This Bunny Museum Near Los Angeles Is Worth a Hop, Er, Stop

The Bunny Museum in Altadena is also known as “The Hoppiest Place in the World."

These days, when people think of Los Angeles, trendy spots like Erewhon and Urth Caffé immediately come to mind. And don’t get us wrong—we love $18 smoothies as much as the next Angeleno—but we’d be remiss to let these establishments overshadow the city’s plethora of wacky, intriguing, and straight-up genius places, like The Bunny Museum in Altadena, also known as “The Hoppiest Place in the World.”

Once located in an unsuspecting home in Pasadena, The Bunny Museum’s current lodging is hard to miss. You’ll know you’ve made it when you glimpse the two inflatable rabbits sitting atop the museum’s roof. And while the exterior alone may be enough to draw you in, it’s nothing compared to what’s inside.

Adorable (and slightly haunting) bunny paraphernalia like figurines, stuffed animals, and paintings adorn the walls floor-to-ceiling of the Guinness World Record-holding museum and three live bunnies who call the place home. The museum even houses old rabbit decor from the famous Pasadena Rose Parade.

The Bunny Museum
Photo courtesy of The Bunny Museum

Walk further in, and you’ll run into the Chamber of Hop Horrors, a chilling exhibit decked out with items like taxidermy and rabbit’s feet detailing the abuse of bunnies throughout history. The exhibit (which is for mature audiences only, meaning those thirteen and older) dives into Hugh Hefner’s corruption of the bunny as a concept, experimentation on bunnies, and the use and sometimes mistreatment of bunnies in horror films.

However, despite whatever eerie vibes the quirky museum emanates, at the core of the institution is a love story between founders and married couple Candace Frazee and Steve Lubanski. What started as an early-relationship tradition of exchanging rabbit-themed gifts has transformed into The Bunny Museum we know today, which has 45,741 bunny objects to date.

Like their ever-growing collection, Frazee and Lubanski’s bunny obsession is infinite. More than anything, they hope to share their unmatched passion for the species with visitors, where they invite everyone to “hop around and find out.”

The Bunny Museum
Photo courtesy of The Bunny Museum

Drive time:

Anywhere from 20 minutes to 1 hour, depending on where you live in Los Angeles.
2 hours, 45 minutes from San Diego.
4 hours, 15 minutes from Las Vegas. 

More things to do in the area:

After exploring the eccentric depths of bunny culture, we don’t blame you if you need to clear your head with some nature. Thankfully, Altadena is close to a myriad of mountains and trails. At the intersection of E Loma Alta Drive and Lake Avenue is the Cobb Estate Trailhead, which leads you on a path to the Cobb Estate, the remains of a historical and supposedly haunted mansion. From there, take the Lower Sam Merrill Trail to Echo Mountain, where you’ll see The White City ruins, the nickname for the abandoned, lavish Echo Mountain House resort that once operated in the 1800s. Remnants of the hotel, such as parts of the rail station and incline cars, are still there, waiting to be explored. Alongside the rich history, the hike offers an unparalleled, breathtaking view of Los Angeles.

Where to stay in Altadena:

Despite having The Bunny Museum and gorgeous trails, Altadena doesn’t have much in the lodging department. So, we recommend staying in the nearby city of Pasadena, where there’s a bounty of options to choose from. If you want luxurious digs, The Langham Huntington, Pasadena is an elegant hotel that has existed since the Gilded Age. For something a bit more affordable but still fashionable, The Bissell House is a Victorian-style bed and breakfast with a bounty of greenery and charming touches that make you feel like you’re staying in a friend’s home.

Where to eat in Altadena:

Located next to a Rite Aid in a strip mall, Bulgarini Gelato Vino Cucina is yet another testament to Altadena being rife with hidden gems. The Italian joint, which originally began as a gelateria, serves Tuscan-style handmade pasta dishes and selected wines. Get Bulgarini’s signature dish, Pappardelle al Cinghiale, and of course, make sure to get a cup of his artisanal Sicilian Pistachio Gelato. Before gearing up for the drive the following day, stop by Unincorporated Coffee and pick up a refreshing Espresso Tonic and one of their breakfast sandwiches served on a brioche bun.

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Kelsey Allen is an Associate Editor on the local team at Thrillist.