Perfect Day at Huntington Library & Botanical Gardens

The lawn in the Japanese section of Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens

Huntington Gardens!Β 

After almost six years of living in Los Angeles, I find there are very few places we haven’t been to or experienced. Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens outside of Pasadena was, however, one of the few places left to be explored. With Bob’s parents in tow, we set out to San Marino for a lovely spring afternoon amongst the flowers.

The Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens is actually a 120 acre walk through memorable landscapes from around the world. With a traditional Japanese garden, South African desert oasis, Chinese pond, Australian outback, southern rose garden, and lily pond section, almost every part of the world is beautifully represented.

While it seemed like most people were walking from section to section, there were also a lot of people who brought e-readers or actual real books (believe it or not!), found a nice spot on the lawn or in a shaded bench and just enjoyed the beautiful weather and peaceful atmosphere. The local college isn’t too far away and I could totally see escaping campus and retreating to the lush gardens.

Bob’s favorite part was by far the desert oasis area- mainly because we’ve just never seen anything quite like it before. Besides just the earth colored cactus, there were a surprising number of beautiful flowers, buzzing with bees of all sizes, and in a rainbow of colors. Not even the rose garden could compete with the sensory overload that that desert flowers gave.

After four hours of exploring the gardens and art galleries, we were hot, thirsty and ready to put our feet up! It was exhausting even though we were just walking around looking at plants! Highly suggest looking at the map and picking out what area you are really interested in and visiting that area first, so you don’t get too burned out (and well, just sunburned!). Also, bring a hat, wear sunscreen and pack a bottle of water. You won’t regret it!

Even though we can now cross it off our LA Bucket List, I know we will make return visits to the gardens and galleries. It’s Β just too beautiful for only a one time visit.

Barrel Cactus in the Desert Section

Huntington Gardens, San Marino California

Plants in the South Africa desert section

Huntington Gardens, Pasadena California

Children's Garden at Huntington Garden

Children's Garden and Plant Petting Zoo!

Rose Garden Huntington Garden and Botanical Garden

Rose Garden Engagement photos


These photos were included in Budget Travel Sandbox, Thursday Travel Photo. Make sure to check out the other bloggers photos too!


  • Reply May 24, 2012


    Love the Huntington! So many field trips there in elementary school (before you can really appreciate it, unfortunately.)

    I forget, have you guys been to the Norton Simon yet? Another one of my favs (and free if you still have your student ID!) Eastside represent:-)

  • What a beautiful spot – and a perfect setting for engagement photos!

  • Great photos! Nut they’re spilling over the edge into your sidebar. Or maybe it’s just me (I’m using Chrome).


  • Reply May 25, 2012


    Ah yes. It’s spring in your part of the world…can’t wait for my spring to come!!!

  • Love your close-up pics of the flowers. Somehow when I do it, it doesn’t come out as good as yours!

  • Reply May 25, 2012


    Looks like a fantastic place to spend a little time. Almost makes me want to bring a book. Or some golf clubs, but I get the feeling the book might be slightly better received.

  • I love the Hungtington! It’s one of my favorite museums/gardens. We took advantage of our student discounts in college to visit this frequently. I love its museum and varied gardens. We also liked gawking at all the mansions in San Marino. :) What a great place for an engagement photo.

  • Reply May 25, 2012


    Looks a lovely, serene sort of place. Is it near Huntington beach?

    • Reply May 25, 2012


      It is actually south east of Pasadena- not near the beach at all! But it is the same Henry Huntington- he founded one of the main railroads early in the 19th century. So, he had a lot of influence and money!

  • Reply May 25, 2012

    Cathy Sweeney

    Look at you two love birds! Nice pics all around. The Japanese section reminds me of the Japanese Tea Garden at Golden Gate Park — a pretty and serene place.

  • Reply May 26, 2012


    Nice! Looks like one more place in LA that I need to put on my list (I love botanical gardens!).

  • Reply May 26, 2012


    The bridge in the first pic looks so nice. Love water in botanical gardens. It always adds so much!

  • We visited Huntington Library long, long ago, but we didn’t spend time in the gardens. I can see by your beautiful pictures that we should go back and do that. What I remember most about the visit to the Library, was that our boys, then in grade school, were allowed to pick one print of a famous painting to take home with them. Great idea, that I wish all museums would follow.

  • Reply May 27, 2012


    Beautiful shots! What a great place to spend a day.

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