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Overview

Pasadena sits at the foot of the forested San Gabriel Mountains, northeast of downtown Los Angeles. Originating as a winter resort for the wealthy, the city experienced its first boom in the 1880s. One of southern California's wealthiest communities today, it boasts many leading artistic, educational and scientific institutions, from the Caltech (California Institute of Technology) and Jet Propulsion Laboratory to the California School of Culinary Arts. It also preserves some of the most intriguing 19th-century architecture in the west, including the baroque City Hall. Revitalized downtown is a lively venue for bohemian cafes and fine ...

Pasadena sits at the foot of the forested San Gabriel Mountains, northeast of downtown Los Angeles. Originating as a winter resort for the wealthy, the city experienced its first boom in the 1880s. One of southern California's wealthiest communities today, it boasts many leading artistic, educational and scientific institutions, from the Caltech (California Institute of Technology) and Jet Propulsion Laboratory to the California School of Culinary Arts. It also preserves some of the most intriguing 19th-century architecture in the west, including the baroque City Hall. Revitalized downtown is a lively venue for bohemian cafes and fine dining. A renowned center for performing arts, Pasadena is also blessed with fine venues and companies, most notably the Pasadena Playhouse. It is most famous for hosting the annual Tournament of Roses Parade and the Rose Bowl football game, both on New Year's Day, but the city boasts many other reasons to visit. Museums include the Pacific Asia Museum and The Huntington, which rivals Los Angeles' Getty Museum for the most impressive art collection in California. The mountains are laced by trails good for hiking and biking.

Christopher Baker
About the Expert

Christopher P. Baker has authored guidebooks to Costa Rica, California, and various Caribbean islands for Frommer's, Lonely Planet, and National Geographic, among others.

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Christopher Baker for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Southern California
  • Weather: Daylight
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Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Any time of year, although winter can be cold and wet.