South Pasadena

Beautiful historic community with a well-preserved small-town feel.


Welcome to South Pasadena

Located to the east of the Arroyo Seco seasonal river, at the San Gabriel Valley’s eastern end, South Pasadena is a vibrant city with the atmosphere of a small town. South Pasadena enjoys a wonderfully convenient Los Angeles County location, within easy reach of the adjacent cities of Alhambra, San Marino, Pasadena, and Los Angeles. The streets of South Pasadena are lined with an attractive assortment of native Californian trees, including ashes, redwoods, sequoias, sycamores, and walnuts. Local events help foster a wonderful sense of community, including a weekly Farmers Market and the Booster Club’s annual 5K/10K Tiger Run. The Run attracts participants of all ages, with a special 300-meter event for young children. There are five community parks within the area. The city is served by the South Pasadena Unified School District. Local public schools include Arroyo Vista Marengo, and Monterey Hills Elementary Schools and South Pasadena Middle and High Schools. Transportation links to other communities are excellent, with two Arroyo Seco Parkway exits. Local public transport connects South Pasadena to the Mission Gold Line Station. Many residents commute to other areas, with Bunker Hill and the University of Southern California being common destinations.
A large part of South Pasadena’s charm is how different it feels from a typical Californian community, with very few stucco-clad Spanish Colonial houses and an abundance of perfectly preserved or restored American Craftsman properties. These include homes designed by some of the Craftsman movement’s most noted architects, including Greene and Greene and G. Lawrence Stimson. Local regulations aimed at preserving South Pasadena’s unique historic character make it difficult to make additions to the city’s real estate mix. Homes within South Pasadena have been in incredibly high demand for decades. The city’s long-established allure is another big attraction, with buyers feeling reassured that this will remain a very popular community for long to come.
South Pasadena declared itself independent from its neighboring city to the north, Pasadena, in the late 1880s. South Pasadena quickly flourished as a major tourism site, with many visitors becoming so enamored with the gorgeous town that they decided to settle in the community. South Pasadena has preserved much of its historic character, with quaint mom-and-pop businesses and remarkable Craftsman homes. Downtown Los Angeles is just 10 miles from South Pasadena, making this a convenient filming location for Hollywood studios. South Pasadena’s unchanged small-town feel has been showcased in many films and television shows, where it typically serves as a believable substitute for a close-knit Midwestern or Northern town. Some of South Pasadena’s classic sites include The Fair Oaks Pharmacy and Soda Fountain and The Rialto Theater. Built in 1925, The Rialto’s distinctive mixture of Egyptian and Spanish Baroque influences have made it one of South Pasadena’s most filmed locations, featuring prominently in films and countless television commercials. The city’s many starring roles have included Back to the Future, The Terminator, Gone With the Wind, American Pie, and, prominently in La-La Land. 

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