Pasadena is located at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains, just 11 miles northeast of Downtown Los Angeles. Known as the City of Roses, Pasadena is most famous for its New Year's Day Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game. The number of people in the city balloons every year after Christmas as visitors come from all over to decorate and view the floats, as well as to attend arguably the most famous college football bowl game of the year.
Pasadena has become the most exciting place for nightlife in the San Gabriel Valley. With bustling Old Pasadena's 200 boutiques, national retailers, restaurants and clubs in the western section, chic shopping and dining on South Lake and abundant services in the eastern area, Pasadena is really the place to be!
As the birthplace of Julia Child and home to 500 restaurants serving cuisine from around the world, Pasadena is a real find for foodies. Adding to its culinary credentials, one of only 15 Le Cordon Bleu-affiliated culinary schools in the United States resides here.
Pasadena is a cultural oasis with 14 museums and 11 performing arts organizations, including the Pasadena Playhouse and Norton Simon Museum. Pasadena also boasts the world renowned California Institute of Technology, home to 31 Nobel prize winners. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory is also just a ten minute drive north.
Most visitors to Pasadena will also not want to miss the nearby Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens which features a large art collection but is more famous for its 150 acres of botanical gardens that have been used as a backdrop for many Hollywood films.
Colorado Street Bridge
The closest and most convenient airport is the Burbank/Bop Hope Airport in [[Burbank], which is just 16 miles from Pasadena. Other nearby airports are in Los Angeles, Ontario, and Orange County.
The best way to get to Pasadena from Burbank/Bob Hope Airport is via SuperShuttle, Prime Time Shuttle or Xpress Shuttle. There are a couple of ways to get to Pasadena from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), which is 27 miles from Pasadena. A taxi from LAX will cost approximately $80. SuperShuttle and Prime Time are shared-ride vans which serve the Pasadena area from LAX. Stand under the orange "shared ride vans" sign in the center concrete island outside the airport. Tell a customer service representative that you need a ride to Pasadena. They are easy to identify by their blue jackets (SuperShuttle) or red jackets (Prime Time). If no representative is available, then flag down a blue van (SuperShuttle) or red van (Prime Time) with a "Pasadena" placard in the windshield. Approximate cost is $25 per person. Approximate time to Pasadena is 1 hour.
The cheapest method to get to Pasadena from LAX is to use the Union Station FlyAway bus and the Metro Gold Line light rail, which is available from 3:40 a.m. to 11:56 p.m. daily. Do not use this method if you have many bags to carry or you do not like to walk long distances. At LAX,stand under the green "FlyAway, Buses and Long-Distance Vans" sign in the center concrete island outside the terminal. Board a blue FlyAway bus heading to Union Station; $7 one way (a 45-minute trip). It is a large charter-style bus and is occasionally not labeled. FlyAway buses operate every half hour, 24 hours a day.
Once you arrive at Union Station, walk behind the ticket counter and proceed down the stairs. Follow the path and enter Union Station on the left. Walk to the Metro Gold Line (yellow signs), which is located at track 1 in Union Station. Inside the track 1 terminal is an automated kiosk for purchasing tickets. Buy a one-way ticket and insert $1.50. Consider a day pass if you will be traveling by Metro again in the same day (note that a day pass is economical only if you will be boarding any Metro service at least four times in one day). Proceed up the stairs to the trains. Be sure to board the northbound (Sierra Madre Villa) trains. The Gold Line stops in Pasadena at Filmore, Del Mar, Memorial Park, Lake, Allen, and Sierra Madre Villa stations. The travel time varies from 30-90 min, depending on rush-hour conditions.
Pasadena is approximately 20 minutes from Union Station in Downtown L.A. via the Metro Gold Line light rail. There are six stops in Pasadena. Filmore is the first stop, Del Mar and Memorial Park stations are located in Old Pasadena on the west end of town, and the final three stops(Lake, Allen, Sierra Madre Villa) are in the median of the 210 Freeway.
Please note that traveling by light rail between LAX and Pasadena will take approximately two hours and requires getting on a FlyAway bus between LAX and Union Station, then traveling to Pasadena on the Gold line.
