15 Beautiful Gardens and Parks in Pasadena to Visit

Looking for the best parks in Pasadena, CA? Did you know we also have several beautiful gardens in Pasadena?

Pasadena is full of beautiful parks and gardens ready to be explored not only in the Springtime but all year round.

Don’t be surprised if you have never heard of one or two on this list. As we explore locally, Pasadena continues to surprise us. We are constantly finding new locations to explore. Including outdoor ones that allow us to stretch our legs, get some fresh air, and enjoy mother nature.

There are plenty of parks in Pasadena. You’ll find many we have not listed if you pull up Google Maps. However, we will only post safe, clean, and fun spots for you and your family. Perhaps they may have historical meaning to Pasadena.

If there are any parks in Pasadena you love to visit, we would love to hear them in the comments, as we are always looking for a new park in Pasadena to explore.

The gardens in Pasadena and nearby are magical and worth visiting at least once. Start making plans if you haven’t visited the Botanical Gardens at the Huntington Library in San Marino.

Especially if you’re a Pasadena local, make it a goal to experience all the gardens in Pasadena. You may surprise yourself with a yearly membership to one or two.

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Visit The Huntington Library and see the new expansion of the Chinese Garden. Start looking into the fall and holiday events at Descanso Gardens. Get a close-up view of the wonderful architectural beauty of the Colorado Street Bridge from Desiderio Neighborhood Park. Take your dogs to run around Vina Vieja. Stop by Wrigley Garden and smell the roses.

There are so many things to do in Pasadena, and taking time to enjoy the gardens and parks in Pasadena is one of them. The fresh air and the beauty of mother nature are amazing.

Gardens in Pasadena and Nearby

1. The Huntington Library Botanical Gardens

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Chinese Gardens at The Huntington Library Botanical Gardens

If you could only choose to visit one place on this entire list of gardens in Pasadena (San Marino adjacent), I highly recommend exploring the botanical gardens at The Huntington Library.

You will spend the day in awe as you discover the 14 gardens spread over 120 acres. Plenty of shaded areas with benches to sit and enjoy. Don’t miss the Chinese Gardens and Japanese Gardens.

If you plan a yearly trip to The Huntington Library, we suggest going when the Cherry Blossoms bloom.

What’s to love at the Huntington Library? The fresh air. The wonderful aroma of flowers, trees, and herbs comingling. The beautiful scenery will make you feel like you’re somewhere magical. We loved it so much that we upgraded our entry to a yearly membership.

  • It is closed on Tuesdays and certain holidays.
  • Admission costs $25 pp on weekdays or $29 pp on weekends.
  • Advanced reservations are required.
  • Free days are available on the 1st Thursday of every month. You must reserve your tickets in advance. More info here.
  • Parking is free.
  • Locals: apply your tickets towards a membership.

The Huntington Library | 1151 Oxford Rd, San Marino | Google Map It

2. Norton Simon Museum – Sculpture Garden

pond and garden at the norton simon museum
Lovely to visit in the Spring.

You probably didn’t know this (or maybe you do), but the Norton Simon Museum has a beautiful sculpture garden that is worth the visit. While the museum is great, visiting the sculpture garden’s lily pond will delight you.

What’s to love at the Sculpture Garden? The combination of art and nature. It’s also peaceful.

  • Closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
  • The cost of admission is $15 pp.
  • Advanced reservations are required for non-members.
  • Parking is free.

Norton Simon Museum | 411 W Colorado Blvd, Pasadena | Google Map It

– Don’t Miss: 8 Must-Visit Museums in Pasadena

3. Arlington Garden in Pasadena

Finding gems like the Arlington Garden is one of the best ways to explore where you live. This small and beautiful garden of 3 acres in Pasadena is the perfect little escape to enjoy a small snack.

You can walk around this lovely garden and enjoy all the diverse plants and desert scaping of the Mediterranean and California trees and plants.

What’s to love about Arlington Garden? The garden is pretty with lots of shade to relax. The wishing tree is a lovely touch.

