Huntington Library & Gardens

Another great place to take out-of-town guests is the Huntington Library and Gardens. It’s a tad pricy (and more expensive than its sister, Descanso Gardens) it’s worth the fee. Huntington has an excellent gift shop, art museum, science center, literary museum, and countless gardens with many food options. It’s also a Disneyland for parents.

Doesn’t it make you feel like a Rockerfeller living in the Breakers mansion.. walking the grounds like a king.

The Desert Gardens.

Many koi ponds..

So pretty and tranquil. We went on a very hot day. Luckily the trees provide lots of shade.

The Rose Garden smelled the best. The above photo was taken at a booth that (90 year old, adorable) volunteers were manning. These flowers had such different scents and the volunteers were happy to explain their differences.

the Zen Garden.

They had representations of rainforest life in the conservatories. This is a great interactive zone for kids.

In addition to the lovely gardens are many buildings with art work, literary works, science and natural history exhibits. It’s a nice break to step inside the ac after walking the grounds.

They even have Frank Lloyd Wright furniture!

I highly recommend taking out of town guests to the Huntington Gardens… especially bird-watching parents. It was a really relaxing non-touristy place to take guests and something many Los Angelenos haven’t even experienced.

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Hearst Castle 4: Guest House + Kitchen

To catch you up to speed, check out:
Hearst Castle 1: The Gardens + Pools
Hearst Castle 2: Casa Grande
Hearst Castle 3: Upstairs Tour

This is the last of my Hearst Castle Tour posts. Our last tour was a visit to the guest houses, kitchen, and wine cellar. We were very lucky to be able to do all the tours, as it gave us a complete vision of what William and his home are like. Having 3 different tour guides gave us 3 perspectives on his life. On this tour we also learned that the Hearst family still lives on the property at the bottom of the hill (hidden amongst the trees) and that they occasionally come up to use the pool or throw parties in the home. Ahhh, the life.

One of the three guest houses.

I want! I want!

These ceilings are so ornate. Can you tell I spent most of these tours looking up?

Such luscious guest rooms. Between the colors, textures, art and views I’m not sure which I love best.

I LOVE the colors in the photo above. The golds, pale pinks and cream with hints of turquoise. Love it!

These cans read like an Andy Warhol painting.

This was my favorite piece of this giant kitchen. More fun with colors, blues, turquoise, creams and browns.

As a drafter/artist myself, I had to include the above photo of the architects office. Out of this giant mansion with many buildings, this 6’X10′ is the only space alotted for the architect, Julia Morgan, who slaved away on this home her whole career. And she had to convince William to allow her this space. It’s painful.

Up next, I’ll suggest places to stay around San Simeon as well as places to stop along the route home to Los Angeles.