Pasadena, California

About Pasadena, California

Pasadena is one of the most populous cities in California. Combining that with the powerful focus on creativity and arts, it makes sense that so many talented, skilled, and famous individuals have called Pasadena home. The city has seen some downtimes, the city is striving to make a strong community that welcomes education and a deselect for the beautiful architecture of its past as Pasadena pushed for major revitalization in Old Pasadena in the 80s and has since shown excellent results.

Now, the city has claims to fame, from education to art to entertainment. Pasadena has come a long way but is genuinely an American tale of inspiration and has worked its way into the minds across the country.


Like most of America, Pasadena, California, was inhabited by a Native American tribe called the Hahamogna. They lived in small villages in the Arroyo Seco Canyon and made their way of life off local wildlife and plants.

When the Spanish came to this area in 1771, they established the San Gabriel Mission. Native Americans were converted and helped the Spanish by providing labor. The land was hearty, and many orchards provided for the Spanish crown until 1833, when California fell into Mexico’s control and gave the San Gabriel Mission land to individuals.

Several notable families lived in what would become Pasadena, including Colonel Manuel Garfias, son of a distinguished Mexican family.

In 1850, California became a state in the union.

With the growth in the area with paved streets, a sewer system, and outside electrical lights, Pasadena was incorporated, and in 1901, it became a charter city with an elected mayor.

The city also welcomed growth from immigrants from China and Mexico and included black families who settled in the area.

In 1913, some of the best-known architects resided in Pasadena and helped the city be known for its fine architecture.


source: US Census data


Notable People

Pasadena is one of the most populous cities in California. Combining that with the powerful focus on creativity and arts, it makes sense that so many talented, skilled, and famous individuals have called Pasadena home.

Let’s take a look at some of the most notable individuals from Pasadena.

Meredith Baxter
Sophia Bush
Allison Brie
Whitney Blake
Walt Becker
Kelly Asbury
Mary Beth Evans
Michal Dorn
Cari Champion
Sally Field
Harry Hamlin
Cullen Douglas
Joel McCrea
Bret Iwan
Tamala Jones
Matthew Lillard
Kate Linder
Mandy Moore
Chris Pontius
Karen Price
Robert Reed
George Reeves
John Singleton
Wil Wheaton
Jaleel White
James Sheridan

Pete Jolly
Ruwanga Samath
Hody Beats
Phoebe Bridgers
Jon. B.
Alina Smith
Phil Spector
Teena Maria
Alex Van Halen
Eddie Van Halen
Marc Yu

Myles Bryant
Stacey Augmon
Susie Maxwell Berning
Jeff Cirillo
Michael Cooper
Darrell Evans
Kristy Hawkins
Missy Franklin
Chris McAlister
James McAlister
Mo Martin
Charles Frederick Holder
Goerge Murdoch
Tracy Murray
Chris Petit
Mark Robinson
Don Ross
Brett Sterling
Lester Towns
Peter Vagenas
Jacque Vaughn
Avery Williams
Matt Young
Jeff Yurak

Richard Feynman
George Ellery Hale
Murray Gell-Mann
Edwin Hubble
Robert A. Millikan
George Olah
Linus Pauling
Roger Revelle
William Shockley

Julie Berry
Octavia Butler
Carlton Beals
Julia Child
Justin Chapman
Andre Coleman
Harriet Doerr
David Ebershoff
Paul Fussell
TJ Kirk

Benjamin Chambers Brown
Howell Chambers Brown
Edward Cucuel
Hugo Markl
Tom Jancar
Jane Mulfinger
Stan Sakai
A.B. Frost
Sigrid Burton

Henry Markham
Lance Ito
Bill Paparian
Bill Richardson
James Roosevelt

Points of Interest

Rose Bowl Stadium

The Rose Bowl stadium is the home field of the UCLA Bruins football team; It has also hosted five Super Bowls and a number of BCS National Championship games.

The 1984 Summer Olympics, the final game of the 1994 FIFA World Cup, and the final game of the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup were held at the Rose Bowl.

Rose Bowl Flea Market

The Rose Bowl Flea Market is a significant swap meet that actually took place on the grounds of the Rose Bowl and attracts tens of thousands of shoppers.

Vintage apparel, California pottery, and old-world antiquities are among the items on display. Since 1967, the flea market has been held on the second Sunday of each month.