Greyhound Lines serves Pasadena at 645 E. Walnut Street.
From Downtown L.A. or other southern cities take the 110 freeway north until it ends. The 110 freeway ends at the south end of Pasadena. From the east and west Pasadena can be reached via Interstate 210. California Highway 134 East is the most direct way from Glendale and Burbank.
The Metro Gold Line serves the Arroyo Seco Parkway, Old Pasadena, and East Pasadena. Visitors can take it to connect to other Los Angeles-area rail lines or Amtrak.
Pasadena is primarily served by the county-wide Metro and the local Pasadena ARTS network. Additional (mostly commuter) service is available from Foothill Transit, Montebello Bus Lines, and LADOT.
Metro's 780 Rapid bus goes from Pasadena to visitor-oriented areas of Hollywood--it's an (often interesting) ride that takes about an hour.
Pasadena as a whole is large enough to require use of a car or public transit, but it is a very pedestrian-friendly city. Many hotels and motels are located within easy walking distance of major shopping and entertainment areas like Old Pasadena, the Playhouse District and South Lake Avenue.
Old Pasadena, . A 22-block historical area filled with 200 one-of-a-kind boutiques, national retailers, galleries, restaurants, and clubs. Old Pasadena is one of Southern California's hottest shopping/entertainment areas and get very crowded on weekends. The area is very hip and young people love the great vibe! Old Pasadena is located between Arroyo Parkway on the east and Pasadena Avenue on the west, with Colorado Boulevard being the main thoroughfare. Get off the Gold Line at Memorial Park and walk south to Colorado.
Norton Simon Museum, ☎ +1-626-449-6840, . Open noon to 6 p.m. and until 9 p.m. on Friday; closed Tuesday.. Features seven centuries of European art ranging from the Renaissance to the 20th century, including masterpieces by Van Gogh, Picasso, Rembrandt, Fragonard, Goya, and many more. The museum also features an extensive collection of South Asian sculpture and a sculpture garden with works of Rodin.Adults $10; students free with I.D. Free admission on the first Friday of the month from 6PM to 9PM.
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, ☎ +1-626-405-2100, . Open Wednesday through Monday. Located on the 207-acre estate of the late railroad tycoon Henry Huntington, the Library offers 9 million works from British and American history including an original Gutenberg Bible and Ellesmere's manuscript of Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales." Three art galleries showcase 18th- and 19th-century British and French masterpieces including the famed "Pinkie" and "The Blue Boy" paintings. Sixteen lush gardens covering 150 acres round out the experience.Free admission on first Thursday of the month (Ticket required. Free tickets can be obtained from the library's website). Adult admission $15; $20 on weekends.
Pacific Asia Museum, ☎ +1-626-499-2742, . Open Wednesday through Sunday from 10AM to 6PM. Features artwork from Asia and the Pacific Islands spanning 5,000 years, with a range of innovative exhibitions and dynamic programming.Admission is $10; free on the forth Friday of the month.
The Gamble House, ☎ +1-626-793-3334, . Tours: Thursday through Sunday from noon to 3PM. Built in 1908 by Charles and Henry Greene, this National Historical Landmark is an architectural masterpiece of the American Arts and Crafts Movement.Admission $10.
Pasadena Museum of California Art, ☎ +1-626-568-3665, . Open Wed-Sat noon to 5PM. The only museum in Southern California devoted exclusively to California art, architecture and design.Admission $7; free the first Friday of the month.
Pasadena Museum of History, ☎ +1-626-577-1660, . Open Wednesday through Sunday; hours vary. Near the Gamble House is the Pasadena Museum of History with The Finnish Folk Art Museum, History Center Galleries, and the 18-room Fenyes Mansion. Built in 1905, the mansion contains its original furnishings.prices vary for exhibits and Fenyes Mansion tour.
California Institute of Technology, . Architectural tours are offered the fourth Thursday of each month at 10:30AM (January through June, September and October) and on the third Thursday in November. A world-renowned institution for the study of science and engineering. The 124-acre campus offers interesting architectures, laid back atmosphere and colors displayed by ever-lasting blooming flora.Free.
