Green Destinations: The Huntington Library In San Marino, California

The Huntington Library is located just outside Pasadena, California in the town of San Marino. If you’re in the area and you’re looking to take in some really great scenery, the Huntington Library can make an awesome day trip.

The library was created in 1919 by Henry and Arabella Huntington. They’re both buried on the property in a mausoleum that was designed by Russel Pope, the same architect who designed the Jefferson Memorial in the Nation’s capital.


Inside the library, you’ll find a really great collection of books, including some rare manuscripts like a Gutenberg Bible, an Ellesmere copy of Canterbury Tales and a collection of very early Shakespeare. The library boasts about 420,000 rare books in all. In total, you’ll find more than 7 million books!  The library also houses about 1.3 million pictures and prints, including every Ansel Adams portfolio.

The Huntington Library holds the distinction of being one of the largest research libraries in America when it comes to American and British historical content and literature.

Aside from the books, you’ll also find two art galleries in the library. The Huntington Art Gallery is a collection of British artwork dating back to the 18th century, including Thomas Gainsborough’s original “Blue Boy.”  The other gallery on the property is a collection of Virginia Steel Scott pieces.

It doesn’t stop with artwork, though. The Huntington Library property also houses the Dibner Hall of History and Science, which showcases the history of medicine, astronomy light, and other natural history accomplishments.

Once you step outside of the buildings on the property, you’re in a nature lover’s paradise. The Huntington library’s botanical gardens cover 120 acres. You’ll find a variety of different environments to explore, like a bamboo forest, rose garden, Japanese garden, subtropical garden, and desert garden. The Japanese portion has been called one of the best examples in the United States of early 20th century Japanese architecture.

The rose garden offers visitors a chance to get some refreshments in the Rose Garden Tea Room, a small cottage where you can order champagne, tea, and sandwiches.