With lush flowing scenery to interesting and historic exhibits, the Huntington Library is a must see for anyone visiting or living in the Southern California area. Founded in 1919 by Henry E. Huntington, this non-profit institution boasts over 100 acres of breathtaking gardens, 3 art galleries, and a library showcasing American and British history. Located in San Marino, not too far from our Ayres Suites Diamond Bar, the Huntington Library & Botanical Gardens welcomes 500,000 visitors from all around the world each year!
The Botanical Gardens are a sight to see upon themselves. With over 15,000 kinds of plants, the grounds are divided into more than a dozen principle garden areas. They consist of the Australian Garden, the Camellia Garden, Japanese Garden, Jungle Garden, Desert Garden, Herb Garden, Lily Ponds, among many more! One garden in particular, that would be special for visiting families, is the Children’s Garden. This garden provides young visitors the chance to explore scientific principles related to earth, fire, air, and water with hands on experiences. Some exhibits in the garden include a prism tunnel, sonic pool, magnetic sand, and a fragrance garden.
The Huntington Art Gallery is housed in the original Beaux Arts Mansion, which was built in 1911. The European Art collection consists of 18th and 19th century British paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts. The most reputable painting of the collection is the Blue Boy by Thomas Gainsborough circa 1770. Just a short walk from the Shakespeare Garden is the American Art collection inside the Virginia Steele Scott Gallery displaying works from the 1690’s to the 1950’s including the well-known painting by Mary Cassatt, Breakfast in Bed.
The Huntington Library itself contains nearly 9 million manuscripts, books, and prints of British and American history. Prestigious items on permanent display include the Ellesmere manuscript of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, a copy of the Gutenberg Bible on vellum, and even some of Shakespeare early works! Every year over 1700 scholars visit the Huntington Library to study the rare material found there.
The Huntington has free admission to all visitors every first Thursday of the month, with advanced purchased tickets. Free day visiting hours are 10:30AM-4:30PM, and rest assured you will need all 6 hours to explore the vast grounds and exhibits. The Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens are open Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays 12 noon to 4:30PM. For pricing, advanced ticket purchasing, and more information visit www.huntington.org.