Museums >The Huntington Library
1151 Oxford Rd, San Marino, CA | Directions 9110834.129462 -118.109872
Neighborhoods: San Gabriel
A place the refresh – What lovely memories my dear friends and I have enjoyed in the tea house at the Huntington. The caring staff is superb, over my many visits to the tea house, I have cherished my friends, shared a last tea party with my dear son, and celebrated my daughters birthday. A more delightful place, I know not of.
This is a place to refresh and absorb, in early spring the camilia forest is not to be missed.
Gardens are Spectacular, but the Tea Room is Hardly Worth a Trip, Especially on the Weekend – My friend and I went today (Sept. 9, 2007) and although we had an AMAZING time enjoying the gardens, we were not at all impressed with the Tea Room.
Sure, there were some lovely sandwiches (my favorite were the salmon on pumpernickel and the parma ham on rye.) And we both enjoyed the Bruschetta, although it tasted suspiciously like Trader Joe's bruschetta. The tarts and brownies were quite yummy, but, the fruit was freezing cold and tasteless.
The teas were boring and bland. I would have liked to have brewed my own, rather than been given tea, pre-brewed and lukewarm. And the service was sub-par. Our waitress hurried us along, barely pausing when we tried to flag her down to ask for a fresh teapot, as ours had become bitter and cold.
One other major complaint - the staff is extremely eager to move the tables along. Maybe this isn't the case on the weekdays, but after about an hour and twenty minutes, we were approached by a staff person and told that we had been sitting there for awhile and that they needed our table for a large party and could we be ready to leave soon? Considering this was a buffet, and that there were SIX EMPTY tables in the room, I hardly thought this sort of rude behavior was necessry.
To be honest, if it weren't for them rushing us out, I probably wouldn't be writing this review. But I found that to be so tasteless and low-class...what a disappointment.
Is it worth the money? Absolutely not. But if you're there, already, and you're hungry for some mediocre food, go for it. It's probably better than the cafeteria.
A beautiful piece of So Cal history – I have been a visitor to the Huntingon since I first came here on a high school field trip. Walking the halls of the mansion to view the art, furniture and architecture was fun, but the geek in me fell in love with the library. Since that first visit, the library has gone through many changes...but you can still view an original Gutenberg bible. Of course, just walking the grounds of the estate is wonderful...from the bridges, statuary, and especially the rose garden. Yes...it's a museum...but it's so much more. If you've never been here...make a day of it. When you're done, visit Old Town Pasadena for a gourmet meal and window shopping.
Perfect for tea time and a stroll – I went here for tea and to stroll through the gardens. The tea itself was OK, but the buffet of sandwiches and desserts was well done. It's best to go with a large group (6 or so) if you can manage it so you'll have a big table instead of being stuck, elbow-to-elbow, at a two-seater. The servers were pleasant, if a bit slow. It's a wonderful place for a leisurely talk with old friends or visiting family.
As for the gardens, my favorite is always the desert plants. It's like an alien planet! All the others are beautiful and interesting, but none can capture the imagination as well.
The one down side to our day was the very rude (volunteer?) staff on golf carts. Toward the end of the day they start ushering you out of the park. One of our friends was walking on crutches, so we started walking the most direct route over a small path to the exit. A man on a cart yelled (!) at us to get back down to the main path and then made an agonizingly slow pursuit of us all the way to the exit...as if we were hooligans intent on--wait, what could you even do there? Tree hug? Very strange.
All in all though, as long as you plan your visit well (and leave well before closing) you should have a great time.
Beautiful gardens – Good place to go with the 'rents or for an interesting date. Gardens are grouped by theme, and I'd say the highlight of the place is the cactus greenhouse - some of those things look like Jim Henson puppets! The rest of the grounds are fun to walk through as well, very peaceful. I've never checked out the artwork, or tried the restaurant, but the gift shop actually has some pretty unique items. Kinda steep price (I think it's $20/person) but worth it.
I didn't care for it – To be fair, I have been back here a couple times, but neither was I happy with the experience. $15 admission? Gimme a break. The first time I went with my then significant other, and we frankly got bored walking around and looking at plants. I came back many years later on my own with my camera. While I got a few decent pictures, I still felt the same. They charge too much and the hours are horrible (they're open from noon till 4:30??). If my girlfriend wants to go, I'd go--but I won't be making a trip out here again. I'd find hiking around the local mountains more interesting.
San Gabriel Valley's aesthetic oasis of world-class archives and stunning botanical gardens. – In Short
Even during sweltering Pasadena summer days, visitors linger outdoors to soak up the Garden of Eden-like serenity. A constant stream of families and courting couples meander through the ambrosial rose gardens. Originally a private home, the Huntington still exudes the Old-World elegance of a stately mansion. The main gallery contains masterpieces of 18th-century British portraiture, including Gainsborough's "Blue Boy," which is playfully displayed across from Lawrence's "Pinkie."
!!!!!!! – My oh my, this place is a beautiful escape from the smog and white noise of L.A. I took my girlfriend here last year and it was the most romantic getaway we've had in these parts. There are tons of different gardens that will conjure thoughts of many different geographical locales, from Japan to Victorian London. Call a few weeks ahead of your visit and make reservations at the lush tea room. Just thinking about Huntington Gardens makes me smile.
Sooo Relaxing and Beautiful... – The gardens here are amazing. You can spend hours just walking through the variety of gardens they offer: huge zen garden, cactus garden, flower gardens, etc. They also have exhibits available, some permanent some rotating. I was able to see illuminated manuscripts there that were just beautiful. I loved spending my day here and would recommend it to everyone.
A Diverse & Beautiful Set of Gardens – I am in love with all 150 acres of the Huntington gardens! The cactus garden is huge, and is the best I've ever seen. I'm also a big fan of their Japanese, Herb, Shakespeare, and Jungle gardens. If you have young kids, the Childrens' garden is a must see! The Huntington recently completed a glass-enclosed Conservatory, designed as a hands-on educational environment for middle schoolers, but a fascinating space for adults as well! Exhibits include microscopes with which you can observe stamens & stomates & algae & more, a tropical rainforest, a cloud forest (with LOTS of epiphytes), and carnivorous plants in a bog setting. A Chinese garden is currently under construction.
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