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, ☎ +1-818-354-9314, . A world-renowned research, development and flight center for NASA. JPL has a weekend open house (see space craft being worked on in the clean rooms!) each May. Free tours are available by appointment and must be made well in advance.
Kidspace Museum, 480 N. Arroyo Blvd., ☎ (626) 449-9144, . Open Tuesday–Friday, 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m.; Saturday–Sunday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. June–August: Monday–Friday, 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m.; Saturday–Sunday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.. Kidspace offers more than 25 indoor hands-on exhibits, in addition to outdoor spaces, programs and activities, which are designed to encourage a child's growth and development through exploration of the environment, investigation in science, and artistic expression.Adults & Children $10.
The San Gabriel mountains above Pasadena offer some excellent hiking opportunities. Of specific interest are some of the hikes along along the abandoned Mount Lowe Railway in the Angeles National Forest. You can pass the site of the White City, Echo Mountain, the site of an old observatory, and Inspiration Point. Start at the northern end of Lake Avenue.
Old Pasadena and the Playhouse district have a number of theater and movie houses and are a good place to see some of the latest independent or foreign films.
Rose Parade, . The Rose Parade is held on New Year's Day. If January 1 falls on a Sunday, then the parade is moved to Monday, January 2. The parade starts at Orange Grove Blvd. and then heads east along Colorado Blvd. for five and one-half miles to Sierra Madre Blvd. The easiest and best view of the parade are from the 70,000 grandstand seats that line the route. These tickets can be purchased starting each February. For those who want to view for free along the streets, people can start camping out at noon the day before the parade. Blankets, sleeping bags, lawn chairs and self-contained barbecues are permitted on the route; tents, ladders and upholstered furniture are not. There is a party atmosphere along Colorado Blvd. the night before, as everyone camps out to reserve their seats. If you are camping out, the most crowded area is on Colorado Blvd. between Orange Grove Blvd. and Lake Ave. To avoid the congestion, try to find a space on Colorado east of Allen Avenue. About 700,000 people attend the parade, so parking is at a premium. It is suggested that you purchase parking in advance. Colorado Blvd. shuts down to all traffic the night before the parade. The north/south streets shut down at various times the morning of the parade.Keep in mind that the parade starts at 8 a.m. on the west end of town and lasts for two hours. If you're sitting farther east, the parade will begin and end later. If you go to the beginning of the parade at about 2 a.m. on the morning of the parade, you can see the floats up-close as they stage themselves on South Orange Grove Blvd. It will likely be quite cold, so dress warmly.
Float Construction Viewing & Decorating, ☎ (877) 793-9911, . The last few days before the Rose Parade, you can help decorate or preview Rose Parade floats as they are readied for the New Year's festivities. Although the work is detailed and can be repetitive, it is incredibly fun and exciting to know that you glued the thousands of poppy seeds that became a shadow on a giant leaf. There is a sense of camaraderie amongst the volunteers, and you get to climb on and decorate actual floats. Children under 16 are not allowed, but if you have older kids, this is an excellent family activity. You work in four hour shifts, and volunteers are fed out of a chow wagon for free. For a list of float companies and independent float volunteer opportunities, visit: 
Post-Parade Float Viewing, ☎ (877) 793-9911, . For two days after the Rose Parade, you can see the floats up close when they are parked along Sierra Madre and Washington Blvds. Crowds of people flock to see the floats, so instead of driving to the location yourself, it is suggested that you take the shuttles that are offered throughout Pasadena. Fees apply.
Melting Pot Food Tours, ☎ (800) 979-3370, . Experience the charming history, architecture, and folklore of historic Old Pasadena while feasting upon culinary delights from neighborhood eateries.
Pasadena Ice Skating Center, 310 E. Green St., ☎ (626) 578-0800, . Located adjacent to the Pasadena Convention Center, the Pasadena Ice Skating Center offers year-round indoor skating, figure skating classes, and an ice hockey league in a regulation-sized rink.