Arlington Garden | 275 Arlington Dr, Pasadena, CA | Google Map It

4. Wrigley Garden

Not many know this, but you can visit the arbor and rose garden at the Wrigley Mansion, the Pasadena Tournament of Roses House. It’s a lovely and easy stroll. One that can easily be done and enjoyed at any time.

  • The grounds are open to the public for free.
Fun fact: This mansion was once owned by the Wrigley Family - yeah, as in the Wrigley chewing gum.

Wrigley Garden | 391 S Orange Grove Blvd, Pasadena (Google Map It)

5. Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden

The Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden is another gem in Pasadena. It’s one of those calm and peaceful gardens in Pasadena tucked away from everything.

The idyllic 3-acre estate is magical, with enclosed ponds, a teahouse, and a beautiful Japanese landscape. You don’t want to miss this one.

What’s to love about Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden? Tranquility.

  • Registration/reservations are recommended to visit.
  • Open Friday and Saturday evenings. Sundays during the day.
  • The cost is $12 pp for registered guests.
  • As directed on their website, park in a single line beside the property line. Street parking is also available. Parking can be limited.

Storrier Stearns | 270 Arlington Dr, Pasadena | Google Map It

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6. Japanese Garden at the Langham

If you’re staying at The Langham Hotel, do not miss the opportunity to stroll their beautiful grounds and the Japanese Garden.

The landscaping surrounding this hotel is gorgeous and quite like no other hotel in the area. The garden is mostly used for events like weddings, but guests are welcome to explore them.

It is worth noting that this is one of Pasadena’s most beautiful gardens. This is a great staycation spot for locals and out-of-towners to enjoy a resort-style stay in Pasadena.

The Langham | 1401 S Oak Knoll Ave, Pasadena | Google Map It
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7. Descanso Gardens

Located next door in La Cañada Flintridge, Descanso Gardens is one of my favorite botanical gardens near Pasadena. Their special events like Carved and Enchanted keep bringing us back to this beautiful 150-acre garden.

There is plenty of room and walking paths with shade through their forested areas. You can spend the whole afternoon alone or with the family.

What’s to love about Descanso Gardens? The cost is more than fair to enjoy this garden’s beauty.

  • Advanced tickets are required for non-members.
  • Open 7 Days a week. It is closed on Christmas.
  • The cost is $15 pp.
  • On the first day of each month, FREE tickets are available for advanced reservations for one Tuesday of each month: more info here.
  • Free parking in their lot.

Descanso Gardens | 1418 Descanso Dr, La Cañada Flintridge | Google Map It

Read more about the things to do in the Descanso Gardens.

8. Los Angeles County Arboretum

One hundred and twenty-seven acres, this LA County Arboretum and botanical gardens are located not far in Arcadia. It’s one of my nieces’ favorite places to visit – they were proud members. You can spend the entire day here exploring.

The Meyberg Waterfall is one of the most popular attractions… as well as the peacocks. Stroll through 11 gardens and explore 4 of their historic structures.

  • The cost is $15 pp.
  • Advanced reservations are required.
  • Open 7 days a week. It is closed on Christmas.

LA County Arboretum | 301 N Baldwin Ave, Arcadia (Google Map It)

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Parks in Pasadena

9. Desiderio Neighborhood Park

The Desiderio Neighborhood Park is on the other side of Brookside and over the 134. Of all the parks in Pasadena, this one is a gem. It has one of the best views of the Colorado Street Bridge.

It’s under and beside the Colorado Street Bridge. It has a playground for children, a few picnic tables, and pedestrian paths to enjoy the historic bridge’s view.

What’s to love about Desiderio Neighborhood Park? My favorite part is the wonderful view of the Colorado Street Bridge.

Desiderio Neighborhood Park | 10 N Arroyo Blvd, Pasadena | Google Map It

10. Brookside Park

Brookside Park is a family favorite in Pasadena. Including my nieces and sister-in-law, who loved to visit this park every chance they got when they lived nearby. It is located across from the Kidspace Children’s Museum and South of the Rose Bowl Stadium.

