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Tourist In My Own Town

#huntingtoncactusgardenI’ve got a serious case of wanderlust, and I’m pretty sure it’s not going anywhere, so I’d better get going… But where?  While it’s not always possible to travel far, if one is so inclined, it is possible to find fun and even a bit of adventure closer to home and it’s a whole lot cheaper too! Lets go!

Lucky for us, our recent move to Southern California makes playing tourist in our own town easy. With so many amazing things to see and do the hardest part was deciding where to go first…

The Huntington Botanical Gardens

Our most recent discovery, The Huntington Botanical Gardens, has something for everyone! Museums, a library and acres of beautiful and unique gardens, including a fabulous children’s garden! Entrance tickets are all inclusive, but because the Huntington has so much to offer it would be tough to see everything in one visit, so membership seemed like our best option.

Ready, Set, Go!

We spent most of our time wandering and playing in the gardens…

 …But also enjoyed the exhibitions on medicine, electricity, and the night sky.


The exhibit showcasing some the Huntington’s collection of original books, documents and letters was a favorite of mine. Especially interesting to me were Jack London’s draft of White fang, Henry VIII’s document concerning Luther and a collection of Shakespeare’s works!

The Japanese Garden

As soon as you enter the Huntington’s Japanese Gardens it’s easy to understand how this magical spot has attracted more than 20 million visitors since it opened in 1928. The garden is 9 acres and includes examples of all the traditional Japanese style gardens.

The Chinese Garden

One of the newest gardens at The Huntington, The Chinese Garden, a collaboration between Californian and Chinese gardeners, is also one of the largest Chinese gardens outside of China. If you’re hungry after all the exploring, this garden features a restaurant overlooking the water!

The Desert Garden

Having recently taken more of an interest in my home garden the Desert Garden was of particular interest to me. Its over 100 years old and with over 2000 species it’s the largest collection of succulents in the world! I loved the vibrant colors of the cactus flowers and we saw a number of creatures scurry about during our visit! Be sure to stay on the path in this garden!

The Children’s Garden

I must confess that we visited the Huntington Children’s Garden once before, 12 years ago when Simon was a toddler. If you have young children this garden is the place for you! It’s a magical spot with plenty to explore and touch and do. Water play, magnetic sand, tunnels, a playhouse and volcano, and so much more! When visiting this garden a change of clothing might not be a bad idea!

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