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San Marino: An Affluent Suburb of California

Nestled between Pasadena and San Gabriel, the Californian city of San Marino is characterized by lavish properties surrounded by exquisite gardens. Occupying less than four square miles, the area is uniquely residential. Ranked by Forbes Magazine as the 63rd most expensive location to live in the United States in 2010, the average price of a typical family home in the area is around the $2 million mark.

History and Current Demographics

The original location of a village occupied by native Tongva Indians, the area of San Marino later played an important role in the early San Gabriel Roman Catholic Mission. The area that is now occupied by the landmark Huntington Library together with several ranchos were incorporated as the city of San Marino in 1913.

The 2010 United States Census showed that the population of San Marino was a little over 13,000 people. The racial makeup of the area was detailed as 53.5% Asian and 41.3% White, with very small percentages of Hispanic and Latino, Pacific Islander and African-American races making up the rest of the population. Of 4,330 households, approximately 42% had children under the age of 18. The average age of residents is 45 years and there is a slightly higher female to male ratio.

Main Attractions in San Marino

The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens on Oxford Road is one of the most popular attractions in San Marino. Known collectively as 'The Huntington, ' this 207 acre landmark complex draws residents and tourists alike. The 18th century art collection housed here is said to be one of the most complete collections outside of London.

The Edwin Hubble House on Woodstock Road is a National Historic Landmark. It was the home of the American astronomer and "pioneer of distant stars," Edwin Powell Hubble, between 1925 and 1953. The San Marino residence remained in the Hubble family until 1973.

Lacy Park is a vast 30-acre expanse of lush green space in the middle of San Marino. Originally known as Wilson Lake, it is considered one of the city's best kept secrets. The park boasts six championship size tennis courts, walking loops, memorial gardens and a 60-year-old Rose Arbor. 

Additional Information

- San Marino is divided into zones depending on lot size. Lots start at 4,500 square feet and reach over 30,000 square feet. The city's strict views on historic preservation restrict larger developments.

- The San Marino government applies restrictions to commercial operations within the city. Commercial vehicles must be granted permits to enter and work within the city. 

- The city is regularly featured in motion pictures and television shows. Famous examples include Father of the Bride, Mr & Mrs Smith, Starsky & Hutch and The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. 

- According to the Academic Performance Index for 2010, the San Marino Unified School District is California's best performing school district.

- Private schools in San Marino include Southwestern Academy, a college preparatory school, and Saints Felicitas and Perpetua Grammar School, a Catholic elementary school serving students from kindergarten through 8th grade.

- The Crowell Public Library on Huntington Drive opened in 2008 and plays host to a range of activities and classes for residents of all ages and abilities.

- Local residents are able to keep abreast of developments and activities taking place within this attractive city by visiting the community website ( online and at our San Marino City Guide page.

Living in San Marino

San Marino is a very tight-knit, family oriented community known for its #1 rated public school district in California.  The school district is very small - just two elementary schools, a middle school and a high school.

During the summer, most kids attend Camp Lacy or YMCA summer camp at Lacy Park.  Lacy Park is truly a well hidden secret.  Not too many non-residents even know about it.  But the locals spend many days and evenings enjoying its beautiful rose garden, picnics, taking a walk or jog around the interior or extrerior circle, or playing tennis.  And, let's not forget the annual 4th of July celebration and fireworks.  Absolutely not to be missed!

READ MORE:  San Marino City Guide


Even in the economic downturn, home prices have maintained their value and San Marino home sellers are still experiencing a higher demand than the surrounding cities.

Interesting San Marino fact:  There are no condos, townhouses or apartment buildings in San Marino - just single family homes.

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Based on information from California Regional Multiple Listing Service, Inc. as of . This information is for your personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties you may be interested in purchasing. Display of MLS data is usually deemed reliable but is NOT guaranteed accurate by the MLS. Buyers are responsible for verifying the accuracy of all information and should investigate the data themselves or retain appropriate professionals. Information from sources other than the Listing Agent may have been included in the MLS data. Unless otherwise specified in writing, Broker/Agent has not and will not verify any information obtained from other sources. The Broker/Agent providing the information contained herein may or may not have been the Listing and/or Selling Agent.