Old Town Pasadena

One of Southern California’s most popular shopping and entertainment destinations, Old Town Pasadena covers 21 blocks downtown. It has a wide variety of restaurants, nightclubs, pubs, outdoor cafés, comedy clubs, and shops.
The Paseo Colorado is an upscale outdoor mall designed to be a modern village covering three city blocks. It has stores like Bath and Body Works,
The Good Feet Store, Darbini Jewelry, and The Pasadena Antique Mall. It also has restaurants such as Rubio’s, Tokyo Wako, El Cholo Cafe, and The Yard House.

Pasadena Playhouse

Many TV and movie stars got their start on the stage of the Pasadena Playhouse.

Some of those actors are George “Superman” Reeves, Raymond “Perry Mason” Burr, Nick Nolte, Sally Struthers, Dustin Hoffman, Gene Hackman, and Angela Bassett.

Ice House Comedy Club

The Ice House has hosted comedy legends such as George Carlin, Robin Williams, Bill Maher, Paul Rodriguez, Billy Crystal, Steve Martin, Jerry Seinfeld, Arsenio Hall, and Roseanne Barr.
The Ice House is one of the oldest continuously running comedy clubs.

Wrigley Gardens

Wrigley Gardens can be found at the Pasadena Tournament of Roses House in Pasadena.

The Wrigley Gardens include the arbor/rose garden, the fountain gardens, two areas located on Orange Grove Boulevard, and the terraces leading up to the front of the Tournament House.

The Wrigley’s home was offered to the city of Pasadena in 1958 after Mrs. Wrigley passed away, under the condition that it would become the Rose Parade’s permanent headquarters.

Gamble House

The house was built in 1908 and was designed by the architecture firm Greene and Greene. It was built for David Gamble, son of James Gamble, the Proctor and Gamble founder.

In 1966, the house was given to the city of Pasadena in an agreement with the University Of Southern California School of Architecture. In 1977 the home was declared a national historic landmark.

Fun Facts

  • Pasadena is known as the City Of Roses. It is home to the Rose Bowl Stadium and holds the Tournament Of Roses Parade every year on New Year’s Day, the same day as the iconic Rose Bowl (with the exception if New Year’s Day falls on a Sunday. Then the parade and game are typically held on that Monday, as is the case in 2022.)
  • Pasadena is home to the very first cheeseburger. Fry cook Lionel Sternberg created the first cheeseburger in 1926 at his father’s restaurant, The Rite Spot.
  • In 1950, parrots were released in the city, and now these colorful birds are frequently seen throughout the city.
  • Pasadena is home to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Here scientists created deep space probes Voyager I and Voyager II, as well as Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity.
  • With a population of 140,000 residents, the city is home to almost 600 restaurants!
  • Many TV shows and movies are shot or based in the city. Shows like The Big Bang Theory (2007-2019), Why Women Kill (2019-2021), Life With Lucy (1986), Dog with A Blog (2012-2014), and Pasadena (2001) were based in the city.


Where is Pasadena?

Pasadena is located at GPS 34.144607 – 118.144148.  It is about 10 miles northeast of Los Angeles. 


Is Pasadena, CA, a good place to live?

Pasadena is objectively one of the best cities to live in California. It has a suburban feel while only 10 miles away from Los Angeles. In addition, it is family-friendly, as Pasadena boasts a remarkable education system.


How far is Pasadena from the beach?

Pasadena is 22 miles from the Pacific Ocean. 


Why is Pasadena so famous?

Pasadena’s claim to fame is that many TV and film productions happen in the streets and on sound stages in Pasadena. The Tournament of Roses and the Rosebowl, The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the California Institute of Technology also call Pasadena home. 


What does Pasadena mean?

Pasadena is a Native American word from the Ojibwa (Chippewa) Indian language. It translates to Valley. It also could mean “Crown of the Valley” and “Key of the Valley,” 


What is the difference between Pasadena and Old Pasadena?

Pasadena is a modern city that grew around Old Pasadena. In comparison, Old Pasadena is the historic business district in the city’s heart. 


How many districts are in Pasadena? 

There are 3 districts, including: Old Pasadena, Pasadena Playhouse Village, and South Lake Avenue.


Is there free WiFi in Pasadena? 

There is no free citywide WiFi system, but many establishments, such as hotels and restaurants, offer free WiFi.