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6 Things You Should Know About Pasadena Life

As far as places to live in Southern California, Pasadena is kind of in a category by itself. With its vicinity to Los Angeles, outsiders tend to think of it as a mere suburb of LA, but with its unique flare, extremely rich history, and its own bustling city center, new residents quickly find out that Pasadena is so much more than a feeder community for the City of Angels. Here are a few of the quirks, characteristics, and little-known facts that make Pasadena, well, Pasadena:


It’s not in the valley

Now you might be thinking “wait a second, Pasadena is in the San Gabriel Valley…sounds like the valley to me.” Well, while you are correct that Pasadena is in A valley, it is not in THE valley, which is a term reserved exclusively for the San Fernando Valley.


We have a proud history of being smarty-pantses

Not only is Pasadena home to the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab, but we also boast the world renowned California Institute of Technology, which is home to more than 30 Nobel laureates. And from 1931-1933, Caltech also played host to a certain visiting professor, maybe you’ve heard of him, Albert Einstein? Yeah, no big deal.


Pasadena is home to hundreds of wild parrots

One rumor has it that they escaped from Simpson’s Nursery on East Colorado Blvd when It caught fire in the 1960s. Others claim that they migrated up from Mexico, and still others say that they were originally black market pets that were released by smugglers to avoid arrest. But no matter how they got here, Pasadena’s most colorful residents have become very popular members of the community.


Our flea market game is on point

With 2,500 vendors selling just about everything you could possibly imagine (and maybe a few things you’d rather not), the Rose Bowl Flea Market is one of the most famous flea markets on the planet. But that’s not all. For a more low-key shopping experience, locals also enjoy the excellent flea market at Pasadena City College held on the first Sunday of every month.


So is our hiking game

With our location right up against the San Gabriel Mountains, Pasadena is home to a number of gorgeous trails. From the peaceful waterfalls of Eaton Canyon and Sturtevant Falls, to the ruins of the White City Resort atop Echo Mountain, we have more than our fair share of invigorating hikes to choose from—and all of them are more accessible and less crowded than what you’ll find in LA.


The Rose Bowl has some interesting origins

Back in 1890, The Valley Hunt Club, made up of transplants from the north east, created the Tournament of Roses in an effort to showcase the warmer climate of their new west coast home. But when this proud sporting tradition began, football was not the sport of choice. In fact, football didn’t become a part of the event until more than a decade later in 1902. The original tournament included such events as polo, bronco busting, tug-of-war and ostrich racing—yes, you read that correctly. The 1900 edition even included a race between a camel and an elephant.

Don’t worry, if wild parrots and ostrich races aren’t your thing, Pasadena is also home to a thriving culinary scene, an amazing shopping district, top schools and some of the most beautiful natural surroundings in southern California. So if the City of Roses isn’t at the top of your list of places to settle in SoCal, you’re doing it wrong.

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