This park is one of the largest parks in Pasadena, with a children’s playground, picnic tables, softball fields, tennis courts, and more. A stage that has that midsummer night’s feel to it. An aquatic center. And even outdoor gym equipment.

What’s to love about Brookside Park? It’s a beautiful large, well-kept park with lots of green space, paths, and shade. It has ample parking. There are two separate playgrounds for children.

  • Park is open 7 days a week from 6:00 am – 10:00 pm.

Brookside Park | 360 N Arroyo Blvd, Pasadena | Google Map It

11. Victory Park

Right next to Pasadena High School is Victory Park. This large park has great walking paths, picnic tables, two playgrounds, and restrooms nearby—plenty of room for kiddos to run around and play.

The best time of year to visit is the Spring when the Cherry Blossoms are in bloom. The farmer’s market also takes place on Saturdays. Plan a quick stroll to get your steps in before hitting the market.

  • Park is open 7 days a week from 6:00 am – 10:00 pm.

Victory Park | 2641, 2575 Paloma St, Pasadena | Google Map It

12. Vine Vieja Park

Vina Vieja Park is my dogs’ favorite park because this is where they run off the leash with other dogs.

What’s nice about Vina Vieja Park is that there is a playground for human children and a side for the furbabies—lots of space for them to run around and play.

The only problem is that there is basically no shade here, so this can be problematic on a hot day. Picnic areas outside of the dog parks and playgrounds are available as well.

  • Park is open 7 days a week from 6:00 am – 10:00 pm.
  • The dog park side is closed on Tuesdays.

Vina Vieja Park | 3026 E Orange Grove Blvd, Pasadena (Google Map It)

13. Memorial Park

Memorial Park is located in Old Pasadena by the train station. What makes this park special are the seasonal events at the bandshell, like Free Summer Concerts at the Park for the community.

The park also is historical. It was once known as Library Park. Pasadena’s first library used to be located at Memorial Park. The library was damaged by an earthquake in 1933. You can still find the archway entrance with the writing Public Library letched into the remains at the park’s Northwest corner.

This park also has a playground and picnic area.

  • Park is open 7 days a week from 6:00 am – 10:00 pm.

Memorial Park | 85 E Holly St #3907, Pasadena | Google Map It

14. San Rafael Park

This small neighborhood park is on the corner of Colorado, and Melrose is not as big as other parks in Pasadena. San Rafael Park is a great family park with a playground, picnic tables, and plenty of grass to kick a ball around. It is fenced-in, which is a plus.

  • Park is open 7 days a week from 6:00 am – 10:00 pm.

San Rafael Park | 1300 W Colorado Blvd, Pasadena | Google Map It

15. Lower Arroyo Park

If you’re looking for a short escape, Lower Arroyo Park is a great spot to walk, enjoy nature and clear your mind. Plenty of outdoor recreational activities are available, including an easy trail that leads to geat views of the Colorado Street Bridge. There is a pond here that is contained within a concrete channel.

This recreational park is over 70 acres of natural habitat.

  • Park is open 7 days a week from 6:00 am – 7:00 pm (dawn to dusk). Parking is free.

Lower Arroyo Park | 415 S Arroyo Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91105 | Google Map It

With Spring on the horizon, it’s the perfect time to start exploring the parks and gardens in Pasadena. Go outside, get some fresh air, and enjoy what this wonderful city offers.

Do you plan to visit one of the parks and gardens in Pasadena soon? Which one is your favorite? Why do you love it?

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Meet Kathy Ava, a food, travel, and cruise writer based in Los Angeles/Pasadena, and the owner and main writer of Tasty Itinerary. With over 20 years of experience planning trips and logistics at her full-time job and for herself, she's become a pro at crafting unforgettable tasty itineraries. She's always on the hunt for delicious, fun travel destinations and cruise itineraries. She firmly believes that life is short and we must make the most of it, so always say yes to dessert.

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