Brookside Golf Course, 1133 Rosemont Ave., ☎ (626) 585-3598, . Located adjacent to the Rose Bowl Stadium, Brookside features two 18-hole championship courses, a clubhouse, restaurant, golf shop, putting greens, driving range, and ample parking.
Rose Bowl Aquatics Center, 360 N. Arroyo Blvd., ☎ (626) 564-0330, . The center is a year-round facility with competitive teams in swimming, diving and water polo. Housing two 50-meter pools, it's open to the public and offers water aerobics, swimming, diving lessons, and therapy pools.
Rose Bowl Stadium, 1001 Rose Bowl Dr., ☎ (626) 577-3101, . The historic Rose Bowl Stadium was built in 1922. It is home to the annual Rose Bowl Game and UCLA Bruins football. The stadium hosts numerous events, including concerts. The stadium is not open for public tours.
Rose Bowl Flea Market, ☎ (323) 560-7469, . The Rose Bowl Flea Market, one of the most famous in the world, boasts 2,500 vendors and 20,000 buyers. Nicknamed "America's Marketplace of Unusual Items," the market offers vintage jewelry, handmade quilts, antiques, clothes, plants, and collectibles. Held the second Sunday of every month, rain or shine.
Doo Dah Parade, . Behold these wacky, unusual parade participants as they travel through East Pasadena down Colorado Blvd. between Sierra Madre and San Gabriel Blvds.
Make Music Pasadena, . Held the third Saturday in June, Make Music Pasadena is a free musical celebration throughout Downtown Pasadena. From 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Pasadena is transformed into a musical playground where every conceivable genre of music played.
Pasadena Chalk Festival, Paseo Colorado, . Held the third weekend in June, you can view hundreds of colorful chalk murals while enjoying live music, shopping and children's activities at Paseo Colorado.
Craftsman Weekend, . Held every year in October, this is the largest, most comprehensive salute to Arts and Crafts-style architecture in the United States. Enjoy bus and walking tours of historic neighborhoods and visits to distinctive Craftsman-era homes.
Arroyo Seco Historic Parkway (110 Freeway), (Starts at Colorado Blvd. and Arroyo Parkway and head south to the intersection of CA-110 and CA-101.), . 24 hours. The Arroyo Seco Historic Parkway (110 Freeway) is a National Scenic Byway that runs for 9.4 miles (15.1 km) between Pasadena and Downtown Los Angeles. The Parkway starts at Colorado Blvd., home of the famous Rose Parade, passes through the Arts and Crafts-style neighborhoods of South Pasadena into China Town, and ends at the 101 Freeway amongst the skyscrapers of Downtown Los Angeles.Free.
Old Pasadena, ☎ (626) 356-9725, . Historic Old Pasadena is home to an eclectic mix of more than 200 one-of-a-kind boutiques and well-known national retailers concentrated in an authentic downtown.
Playhouse District, ☎ (626) 744-0340, . The Playhouse District offers an intimate scene where art, architecture and culture abound. The shops in the area are a reflection, and include culinary, music and bookstores.
South Lake Avenue, ☎ (626) 792-1259, . South Lake Avenue covers 10 blocks and features Macy's, along with brand-name fashion and home decor shops, all within its pedestrian-friendly area.
One Colorado, (Old Pasadena), ☎ (626) 564-1066, . A shopping and dining area set amidst 19th century architecture. Also offers free outdoor film festivals, live music, and arts events. The 25 stores include national retailers like Gap and Juicy Couture, as well as unique offerings like Elisa B. and The Soap Kitchen.
Paseo Colorado, . A fun, outdoor shopping area about a block east of Old Pasadena on Colorado Blvd., near Pasadena's Civic Center. With an array of shops, restaurants, an upscale grocery store, and movie theater, Paseo is great on warm evenings and a great place to eat and catch a movie.
Rose Bowl Flea Market, Rose Bowl Stadium, ☎ (323) 560-7469, . Second Sunday of every month from 6 a.m. - 5 p.m.. This flea market, one of the most famous in the world, boasts 2,500 vendors and 20,000 buyers.Vintage jewelry, handmade quilts, clothes, plants, antique furniture, and collectibles are among the offerings.
