Things to do

A neighborhood guide to Pasadena

Visit the Rose Bowl, tour the Gamble House, eat at a restaurant in Old Town Pasadena and explore these other essentials in Pasadena


By Michael Juliano

Posted: Monday December 10 2018


Photograph: JimDonnellyPhoto/Wikimedia
Pasadena City Hall.

Though miles from the beach, Pasadena feels like a resort town. The city is stocked with historical charm—from the shops in Old Town to the graceful Gamble House—while located only a short drive from hilly hikes and mountainous wilderness. There’s still plenty of excitement behind that relaxed disposition; after all, this is the home of the Rose Bowl and the Rose Parade.

Pasadena, Los Angeles’ northeast neighbor, sits at the foot of the scenic San Gabriel Mountains. If you’re visiting by car, you can reach the city at the end of the winding 110 freeway, as well via the 134 and 210 (most of the city’s culinary and cultural destinations are south of the 210 along Old Pasadena, the Playhouse District and South Lake). Pasadena is among SoCal’s most transit-friendly cities with six Metro light rail stops, as well as Metro, Pasadena Transit and Foothill Transit buses. The sizable city shares borders with Sierra Madre, Arcadia, San Marino, South Pasadena, Altadena, La Cañada Flintridge and Glendale, as well as Los Angeles neighborhoods Eagle Rock and Highland Park.

You’ll find more great things to do in Pasadena than almost any other area of L.A., whether looking to visit a museum or for your new favorite happy hour bar; use our guide to start planning your visit.

Discover the best of Pasadena, Los Angeles’ swanky suburban neighbor

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The best restaurants in Pasadena

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The best bars in Pasadena

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While other neighborhoods struggle to have a single standout museum, Pasadena is blessed with a whole bunch.

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There it was: Devil’s Gate, a craggy profile of Satan naturally chiseled into an outcropping on the Arroyo Seco.

Here’s how to spend a perfect day in Pasadena

There are many ways to explore Pasadena, but there’s only one perfect way to spend a day in the San Gabriel Valley city.