San Marino

An affluent, exclusively residential community famous for its gorgeous gardens and palatial estates.

Welcome to San Marino

San Marino got its name from a Dalmation stone-cutter named Marinus, who fled from his home on the Dalmation Coast during the Turkish invasion. Marinus was later convinced to change his name to "San," meaning “Saint,” and became San Marino. He soon took refuge on an Italian peninsula called Monte Titano and founded a monastic community known as the Republic of San Marino. 

Today, San Marino upholds its noble roots as a traditional, affluent, suburban city nestled within the San Rafael hills between San Gabriel and Pasadena. This community is famous for its immaculate gardens and palatial estates. Setting it apart from surrounding towns, San Marino is a small, entirely residential community. According to Forbes Magazine, it is also one of the most expensive places to live in the United States, with an average single-family home costing a minimum of $2 million.

What to Love

  • Family-oriented
  • Luxurious surroundings
  • Lacy Park
  • Quiet and suburban
  • Huntington Botanical Gardens
  • Mountain views

People & Lifestyle 

Approximately 13,000 people live in the small community of San Marino, where the majority of households are families. There are no condominiums, townhouses, or apartments in the city—  only single-family residences, where many of them are large and estate-like. 
Families love the quiet, tree-lined streets and the area's excellent school district, which is considered one of California's best. Lacy Park is also a contributing factor to the town's attractive value. Families have enjoyed the park for years. At 60 years old, the park is a source of pride for the local inhabitants.
​​​​​​​San Marino's beauty cannot be understated. The ornate homes combined with rich natural surroundings has made it a favorite location to film motion pictures and television shows. Films like Mr. & Mrs. Smith and Father of the Bride both featured scenes shot in San Marino, as did popular television series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Dining, Entertainment & Shopping 

Enjoy creative French breakfast and lunch dishes at Julienne. This cozy café offers an outdoor patio for warm weather months, and the staff is highly in-tuned with their customer's needs. Flowers and ambient music add to the overall atmosphere, creating a warm and inviting eatery.

If you like to do a little shopping alongside your meals, visit San Marino Cafe and Marketplace. The friendly spot doubles as a cafe and a gourmet shop selling charcuterie boards, grazing platters, and various other trinkets and gifts. Owner Linda Grace claims that their chicken salad and harissa tuna is in a league of its own!

Anyone who loves Italian food (and who doesn't?) would be remiss not to try Avanti Italian Bistro & Bar. As wood-fired gourmet pizza pioneers, Avanti has been in business since 1987, when it was known as Avanti Cafe. They have received numerous awards from the culinary community for their exquisite pizza and pasta dishes.

For something unique, indulge yourself in a classic English tea service at the picturesque Huntington Rose Garden Tea Room. Enjoy an elegant, refined tradition within the hallowed halls of the historic Rose Garden.

Things to Do

Sprawling across thirty acres of open space, Lacy Park is known for its gorgeous rose garden and arboretum of trees. First opened in 1925, Lacy Park has a rich and extensive history in San Marino. The park hosts a statue to former resident General George Patton. 

Families love visiting the park to play on the tennis courts or stroll through the area. Dogs are allowed in the park, so long as they remain leashed. Frequent events occur at Lacy Park, often at the picnic area, which is the site of musical concerts, pancake breakfasts, and more. 

Aside from Lacy Park, San Marino's other main attraction is The Huntington, which includes the famous botanical gardens—featuring 16 spectacular themed gardens, the Huntington Library, and an art museum. The Huntington is a collections-based research and educational institution built by Arabella and Henry E. Huntington. 


San Marino is serviced by the small but esteemed San Marino Public School District. It comprises two elementary schools, one middle school, and San Marino High School, which has been recognized for its scholastic achievements. There are also two private schools nearby: Southwestern Academy and Saints Felicitas and Perpetua School.

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