On this 2½ hour experience, guests will not only get to participate in a guided walking tour of The Huntington Estate, but also a buffet luncheon and tea at the Rose Garden Tea Room.
During the 90 minute outdoor walking tour in the quiet morning hours, guests will have the opportunity to explore some of the 120 acres of magnificent gardens. Visitors will learn how Henry and Arabella Huntington turned their San Marino Ranch into a world famous cultural landmark. Docents will help guests explore the amazing elements of The Huntington, including:
- The Huntington Art Gallery, featuring European art
- Virginia Steele Scott Galleries of American Art
- Library exhibition halls
- More than a dozen themed gardens, including:
- Rose Garden
- Camellia paths
- North Vista with garden sculptures
- Japanese Garden
- Chinese Garden
- Desert Garden
- And much more!
The tour ends at the Huntington's Rose Garden Tea Room, where a buffet of finger sandwiches, strawberries and cream, imported cheeses, salads, and desserts await. This delicious English tea includes warm scones and jam, and hot or iced tea. After Tea, you may spend the day exploring on your own, and enjoying the galleries that are open during public hours.
What Is Not Included?
- Do I need to buy tickets in advance?
- Advance purchase is required for tours, as space is limited and it is not possible to walk up and purchase tickets. To maximize your chances of getting the day and time you prefer, please book well in advance. Tickets can be purchased using a Visa, Mastercard or American Express credit cards.
- Are there any age limits? Can we bring our kids?
- Yes, children are welcome to attend the tour and we do offer reduced price tickets for children ages 4-8. However, we don't recommend these tours for children under 4 years old. These tours are geared toward an adult audience and occur in the morning prior to our normal public hours, therefore all participants are required to stay with the docent during non-public hours. We recommend families with small children consider visiting during our normal public hours.
- What about rainy weather?
- These tours go ahead rain or shine; however, in sunny Southern California this is rarely an issue. Please note that the entire tour will take place outdoors in the gardens, so if it looks like there is rain in the forecast, please dress appropriately and remember to bring your umbrella.
- How much walking is involved?
- This tour includes moderate walking and some slight elevations. We avoid stairs whenever that is an impediment to any guests. Please note that some of the paths are uneven or unpaved in places. There are no places to sit while on the tour, so please be sure to sure to wear comfortable shoes for walking. All guests will of course be seated for the Tea portion of this event.
- How long is the tour?
- Our guided tour of the garden is approximately 90-minutes long, but this can vary depending on the size of the group. Guests are also encouraged to continue to explore the gardens and other areas of The Huntington after their tour is over. This tour duration does not include the luncheon.
- How much time would you recommend we leave for tea?
- We recommend reserving about 1 hour to enjoy your meal after the tour.
- What does the English tea include?
- Tea includes a buffet of finger sandwiches, strawberries and cream, imported cheeses, salads, and desserts. The English tea includes warm scones and jam, and hot or iced tea.
- Are vegetarian options available?
- While we are unable to make modifications based on dietary restrictions, most vegetarians would have several options from the variety of food items in the buffet.
- What is the difference between this tour and the free garden tours?
- Free tours of the gardens are available intermittently with general admission, however, the tour schedule varies and is dependent on docent availability on the day of the tour. Unlike the free tours, these Premier guided tours can be booked in advance, are guaranteed to run and focus on specific areas of the gardens. In addition, these tours occur during pre-public hours and include admission, so all Premier Tour guests get an extended day to explore The Huntington.
- Can we continue to explore after the tour is over?
- Absolutely! Your ticket price includes general admission and guests are encouraged to continue to explore other areas of The Huntington after their tour. In addition to some of our other gardens, guests can discover the art galleries, special exhibitions, and the Library exhibition hall.
- What should I wear? What should I bring?
- We suggest wearing comfortable walking shoes as we will be on our feet for the majority of the tour. Since the tour does take place rain or shine, we recommend dressing appropriately for the day's weather and bringing an umbrella if there is rain in the forecast.
