Revisiting Huntington Library, Arts, and Gardens

Like most places California has some beautiful botanical gardens like the one at the Balboa Park in San Diego or the LA Arboretum. The state has maginficent art galleries like Getty Center, Getty Villa, or LACMA. You might even consider Hearst Castle on your next trip in Central California. But when you put altogether

a timeless library, …


diverse and well-kept gardens, and …


an intimate art gallery,


you are rest assured that you are in one of the best must-go-to places in California.


When I first went to Huntington Library in San Marino, California, I was in a rush that I didn’t get to see its entirety. Thing is, I absolutely loved it the first time. So, I invited my landlord, whom I have a good rapport with, and we visited Huntington Library in a much better pace this second time.


I get to see the areas I didn’t get to explore.

This is the outside of the actual library.


– Funny how this is censored. Pfft-

The library itself is so awesome. They have collected rare books and prints of many wonders and famous authors. They got original copies of plays like Shakespeare’s, stories by Mark Twain, poems by Lewis Caroll, studies by Benjamin Franklin, to explorers like Columbus, presidents like Lincoln, etc. It was just so awesome to see all those literature treasures that are encapsulating our history. It’s amazing. Magnificent!


Too bad. This is a kind of library that doesn’t issue library cards and let people check out books. 😀

This time, I get more up close and personal with their art collections.


You see, more doesn’t exactly mean better. Huntington didn’t disappoint.



They also have sculptures neatly scattered throughout the botanical gardens.

From my first post about Huntington, Mona Liza commented that I make sure to take a look at their Desert Garden. So I did.


I haven’t explored much of California desert area other than Palm Spring areas and Slab City. So being close to one of these desert plans and succulents is one for the books. Well, they’ve got 5,000 kinds of it!


And of course, I get to revisit the other gardens too.


The Japanese Garden still look awe-striking.

The pictures may not do justice, but walking through the bamboo paths was awesome.



Just by sitting down, I explored the Chinese Garden even more. 😉




The lilies are more vibrant and alive this second time around.


My landlord hadn’t been back here in Huntington Library, Arts, and Gardens for about 20 years. He thanked me for taking him there and said he enjoyed every second of it.


And I did too.


It’s a place I’d visit again and again, even 20 years after.

It sure is a triple threat. Definitely one of my most recommended.


The details, your perspective and even sweetness, things are just clearer the second time around. 😉

Categories: California, Nature, Travel

Tagged as: , , ,

63 replies »

    • Balboa Park as a whole is also one of my recommended California places. They have the best botanical garden building architecture I’ve seen.

    • It is a sophisticated library for darn good reasons. That square of prints exhibit holds so much of our history. It’s incredible!

  1. Wonderful old books, superb cactus, elegant & ornate statues, Oriental buildings, amazing bamboo, and a precious little hummingbird! Thanks Rommel, a lovely assortment. 🙂

  2. You have given me such great ideas for places to visit when we get back to CA. Love that cacti garden and the hummingbird capture. 🙂

  3. Thanks for this tour, Rommel. I live so close to the Huntington that I’ve had to become a member just to save money on my visits. There are so many different treasures that I usually just pick one per visit. One day it’s the library & exhibition, another day it’s the house, another day it’s the cactus garden. The place that’s now the indoor rain forest used to be a Zen garden, and it was my favorite of all. I haven’t quite forgiven them!

    • Nice. I probably should had done the membership on my first visit. I actually want to go there again. 🙂 Or, to serve as a place for whenever I have friends that are coming to California to visit. I think Huntington is great for that.
      I know that they don’t show all the displays they have in the library. I read that they show different ones at certain period of time. I really enjoyed seeing those old prints.

  4. Thanks for this post. You know I’ve never been there- but perhaps I’ll make it a destination next time I meet up with my girlfriend who lives in Pasadena.. I’m sure that my kids would like it too.

    • I’m not so sure if this is a family place. They do have a children’s garden (like the commentator below mentioned). That one you can vouch that kids will like.

      • Good to know- I am always pushing the envelope with my kids. They visited their first museum in Paris when they were 2 & 5…. (my little man was strapped into the stroller so no damage could be done).

        I’ll check out their calendar of events for a kid friendly day and check it out then…

  5. Also the children’s garden is quite wonderful and the sustainable garden. I always have to visit the Audubon folio to see what bird is on display that day.

  6. Good morning, Rommel. I can’t visit all places (wish I could); I always appreciate the opportunity of visiting a place through a photographer’s eyes. However, your photos have convinced me this is one place I should go. It’s on my list now. Thanks. 😉 (How I miss those bamboos!)

    • Ahhh I can only dream to visit all the places that are in my list right now. 🙂 Well, considerate this one high in your list. I think you’d like it a lot.

  7. One feels there’s so much to see around us and places to visit why return ?? well you just showed us why Rommel . Taking one’s time and seeing it through person’s eyes too is very enlightening .So long as it’s the right person 😉 most times I’m better off on my own Lol .
    Super pictures .. love the Japanese Garden and the hummingbird wow !

    • If I have another visitor coming here from another states, I’d definitely pitch this place to visit. I’m all fine going places alone, but yes, it’s good to see other people’s perspective of a place. Hummingbirds are just photogenic, but quite a challenge to catch in stillness.

  8. Thank you so much for the tour! Love all the photos, exquisite flower shots. I haven’t see your post via my WP reader 😕 Hate to miss your post, Rommel.

  9. I love that place and can’t wait to go back! I only got to explore the gardens last time because I didn’t have enough time but it was still worth it. Great capture on that hummingbird by the way :D.

  10. We used to live in that area and when my Mom visited we took her there. Absolutely beautiful! I captured some amazing shots there. You have inspired me to do a blog showing those photographs. Thanks for sharing your visit. One thing… if you go to, pushing someone around in a wheel chair is not an easy feat. There are lots of hills. But we had fun anyway. When I would get tired of pushing, I would get in the wheel chair and my Mom would push me!!

  11. I don’t know how I missed this post, Rommel! I love the Huntington, and live so close that we have a membership and go often. I am so glad you are giving it a special “shout out” because it is really a gem in the San Gabriel Valley. As you say, there are so many, but I have a special affinity for the Huntington. I’m going to a special members event on Friday, was googling about it and was directed to your post! LOL! How about that? 🙂 Your photos are just wonderful!

    • Huntington is high on my list now for the best of Cali destination. I’ve recommended it to friends. So glad to hear google is working in my favor. 🙂 Have fun over there.

  12. Now that I think of it, wow it’s been about 10 yrs. I don’t remember visiting that room with the chandeliers. Pix are gorgeous as I would expect from you.

    That red flower with the yellow heart makes me yell, AH!!! It’s so lovely.


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