The Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens is one of the top tourist destinations in the Los Angeles area. The Huntington was established by Henry Huntington all the way back in 1919. Henry was a successful businessman within the railroad, real estate, and utilities business. He was also interested in culture, as you can readily see by visiting the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.
The Huntington Library contains a huge collection of rare books and manuscripts, including a manuscript of Canterbury Tales, a Gutenberg bible, and early editions of Shakespeare. The Huntington Art collection is dispersed throughout three buildings. The art collection is well regarded for it’s collection of British and French art from the 17 and 18 hundreds.
The Huntington Gardens provide an excellent canvas to celebrate the enormous success of photosynthetic organisms. Their plant diversity is represented by a range of Gardens selected to represent different regions and topics including the Australian Garden, the Chinese Garden, the Desert Garden, the Herb Garden, the Japanese Garden, the Rose Garden, the Palm Garden, the Shakespeare Garden, and the Subtropical Garden. The Japanese gardens were particularly impressive, and they further reiterated my lifelong interest in owning bonzai trees. (Once I reach the stage in my life where I am comfortable with the responsibility of caring and feeding for the little thing, that is).
The Huntington Gardens also include a tea room, in the event that you would like to discuss serious adult topics over a cup of tea. If you want to visit the tea room you must be responsible and make advanced reservations. We opted to pick up some ice cream at the cafeteria instead. You can’t really go wrong with ice cream.
Note that the Japanese gardens are currently closed for renovation until Spring 2012.