Critics often say there is no culture in Los Angeles. Maybe it's because of the Han Solo look a likes on Hollywood Boulevard or the 6000 hand made signs that say "Star Maps Here". Perhaps it's the "Star Van Tours" clogging the city's traffic. Whatever the reason for this snobbery -- the Huntington Gardens in San Marino proves them wrong.
San Marino is where everyone in the world wants to live. Don't believe me? It's where they filmed "Father of the Bride." Remember that house? That neighborhood? San Marino. And tucked into the wide, nostalgic streets shaded by old growth trees and multi million dollar verandas is the elegant estate of Mr. Huntington. He donated his entire property to the county and thank goodness he did!
Admission cost is around $20 but even if you just hit the gift store -- it would be worth it. Everything from Jane Austen collectibles, works of art, and histories of the world can be found within.
Outside are the properties which house incredible works of art that range from Mary Cassatt, to Monet, to Gainsborough, Romney and other awe worthy Regency artists. There are also collections of Victorian and Regency sculptures. Think Keira Knightley studying Darcy's likeness in the newest Pride and Prejudice. You are captivated by their realism.
But if you never even go in to see the notorious "Blue Boy" or Lady Emma Hamilton, the grounds are wondrous to behold. There are gardens representing nearly every culture.
And while you're wandering, pondering the beauties of the universe, stop in for tea in the refreshing tea house -- always packed so book at least a few days in advance. Then be prepared for an all you can eat buffet of fruits, crustless sandwiches that are sinful and desserts that made me embarrass myself.