301 N. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia
The Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanical Gardens—The Arboretum for short—is one of those magical LA gems that feels worlds away from the craziness of the city, but takes under an hour to get to (unless you get caught in a freak traffic jam, so planning off-hours trips is best). Before you even step inside to explore the 127 acres-worth of lush, immaculately manicured grounds, you're likely to be greeted by a member of the resident peacock family, who much to the delight of visitors young and old, roam the property freely. It may seem like a lot of ground to cover at first, but the main sites—a tropical greenhouse, the famed rose garden (the fragrant, romantic Edward Huntsmen Trout-designed landscape makes for the perfect wedding ceremony site), herb garden, the allegedly haunted Queen Anne Cottage, and '50s-era library—are situated within strolling distance of each other. There's also a duck-filled lake, a packed events calendar, and several cafes on-site, meaning you can easily stay opening to closing.
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