project Huntington Gardens

The Huntington is 207-acres of Botanical Gardens, Art Collections and a Library

Abby on approach to the gardens

The best railroad tycoons are the ones with philanthropic hearts and a penchant for collecting art, and books and pretty flowers. Happy for Los Angeles, Henry E. Huntington was just that sort of tycoon. In 1919, he and his wife, Arabella, transferred their vast property holdings and collections to a non-profit educational trust. That trust became The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens.

The Botanical Gardens are gobsmack gorgeous. All 12 are. Just past the entrance, take the path on the left and it will wind you into the Desert Garden, which is beautiful, and colorful and filled with cactuses that look like a bunch of penises.

Our suggestion would be to get here early, when it opens, and devote as much time as you can. There's lots to squeeze in to you visit.  Lay on the grass by the Lily Ponds and watch the sky, run through the trellis in the Rose Garden. Use the air-conditioned galleries to look at art and break up the sun-drenched garden viewing.

There is a tea room on the grounds that you can make reservations for in advance; It’s $30/person and looks charming. We brought a picnic and threw our blanket down in the Shakespeare Garden. Two groups of people who passed us mumbled, “we should have brought a picnic.” Muahahaha. Also, a little red wine. Not sure if it’s technically allowed, but nobody seemed to take notice.

The gardens close at 4pm. Which is frustrating because the temperature and light is pretty much ideal at right that time. You won’t notice many security people on the grounds while you’re wondering. But 4pm hits and they start materializing from the bushes to beckon you toward the exit.

Take Note:

  • You're gonna want to bring your sun hat or parasol to shade you, if you going in the summer.
  • Bring sunscreen
  • Look cute and take a camera! This is such a great photo op location!
  • We really do recommend a membership if you're in the area.. Its so beautiful and reasonably priced. The lowest level membership is $120/ yr for two named adults! Here’s a link for the full membership breakdown on the Huntington’s website.