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However, walking through Africa and Australia with nobody around was quite pleasant. It's nice to be able to wander off the paved paths and into the middle of these strange and large trees to get a good look at them and their flowers. And if you can ignore the noise of the highway on the other side of the fence it almost seems like you're trekking and exploring a strange forest. The majority of the paved paths at the Los Angeles Arboretum and Botanic Gardens has no shade which can make for an unpleasant day if you aren't prepared for being outside in the elements. There are a couple of greenhouses that contain carnivorous plants and an epiphyllum collection and one with tropical plants and orchids. It's quite steamy in these greenhouses but these unique tropical plants are worth a looksee.
There are a lot of commercials, movies, and music videos filmed here, as well as wedding ceremonies performed. And no wonder with the variety of trees and plants from all over the world. There is a prehistoric forest, a bamboo forests, sections of trees and plants from different continents, a Victorian cottage, secret trails, a waterfall, a lake, a pond, a rose garden, an herb garden, and of course unique and beautiful flowers that bloom at different times of the year. And if that wasn't enough, the LA Arboretum is also an animal sanctuary. As soon as you walk through the gate you will be greeted by peafowl which happen to be peacocks and peahens. During your visit you will probably also come across species of migratory birds, turtles, geese, and ducks.
So if you want to get in touch with nature without getting out of your comfort zone the LA Arboretum and Botanic Garden is your answer. If you plan on visiting the arboretum during the warmer months then you should plan on arriving when the gates open in the morning before it gets too hot and too crowded. The gardens was beyond our expectations and we were really satisfied with the entire day.
The Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden is a 127 acre botanical garden, library and historical site. It is operated jointly by the Los Angeles Arboretum Foundation and the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation. They have many rare and endangered species of plants as well as historical landmarks that represent the major phases of California history. The library houses more than 20,000 books. The Mayberg Waterfall is adorned with an array of tropical foliage and flowering plants. Obviously, this is a great spot for picture taking as well as relaxing and looking over the gardens in the distance. The Queen Anne Cottage was built in 1885. And even though you cannot enter the house you can look through the windows.
Even if you can't visit the LA Arboretum and Gardens on their free day the entrance fee is much more reasonable than the Huntington Library and Botanic Gardens. But we really enjoy returning to the Huntington Gardens during the different seasons. The library and the art galleries are extremely educational as well as fascinating. And if you are into cacti and succulents then there is no comparison. One great option the LA Gardens has that we have not seen at any other gardens is the tram. Even though there is a small fee to ride it will take you all over the park so that you don't miss a thing and the driver will entertain and educate you throughout your tram ride.
Jason's thoughts - This place is spectacular, huge, and too big for most people to see in a day. Work from the middle near the café and go out from there in concentric circles. The further you get from the entrance the less exciting it is for the amount of walking you do. The outside areas are large groves of trees rather than carefully selected individual specimens. There is plenty of shade, lots of bathrooms and water fountains, and nice walkways leading to many interesting plants. Certain days of the month are free making this place a great bargain. Save the entrance fee if you plan correctly. Best food for the price I have ever had at an attractions in-house café. Highly recommended and just as good as the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens when it comes to price and hours. Great Salvadorean and Mexican food at Las Cazuelas on 5707 Figuerora St. in L.A.
Kelly's thoughts - Spring is the time to visit. Even though not everything was in bloom there was an awful lot that was. I really enjoyed seeing the different trees and plants grouped together representing their specific country, like Africa, Australia and Asia. However, I did have to change into more comfortable shoes because of all the walking and the sweaty feet due to the heat of the day; but I would've gone barefoot just to stay here.
Travel Info - Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens is located in Arcadia just south of Interstate 210.
American Road Trips - reviews & pictures of places we visited on $20 a day - food, gas and lodging.