- Is The Huntington handicap accessible?
- All buildings and most garden areas at The Huntington are accessible to visitors with mobility impairments. Wheelchairs are available for loan at the entrance arcade but on a first come first serve basis. Mobility impaired visitors are welcome to bring their own wheelchairs, motorized scooters or Segways.
- Is The Huntington open all year round?
- Yes, we are open to the public all year round. Please note The Huntington is closed on Tuesdays as well as major holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Day and Independence Day. In addition, The Huntington observes extended summer hours between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
- Do you have a gift shop?
- Yes, The Huntington Store offers a stunning collection of books and gifts including unique merchandise that relates to and reflects the varied exhibits and collections. Purchases from the Bookstore provide financial support The Huntington and its programs.
- Can I bring food and drinks? Are they available for purchase?
- Outside food and picnicking is not permitted on the grounds. Dining is available in our 2 cafés or the Rose Garden Tea Room. There is also a coffee cart at the Entrance. Please note that English tea and a variety of food items are included in the ticket price.
- Is there parking available?
- Yes, parking is free at The Huntington, and parking reservations are not necessary for this tour unless you are arriving by bus. Note that The Huntington has two entrance gates, one on Oxford Road, and the main entrance at Allen Avenue and Orlando Road, just south of California Boulevard. Due to a long-term construction project the Oxford Gate is closed intermittently; we recommend guests enter through the Allen gate and follow signs to available parking.
- Are pets allowed to come?
- Pets are not permitted at The Huntington, with the exception of service animals.
- Do you offer gift certificates?
- No, not at this time. But if you are interested in purchasing Admission Tickets only, please click on the "Contact Huntington" link on the left side of the page.
- Are private group tours available?
- Yes, Estate Tours and special garden tours are available for groups of 10 or more. “Tea & Tours” may be booked for groups of 4 or more. Please note reservations are required at least one month in advance. If you are interested in booking a private Group Tour please click on the "Contact Huntington" link on the left side of the page.
- Can I set up a field trip for a school group?
- The Huntington offers docent-led programs during non-public, morning hours for K-12 school field trips. Self-guided school visits are welcome during regular public hours but must pay admission. For more information, on booking a school tour, visit our website and follow the prompts under “Visit”.
- Do you allow photography?
- Informal "vacation style" picture taking is permitted throughout the institution. No flash photography or tripods/monopods are permitted in the buildings, although tripods and monopods may be used in the gardens. Additional photographic equipment is prohibited (lights, reflectors, changes of clothing, costumes, models, props), except under commercial contract.
- Is The Huntington available for portrait sessions, photo shoots or filming?
- The Huntington is available for portrait sessions (including engagement and wedding) and other family photography but it must be scheduled in advance, and location fees, city permits and other restrictions apply. For more information, to book a session, or to discuss commercial filming or photography, visit our website and follow the prompts under “Visit”.
- Is The Huntington available for weddings?
- Yes, the estate is available as a wedding location. Please check our website for more information and have your wedding planner contact us directly for more information.
The Huntington Art Gallery is in the original Huntington home, completed in 1911. The Beaux Arts mansion evokes the “Gilded Age” lifestyle of the Huntingtons, and displays the institution’s European art collections, including the famous Blue Boy by Thomas Gainsborough, Pinkie by Thomas Lawrence, Madonna and Child by Rogier van der Weyden, and Louis XIV furniture and carpets. The Virginia Steele Scott Galleries of American Art offer a rich variety of 17th to 20th century art comprised of paintings, sculptures, furniture, and decorative arts.
The Library Exhibitions include “Beautiful Science” and “Remarkable Works/Remarkable Times”. Highlights include a Gutenberg Bible, an illuminated manuscript of Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, and a Shakespeare First Folio. Throughout the year, special exhibitions highlight art and library treasures from our collections.