Pasadena Antique Center, 444 & 480 S. Fair Oaks, ☎ (626) 449-7706, . The center boasts 130 dealers in 33,000 square feet.Find furniture, art, jewelry and rare books dating from the turn of the century to mid-century.
Neomeze, 20 E Colorado Blvd, ☎ 626.793.3010, . This hip restaurant and lounge in Old Town offers interesting meze (Mediterranean small plates made for sharing), an extensive wine list and imaginative cocktails. Live music and entertainment offered in the lounge nightly. Happy Hour deals include half-off all cocktails as well as an inexpensive food menu. The sleekly designed lounge even has a retractable roof for those hot summer nights. Great for romantic dates or large groups. Private dining room available.
Mijares Mexican Restaurant, 145 Palmetto Drive - Palmetto and Pasadena Avenue, ☎ 626-792-2763, . Pasadena's oldest restaurant is it's best kept secret! A local favorite, this restaurant and bar serves delicious mexican cuisine in a delightful, family-style setting.
Orean's: The Health Express, 817 N. Lake Avenue (north of the 210 Freeway), ☎ +1-626-794-0861. Vegetarian/vegan fast food, yummy. A bit on the pricy side for fast food -- about for a five dollars per person.
All India Cafe, 39 S. Fair Oaks Ave (just south of Colorado Blvd. in Old Pasadena). Good Indian food.
Marston's, 151 E. Walnut St (between Fair Oaks and Marengo). Great breakfasts in a converted old home. Come early because the crowds start to build up on weekends in the late morning. Esepcially recommended is the corn flake encrusted french toast.
Kabuki, 88 W. Colorado Blvdin Old Pasadena and 3539 E. Foothill Blvd in Hastings Ranch. Popular Japanese food chain, moderately priced.
Kansai, 36 S Fair Oaks Ave, ☎ +1-626-564-1560. Japanese udon and soba noodles.
The Hat, (Lake & Villa), ☎ +1-626-449-1844, . Pastrami sandwiches, chili fries, Orange Bang, and other stuff that's bad for you but so good.
Cafe Verde, 961 E. Green St, . A gem worth hiding from the world but karma would kick in. This intimate shoebox sized restaurant packs a wallop taste in every bite. A fusion of California style cuisine with strong Latin influences is a delight to the senses. Too much to describe here, just click the link, read THE professional review, and I'm sure I'll see you there sometime.
Bulgarini Gelato, . Authentic gelato, this business is a startup family business currently nestled in a few boutique locations including the Pacific Asian Museum and Laemmle Theater.
Fu Shing Restaurant, 2960 E Colorado Blvd, ☎ +1-626-570-0725, . Chinese food - try the sweet and pungent shrimp.
La Nueva Posada, 2835 E Foothill Blvd. Mexican food. Try the margaritas and say hello to the always-smiling Peter! This is a family-owned business and they really care about their customers.
Camerons Seafood, 1978 East Colorado Blvd (2 blocks east of allen ave east pasadena), ☎ 626-793-3474. Voted Pasadenas Best Seafood Restaurant, for 24 straight years. Mesquite grilled fresh seafood daily, steaks and chicken, wonderful cheers style bar, lots of free onsite parking, handicap accessable, Sunday brunch, 7 days lunch and dinner happy hour, great food est 1984. Camerons is on the famous rose parade route. Established in 1984 Camerons brings the ocean to you with over 30 different fresh seafood daily, grilled, or try the fmaous macadamia nut halibut, or some parmesan crusted sole. Awsome New England Clam chowder, made fresh daily as well as our manhattan clam chowder. Fresh Blue point oysters from the Chesapeake bay, or some Hawaiian Ahi. Camerons has it all plus private dining and meeting rooms for that special event.
Lovebirds Cafe & Bakery, 921 E Colorado Blvd Pasadena, ☎ (626) 583-8888, . Mon-Fri: 6:00am–5:00pm Sat: 8:00am–3:30pm. Fresh sandwiches made from bread baked on the premises and yummy smoothies,you can't go wrong
Sushi Osaka, 633 S. Arroyo Parkway #1 (Right on Arroyo Pkwy south of California St.), ☎ (626) 356-7533, . Mon-Sat 11:30 a.m. - 9:30 p.m.. Great sushi place for lunch or dinner. Owned by the sushi chef and his wife, and they offer All-you-can-eat lunch and dinner options for about $20. Never crowded, but never totally empty.$20/person.
