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“A beautiful birthday party and a ride on the Enchanted Railroad”
Review of Descanso Gardens

Descanso Gardens
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Located 20 minutes from downtown Los Angeles, Descanso Gardens is a botanical garden and place of year-round natural beauty, with internationally renowned botanical collections and spectacular seasonal horticultural displays. Accredited by the American Association of Museums as a museum of living collections, Descanso Gardens welcomes 250,000 visitors annually. The principal collections include California native plants and oak woodlands; one of the largest concentration of camellia plants in the Western Hemisphere; a rose garden with specimens from all corners of the globe; and significant presentations of lilacs, maple trees, cherry trees and iris. It has been designated an International Camellia Garden of Excellence by the International Camellia Society.
Los Angeles, California
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“A beautiful birthday party and a ride on the Enchanted Railroad”
Reviewed February 13, 2012

Descanso Gardens is a beautiful place to visit and fun for all ages from the very young to the very old. The gates open at 8am, though the gardens do not open until 9am. It has plenty of free parking. Admission is $8 for 12 and older, $6 for seniors and students, $3 for kids 5 -11, free for kids 4 and under. Group rates are $6/person for groups of 25 or more. Train tickets are $3/ticket for anyone riding with height requirement 30 inches and book of tickets are available for $25/10 tickets or $2.50 a ride. Picnic area available next to the parking lot where you are allowed to bring your own food. Cafe inside the gardens about $8/sandwich. Tram tours also available for $4/rider. If you walk on your own, takes about 1 hour to see most of the gardens and we did not go to the historic buildings, so may take about 2 hours total for a complete visit. there are lots of little waterfalls, ponds with large koi fish, bridges, and a lake with lots of ducks. February has the camellia festival and most of the other flowers are not in bloom yet.

My son loves trains and we wanted to have his birthday party where he and his friends could ride a train. We had beautiful weather with almost no wind. We set up his party in the picnic area outside the gardens. Luckily for us, a boy scout troop had decided for their project to paint all the tables and benches the week before our party. So we went at 8am to reserve the tables and set up our decorations and food. (The gardens do not allow "outside food" to be brought in and renting the rooms requires about a $400 fee plus catering and service from the Patina group starting at about $100/person, maybe $80/kid.) Guests included babies, toddlers, elementary age kids, parents, grandparents, and a great grandma in her 80s. The picnic area was a large space where the kids could run around and climb on trees. After lunch, we all rode together on the railroad. It fits about 18-20 adults/kids per ride and takes about 5 minutes. it took about 3 rides for everyone in our group to get a ride. Then it was time for birthday cake. After the party, many of the guests returned to the gardens for family pictures and just to explore and let the kids run around. it was a fun event and my son got to ride the train 3 times that day.

Visited February 2012
2 Thank bradleysmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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287 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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Palm Springs
Level 6 Contributor
251 reviews
90 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
“Peaceful green”
Reviewed February 6, 2012

I always enjoy my visits to the gardens. Anytime of the year it's colorful. The Boddy House is beautiful. The recently opened art gallery is wonderful. great food at the cafe. There is a small scale train ride that seems to be very popular with families. Also there is a Japanese tea house. All in all it's a fantastic place to spend a few hours. If you need a break from the hustle and bustle of city life, try the Descanso.

Visited February 2012
Thank josch1122
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Monica
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“beautiful any time of the year”
Reviewed January 25, 2012

Gardens are beautiful anytime of the year but really special when the camellias are in bloom, late winter. Summer is spectacular as well. Lovely escape from the heat with all the trees and ponds. Summer also brings evening concerts on the grass. Some folks pack a picnic. Food venues at the gardens are expensive and dissapointing. Better to grab a bite at a local restaurant before or after your visit. Best in town is Dish on foothill Blvd. Open for breakfast , lunch and dinner. Always great.

Visited October 2011
Thank jim l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Luis Obispo, California
Level 5 Contributor
81 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Beautiful Botanical Garden”
Reviewed January 19, 2012

This has been a family favorite for years. It's a quiet garden with beautiful oaks, rose garden, edible landscape garden, tea house and lovely water gardens. A peaceful place to walk alone or share with friends. End the visit by taking a peek inside the gift shop.

Thank SLOCoaster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atascadero, California
Level 5 Contributor
67 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Camellia Capital!”
Reviewed January 6, 2012

Beautiful gardens, especially in springtime. The camellias are the showstoppers, however they have tulips in season and a nice display of roses. Old Pasadena at it's best!

Thank Calred53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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