Huntington Gardens, Pasadena
So I know I have written about my favorite place, Huntington Gardens before. But brace yourself—I have literally never seen it this spectacular in my life! First of all, the extensive renovation is in its final phase, though I had no idea until I looked online that it wasn’t complete. Phase one was the addition of the Chinese Garden that you will see pictured below, and phase two is a $24 million project that includes new pavilions, art gallery, boat pavilion, stage and courtyard and so much more. If that weren’t enough, all the rain we’ve had has made the roses this season something other worldly. To quote The Secret Garden, there were “curtains and fountains of roses.” This landmark is now world-class, and an absolute must-visit if you are in the LA area. I only wish my photos were scratch and sniff.
What not to miss: There are over 120 acres of land, and though I recommend it all, you cannot miss the Rose Garden in spring and the Japanese and Chinese Gardens anytime of year. I also love to stroll down the gorgeous North Vista before making my way into the Huntington Art Gallery, which was the original residence and opened in 1928.
What to bring: I love bringing a blanket and a book, as you can find a cozy spot in the grass and pretend you’re living in a Jane Austen novel. At the very least, don’t leave home without a camera and sunscreen.
If you’re feeling hungry: A traditional English tea is served in the Rose Garden Tea Room, though reservations are recommended. There is also a Dumpling and Noodle House, as well as two other cafes, but we prefer to go off-site to the nearby Daisy Mint for Kimchi Fried Rice and Pumpkin Curry.
If you want to go to the Summer Evening Concerts – I am so bummed to report that a basic membership no longer includes these events. You have to have at least a $250/year membership (Contributor or above). That said, it’s a tax-deductible contribution to a really amazing educational, not to mention sensory experience, so it’s worth every penny IMHO.