What to do and see in South Pasadena, United States: The Best Places and Tips

December 10, 2017 Karren Gelb

South Pasadena is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 25,619, up from 24,292 at the 2000 census. It is located in the West San Gabriel Valley. It is 3.42 square miles in area and lies between the much larger city of Pasadena, of which it was once a part, and the metropolis of Los Angeles. South Pasadena is the oldest self-builder of floats in the historic Tournament of Roses Parade.
Restaurants in South Pasadena

1. Norton Simon Museum

411 W Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91105-1825 +1 626-449-6840
Excellent
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5 based on 1 reviews

Norton Simon Museum

The Norton Simon Museum is known around the world as one of the most remarkable private art collections ever assembled. Over a 30-year period, industrialist Norton Simon (1907–1993) amassed an astonishing collection of European art from the Renaissance to the 20th century and a stellar collection of South and Southeast Asian art spanning 2,000 years. Modern and Contemporary Art from Europe and the United States, acquired by the former Pasadena Art Museum, also occupies an important place in the Museum’s collections.

Reviewed By Rolf A - Chicago, Illinois

Not a large collection, but what gems! In two hours you can easily see the best of French 18th and 19th-century painting, some Italian and Dutch and Netherlandish paintings not see in the U.S otherwise. The Hans Memling Christ Giving His Blessing from 1478 is worth the trip from anywhere and then there are two Rembrandts, a superb Diego Rivera, a wonderful Vigee Le Brun portrait of Theresa, not to mention many Degas sculptures and probably the finest collection of Cambodian Angkor Period sculpture in the U.S.

2. The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens

1151 Oxford Rd, San Marino, CA 91108-1218 +1 626-405-2100
Excellent
85%
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5 based on 2 reviews

The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens

A popular tourist stop, this 207 acre complex houses a library, art collection and stunning gardens. The library and art gallery contain rare books and one of the most complete collections of 18th century art outside of London.

Reviewed By Arneby - Nacka, Sweden

So yeah, a garden founded by a railway billionaire some 150 years ago. Turned out that the Huntington Gardens were nothing short of fabulous. Almost Singapore Zoo class in parts. And there were colibris in the wild! And a Japanese garden. And a nice food court too.

3. Mission San Gabriel Archangel

537 N Mission Dr, San Gabriel, CA 91775-2139 +1 626-457-3048
Excellent
52%
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4.5 based on 91 reviews

Mission San Gabriel Archangel

Mission founded in 1771 by Father Junipero Serra, originally from Cordova, Spain, who wanted to share his religious faith with the inhabitants of the New World.

Reviewed By Marianne M - West Covina, California, USA

You must come and tour this Mission! One of several California Missions, this is a must see! Beautiful Spanish architecture! Native American influences can be seen on the grounds on your tour. From cooking to building! You will learn the rich history of the Church/mission development.

4. The Huntington Desert Garden

San Marino, CA +1 626-405-2142
Excellent
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5 based on 124 reviews

The Huntington Desert Garden

Conveniently located, the Huntington includes the largest collection of mature cacti and succulents in North America.

Reviewed By johnnnita - Napa, California, United States

This is a large area as part of the Huntington Gardens. At first, I was going to bypass it to view other gardens there. However, I've now grown to appreciate more the succulents that grow in such environments. They really are beautiful!

5. Rose Parade

begins in Green Street, Pasadena, CA +1 610-417-4123
Excellent
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5 based on 107 reviews

Rose Parade

Reviewed By So_Cal_Illini_81 - Pasadena, California

The Rose Parade is so much better in person instead of watching it on TV. You just can't get a full appreciation for any of the units unless you have the time to see them live. There is more to see on the floats and...MoreThanks for the info, it might be an interesting way to spend New Year's eve

6. The Gamble House

4 Westmoreland Pl, Pasadena, CA 91103-3564 +1 626-793-3334
Excellent
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4.5 based on 492 reviews

The Gamble House

This historic landmark, owned and operated by the University of Southern California, is an excellent example of American Arts and Crafts style architecture.

Reviewed By DMUH - Honolulu, Hawaii

All the tours to the Gamble House is escorted. You cannot view the house on your own. The house is interesting. What makes the tour really fun, is the history provided by the tour guide. The "Gamble" is the Proctor & Gamble, Gamble. He and his wife were very committed to nature and the house reflects the care in planning the layout. Caution - you need to "reserve" a slot. The guides are broken into one hour segments. The first day we went (in the afternoon) all slots were taken. So, we made a reservation for the next day. And, then, not all time slots were available ( sold out). I recommend going a couple of days earlier, make the reservation and then return.

7. California Institute of Technology

1200 E California Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91125-0001 +1 626-395-6811
Excellent
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4.5 based on 120 reviews

California Institute of Technology

Reviewed By Howard S - Ottawa, Canada

Beautiful grounds and architecture. Small campus and very walk-able. Lots of history in the hallways. Definitely worth the visit if you have an interest in space sciences or if you are just looking for interesting way to spend an afternoon in nice surroundings.

8. Cloverleaf Therapeutic Massage

1605 Hope St Ste 350A, South Pasadena, CA 91030-2628 +1 626-233-1051
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5 based on 3 reviews

Cloverleaf Therapeutic Massage

Start your vacation off on the right note with a relaxing massage experience; Deep Tissue, Swedish, Hot Stone, Couples Massage. Located in the heart of quaint South Pasadena, just minutes from downtown Los Angeles.

Reviewed By dawn i - Atlanta, Georgia

Visiting California from Atlanta, and really wish I could find someone JUST LIKE EILEEN at home. Eileen's knowledge and skills far exceed those of anyone from whom I have had a massage. I have had chronic pain in my neck for several years and after many "massages", there was no true relief. One massage with Eilieen and I a have more range of motion and no pain one week later. What was most impressive was the breadth of her skills. I have recently been exposed to structural integration (rolfing), a therapy with which she was very knowledgable. My experience with another therapist produced great results for piriformis and illiotibial band pain, but the therapy was VERY painful. Eileen's techniques give the same results and with only mild tenderness and no "real" pain during the therapy. I am on a serious hunt to find someone like Eileen at home. Treat yourself!!!!

9. Arroyo Seco Golf Course

1055 Lohman Ln, South Pasadena, CA 91030-2991 +1 323-255-1506
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4 based on 1 reviews

Arroyo Seco Golf Course was founded in October of 1955. This is a well maintained Par 3 Course, beautiful 18 holes with a small pond and creek. The driving range has 33 stalls, distances marked from 50-230 yards. Practice area has a sand trap, chipping and pitching area and a 9 holes putting green.

Reviewed By SkynSea4me

Nothing fancy here- just simple casual fun to be had. Nothing too long or crazy hard. Great place to learn and play without pressure. Inexpensive and the facility shows- don’t arrive thinking swanky and perfectly manicured but it’s absolutely playable and fun.

10. City of Pasadena City Hall

100 N Garfield Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101-1726
Excellent
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4.5 based on 205 reviews

City of Pasadena City Hall

Reviewed By Cavydad - Camarillo, California

Sheldon and Penny live next to the Pasadena City Hall. Background scenes and references are made during the Big Bang Theory. Mission Impossible filmed many episodes at City Hall due to its unique architecture, Fun place to wander. More than a bureaucratic hang out.

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