You’ve probably seen my frequent posts about the Huntington Library and Gardens in Pasadena, if you follow me on Instagram.
I’ve lived in Pasadena since 1986, and it’s always been one of my favorite places to take out-of-town visitors. I’ve been a member of the Huntington Library and Gardens for over 25 years, so I go frequently. I know of no other museum and botanical garden that has such extensive grounds, and world class art, all in one location.
Established in 1919 by railroad magnate, Henry E. Huntington, the Huntington Library houses an impressive collection of rare manuscripts and books. The main library holds a copy of the Gutenberg Bible, Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, and a double-elephant folio edition of Audubon’s, Birds of America. Move on to the Huntington’s residence, and you’ll find European art, porcelain, tapestries, sculptures and furniture. Of course, no visit would be complete to the Huntington, without a stop to see Pinkie and Blue Boy!
The newly re-opened Virginia Steele Scott Galleries of American Art, showcases American art. Quilts from 1690s, decorative arts from the turn of the century, and Andy Warhol, share this space.
After leaving the Scott Galleries, and head to the Chinese Gardens. The Garden of Flowing Fragrance, is one of the largest Chinese-style gardens outside China.
I could spend half a day in just the Asian Gardens alone, which also include a Japanese Garden, Bonsai Collection, Zen Garden and Bamboo Forest. After tasting the General Tso’s Cauliflower at the Freshwater Dumpling and Noodle House, I had to go back and have it twice more in one week! It was that good! In addition, there are plenty of dishes available for vegans.
Of course there are the beautiful Rose Garden, Shakespeare and Herb Gardens, adjacent to the Tea Room. The Rose Garden Tea Room has recently changed its menu. It is scheduled for an interior renovation later this year. On your way out, you can stop by the 1919 Cafe, whose menu was recently redone with the help of the Susan Feniger, and Mary Sue Milliken, from the Border Grill.
The food in all five food outlets offers locally grown, made from scratch food. I’ve been there a few times, and even seen Susan cooking tacos in both the 1919 Cafe and Patio Grill! The food is fresh and prepared to order.
Each time I visit, I try to go to a different garden. Phew! With over 120 acres (and more yet to be developed), the Huntington is well worth a trip to Pasadena.