Many California residents see Pasadena as just a suburb of Los Angeles, but it's a vibrant, bustling city on its own. With a population of nearly 141,000, it is the ninth-largest city in Los Angeles County. It is known for hosting the annual Rose Bowl college football game and the Tournament of the Roses Parade.
Many hotels and motels are located along the Rose Parade route and in the city center. Full-service hotels are usually located in downtown Pasadena, where shops, restaurants, and entertainment are also available. Pasadena also has a large number of restaurants and bars, many of which are located on or near the Rose Parade route. Located on the tree-lined streets of Old Town Pasadena, they offer great views of the downtown skyline. They are often within walking distance of the Pasadena Convention Center and other major attractions.
Most visitors to Pasadena will not want to miss the Norton Simon Museum, which houses many of the most famous works of art in the world. There's the Pasadena Museum of History as well, which also houses a botanical garden that served as the backdrop for many Hollywood movies. There are other interesting points of interest, including the Pasadena Museum of California Art, the Armory Center for the Arts, and the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens.
The Pasadena area was shaped by railway mogul Henry Huntington, who founded the Huntington Hotel, now called Langham Huntington, Pasadena. Pasadena is also the world-renowned California technology hub, whose alumni and faculties have won 32 Nobel Prizes. The Fair Oaks Pharmacy and the soda fountain are a South Pasadena landmark, though they have changed a few times over the years. The Pasadena Historical Museum also explores the history of the city of Pasadena and its history as a center of art and culture.
During this time, many artists, architects, and writers moved to Pasadena, and the city became a leading center for them. During this time, craftsmanship — Pasadena-style houses — developed, many of which still exist today.
The best way to experience the city's colorful ancient pearls is the Pasadena Heritage-led Old Pasadena Walking Tour, which is offered on the first Saturday of the month (except November). Pasadena is home to some great shops catering to the retro-minded with its popular flea market, and there are plenty of options to stock up on food, beverages, wine, beer, coffee, food trucks, and more. From the bustling shopping center featuring over 200 boutiques of Old Pasadena to an eclectic mix of art galleries, restaurants, shops, and cafes, it's definitely the place to be.
The cheapest way to get from Pasadena to LAX is the Gold Line subway, which runs from Union Station in Los Angeles to Pasadena and then to L.A. International Airport. Note: Travelling by light rail from LAX and Pasadena takes approximately two hours and requires a FlyAway bus transfer from LAZ to Union Station, where you can take the Gold Line to Pasadena and through Pasadena.