The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, near Pasadena, is one of the most beautiful places in LA. If you live here and haven’t been, you need to go. If you don’t live here but will visit soon, you need to go. If you don’t live here and won’t visit LA soon, well, you can look at these pictures to enjoy the place from afar, because it is magic.
LA is a metropolis, and, like all metropolis, the motion of people and energy is constant. It is also true that LA is more laidback than other big urban areas. I think the cause of this casual motion is the weather and proximity to the beach, which demands the use of flip-flops and shorts at least once a week, no matter the month of the year.
In the middle of this chaos, The Huntington is a sanctuary. The moment you step in, you are transported to peace (because peace is a physical place, people!). So, after you pay your pricey $23 ticket (children are free) you can start your trip into art, nature, and fun. By the way, the first Thursday of the month is free, so take advantage of it! You can get your free tickets here, and here is a map of the grounds.
The Huntington has 14 different gardens, the lily pond and Conservatory. To start, I always go down the Desert Garden. This is my (and my dad’s) favorite place at the Huntington because of the big variety of shapes and flowers that are so unusual and pretty. I would recommend visiting this specific garden around February, when a lot of cactuses are blooming. Here are some pictures.
Where is Wally?
My sister and I took all the kids to the Huntington back in September for a little adventure, and we all had a very nice time. The lily pond is always a hit for the children, with its koi fishes and ducks. I am sorry Max missed it this time, as you can see, but that was a nap needed by all.
After that, we made our way through the Japanese Garden and the Garden of Flowing Fragrance (Chinese Garden), which have gorgeous details and “secret” corners. It is impressive how much care has been placed into building these gardens; there are so many subtleties that you really need to stop and observe to not miss anything.
I would also recommend visiting the rose garden, that will enchant you with its fragrance and colors, or eating at the tea room if you need a break. The Huntington has 6 cafes scattered throughout the gardens (and entrance), but the tea room is my favorite. Also, bringing a picnic to share is a great idea for the kids.
Finally, we went to the Conservatory and, most importantly, to the Children’s Garden, the best place for kids at The Huntington. This smaller (and beautiful) garden introduces children to the natural world through “interactive sculptural elements based on the themes of the earth, air, fire and water.” I would recommend bringing extra clothes (and towels) so your kids can explore freely. Be warned, if you don’t like your children to get dirty or wet, steer them away from this garden, though I would encourage you to not do so.
Be careful during summer days, it can get hot out there.
Also, you won’t be able to take advantage all the things this place has to offer in one visit, as it is pretty massive. I still haven’t been able to go to all the galleries and garden areas, but that gives me a great excuse to go back again soon. I love this place, and you will too!
1151 Oxford Rd, San Marino, CA 91108