The “Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens” is a prominent plant-based attraction in the Los Angeles Area. The attraction is run by the city, which (presumably) endows it with certain positive and negative distinctions from the private Huntington and Descanso Gardens. The Gardens have many distinguishing features including the Weyberg waterfall, the Bauer fountain, the Hugo Reide Adobe, and the Queen Anne cottage (and barn). Any doubts on the importance of these structures should be abated by the fact that they are named after people.
The Gardens are noted for the predominance of peacocks. The peacocks were introduced to the Gardens in the early 1900’s by Elias Baldwin. The peacocks therefore have a long history of delighting visitors and annoying local homeowners.
The Gardens are divided into the Tallac Knoll, Bauer Lawn and Fountain, Meadowbrook, Prehistoric Forest, Tule Pond, Baldwin Lake, and the Africa, Australia, and Greenhouse sections. The historic Santa Ana Depot is located within the Garden grounds hidden southeast of Baldwin lake. Baldwin Lake is surrounded by the historic Queen Anne Cottage, Coach Barn, and the Adobe. The Cottage was owned by Elias Baldwin. It has been featured in a handful of films, including the opening credits of Fantasy Island (read more here). Its architecture contains strong Victorian influence with a heavy emphasis on “Stick Style“. I have had very little exposure to buildings constructed in “Stick Style” but my impression is that they appear to be constructed from popsicle sticks.
The Gardens are dispersed throughout 127 acres. Visitors should bring water and be prepared to walk. You may cut down on your walking by participating in a ~30 minute tram tour on Saturday and Sundays. Tickets are $4 per person.
You can find food inside the Garden grounds at the Peacock cafe. We opted (as usual) for a pregame picnic outside the Garden grounds. Note that you must pay for admission with cash. (They do not accept credit, debit, or precious metals).