Resident Tourist


South Pasadena Public Library

South Pasadena Public Library

This library does not retain any of its original 1907 domed, classical-revival design, but it’s handsome 1930 Mediterranean Revival facade by original architect Norman Marsh faces El Centro Street, while a more modern facade dating from a 1982 addition by Howard Morgridge welcomes patrons to the Oxley Street entrance. With its well-kept lawns and towering [...]

Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)

Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)

Perhaps it is our particular mindset, but we have never been on the JPL campus without imagining it to be a James Bond set: the park-like grounds the seem so peaceful…until somebody in there presses the launch button, and then all hell breaks loose. That, of course, is absurd. The truth is that within the [...]

Mt. Wilson Observatory

Mt. Wilson Observatory

Mt. Wilson Observatory, founded in 1904 by the Carnegie Institution of Washington (CIW) with astronomer George Ellery Hale, sits atop the 5,715-foot summit of Mount Wilson in the San Gabriel Mountains. Since the 1980s, when it decided to restrict deep-sky astronomy research to its Las Campañas Observatory in Chile, CIW now partners with the Mt. [...]

Arroyo Seco-South Pasadena Woodland & Wildlife Park

Arroyo Seco-South Pasadena Woodland & Wildlife Park

This three-acre woodland garden along the L.A. River and the Arroyo Seco demonstrates the power of totally awesome community volunteers. In 1998, they began lobbying the city of South Pasadena, congressman Adam Schiff, the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and the Mountains Recreation & Conservation Authority to transform a nasty illegal dump into easy-access public parkland. [...]

Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanical Garden

Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanical Garden

Founded in 1948, this 127-acre botanical park is a treat for travelers, local botany buffs and bird lovers—countless peacocks and pea hens roam the grounds, a “gift” from La Cañada, which donated some of the imported birds after they’d taken care of the town’s rattlesnake problem. Once part of Mission San Gabriel’s vast acreage, this [...]

El Molino Viejo (The Old Mill)

El Molino Viejo (The Old Mill)

This was the first water-powered mill in California, built in 1816 as part of Mission San Gabriel’s vast operations. Father Zalvedia chose this spot because of its water source, and he and his fellow padres then recruited Joseph Chapman, a Yankee and former pirate with keen logging and engineering skills, to handle the monumental construction [...]

The Huntington Botanical Gardens

The Huntington Botanical Gardens

If you have only one day to spend in Pasadena, this is it. The Huntington Botanical Gardens are, in a word, splendid. In each of the eighteen specialty sections, including the relatively new Chinese Garden of Flowing Fragrance, the landscaping is both formal and refreshingly beckoning. Railroad magnate Henry Edwards Huntington purchased this citrus-ranch property [...]

Arlington Garden

Arlington Garden

Surely you’ve noticed the beautiful phoenix that’s risen from the abandoned Caltrans lot along the Pasadena Avenue in Southwest Pasadena? Arlington Garden opened to the public in 2005, after surveys showed the desire for “passive development” on this state-owned, city-leased three-acre property (until the early 1960s, the site of the swell Durand mansion). Dawn-to-dusk foot [...]

Norton Simon Museum Garden

Norton Simon Museum Garden

Small enough for a quick stroll but large enough to lose oneself in, this gem is bordered by decomposed granite walkways that get slick when it rains—or so the nervous guards say when they force the grounds into lockdown during a drizzle. (California is not at its best when it rains.) Fragrant patches of lavender, [...]

Lacy Park

Lacy Park

Originally Wilson Lake in 1875, this 30-acre park was created by the city of San Marino in 1925, when it bought the land and drained the lake. It’s one of the prettiest parks in Southern California, landscaped with grand old oaks, sycamores, palm groves (labeled!) and a pristine rose garden and arbor, as well as [...]

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Maude Woods - Opening October 22nd in Pasadena

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Camelot and Vine

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