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The City of Pasadena

When visiting Los Angeles, you probably want to visit some of the most iconic places here – Hollywood, the beaches, Downton LA, Beverly Hills. The list goes on. LA is huge, though, and while those places should be on your must see list if you have a short amount of time here, if you can stay a little longer, then we recommend you check out some of the historic areas. First stop… Pasadena.

One of the primary cultural centers of the San Gabriel Valley, Pasadena is probably most well known for the Tournament of Roses Parade every New Year’s Day, followed by the Rose Bowl football game. But this is just a small portion of this city that was the second city (next to Los Angeles) to be incorporated into LA County in 1850.

Originally home to the Hahamog-na Indian tribe, which is a part of the Tongva Nation, Pasadena went from land filled with thatched, dome-shaped lodges, to ranch land where settlers came for the mild climate that helped with respiratory issues. Eventually, Pasadena became a resort town where it became a stop for the famous railroad, the Aitchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe. Up until the Great Depression, Pasadena’s grew exponentially becoming a major tourist location and a place where wealthy East Coast families came to visit and live throughout the winter months. It was during this time that the American Craftsman era of architecture became prevalent in Pasadena. The bungalow homes that were very popular are still standing today. In fact, every year, you can tour some of the restored homes on the Bungalow Heaven tour. A few of the homes that were built during this time have even been designated California Historical Landmarks.

Eventually, Pasadena became the 8th largest city in California and was considered to be a twin city to Los Angeles. Given the ease traveling back and forth to LA, it became the perfect spot to live while commuting to LA. It grew even bigger during World War II as high tech, scientific and manufacturing companies made their home in Pasadena which continued even after the war was over with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

While downtown Pasadena did fall on hard times (eventually becoming the stage for a triple gang murder in 1993), it eventually underwent major change and renovation as police cracked down on drugs and crime within the city. Now, downtown Pasadena, known as “Old Town” is a major tourist destination with wonderful restaurants and shopping. It is also a major mecca for the arts and is home to the Pasadena Playhouse, the Norton Simon Museum of Art and the Pacific Asia Museum. Additionally, people come from all over to visit the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens.

There is so much to love about Pasadena, just one of the major areas that makes LA a truly unforgettable place. Come tour with us and discover everything about Los Angeles and beyond.