The Huntington: Library and Garden (Southern California)

The Breakdown

Parking: Free
Admission: Varies; free on the first Thursday of every month
Hours: Weekdays 12 PM - 4:30 PM; Weekends 10:30 AM - 4:30 PM; Closed on Tuesday
Food/Drinks: Bring your own or purchase them in the various locations
Favorite Exhibit: Japanese Garden

If you would like to spend all day in one place and still explore a variety of things: gardens, libraries and art galleries then The Huntington is the place for you. Our Airbnb host, George, told us about this place and I am very glad he did. It was one of my favorite things during the trip.

There is free parking, food and lots of open space for you to wander or sit. We noticed that there were a lot of families, elders and couples here. There are friendly staff around to help direct you to what you are looking for. Everyone we chatted with was respectful and genuine. 

Sanity Saving Tip: Come as early as opening to enjoy the garden, spend the early afternoon indoors in the libraries, art galleries or gift shop then head back out to the garden later in the afternoon. The early afternoon sun is brutal! It will drain your energy and make you grumpy and dehydrated. If you would like to stay outdoors and cool during the early afternoon, head over to the Japanese Garden. There is a spot underneath an arch with benches and a peaceful view of the Japanese house.

Apple and I visited the garden twice. The first day, we made the mistake of coming right at noon. We only made it through part of the Dessert Garden before getting really irritable and left because of the afternoon sun. "One of the largest succulent collections in the world." I never really looked at succulents and thought how pretty they were. I usually looked pass them. But after visiting this garden and seeing the backyard of the Airbnb we stayed at, I want some succulents now!

The second day, we visited at 11 AM so we had an hour to send exploring the Japanese Garden and Chinese Tea House before the sun hit us and we headed back to the house for a nap.

The Huntington is a really big center. You would really have to dedicate a whole day here if you want to see everything. If not, check out the map to pin point the sections you would like to see. I would recommend the three exhibits that we visited: Dessert Garden, Japanese Garden and Chinese Garden. There is also a restaurant and tea house with indoor and outdoor seating in the Chinese Garden.

The Huntington is a great place in Southern California to spend a relaxing day strolling through gardens, library and art galleries.

The Huntington is a great place in Southern California to spend a relaxing day strolling through gardens, library and art galleries.

Plan on visiting? Bring a hat and a book =)