San Marino is a city in Los Angeles County with a population of over 13,000 people. The city is known for its beautiful residential streets and impressive estates. San Marino is one of the country’s most expensive and exclusive residential communities.
The city’s name comes from the ancient Republic of San Marino, which was founded by Saint Marinus.
The Huntington Library and Gardens are located in San Marino. These grounds were originally made accessible by Henry Huntington in 1919. He invited people to view his expansive botanical gardens and enter his library and grand mansion to explore the art collections, rare books, and historical documents. Today, the library has over 750,000 visitors per year.
The University of Southern California owns a beautiful mansion in San Marino that is used as a residence for the university’s president. Many USC events are hosted here each year.
With almost 50% of its population being Asian, San Marino has one of the highest Asian populations in Los Angeles County.
San Marino is minutes away from all the upscale shopping offered in neighboring Pasadena. Residents enjoy the Shops on Lake Avenue, a well-favored retail location offering an array of distinguished stores, specialty shops, and restaurants for casual and fine dining.
Old Town Pasadena is another favorite among San Marino residents. Offering over 200 quality boutiques and retailers, Old Town is a wonderful place for an afternoon of shopping and enjoying the warm California weather.
Another great option nearby is the Westfield Santa Anita, a massive indoor mall serving as a hub of fashion, decor, fitness and electronics.
San Marino offers some great private boutiques and fashion stores centered around Mission Street. These include upscale stores like Heatherbloom, Serafina, and Jade’s Fashions.
One of my favorite local spots is Julienne Fine Foods And Celebrations, a small French cafe that offers a cozy dining experience and fantastic catered food for parties and events.
San Marino boasts wide streets lined with lampposts and grand estates. The city is among the most expensive and exclusive in the country.
San Marino is notably home to the Huntington Library and Gardens. The gardens were once the location of city founder Henry Huntington’s private estate, which now serves as both a non-profit institution for scholars and breathtaking grounds open to the public. Its features include 120 acres of botanical gardens, a world-famous independent research library, and a prominent collection of European and American art.
During Christmastime, the residents living on St. Albans street put up a festive display of Christmas lights on their homes and on the street’s giant trees. Locals love to take a drive or stroll through the lights as they sip hot chocolate and enjoy each other’s company.
At the heart of San Marino is Lacy Park, a 30-acre expanse of grass and trees. This park is loved and utilized by the community through musical concerts and civic events. The park is known for its extensive arboretum of trees, a monument one of the city’s late residents General George Patton, and its incredible rose garden.
The Crowell Public Library and San Marino Center is another communal gathering place, hosting a diverse range of programs like fitness, technology, and smarter living classes for children, adults, and seniors.
San Marino is also home to El Molino Viejo or “The Old Mill,” which is the oldest commercial building in Southern California. This 203-year-old adobe structure welcomes visitors to enjoy its lovely gardens, featured art from the California Art Club Gallery, and tours about the history of California.
Since 2002, the San Marino School District has been California’s top achieving unified school district. San Marino students receive a highly distinguished education, which is evident in the school district’s performance on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress, a computer adaptive standardized test taken by all public school students in grades third through eleventh. 2018 marked the fourth consecutive year that the district had the highest percentage of students meeting and exceeding standards on the CAASP. Last year’s test results showed 90% of students meeting or exceeding standards in English and 86% meeting or exceeding standards in Math.
Prior to the establishment of the CAASP, San Marino schools had ranked as first among California unified school district for fifteen consecutive years, as measured by the Academic Performance Index.
These incredible achievements are a result of the district’s skilled and devoted teaching staff, talented student body, and generous parents. The San Marino Schools Foundation raises funds each year to balance the district’s budget, which is a perk that not many other communities have. To date, the foundation has raised over $18 million for its schools.
The district has two elementary schools: Valentine Elementary and Carver Elementary. Both have been recognized as National Blue Ribbon Schools. The Middle school is Henry E. Huntington Middle School, which has been recognized as both a National Blue Ribbon School and a California Distinguished School. Finally, San Marino High school is also highly ranked, recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School, a California Distinguished School and a Bravo Award School.
San Marino is also within close proximity to a number of private schools, including Chandler School, Mayfield Junior School, Westridge School, Maranatha High School, and Mayfield Senior School.