Welcome to Altadena
A peaceful community at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains.
Hidden away on the north side of Pasadena, the community of Altadena is a treasure. Offering the best of both worlds, it offers a rural feel while still being within commuting distance of major cities. While home sizes vary, from spacious mansions to cozy bungalows, most of the houses in the area are single-family units. The Pasadena School District’s award-winning schools boast nationally ranked educational programs and attract many families to the area.
Altadena is also widely known for its independence, as citizens have consistently resisted annexation to Pasadena and voted down incorporating it as a city. Due to its geographic location, many love the abundance of nature, stunning views, and fertile land thanks to its origination as a haven for ranchers in the late 1800s and early 1900s. They grew everything from grapes to oranges, olives, and walnuts. Later on, this expanded to also include dates, avocados, and more commercial fruits. Throughout the years, Altadena also drew business tycoons, along with artists, writers, and other affluential individuals who appreciate the area for its rustic charm.
What to Love
- Remote location to the north of Pasadena
- Open spaces for fresh air and exploration
- A rich history and many local, historic mansions
- A diverse selection of cuisines from locally-owned restaurants
Locals in Altadena lead a low-key lifestyle. Altadena sits close enough to downtown Pasadena and Los Angeles to offer the best in shopping and dining while maintaining a sense of quiet and privacy. Many residents spend their free time exploring local hiking trails or grabbing lunch with friends at a nearby eatery. Between its mountain views and welcoming culture, Pasadena is a great place to call home.
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
With its close proximity to Pasadena and Los Angeles, Altadena has easy access to upscale shopping and dining. However, Altadena offers its own local cafes, coffee shops, and restaurants. Bulgarini Gelato Vino Cucina serves traditional Italian cuisine and is a great place to grab a cup of gelato. The flavors change seasonally, and all of the gelatos are made from locally-sourced fruit, paying homage to the area’s origins. For tacos and margaritas, El Patron Mexican Food Restaurant is a popular spot. The cheery space is a bustling neighborhood haunt perfect for finding authentic cuisine.
For brunch, The Little Red Hen Coffee Shop offers classic staples and an array of California-cuisine options. This charming shop is a great place to start your day, as the menu boasts an impressive beverage selection, including espresso, lattes, and more.
Things to Do
Altadena is a smaller community, and most of the things to do in town involve spending time outdoors with family and friends. Many of Altadena’s homes feature large outdoor areas perfect for social gatherings and entertaining children. One of Altadena’s most well-known events is the famous Christmas Tree Lane, a holiday attraction dating back to the 1920s. It’s been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1990 and boasts the oldest large-scale outdoor Christmas lighting venue in the world. It’s a destination that people travel far and wide to see.
The Bunny Museum is a unique experience you won’t soon forget. Like its name, this museum is bunny-themed and includes over 28,000 related pieces inside its space, from artwork and live displays to galleries and specialty gifts. It tells the story of bunnies in advertising, art, entertainment, fashion, and film and also sheds light on the abuse bunnies have been subjected to throughout time. The museum is also home to several rabbits.
A great spot to hike is the Mount Lowe Railway Trail, which starts in Altadena. This nearly-ten mile loop takes outdoor enthusiasts through California’s diverse landscapes and features incredible spots for photos. It dates back to the Railways, which opened in 1893 and consists of nearly seven miles of track. After shutting down less than a decade later, a series of natural disasters destroyed the facilities, and the railway was abandoned in 1938. Now, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a great spot to hike and view the ruins.
The Pasadena Unified School District serves Altadena and is home to numerous sought-after schools, including well-regarded private institutions, such as:
Walden School, Grades K-6, a popular independent school
Stratford School, Grades K-6, a local private school
Saint Marks, Grades K-6