Looking for the perfect place to woo your sweetheart? There’s no need to look any further than The Huntington. Whether your idea of a perfect date is discussing the romance of Shakespeare’s plays, sipping a cup of jasmine tea overlooking a Chinese lake, or just walking hand-in-hand down the primrose path, The Huntington has it all.
In February, one of the most romantic places to stroll is among the camellias in the North Vista. Narrow gravel paths wind through the towering, flower-laden shrubs under a canopy of ancient oaks. Secluded benches are tucked away in quiet nooks. An Italian Renaissance fountain and a group of 18th-century statues conjure up the romance of another era. But take heed: Near the entrance to the pathway, a marble statue of “Cupid Blindfolding Youth”€ offers a gentle reminder that love is blind.
The Japanese Garden is a serene place where couples can commune with nature—and each other—in perfect harmony. Enter the nearby Chinese Garden and let your imagination transport you back to the Ming dynasty. Like the Chinese poets of old, you might be inspired to write a poetic couplet dedicated to your special someone. Trek through the exotic Jungle Garden or read sonnets on the banks of the Lily Ponds. With 120 acres to explore, the possibilities are endless.
After enjoying the great outdoors, impress your date with your passion for culture by visiting some of literature’s greatest lovers in the Library. A first edition of Shakespeare from 1623 brings to mind star-crossed Romeo and Juliet or lusty Kate and Petruchio. For artistic types, the masterpieces by Gainsborough, Reynolds, and Romney in the Huntington Art Gallery never fail to impress, but don’t miss the delightful collection of miniature portraits, delicately painted on ivory and encircled with jewels. In the days before photography, these were the ultimate tokens of affection from one lover to another.
For many visitors, English tea in the Rose Garden Tea Room is the perfect highlight to a day spent enjoying the cultural treasures and romantic pleasures of The Huntington.
And if your beloved should happen to pop the question over the cucumber sandwiches? What better way to commemorate a picture-perfect romance than with an engagement or wedding photography session.
Captions: Cupid blindfolds Youth in a 19th-century statue in the North Vista, a gentle reminder that love is blind; A young couple wanders down the “primrose path of dalliance” in the Shakespeare Garden. Photos by Lisa Blackburn.
Lisa Blackburn is communications coordinator at The Huntington.