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Colorado Street Bridge and Court of
Photo Credit: City of Pasadena/Pasadena CVB

Nestled at the base of the majestic San Gabriel Mountains, just 11 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles, Pasadena is quintessential Southern California. From mountains caressed by the sun, through gardens radiant with roses, to extraordinary turn-of-the-century architecture, there is nowhere else quite like Pasadena.

Paseo Colorado
Photo Credit: Benjamin Page

Paseo Colorado is Pasadena’s three-block open-air urban village located directly across the street from the Pasadena Convention Center. With its Mediterranean architecture, lush pedestrian promenades, courtyards and terraces, Paseo Colorado is anchored by Pacific Theatre’s 14-screen cinema complex, Amadeus Spa & Salon, Macy’s department store, and Equinox Fitness Club. Its 65 distinct specialty retail shops and restaurants include Coach, BCBG Max Azria, Tommy Bahama, the Yard House, and P.F. Chang’s.

Pasadena truly is a pedestrian-friendly city. Visitors can stroll along beautiful tree-lined South Lake Avenue, known as Pasadena’s premier shopping district, while an eclectic mix of antique stores, galleries and specialty shops can be found in the Playhouse District.

Huntington Library Conservatory
Photo Credit: Pasadena CVB

Old Pasadena, a 22-block historical area featuring 19th century structures and quaint alleyways, is one of Southern California’s hottest main-street entertainment districts. With 200 specialty shops, antique havens, boutiques, bistros and entertainment venues, Old Pasadena offers something for everyone.

Drawing from its rich cultural heritage, Pasadena features numerous world-class museums and historical sites. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens offers an extensive collection of literary classics, 17th and 18th century British and French art, and 150 acres of lush gardens. Highlights include an original Gutenberg Bible, Ellesmere’s manuscript of “Canterbury Tales,” the famous “Pinkie” and “Blue Boy” paintings and an authentic Chinese garden that is new to the institution. The Garden of Flowing Fragrance or Liu Fang Yuan reflects traditional Suzhou-style scholar gardens and features a 1.5-acre lake, a complex of pavilions, a tea house and tea shop, and five stone bridges, set against a wooded backdrop of mature oaks and pines.

Van Gogh Mulberry Tree
Photo Credit: Norton Simon/ Pasadena CVB

Seven centuries of European art from the Renaissance to the 20th century are on display at The Norton Simon Museum, including masterpieces by Van Gogh, Degas, Rembrandt and Picasso. The Pacific Asia Museum is dedicated to the promotion and understanding of the arts and culture of Asia and the Pacific, while the Pasadena Museum of California Art features California art, architecture and design from 1850 to the present. In contrast, the Gamble House, built in 1908, is an architectural masterpiece of the American Arts and Crafts era.

Old Pasadena- Dancing at One Colorado
Photo Credit: Pasadena CVB

After dark, Pasadena takes on a whole new flavor. As the birthplace of Julia Child, Pasadena is home to some of Southern California’s finest restaurants. There are over 500 to choose from, including movie producer Gale Ann Hurd’s Vertical Wine Bistro. Exciting nightlife ranges from “hot” jazz clubs and “cool” comedy at the Ice House Comedy Club to symphony performances at the renowned Pasadena Civic Auditorium.

With its enviable location and a population of only 140,000, Pasadena offers visitors a friendly and safe enclave. The city’s mild Mediterranean climate also makes for ideal sightseeing conditions. Year-round temperatures average 76 degrees Fahrenheit.

In addition to all of this, Pasadena is easily accessible to all Los Angeles area airports, freeways, and other Southern California attractions, including Universal Studios, Disneyland and local beaches. To make sightseeing even easier, visitors can hop aboard the Gold Line light rail system. The 13.7-mile Gold Line transports passengers from Pasadena to downtown Los Angeles and points in between. With six stations throughout Pasadena, including two in the popular Old Pasadena shopping/entertainment district, catching the train is a snap.