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Welcome to Pasadena, the most populated city in the San Gabriel Valley of Southern California. Despite being a separate city in Los Angeles County, many people consider Pasadena a suburb of Los Angeles. Located approximately 11 miles northeast of Downtown Los Angeles, Pasadena boasts a bustling downtown area unique to this region known as Old Pasadena. Containing over 40 neighborhoods within its borders, Pasadena is bounded by the Raymond Fault line on the south, the San Rafael Hills on the west, the San Gabriel Mountains on the north, and Michillenda Avenue on the east. Following the annexation of California by the United States in 1848 and the subsequent incorporation of Los Angeles in 1850, the relatively small Indiana Colony and the sprawling Lake Vineyard development merged in the late 1880s to form Pasadena. One of the first cities to be established in Los Angeles County, Pasadena was officially incorporated on June 19, 1886. The city’s popularity rapidly grew, attracting vacationers and settlers from across the country seeking a milder climate and cleaner air, especially those from cities in the Midwest. Pasadena would eventually become a prominent stop on the Atchison, Santa Fe, and Topeka railways, leading to another explosion in the population. A real estate land boom in the 1880s helped further this increase in Pasadena’s overall population. Numerous tourist hotels were constructed to accommodate the wealthy businessmen and women from the East Coast who had turned Pasadena into a popular winter resort area. This influx of wealthy tourists and East Coast transplants led to the development of new neighborhoods and commercial districts, as well as more connecting roadways between Los Angeles and Pasadena, including California’s first freeway. By the mid-20th century, Pasadena had become the eighth-largest city in California and was often referred to as a twin city to Los Angeles.
Pasadena is home to the elegant Tournament of Roses Parade, held each year on January 1 in honor of the many blooming flowers and orange trees that are beginning to bear fruit, while other cities remain covered in snow. The annual parade is followed by the first and arguably most famous college football postseason game, the Rose Bowl Game, which is held at the eponymously named sports stadium. At 23-square-miles in total area, Pasadena boasts a diverse population of approximately 138,699 people, according to the 2020 census, making it the 44th largest city in the State of California. With numerous educational and cultural institutions, such as the California Institute of Technology and the historic Pasadena Playhouse, this city is home to an eclectic demographic of aspiring artists, college students, families, and musicians. There are also numerous museums in Pasadena, including the Norton Simon Museum and the Pasadena Museum of History. Housing prices and architecture vary based on neighborhood, but Pasadena is known for its exquisite American Craftsman-style architecture, as seen in the homes of Bungalow Heaven, as well as Art Deco and Victorian-style buildings, which dominate the popular shopping and dining district known as Old Pasadena.