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“Favorite attraction in Pasadena”

The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: A popular tourist stop, this 207 acre complex houses a library, art collection and stunning gardens. The library and art gallery contain rare books and one of the most complete collections of 18th century art outside of London.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Wheelchair access, Food available for purchase, Lockers / storage, Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities
Reviewed 30 December 2008

This is a popular stop for a good reason. The grounds are lovely, and the exhibits are interesting. We really enjoyed our day there.

1  Thank ATourist6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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in 186 reviews
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in 175 reviews
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"succulent garden"
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1 972 - 1 976 of 2 127 reviews

Reviewed 7 December 2008

We visit South Pasadena a couple of times a year, and this is our favorite place to take our grandgirl and to go just by ourselves. There is a children's garden she enjoys; we enjoy the art. The Japanese Garden is world class; the new Chinese Garden is as well, though the plantings are not yet mature. We take care of quite a bit of Christmas shopping at the gift shop--excellent quality, variety. One trip there is not enough for us: get a membership if you are going to be in or near San Marino for a few weeks. The docents are knowledgeable; ask questions.

1  Thank HondaDriver007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 November 2008

...there is a lot to see here and you'll miss much if you just take a tram tour.

This multiple attraction contains both gardens and museums, the latter focusing on British Art (the famous "Blue Boy" lives here). The gardens are absolutely wonderful, the highlights being the exquisite Japanese garden and spectacular collection of cacti and desert plants.

You probably will not be able to take it in in a single visit. This is, or should be, one of the top attractions in the LA area.

1  Thank JohnTheBear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 November 2008

I was born and raised in southern california and come to the huntington library about twice a year and will continue to do so! I love it here! The grounds are amazing, especially in the spring time. The art, plants, books and museums are wonderful also.

I have been to the tea room buffet several times and have not been disappointed. The tea is great and the buffet is perfect for lunch. Although it does seem pricey....i think it is well worth the cost.

Also as a person who loves digital photography, this is the perfect place to get some great shots!!

Thank PearlCrystal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 21 October 2008

This is a triad of: botanical gardens, library, and art galleries. I note that all the art galleries (I'm not sure about the European art gallery, though) were closed at the time for renovation until sometime in 2009, according to the signs. The library is separated into an exhibit (of Darwin, Shakespeare, and others) as well as another section for scholarly researchers only.

However, this tourist locale is all about the botanical gardens. The Chinese garden is magnificent. Very large in scale, it is hidden behind the walls of what seems to be a Chinese styled building. Once inside, there is an intricate network of bridges and sitting areas surrounding a large pond. Also nice was a Japanese bamboo forest leading one down the steps of a pagoda.

Desert botanical gardens tend to be my least favorite types of gardens; I just don't find desert life particularly interesting. However, this garden is truly the exception. Although I didn't prefer it to the Chinese garden or the waterlily ponds, I thought the variety of desert life was absolutely exceptional and stunning. I don't remember all the names of the various species there, but you really have to treat yourself to see some of the largest desert life exhibited anywhere. The Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona, which I visited a few weeks back, was very poor in terms of showing anything beyond the same varieties of cacti again and again.

Overall a very refreshing visit to a beautiful set of gardens. I still think the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens are the finest I have visited, but they obviously didn't even have a desert garden, so if that's something you're interested in, consider coming here.

Parking may be a bit of a challenge. The parking lot was relatively small and I came on a non-free admission day. The gardens offer free admission on a certain weekday in the first week of each month, to which you are required to obtain tickets and which are usually always sold out. I can't imagine what the parking situation must be like then. I think it's better to just pay the $15 admission fee than deal with hassles associated with free admission day.

1  Thank san367
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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