Carmela Ice Cream, 2495 East Washington Boulevard (E. Washington Blvd. and N. Altadena Dr.), . Easily the best ice cream spot in and around Pasadena. This small artisan ice cream and sorbet maker uses local farmers market produce and organic dairies to create unique flavors, such as Salted Caramel, Brown Sugar Vanilla Bean, Lavender Honey, Lemon Basil Sorbet, and Cucumber Sorbet. Ice cream and sorbet-making classes available too. Must try.$3.50/Scoope.
Dog Haus, 105 N Hill Ave., Ste. 104 (N. Hill Ave. and E. Union St.), . Gourmet hot dogs, sausages, and burgers served on King's Hawaiian Bread with massive toppings such as fried egg, haus garlic aioli, caramelized onions, grilled jalapeños, smoked bacon, curry ketchup, dill pickle chips, blue cheese crumbles, and all the usual suspects. Sides include fries, onion rings, and tater tots. Good soda selections.$5.95 and up.
La Caravana Restaurante Salvadoreno, 1306 N Lake Ave. (N. Lake Ave. and E. Washington Blvd.), ☎ (626) 791-7378. If you have never eaten Salvadorian foods before, come try the pupusas. They are a traditional Salvadoran dish made of thick, hand-made corn tortilla that is filled with a blend of cheese, pork, refried beans, and/or loroco. For first timers, try the Plato Tipico, which comes with rice, beans, one choice of pupusa, grilled pork, tamales, cheese, fried plantains, and vegetables. There is also a mini pupusas sampler plate.About $3/pupusa and $10/plate.
El Pollo Unico, 704 N Lake Ave. (N. Lake Ave. and E. Orange Grove Blvd.), ☎ (626) 794-3033. For budget eaters, this small, family-owned Mexican flame-grilled chicken takeout serves some of the tastiest chicken in the city without hurting your wallet. For $4.99 you can get two pieces of chicken, two sides, corn-on-the-cob, corn or flour tortillas, homemade salsa, and a drink. Seatings are limited.$4.99 and up.
Roma Italian Deli and Grocery, 918 N Lake Ave. (N. Lake Ave. and E. Mountain St.), ☎ (626) 797-7748. A small Italian grocery store with a wide selections of cheeses, prosciutto, salami, pastas, olive oils, and homemade bread. The store also makes a simple but delicious sandwich consists of bread, cold-cuts, and olive oils. The sandwich maker is a helpful 80-year-old man who would sometimes let you sample a slice of cheese or meat as he goes on in making the sandwich. Just go up to the sandwich counter and say "one sandwich, please" and nothing else.About $5.
Euro Pane Bakery, 950 E Colorado Blvd., Ste. 107 (Colorado Blvd. and N. Lake Ave.), ☎ (626) 577-1828. This small artisan bakery makes some of the best sandwiches, homemade bread, and desserts in Pasadena. It is famous for its open-face egg salad sandwich (yolky-creamy) and decadent macaroons. (Flavors include Blackberry, Hazelnut, Mocha, Passion Fruit, Pistachio, Raspberry, and Salted Caramel.)$7 and up for sandwiches.
El Taquito Mexicano Truck, 510 S Fair Oaks Ave. (S. Fair Oaks Ave. and W. California Blvd.), . 6pm - As late as it takes. No trip to Southern California is complete without experiencing eating tacos out of a food truck. Try the carne asada (beef), al pastor (pork), or whatever strikes your fancy. (Cabeza, anyone?) Choose red or green sauce. (Red is spicier.) Wash them down with a cold can of coke or Mexican soda. The truck is parked on the lot of Nishikawa Automotive. Do not get confused with the yellow taco truck nearby.$1.25/Taco.
