The shopping in Pasadena can’t be beat. While Old Town is chock-a-block with chain stores, don’t overlook enduring mom-and-pop spots like Canterbury Records and Vroman’s Bookstore. Those looking to score unique clothing, furniture, and antiques on a budget should prepare to approach bargain shopping nirvana every second Sunday of the month at the famous Rose Bowl Flea Market. Pasadena is home to many scientific and cultural institutions, including the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

Pasadena houses for sale are typically large and historic, with beautifully manicured lawns, tree-lined streets, and child-friendly neighborhoods. Its artsy side shines through when you look beyond the shopping center; businesses, restaurants, and bars are housed in turn-of-the-century brick buildings on Colorado Boulevard. Check out the Norton Simon Museum’s small but eclectic art collection, enjoy an outdoor concert at the Levitt Pavilion, decorate the floats that Pasadena hosts annually at the Tournament of Roses Parade, or hike the Arroyo Seco to see a different side of LA’s neighbor to the northeast.

Dine al fresco on the rooftop patio of Café Santorini for exquisite Mediterranean cuisine and be sure to try the local favorite Green Curry Risotto with Scallops. Duck into Miller Alley to explore the lovely courtyard at One Colorado and pop into Indiana Colony for a treat from Coolhaus or the Pie Hole. You can take the Gold Line to Memorial Park or Del Mar Station, where you can grab a pizza and a drink at the Luggage Room. Spend a weekend touring the significant Craftsman-era (American Arts and Crafts Movement) houses or the Old Pasadena Walking Tour.

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