Downtown "Old Pasadena" offers restaurants, pubs, nightclubs, bars and shops to serve the daytime shopping and lunching crowd. Later on, professionals come for Happy Hour drinks and dinner, and young adults descend upon downtown Pasadena for a fun night out.
A well-manicured, charming city bounded by the San Gabriel Mountains in greater Los Angeles County, Pasadena offers the proximity to LA without the hustle and bustle of a large metropolis.
Without oversimplifying its vibe, Pasadena is low-key and sophisticated, perhaps as a byproduct of the cultural and educational institutions housed within. Its elegant tone is ubiquitous, provided by tasteful city hall buildings, quaint restaurants and small businesses, tree-lined avenues, and beautiful (often expensive) family residences. Home to the sciences, cultural institutions, and fun leisure activities, Pasadena provides a wealth of opportunities for visitors and the community. The California Institute of Technology (Caltech), a private research university recently ranked fourth by U.S. News & World Reports in its 2010 America's Best Colleges survey, is located here. Caltech also operates NASA's Jet Propulsion Library (JPL)... As for the arts, the Norton Simon Museum offers a collection of European art by masters such as Cezanne , Monet and Van Gogh. The Pacific Asia Museum is the lone museum in SoCal dedicated solely to Asia and the Pacific. The Huntington Library is famous for European arts, original manuscripts, and lovely botanical gardens. Uniquely Pasadena events include PasadenArt Weekend, a biannual, three-day event featuring a sampling of music and art from within the city. Those who have not had the chance to visit Pasadena no doubt are familiar with the Tournament of Roses Parade, held each New Year's Day. The parade features highly crafted floats, decorated with flowers, petals and other natural materials. People camp out the five mile parade route for days before the event, keen on securing a prime spot to watch. The Rose Bowl Game, the oldest college bowl football game, is played hours after the parade in the afternoon.- Gina Brown
Location-wise, Pasadena is in an extremely advantageous spot. Situated near the 210-freeway, it offers easy access to Downtown Los Angeles (10 miles away), Santa Monica (25 miles away), and is only a hop, skip, and jump away from emerging, hip hotspots Eagle Rock, Atwater Village, and Silver Lake.