B-Man's Teriyaki & Burgers, 3007 Huntington Dr., Ste. 102 (Huntington Dr. and S. San Gabriel Blvd.), . Good food fast. As the name suggests, they are known for their tangy teriyaki (beef or chicken) and signature hamburger, the ABC Burger (cheese, meat, avocado, lettuce, and teriyaki sauce). Veggie burgers and curry fries are popular too. Under $10.
Jones Coffee Roasters, 693 S Raymond Ave. (S. Raymond Ave. and E. California Blvd.), . A great local coffee house that roasts its own beans on site! It is situated in an obscure but tastefully decorated warehouse. Friendly and knowledgeable staff and owners. On unspecified days they even have homemade tamales for sale.
Pasadena has a wide range of hotels to accommodate all budgets. The full-service hotels tend to cluster around downtown Pasadena, which provides ready access to shops, restaurants, and entertainment. Pasadena also has motels in the eastern part of the city, some of which are along the Rose Parade route.
Comfort Inn, 2462 E. Colorado Blvd., ☎ (626) 405-0811, . Features 54 rooms, microwave, refrigerator and Wi-Fi in all rooms.
Holiday Inn Express, 3500 E. Colorado Blvd., ☎ (626) 792-1363, . Features 81 rooms, Wi-Fi, outdoor pool, and free hot Express Start Breakfast.
Howard Johnson Pasadena, 1599 E. Colorado Blvd., ☎ (626) 304-9678. Features 60 rooms, free Wi-Fi, and continental breakfast.
Pasadean Inn, 400 S. Arroyo Parkway, ☎ (626) 795-8401, . Free breakfast, Wi-Fi and parking.
Pasadena Travelodge, 2131 E. Colorado Blvd., ☎ (626) 796-3121, . On Rose Parade route. Free Wi-Fi and continental breakfast. In-room refrigerator, microwave and coffee maker.
Courtyard Los Angeles Old Pasadena, 180 North Fair Oaks Ave (at the northern edge of Old Town), ☎ +1 626-403-7600 (fax: +1 626-403-7700), . rooms start at $99/night.
Pasadena Hilton, 168 S. Los Robles Ave, ☎ +1 626-403-7600 (fax: +1 626-403-7700), .
The Westin, 191 North Los Robles Ave, ☎ +1 626-577-1000 (fax: +1 626-584-3148), .
The Langham Huntington Hotel & Spa, 1401 South Oak Knoll Ave, ☎ +1 626-568-3900 (fax: +1 626-568-3700), . Built in 1907 when Pasadena was the prime destination for the affluent traveler, the Huntington is the last resort hotel left in town and is nestled in one of the more pristine residential parts of the town. Well worth the stay if you can afford at least $250/night. You can also go there for a special dinner, or just sit on the veranda with a drink and enjoy the incredible view.
Much of the city of Pasadena is inhabited by students, professors, scientists, and many other kinds of professionals, and is generally very safe. During your visit, you will probably need to take only basic precautions against petty pickpocketing or purse snatching (as you should anywhere in the Southland, or in big cities in general). On most days, Old Town Pasadena is normally busy with diners, shoppers, and party-goers well past 11 p.m.
However, Pasadena does have a crime-ridden area to the north and west of Interstate 210.
Drive to the northern end of Lake Avenue for a spectacular view of the San Gabriel valley.
During Christmas time, see amazing light displays at: 1) the Balian House at about 2000 N. Allen and 2) Hastings Ranch (go north on Michillinda, about one mile past Sierra Madre Blvd. and make a left -- about a square-mile of residents in the area decorate their properties!).
Enter the Eaton Canyon nature preserve at the intersection of Altadena and New York. Great hiking, and during the spring, a pretty good river to hike next to. Go far enough up and you will get to a waterfall that is well-known to locals.
Nearby Alhambra, San Gabriel, and Monterey Park are home to some of the largest Chinese-speaking populations outside China and Taiwan. There you will find authentic restaurants specializing in dim sum, dumplings, roasted duck, and many other regional Chinese and Taiwanese cuisine. A visit to any large Chinese supermarkets in the area might be a treat (or shock) for the uninitiated.
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!