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“Huntington Library” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens

The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens
1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA 91108
626-405-2100
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Ranked #1 of 3 attractions in San Marino
Type: Historic Sites, Libraries, Gardens
Activities: Walking
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Attraction Details
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 older children, Activities for young children
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Huntington Library”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2012

Knowing that we were traveling to LA, friends of ours gave us tickets to the Huntington Library in San Marino. I must say, that this would never have been on our radar, since it is not the usual tourist activity. It was amazing. We took the complimentary tour of the beautiful themed gardens and our docent was extremely well informed and so pleasant. Our only complaint is that we wished that there was more time, since the hours are only from 12- 4:30pm.
We also made a reservation for tea. Everything was fresh was delicious. It was a very hot day, so we opted for iced tea, which was refilled constantly. They even gave us a cellophane bag (and satin ribbon, to tie it with) for the basket of scones that are placed on the table, since with so much other food, we just couldn't eat them.
I would definitely put this on your go to list if you are going to be in the area!

Visited September 2012
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503 reviews from our community

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Redondo Beach, California
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
22 attraction reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Just Fantastic”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2012

A little pricey especially for families but they have so much history and just unbelievable walking gardens.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tahoe City, California
Top Contributor
95 reviews 95 reviews
34 attraction reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
96 helpful votes 96 helpful votes
“Wonderful Oasis of Art and Gardens”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2012

I was first introduced to the Huntington Library over 25 years ago and, since then, have returned for several repeat visits. The library is easily found in San Marino. The library contains three appealing attractions, the library itself, the art collection, and a variety of botanical gardens. Admission is $20 weekdays and $23 on weekends. This is a one-of-a-kind attraction and is well worth the admission cost.

Once thru admissions, you'll walk by the Library. The library houses an appealing collection of manuscripts and rare books, including a Gutenberg Bible. The collection is so rare and vast that many come to the library to conduct research. On each of my visits it seems I'm easily able to spend 30-60 minutes here. When you leave the library, you'll see the mansion a short walk away. The mansion houses a vast array of sculpture, other unique artifacts, and an outstanding collection of paintings. British portraits are displayed throughout and a large hall houses some of the best portraiture you'll ever see. I'm fond of Gainsborough's work and you'll be entertained with what is displayed here. But the two paintings you cannot miss when going to the Huntington are "Pinkie" and "Blueboy", hung opposite one another in the mansion hall. Thankfully, this hall has several sofas for those who want to sit and fully take in the art in this room.

The gardens on the property are worthy of full exploration. Covering all of them can be tiring but there are many benches to sit on and rest your feet. I wouldn't recommend a pathway to follow but rather suggest you merely stroll thru and enjoy stops in the Chinese garden, the Japanese garden, Rose garden, Elizabethan garden, and the Desert garden. I'm particularly fond of the Japanese garden. It speaks tranquility. The Desert garden has more varieties of cactus than I ever imagined.

The admissions building also houses a museum giftshop/bookstore and restrooms. I don't remember it having a restaurant but do remember vendor carts for sodas and some eatable items.

Visiting the Huntington Library is a treat, not only for the art and the gardens but also for the opportunity that is yours to step back from the rush-rush life outside the gates and exchange it for a relaxing few hours.

I'll go back and back and back again.

Visited September 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ventura, California
Top Contributor
187 reviews 187 reviews
43 attraction reviews
Reviews in 81 cities Reviews in 81 cities
118 helpful votes 118 helpful votes
“Gardens and Art, a perfect combination”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2012

We became members on our first visit. We will definitely return because there is too much to see in one day. The extensive art collection, presented in beautifully furnished rooms by the Huntingtons, can be fully enjoyed by taking advantage of the free headsets provided at the mansion's entrance. The renovated Japanese Garden and Chinese Garden are spectacular. A nice lunch of fish tacos and a panini sandwich prepared on the grill at the terrace cafe provided a nice break before enjoying the temporary exhibit on the Civil War.

Visited October 2012
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Sacramento, California
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Huntington Library, Botanical Gardens”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2012

This is the second time I've been here and my favorite part of the garden is the desert garden. Different species of cacti, big and beautiful. It's like seeing big sea anemones in the sea except they're big cacti but in land! Visitors need a day to see and admire everything. It's worth the visit and I would like to go again!

Visited September 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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