them here on IEunderground, she let Cliff, son of the owner, know our intentions. Cliff came out and personally greeted us and told us all about their 50s Cruise nights. Every second Saturday of every month from 5:00 to 8:30 pm you can step back in time and admire the fine automobiles of the 50s. For those who have one of these cars from the past, you can enter your car in the competition for the chance to win a trophy. The grilled tuna and French dip are to die for and reasonably priced. Whether you have Fido or not, we recommend sitting outside – it is particularly fun watching the activity on the street—remember, this is a college town filled with an artistic citizenry.

If you have a little money to spend and are looking for an intimate setting, we suggest the Harvard Grille located at 206 W. Bonita Ave. The food is delicious and the atmosphere is relaxing, although probably best experienced without the kids.

A must-stop is Bert & Rocky’s Cream Co. They have ice cream cones to cool everyone down on a warm summer’s day and a great assortment of unique candies.

Folk Music Center Claremont

Folk Music Center

The Folk Music Center on Yale Avenue is like no other “music store” – very eclectic and unique with an assortment of string instruments and drums atypical of other music stores.

Annual Events include a 4th of July celebration and summer concert series held at Memorial Park, summer music at the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, a Vintage Village Wine Walk held on the second Friday  evening in September, a fall Depot Jazz concert series, the Village Venture Arts & Crafts Faire in October, the Pilgrim Place Festival in November, and the Holidays in the Village in December. Contact the Claremont Chamber for further information. Other useful resources include The Village Claremont, Claremont Art Walk, and the City of Claremont.

About the author

TD Hollis