Last updated: 11:00 AM ET, Tue May 26 2015

City Pulse: The Only Guide To Pasadena, Calif. You Need

Destination & Tourism | Gabe Zaldivar | May 26, 2015

City Pulse: The Only Guide To Pasadena, Calif. You Need

Image courtesy of Thinkstock

We Say:

We advise setting aside time to stop and smell the roses. You’re undoubtedly in town to either take in a game at the Rose Bowl or sit in cold weather to see the famed Rose Parade. We get it. However, the city that sits nestled near the San Gabriel Mountains provides far more than floral attractions.

And, of course, you are within spitting distance of Los Angeles, which will undoubtedly demand a great deal of your holiday time. While that is reflected below, we hope we have given you but a sip of the delicious cultural cocktail that is Pasadena. From amazing architecture to beautiful gardens, from intoxicating wine to fantastic food, this place has what you crave. And the good part is it only asks that you walk out of your hotel and stroll around before you realize that Pasadena is far more than you expected. 

They Say:

"A dynamic city centered in beautiful Southern California, Pasadena is a city of discovery — from dining and shopping to theater and art galleries. Pasadena offers the business and recreational traveler a surprising combination of sophisticated charm, culture, history, and fun. The city is located just 10 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains.

Pasadena is unique in that it is home to 16 historically designated districts, such as Bungalow Heaven and Garfield Heights. Today, at least 10 percent of the city’s 22.5 square-mile area is historically designated. Pasadena captures the essence of beauty and style with its historic architecture, world-class art museums, acres of botanical gardens, landmark theaters and three distinct districts offering an eclectic collection of dining, shopping and entertainment."

-Pasadena CVB




Current Traffic: Google Traffic

Airport: LAX, Ontario International Airport, Bob Hope Airport

Public Transit: LA Metro, Pasadena ARTS, Foothill Transit

Bikeshare: The greater Los Angeles area is considering Pasadena as one area for a future program.

Walkability Score: 43 at Walk Score

Parking Options/Expense: ParkMe

Best Accommodations: ( Highest Guest Rated w/at least 50 Reviews)

Boutique: (Writer’s Choice) dustitD2 constance Pasadena

High End: The Westin Pasadena

Mid Range: Courtyard by Marriott Pasadena

Bargain: Howard Johnson Pasadena

Foods to seek out:

Chicken and Waffles: Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles — Find out the joy that is fried chicken drizzled with hot sauce and syrup on a bed of waffle. 

Hot Dog: Dog Haus — They have the toppings your imagination has been yearning for. 

Pastrami: The Oinkster — It’s just down the road in Eagle Rock, but well worth the jaunt. If you like pastrami and Belgian style fries that is. 

Known For:

Rose Bowl: Stadium Tours

Rose Parade: Tour the Tournament House

Southern California Life: Los Angeles Attractions

Sports Teams:

NCAA: UCLA Bruins (Use Rose Bowl)

Otherwise you are close to Los Angeles teams:

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers

MLS: Los Angeles Galaxy

NHL: Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks

Cool attractions:


1. Take a tour of the architectural wonder known as the Gamble House

2. Hit up some bars or enjoy some amazing food in Old Town Pasadena.

3. Calling all lab rats. Take to the stars with a tour of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.


1. Laugh until your sides hurt at Pasadena’s The Ice House comedy club

2. Have afternoon tea at the beautiful Huntington Library and Gardens.

3. Enjoy cocktails and couches at the luxurious iPic Theater.


1. If you are looking for something to do after a tour of the Rose Bowl, consider the Kidspace Children’s Museum next door.

2. Hobnob with geniuses with a Caltech tour.

3. Take in some breathtaking sights at the Norton Simon Museum.


1. Beer: Lucky Baldwin’s

2. Wine: Bodega Wine Bar

3. Cocktails: 1886 Bar at The Raymond

Pasadena is:

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