Pasadena, also known as the City of Roses, is located northeast of Downtown Los Angeles. A culturally diverse city with a population of about 150,000, it was one of the first cities to become incorporated in the county of Los Angeles and is the ninth largest city in Los Angeles County.
The city of Pasadena is famous for its yearly Tournament of Roses Parade. A tradition since 1890, the parade is known for its elaborate floats, bands, and equestrian units. Floats are assembled by sponsored organizations and community members, and the average float requires 100,000 flowers and greenery. Over one million viewers show up to watch the parade each year. And it is followed by a football game held at the Rose Bowl Stadium, which is a National Historic Landmark.
Pasadena is also known for its Pasadena Symphony, which offers several yearly concerts at the Ambassador Auditorium. Pasadena is also home to California’s state theatre, the Pasadena Playhouse, which usually presents seven shows per season. The city is also home to a number of smaller theatre companies, contributing to the city’s cultural charm.
Pasadena has a rich past, evidenced today through its architecturally significant homes and historic structures. The city is known as the fountainhead of the American Arts and Crafts Movement. Bungalow Heaven is a Pasadena neighborhood of 800 small craftsman homes that were built between 1900 and 1930. On the other side of town, the historic Gamble House is one of America’s most iconic examples of Craftsman architecture.
Orange Grove Boulevard is a beautiful Pasadena street that was once deemed “Millionaire’s Row.” The street has many original landmarked mansions that were built by some of America’s most prominent business families. Most notable is the today’s Tournament House or Wrigley Mansion, which was built by chewing gum magnate William Wrigley and now houses the headquarters of Pasadena’s Tournament of Roses.
Pasadena offers a warm, picturesque environment and a diverse community. The city’s century-old traditions, incredible homes, and historic cultural centers make Pasadena a unique and desired spot within LA County.
Pasadena is a shopper’s paradise. Old Town Pasadena has 21 blocks of upscale retail shops housed in original art deco buildings. It boasts over 200 different specialty boutiques and exclusive national retailers.
People also enjoy the Shops on Lake Avenue, which include a variety of unique stores and shops, quaint patios, and spots for casual and fine dining.
The Paseo Colorado is another popular option. This 3-block open-air mall features high-end shopping, a movie theatre, restaurants, and community events for families.
The Rose Bowl Flea Market is another favorite among the Pasadena community. Held on the second Sunday of every month, the flea market attracts people from all over Los Angeles to shop for vintage clothes, collectibles, antiques, and everything in between.
Pasadena is also known to have some of the most iconic restaurants in the Los Angeles area. One my favorites is The Raymond 1886, a Pasadena staple. It serves a quality contemporary American menu within a reimagined Pasadena Craftsman.
Pasadena is a special city that serves as a hub of culture, art, technology, and education. The city draws an eclectic crowd of distinguished residents, including A-list celebrities like Meryl Streep and Kristen Wiig. Residents love to spend their days shopping at upscale stores along the charming streets of Old Town Pasadena. Old Town also has a vibrant nightlife, with a great selection of bars and music venues.
The Rose Bowl Stadium, often considered the heart of Pasadena, is a community favorite. On New Year’s Day, it hosts the Rose Bowl Game. Daily walkers, joggers, and bikers enjoy the Rose Bowl Loop Track, a 3-mile loop around the stadium with views of Brookside Golf Course and the San Gabriel Mountains.
The Rose Bowl is adjacent to the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center, a pool facility that has superb training programs. The aquatic center hosted the final practices of the 2000 US Olympic swimming and diving team, and it held the 2008 U.S. National Diving Championships.
For about a century, the Pasadena Playhouse has been another favorite gathering spot for residents. The playhouse is California’s state theatre and known as one of America’s most prolific theatres.
Another great historical site is the Norton Simon Museum. The beautiful art museum contains over 11,000 objects and pieces, spanning from European tapestries to Asian woodblock prints. The museum also features sculpture gardens, where visitors can enjoy sculptors’ works among a serene landscape set around a pond.
Kids enjoy the playground at Brookside Park, one of Pasadena’s many beautiful municipal parks. The Kidspace Museum is another kid favorite, featuring over 25 indoor hands on-exhibits and a myriad of fun outdoor programs and activities, all designed to foster creativity and learning.
Pasadena is dedicated to tradition. For over a hundred years, Pasadena Tournament of Roses has produced its yearly Rose Parade as a celebration of New Year’s Day. All of America watches as parade floats made of colorful flowers roll down Orange Grove and Colorado Boulevards, celebrating life and the excitement of a new year. Following the parade is the Rose Bowl Game, a college football game that takes place at the Stadium.
Pasadena has many renowned educational institutions at all levels. The Pasadena Unified School District takes pride in its devotion to fostering a challenging and supportive learning environment at all levels. The district encompasses 76 square miles and includes Pasadena, Altadena, and Sierra Madre. The schools enroll over 17,000 students within 28 schools and programs. These include 17 elementary schools, 4 middle schools, one K-8 school, two 6-12th schools, 2 high schools, one continuation high school, and one alternative education program.
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.
Pasadena is also known for its prestigious private and parochial schools. These include Judson International School, Mayfield Junior School, Chandler School, Polytechnic School, Westridge School, St. Andrew’s Catholic Church, St. Philip the Apostle School, and Sequoyah School.
The city’s renowned private high schools include Mayfield Senior School, Judson International School, Polytechnic School, Westridge School, La Salle High School and Maranatha School.
Pasadena is also home to notable institutions of higher education. Caltech, one of the world’s top ten universities, is located in Pasadena. Other schools include Fuller Theological Seminary, one of the largest multi-denominational seminaries in the world; Pacific Oaks College; Art Center College of Design; LA Music Academy College of Music; and the highly-rated Pasadena City College.