Welcome to Pasadena

In the 1870s, a group of friends from chilly Indianapolis scouted the area on behalf of Dr. Daniel M. Berry, who wanted to find a warmer climate to care for his patients. Berry facilitated the purchase of part of Rancho San Pasqual, which became known as Pasadena. Pasadena was incorporated in 1886 as a means to prohibit alcohol sales and abolish saloons. In the height of the Prohibition era, a liquor ban ordinance passed. The city was soon famous for its "dry ordinance." 

Today, Pasadena is a traditional, historic city best known for its legendary Rose Bowl and the preceding Tournament of Roses. Home to the acclaimed UCLA Bruins football team, locals love to show their spirit during the annual Rose Parade, which consists of numerous flower-covered floats. Pasadena is considered the cultural epicenter of San Gabriel Valley and, in some circles, referred to as the Arts and Crafts capital of the United States. 

​​​​​​​While it’s a suburban niche in Los Angeles, Pasadena also has a significant urban downtown district that hosts several scientific and cultural institutions, such as Caltech, Ambassador Auditorium, Pasadena City College, and the Norton Simon Museum. Red Hen Press, the largest independent literary publisher on the West Coast, is also based in the city.

What to Love

  • Charming suburb
  • Rose Bowl
  • Artistic culture
  • Amazing entertainment
  • Distinctive architecture
  • Culinary scene

People & Lifestyle 

Dubbed the "coolest suburb in America," Pasadena has the best of both worlds with its eclectic downtown and charming suburban neighborhoods. Bungalow Heaven is one of the most popular neighborhoods in the city thanks to its huge porches, attractive Craftsman-style homes, and landmark status.

The "City of Roses" appeals to young families interested in settling down and young people who enjoy the busy downtown and proximity to several top-rated colleges, such as Caltech.  Naturalized parrots are frequently seen and heard around Pasadena.  According to local legend, many were released during 1959 when a fire destroyed a bird farm in Pasadena.     The Rose Bowl is the hub for several events from football games to concerts to the monthly Flea Market which has been going on for decades and where you can find some great treasures.

Dining, Entertainment & Shopping 

You'll never be bored living in Pasadena—its sheer variety of shops and restaurants will keep you busy. Business district Old Town Pasadena spans 22 blocks and houses over 300 businesses within the original Historic Downtown Pasadena. Authentic and sophisticated, shoppers love milling around its various retailers and unique eateries.

Health nuts will love plant-based vegan restaurant Sage Bistro where their mission is to serve organic, sustainable meals that genuinely taste good. Health-driven and eco-chic True Food Kitchen staffs passionate chefs who dedicate themselves to creating tasty meals that are still nutritious. Their seasonal menu offers gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options. 

Casual, relaxed, and family-friendly favorites include La Grange Orange, housed in the restored 1934 Del Mar train station, and family owned Mijares, which just celebrated 100 years in Pasadena and serves the best Mexican food around. 

If you're planning a business dinner or picking a restaurant to celebrate a special event, try Houston's or Arroyo Chop House. Both are upscale restaurants known for American favorites like steaks and burgers.  

Things to Do

One of Pasadena's main attractions is the legendary Rose Bowl Game, an annual American college football game that kicks off the New Year on January 1st. Before the match starts, residents love watching the Rose Parade (or Tournament of Roses), a showstopping parade featuring dozens of floats, marching bands, equestrian units, and celebrity appearances.

The official Tournament of Roses headquarters is the Wrigley Mansion, located on Pasadena's Millionaire Row. Formerly owned by chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr., the 1906 Renaissance-designed mansion features a 4.5-acre flower garden. 

As previously mentioned, Pasadena is famous for its vibrant art scene. The Chalk Festival once broke a Guinness World Record for being the world’s largest street painting festival, featuring over 600 artists using over 25,000 sticks of chalk. The festival allows creatives to craft intricate murals around the city and the Pasadena Art Walk.

To learn more about Pasadena's creative past, visit Norton Simon Museum, an iconic art theater featuring European and Asian sculptures, paintings, and tapestries. The Norman Simon Theater hosts performances, lectures, and various symposiums to educate the public.

Have you ever wanted to see Doc Brown's house from Back to the Future up close? Designed by renowned architectural firm Greene and Greene, the Gamble House is an American Craftsman home in Pasadena. Its mission of preservation is to inspire appreciation and understanding of historic architecture.

Fitness is just as important as sightseeing! If you call Pasadena home, take a walk along the 22-mile-long Arroyo Seco. The riverbed canyon starts in the San Gabriel Mountains and runs into the Los Angeles River, making it an excellent hiking opportunity.

​​​​​​​Finally, Huntington Memorial Hospital is a massive not-for-profit hospital and a world-class destination for prostate cancer treatment and epilepsy through robotic minimally invasive surgery and bariatric surgery. The hospital's historical significance cannot be understated—it's certainly worth visiting at least once.


Pasadena is home to several esteemed private schools and world-renowned colleges and institutions. The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) has produced 37 Nobel Laureates who have brought 38 Nobel Prizes home to Pasadena.

Art Center College of Design has two campuses in Pasadena: one in Hillside overlooking the Rose Bowl and one on the southern edge of town. 

Pasadena City College was founded in 1924. In the past, only PCC students were eligible for the Rose Parade Queen's Court.

​​​​​​​Among Pasadena’s esteemed private schools are Mayfield Junior and Senior School, Westridge School for Girls, and Chandler School and Polytechnic.​​​​​​​

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