I am very fortunate to have a friend that has lived in two of my favourite cities – New York and LA. What I love about going to visit him in LA is once you do all the ‘touristy’ things, like Hollywood and Vine, the Hollywood sign, Venice Beach and so much more, you can start to visit places that are more cultural and not as touristy. One of those beautiful places is called The Huntington.
The Huntington, is one of the world’s great cultural, research, and educational centers.A private, nonprofit institution, The Huntington was founded in 1919 by Henry E. Huntington, an exceptional businessman who built a financial empire that included railroad companies, utilities, and real estate holdings in Southern California.
The Huntington is home to books, art, research and education and the most amazing botanical gardens I have ever seen. That is where we spent a lot of our time when we went to visit. They have 12 different gardens and over 15,000 plant varieties.
Today the two dozen families of succulents and other arid adapted plants have developed into a 10-acre garden display, the Huntington’s most important conservation collection, a most important mission and challenge. The desert garden features more than 5,000 species of succulents and desert plants in sixty landscaped beds.
We also walked through the extensive rose garden and had some fun taking photos in the different gardens. They had lots of bamboo, they had trestles covered in vines and it was just a great place for a photo shoot. Funny and true story… fast forward a couple of months to an episode of Private Practice – where Violet and Pete got married…I have a photos of us in front of the same building. The Huntington would be a wonderful place for a wedding shoot and even a small wedding venue.
If you enjoy having tea, The Huntington has two places where you can have tea and enjoy the view – in the rose garden at The Rose Garden tea room and in the Chinese Garden Tea house overlooking the Chinese Garden area. The Rose Garden is more your traditional English Tea, and the Chinese Tea is more Asian inspired. We didn’t do either one, but if I were to go there again, I would consider it.
Because it is a not for profit organization, there are many ways you can support the The Huntington. For as little as $120 you can be a member and get unlimited visits, invitations to special events and more. Since the weather is so beautiful in SoCal, it would be a great Sunday drive out to Pasadena and a visit to the garden when something new is in bloom.
If you have a chance to visit LA and are done (or not interested) in all the ‘been there done that’ sort of stuff, go and check out The Huntington, you will be glad you did.