Quality of Life in Pasadena>Question Details

Tracy, Home Buyer in Aiken, SC

What is Pasadena CA like? We are looking at moving (new job) and I'm concerned it is too

Asked by Tracy, Aiken, SC Mon Feb 25, 2008

family. I like walkable small towns, with parks and activity for family. Is it too close to LA to have this small town feel?

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Pasadena's downtown is extremely walkable - but not in a small town way - I'd say medium sized town. It has a mix of very trendy, upscale shops and dining, combined with eclectic and more family oriented venues. The parks and museums in the area are unparallelled, and in my opinion, feel very safe to me when I am there with my children, and friends with children. Both the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, and the LA Zoo at Griffith Park - very near attractions - are excellent places to wile away a sunny care-free weekend.

There are little enclaves, such as Alta Dena, as one answer mentioned, that feel very small-town. La Canada-Flintridge, nearby, also has a secluded, small-town feel to it - but tends to be higher priced homes exclusively, without much of a mix of moderately priced homes. Pasadena schools have not been rated exceptionally high, which tends to put off some families. There are a few areas in transition where the loveliness of the architecture (craftsman bungalows) might fool the eye initially, covering up some real underlying crime issues that are improving, but still very transitional. When looking at schools - as a parent - I always caution people to look beyond JUST the school score cards. Some schools test better than others for reasons that have little to do with the quality of the education your child will receive. The scores are an initial indicator - but if you love the area, do look further. Go to the schools, attend a school function and talk to the parents. The parents of children actually attending the school will tell you more about a school than statistics ever will. My children attended a LAUSD elementary school with virtually no budget for any frills. The parent-teacher assocation, however, was so active and dedicated that my children received the benefit of private school level extras, teachers who were involved and inspired, plus enriched music and arts programs in a very safe environment.

South Carolina will feel very far away in Los Angeles - there's no doubt. As a Southern hearted woman myself, I yearn for the slower, sweeter pace and lingering - albeit sweltering - joys of the South. In all of Southern California, I think that you'll find yourself closer to your roots in the Pasadena/San Gabriel Valley region than anywhere else I have found. They say that birds of a feather flock together - a number of my clients tend to come from the Carolinas, Georgia, Louisiana... I'd be happy to introduce you to a few transplanted folks from the South when you arrive. Mostly they have settled in the San Gabriel Valley areas also, and might be able to share their experiences..

Welcome to town!

Jeri Creson, Broker
TotalAccess Realty Advisors
(818) 448-1298
jericreson@yahoo.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 18, 2009
"Altadena" not "Alta Dena"... smh
Flag Thu Mar 27, 2014
Hi. I grew up in Pasadena. I can tell you for a rather large city, it does have a small town feel. I knew people growing up who had never made the 15 minute drive to Los Angeles. However, if you really want a small town feel go to South Pasadena (it's own incorporated city) or Sierra Madre or Arcadia. South Pasadena has a charming library with ancient trees in front. There are resident parrots that live in the tree that the city is famous for. Be cautious when choosing a house in Pasadena. Areas can differ dramitically. Some areas are incredible beautiful enclaves and others are crime ridden, even though the house looks great on the internet. You cannot choose a great house "on paper". You have to drive neighborhoods and see how they feel. Also, pick an experienced agent who in knowledgeable. If you would like to search a free MLS go to my website http://www.sarahdupree.com to search those cities. If you have any questions please feel free to drop me a line or give me a call.

Thanks,

Sarah
Web Reference: http://www.sarahdupree.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat May 10, 2008
Paadena is a very beautiful place. You have downtown with almost all sorts of world cusine available. Then you have the very green south pasadena. LA downtown is 10 miles or so, LA zoo is very near. Love the Rose Parade there. Evenings are beautiful, awalk in the South madison ave, Los robles is a beutiful experience. Lake avenue is full of life. Had my car jacked while parked inside, but most of times I felt safe and walked outside late. Excellent place to hangout on weekends.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 25, 2014
google Pasadena there are some beautiful old mansions, well preserved. But like all of America there
are pockets of run down places. There is old Pasadena and just Pasadena. google best schools and zip codes for the city. And if you have children please google the free LA county crime rates for the zip codes
you are looking for. Altadena is really small town and comfortable. But there are pockets of bad areas
there too. Good luck in California there's so much to do...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 11, 2008
Have you considered Altadena?
Here's the stats from the web http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altadena,_California
We stopped by this past summer to say "Hi" to the house my husband grew up in.
Very pretty with the Mountains -- and there was a Whole Foods Market near by.
Best of luck,
Mary
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 25, 2008
I love Pasadena! I live about 15 minutes away & it does have a small town feel with a great downtown. - coffee shops, restaurants, museums (Look up KidsSpace!) etc. As a parent, I would start my search with the schools which are such an issue in LA. Keep in mind that It gets pretty hot in the summers, too.
Call or email if you need more. Eileen Lanza Keller Williams 323.810.7935
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 25, 2008
Hi Tracy,

I am a former CA resident with friends in Pasadena and Sierra Madre. I have not lived in CA for several years, but still visit regularly. Pasadena is a great town.......definitely find a local RE Pro and find out about Pasadena. For a really small town feel, check out Sierra Madre. Although I am a RE Broker in NJ and FL, this response was provided simply as a former CA resident who thinks that Pasadena is terrific. Best of luck there!

Deborah
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 25, 2008
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Red Bank, NJ
MVP'08
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