5 Things To Do In San Marino, California

Situated in the heart of the lush San Gabriel Valley, San Marino, California is a hidden gem that combines rich history, striking architecture, and breathtaking natural beauty. From serene gardens to historical landmarks, there is an abundance of attractions to explore. Let’s dive into the top five destinations you should not miss when you visit San Marino.

1. The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens

The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens is a sprawling estate that houses a world-class library, an impressive collection of art, and sixteen stunning gardens spread out over 120 acres. The library’s rare book collection includes works from the 15th century and a Gutenberg Bible. The art museum boasts pieces from artists like Thomas Gainsborough and Edward Hopper. The botanical gardens are a sight to behold with a vast array of plants from around the world, offering visitors a journey through different climates and ecologies without ever leaving California.

2. Lacy Park

Next on our list is Lacy Park. This 30-acre park is the perfect spot to escape from the hustle and bustle of life and soak in the tranquility of nature. Surrounded by elegant residential estates, Lacy Park has wide open green spaces perfect for picnics, a scenic loop for joggers and walkers, and a beautiful rose garden. Kids will love the playgrounds, and the grown-ups will appreciate the serenity and stunning views. Whether you are seeking a peaceful walk, an energizing run, or a memorable family outing, Lacy Park is an excellent choice.

3. The Huntington Japanese Garden

A part of the Huntington, the Japanese Garden is a perfect example of tranquility and simplicity inherent to the traditional Japanese aesthetic. The nine-acre garden, which celebrated its centennial in 2012, features a Japanese house, beautiful Zen court, a Bonsai court, and a ceremonial teahouse, tucked away in a picturesque setting of lush vegetation, a moon bridge, and a lovely koi-filled pond. The beauty and serenity of the Japanese Garden offer a perfect backdrop for contemplation and photography.

4. The Huntington Chinese Garden – Garden of Flowing Fragrance

Just a few steps away from the Japanese Garden is the Huntington’s Chinese Garden, also known as the Garden of Flowing Fragrance. It is one of the largest Chinese-style gardens outside China. With its man-made lake, a variety of native Chinese plants, and architecture inspired by Suzhou – the ancient city renowned for its gardens – the Garden of Flowing Fragrance is an homage to centuries of Chinese tradition. Features like the hand-carved jade ribbon bridge, a traditional teahouse, and an intricate scholar’s courtyard add to the overall authentic experience.

5. El Molino Viejo

Last but certainly not least is El Molino Viejo. This old mill, built about 1816 as a grist mill for Mission San Gabriel, is an architectural and historical wonder. Now operating as a museum, El Molino Viejo allows visitors to step back in time and discover a piece of California’s early history. From its thick adobe walls to the original two-story mill house, every aspect of El Molino Viejo tells a story. Be sure to explore the beautiful adjacent gardens and grounds, which conclude our list of the top five things to do in San Marino, California.

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a history buff, an art lover, or you just love exploring new places, San Marino, California has something for everyone. Each location on this list offers its unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty, making San Marino an ideal destination for any traveler.