Sierra Madre is located in the scenic foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. The city’s name is Spanish for “Mother Mountain” or “Mother Range.” It borders the cities of Pasadena to the west and Arcadia to the south and east. To the north is Angeles National Forest.
Home to around 11,000 residents, Sierra Madre is truly a gem within Los Angeles County. The city, which is more commonly referred to as a village, takes pride in its old California roots and has carefully protected its small-town feel and welcoming community. The city has over 50 historical landmarks, underscoring its dedication to preservation. These include historical buildings that range from original Craftsman to Victorian architecture. In 2007, Sierra Madre was named an All America City by the National Civic League.
Due to its visually captivating environment, Sierra Madre is also a popular film location. Movies filmed in the area include Legally Blonde, Halloween, and Lady Bird.
Lush, charming, and picturesque, Sierra Madre is truly a storybook town.
Sierra Madre has carefully preserved its historic downtown. Providing a quaint village feel among the scenic foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, downtown Sierra Madre is filled with charm and energy. Shoppers buy handcrafted goods at Belle’s Nest, hard-to-find wines at Bottle Shop, and homemade ice cream at Mothermoo Creamery.
A beloved local restaurant is The Only Place in Town, which is committed to its passion of elevating comfort food with the freshest ingredients. The restaurant is known as Sierra Madre’s landmarked restaurant.
Also, the city is just a stone’s throw from more major shopping centers like the Westfield Santa Anita, an expansive indoor mall with over 200 stores.
Sierra Madre is a special city with great character. Residents enjoy its small town feel, accented by quaint roads, lush vegetation, and views of the San Gabriel Valley.
The community’s kinship shines through its wonderful traditions and events. Block parties and community events take place on almost every day of the year.
Each year, Sierra Madre hosts its Independence Day Parade, which they call a “Star Spangled Weekend.” During the parade, locals enjoy game booths, concerts, food and other fun events.
Sierra Madre also takes part in the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade. The Sierra Madre Rose Float Association helps design and decorate floats for the parade each year.
Another great Sierra Madre tradition is the Wisteria Festival. The city is famous for its acre long Chinese Wisteria vine, which was named by the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest flowering plant and as one of the seven horticultural wonders of the world. During the day-long festival, people are allowed to view the vine from private property.
One Sierra Madre gem is Lizzie’s Trail Inn, a local history museum on the site of an old lunch stand from the 1890s. The joint thrived into the 1920s and beyond, and its beloved owner Lizzie Stoppel served her famous chicken and ravioli, which is still on the menu today. The inn sits at the foot of the historic Mount Wilson Trail and continues to feed travelers and hungry hikers and teach visitors about local history. The next door Richardson House, a small 2-room pioneer cabin built by John Richardson in the 1890s, now houses historic artifacts from the early days of Sierra Madre.
With a rich history and dedicated community, life in Sierra Madre is spirited and blissful.
The city of Sierra Madre is a part of the Pasadena Unified School District, which encompasses 76 square miles and includes Sierra Madre, Altadena and Pasadena. The district is devoted to providing a supportive environment, dynamic learning experience, and quality education to its students.
The district’s schools are highly acclaimed. All of its high schools have been recognized as Washington Post Top High Schools. The district also includes five 2016 Golden Ribbon Schools, four Title 1 Achieving Schools, and two 2017 Silver Medal Schools.
The district’s schools within Sierra Madre are Sierra Madre Elementary School and Sierra Madre Middle School. In 2018, among Pasadena Unified School District’s 20 elementary schools, Sierra Madre Elementary School ranked 2nd on statewide performance. It also has a 9/10 Great Schools rating, which takes into account the schools above average test scores, year-to-year academic improvement, and service to disadvantaged students.
Sierra Madre Middle School also achieves test scores high above the state average. The school recently underwent the construction of a new campus, which included new classrooms, visual arts labs, science labs, and more. Additionally, the school is expanding its Mandarin Dual Language Immersion program to include instruction in Mandarin Language Arts and Chinese Art & Culture.
The district assigns Sierra Madre high school students to Pasadena High School, located in nearby Pasadena. Pasadena High School is also above average in its test scores, a result of its excellent staff, updated facilities, and challenging curriculum.
Sierra Madre is also within close proximity to a number of great private schools including Alverno High School, Bethany Christian, The Gooden School, LaSalle High School, and St. Rita Catholic School.