Huntington Gardens and Library
||Los Angeles, CA|
Print Leave a comment
The Huntington Gardens were formerly the grounds of railroad tycoon Henry Huntington's opulent estate. As you drive through the wealthy Pasadena neighborhoods to get to the gardens, you feel like you've been transported to an earlier era of graceful lampposts and every luxury money could buy.
The gardens are an absolute paradise and so large that you can't see all the gardens in one day! The Japanese garden (shown above) is gorgeous, with its terraced layers of shimmering green. Walk down into it and explore its bridges, pagodas, lanterns, and stone ornaments. Walk through the bamboo forest- what joy as you look overhead! There's a Desert Garden with colorful beds of cacti and succulents, and a Shakespeare Garden with plants mentioned in his plays, such as poppies, pansies, violets, pinks, carnations, rosemary, daffodils, irises, roses, columbines, and marigolds with accompanying placards that quote relevant verses. The Jungle Garden is a blast for kids as they can hide in the bamboo groves and marvel at the giant leaved plants, waterfall, and forest canopy.
There's also a Children's Garden, all the way down by the Conservatory. At the Children's Garden, young kids can indulge in waterplay, running under curved fountains and exploring all kinds of surprises, such as moving sculptures, magnetic sand, little blobs of water that leap out of their pots, stepping stones, a fog grotto, and a tunnel where prisms turn sun rays into colored arcs and halos. It's best to come in warm weather when you can enjoy these features. Next to the Children's Garden is the Conservatory where there is an amazing indoor rainforest! It's warm and humid inside, and there are plants with huge leaves reaching up to the light. The exhibits on scent let you smell coffee, chocolate, cinnamon and other rainforest spices.
It's blissfully romantic at the Huntingtons Gardens in summertime- we came here on our honeymoon! There are rolling hills and lawns beside the rose garden where you can find a tree all your own and sit in its shade. Buy some strawberries and dipping chocolate from the Rose Garden tea room and bring them out on the lawn for a picnic!
My favorite garden is the Chinese garden. Here you are immersed in magic! As you stand on the bridge and look out at the green green water and the funny-shaped trees and the blossoms, it's as if you're on a movie set, one of those lavish productions set in China. Each beautiful area has an evocative name, such as Terrace of the Jade Mirror. The pavilions are multi-layered and wonderful. The reason the garden looks so authentic is that it is- all the rocks and plants were transported from China.
Once you've had enough of the outdoors, head inside to the Huntington Library, which is a manuscript museum, where you can see rare books and documents. It's fantastic to see the writings and journals of famous authors, in their own handwriting. There's also a Gutenberg Bible, Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, and letters written by Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington. I loved seeing Whitman's works. Don't miss out on this museum!
There are also various art exhibits in pretty buildings throughout the grounds.
In summer it can be very hot here so dress lightly.
Nearby in Pasadena, check out the Simon Norton Art Museum, a huge museum filled with wonderful art from Europe and all over the world. Also, walk around Old Town Pasadena (where Fair Oaks Ave and Colorado Blvd meet) with its sidewalk cafes and trendy clothing stores like H & M. Grab a frozen yogurt with your kids at Pinkberry or a tart at Aux Delices Bakery. Cheesecake Factory is always an easy place to eat with kids (see address below).
Photo GalleryClick on photo to see large version
1151 Oxford Rd, San Marino, call (626) 405-2100 or see their website.
From the 210 Freeway westbound, exit at Allen Ave. Turn left, and continue south for 2 miles to the Huntington gate. From the 210 Freeway eastbound, exit at Hill Ave and continue straight alongside the freeway on Corson St for 3 blocks. Turn right at Allen Ave, and proceed south for about 2 miles to the Huntington entrance gate. For directions from other freeways, click here.
Open Mon, Wed, Thurs, Fri, noon-4:30pm, and Sat-Sun 10:30am-4:30pm. Closed Tuesdays. Closed on Jan 1, July 4, Thanksgiving (fourth Thurs in Nov), Dec 24, and Dec 25. Open on Easter Sunday. Summer hours are 10:30-4:30 every day but closed on Tuesdays.
Cost is $20 adults ($23 on weekends), $15 seniors ($18 on weekends), $12 students ($13 on weekends), $8 children aged 5-11, under 5 is free. The first Thursday of every month admission is free as long as you order advanced tickets. Hours that day are 10:30-4:30 and regular non-reserved paid admission is not allowed. Parking is always free.
Pinkberry, 19 South Fair Oaks Avenue, call (626) 744-0505.
Aux Delices Bakery, 16 W. Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, call (626) 796-1630.
Cheesecake Factory, 2 W. Colorado Blvd, Call (626) 584-6000.
This is an interactive map, you can zoom and move it.
Overall Visitor Rating:
|Its even more beautiful in real life.|
|I LOVE THISï»¿ PLACE!!!! 0_o|
It's awesome :)
|I got some great pics of the gardens- thanks for the info!|
|Visited with my grown daughter last year, a memorable day, recommend it!|
|Nice! I have to go to this with my kids!|