Destination: Huntington Library, California


Welcome to the final post of my “Throwback Travels” of my travels throughout the West Coast of the United States back in the day. After showing you a tour around Cambria, San Francisco, and Las Vegas, we’re returning once again to California for a visit not too far from home: Huntington Library!

Now, this place is not to get confused with Huntington Beach, which is a seaside city located in the Orange County. Huntington Library is actually located within the Los Angeles County in San Marino, and is home not only to a large library institution, but also a couple of museums dedicated to European and American art and its famous 120-acre botanical garden. Plenty of people in the local area come to visit for the gardens, and it makes for a popular field trip destination for grade-school children.

Any case, I went to the Huntington Library back in 2011, right after returning from Las Vegas, actually (which you can read about my adventures here). Spring Break was still in full swing, and so my family and I decided to make the most of it by spending the day over at the Library.

We drove over to San Marino, paid the admission fee, and spent the morning and afternoon strolling around the gardens. We explored the Desert Gardens, where there were tons of cacti (“prickly pears,” of course), the Australian Gardens, the Chinese Gardens, and the Japanese house (with bonsai trees and all). However, the Japanese Gardens themselves were unfortunately closed for renovation, so we couldn’t go inside. Alas, another time…

The Rose Gardens were my favorite by far, as they were filled with red, white, yellow, purple, yellow, pink, and just about any other color rose you could think of. Lots of interesting, even quirky names for some of them, such as “Charles Dickens” or “Roman Holiday” (obvious nods to literary and cinematic culture, respectively). I’m by no means an expert on flowers, but I can appreciate a good-looking rose (which I did)!

Looks like something out of a computer screensaver...
Looks like something out of a computer screensaver…
Purple galore!
Purple galore!
Blushing pink roses.
Blushing pink roses.

There was also an Herb Garden (with things like rosemary, thyme, oregano, and other ones grown for cooking purposes), which had a Tea Room behind it; we spent our lunch there doing tea time: of course, I feasted upon the delectably-cute finger foods, such as cucumber sandwiches, biscuits, iced cakes, and my favorite: scones! Oh, those darn scones…they’ll be the death of me with their buttery, sugary goodness; from apricot bits to chocolate nibs, scones are one of my favorite plates to enjoy whilst doing tea time (which is not very often, because I’m not British, but appreciate it as much as the other Brit out there). The teas were good, too: I tried four different flavors– rose, strawberry, kiwi, and raspberry– and found the rose to be my favorite. I’m usually not into scented teas (more of an herbal tea kind of person), but the rose one was divine. Although the whole tea time experience came out to $28 per person (not cheap!), I loved it; I would choose to go back to Huntington Library just for afternoon tea! ❀

We spent the afternoon visiting the art galleries of the Huntington, wandering through the halls of European and American art. Didn’t find them too exciting, though, and we finished up our visit of the place at the Chinese Gardens before heading home for the day.

Chinese gardens.
Chinese gardens.

Overall, it was a pleasant day at Huntington Library that day. I would have loved to have visited the Library itself since I learned later that it houses some really cool literary manuscripts, from the illuminated manuscript of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales to some copies of the Gutenberg Bible to even drafts of works from Mark Twain, George Washington, and William Wordsworth. I wasn’t a huge literary buff back then (I hadn’t started college yet, let alone declared my major in English), but if I were to return today, I would be ecstatic to see all of them!

That being said, that concludes this week’s “Throwback Travels” to the West Coast back in 2010 and 2011 (exception being Monterey Bay in 2014, but doesn’t matter). I’ll be resting a bit from writing my “Throwback Travels” this upcoming week, as I need a break and would like to post some other stuff on my blog. Don’t worry, though; this break will only be temporary!

Thanks for following my travel adventures, whether in the past or the present, and I’ll see you soon. Until then! πŸ™‚

— The Finicky Cynic

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3 thoughts on “Destination: Huntington Library, California

  1. Pingback: Destination: Beijing, China – The Finicky Cynic

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