Tourist In My Own Town

October 18, 2016 Hilary

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

SoCal Adventures: Huntington Botanical GardensOur 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!

SAMSUNG SoCal Adventure: Huntington Botanical Gardens

The Desert Garden

#cactusgardenHaving 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

SoCal Adventures: Huntington Botanical GardenI 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!

Photo Gallery




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I love to travel & explore the world both near and far! I do my best to make the most out of life each and everyday! I have two boys and they are, at the ages of 13 and 18, world travelers and all around go along guys. There isnt anywhere I cant take them. It is my hope this blog will be a way to share the fun things Ive learned while on our many adventures together!

Comments (19)

  1. Your photos are lovely Hilary! This looks like the perfect place to relax. I believe it is always good to play tourist in your home town.

    • Loving #farawayfiles! It’s been a great way to “meet” other bloggers and explore new places! Very happy to be sharing in the fun!

  2. Clare Thomson

    This garden looks so stunning, Hilary. I could spend hours here. What a wonderful place to be able to visit frequently. Love your photos. thanks for sharing it with us on #FarawayFiles

    • Thank you! Yes, I can imagine going back each season for different points of view! Thanks for starting #farawayfiles I’m enjoying the world tour immensely!

  3. That children’s garden looks perfect for my son. I always try to visit botanical gardens both as a local tourist and international tourist. Definitely one of my favorite things to do. #farawayfiles

    • It’s a lovely garden, especially the children’s garden! My boys are getting a little old for it now, but I still enjoy it!

  4. My husband grew up across the street from the Huntington Garden and his mom was a docent there for many years! Can you believe that I have NEVER been to this gorgeous place? His parents moved from that house before we started dating! Thank you for sharing – I have never seen pics, but he talked about how beautiful the Japanese Gardens were. I absolutely agree about playing tourist in your own backyard! Thank you for linking up with #FarawayFiles – can’t wait to see where you take us this week! Cheers from Copenhagen, Erin

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