Wednesday, March 26, 2014

An Inside-Outside Weekend - Part II

Part Deux - The Outside Weekend

Got this day down to get my Sunday hiking fix that my better half usually does not like to partake of. But she surprised me today that she wanted to get outside with me. Got me thrilled! Little did I know that she already had something in mind. We hopped in the car and after a quick stop to get coffee, off we went to The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens.

We both have never been here before and were utterly surprised how has this flown under our radar for so long, being so close to our humble abode. Our trusty mode of transportation did not even need to jump on, nor off any of the web of freeways! We vowed to ride our bikes here on our next visit.

Address, Location and such..

The Huntington is located in the small quiet city of suburban San Marino, CA. Sandwiched between the cities of Pasadena to the North and San Gabriel/ Alhambra to the South. And approximately about 12 miles NE of Los Angeles. For mapping purposes, here is the complete address:

1151 Oxford Road,
San Marino, CA 91108

There is free parking available, as well as bicycle parking, though we did not see them when we arrived, might be caused by a close off area for construction and/or maintenance.


  • Adults (Weekday) $20/ (Weekend) $23
  • Seniors $15/ $18
  • Youth $8
  • Kids below 5 years old are free!
You could also sign up for an annual membership, the lowest level will set you at $120.00 for up to 2 adult cardholders. KS and I already have plans of coming back here often and with 2 more weekend visits, we'd pretty much get our membership's worth already. Throw in 10% discounts on classes, books and stuff - it was something we couldn't pass up.

By the Children's Garden.


  • Weekdays: 12:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Weekends: 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
They are closed every Tuesday and major Holidays. They do have longer hours during summer time, which is about from Memorial Day till Labor Day.


You can't have a picnic inside the premises. However, there is a Cafe inside and a Tea Room by the Rose Garden area. The Cafe serves the usual American fare of salads and sandwiches. While the Tea Room is a buffet type of scones, pastries, fruits, cheeses and such. Reservations are recommended for the Tea Room online or by calling (626) 683-8131.

Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens

I was pretty stoked to check out the library. Without prior knowledge nor research about this place, I was slightly disappointed to not being able to see the actual library. It is, however, understandable, considering that they house the a wide array of books, from ancient to modern. In the area open to the public, we've even seen old publications of books and some scribbled notes on old notebooks from Mark Twain's display glass case, a copy of The Canterbury Tales circa 1343-1400, the Gutenberg Bible and that giant of a book, The Birds of America by John James Audubon to name a few.

Tertiary History of the Grand Canyon District
With Atlas - Dutton/ Holmes (1882)

We didn't get to check out the Art Collections. We're reserving that for later visits and intend to allot that visit just for the art galleries. Checking out the map that was given to us, the European Art are in a separate building from the American Arts. And they have, as well, a separate building for changing exhibits. Pretty clear, there'd be lots to see!

So not really pressed for time and with lots of re-visits planned already in our heads already, we took our time strolling along the front part of the gardens and the huge conservatory. There is a Children's Garden located next to the conservatory. The garden looks a lot of fun for the kids. It reminds me of a garden the Queen of Hearts would have on the Disney version of Alice in Wonderland.

The Conservatory housed different species of plants divided in different climates. Couldn't stay far too long in the tropical one, KS was having the time of her life though scrutinizing every leaf, moss and flower she could get close to.

We arrived on a weekend that they were holding the Clivia Festival in the Botanical Center and got to vote for the People's Choice category! The lady who was assisting us with our admissions had asked us if we were there for the Clivia Festival. We had to confess, that not only was this visit spur of the moment, we do not even know what a Clivia is! She was right though, by the time we left, we'll know what (and then some) are Clivias (Off note: I can't help singing the Activia jingle and replacing "Activia" with "Clivia".. lol).

We're glad we found this place. Now we have another choice of a botanical garden on our side of Los Angeles County, the Los Angeles County Arboretum is the others. And this one is closer, too! Not that the Arboretum is far though. Can't wait to spend a day here with our moms and have some tea! Should we don some fabulous hats and white gloves and spend a lovely day at the gah-dehns? haha.

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