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Other nearby towns:  South Pasadena   Monrovia   Montrose   San Marino   Sierra Madre

In an act of self-defense South Pasadena incorporated in 1888 to fend off expansionism by the larger city of Pasadena to the north.  In those days Pasadena was a "dry" city -- but not South Pasadena.  So people looking for fun and an alcoholic beverage or two headed for "South Pas", as it is known locally.  Over a century later, South Pas is still a fun place to shop, eat or buy a very good bottle of wine.

To take a walking/shopping jaunt in South Pas, drive down Fair Oaks from Pasadena and when you reach Mission Street, turn west and park your car.  You will find five blocks of interesting shops, as well as the block long South Pasadena City Hall, along the way.

Your first stop should be the famous Fair Oaks Pharmacy which has been open and pretty much unchanged since the early 1900s at Fair Oaks and Mission.  It has an old fashioned ice cream fountain, with young people serving burgers and sundaes.

shop on Mission St South Pasadena A couple of blocks farther along, you will see colorful furniture and decorative items from Asia. These items are new, but in several other stores on Mission you will find antiques --  grand and gaudy as well as tattered and torn.  West Mission has long been known for its antique stores, which now seem to be vanishing -- and being replaced by a more diverse group of shops and restaurants.

A few doors away, peek through the iron bars in the fence surrounding Lakeside Capital, to see a whimsical sheep sculpture on a wooden deck.   

ballet clothing South Pasadena Got children?  You will find stores for babies, a gymnastic studio and the Red Shoes shop for young ballerinas' tutus and theatrical make-up.


Busters coffee house South Pasadena As you approach the Metro Gold Line, you may be thinking of taking a break.  So stop in at Busters.  If it is Sunday early evening, you can enjoy jazz at Busters to go with your latte and pastry.  

A half a block beyond the Gold Line Station on Mission you will be able to eat your heart out at My Sweet Cupcake, a Winner in the Food Network's Cupcake Wars. 

On late Thursday afternoon you will find the weekly Farmers' Market a half a block away on Meridian Street.  It has truck loads of farm fresh vegetables as well a several stands selling hot food.  Nearby are French restaurants, another coffee house and the tiny South Pasadena Historic Museum. 

If you are visiting South Pasadena on a summer Sunday evening take in a free Concert in the Park at the Garfield Park at Mission St. and Marengo, a few blocks east of Fair Oaks.  Bring your own picnic. The concerts start at 5 p.m.  Very family friendly. 

South Pasadena Victorian cottage California craftsman bungalows, both large and small, make up most of the housing in South Pasadena.  However, there are also has a good number of Victorian cottages, some whimsically painted, as well as contemporary condos and townhomes.

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Bradbury building interior chinatown los angeles california Alexander Calder red sculpture Los Angeles
See the famed Bradbury Building where 'Blade Runner' was filmed. Visit Chinatown from the Gold
Line station and see this colorful neighborhood.
See this Alexander Calder sculpture on the L.A. public art walking tour.

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