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Historic homes or estates open to the public

San Antonio, TX
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Historic homes or estates open to the public

I also posted this in the San Diego forum, but I will be in LA as well so I will pose the same question.

As part of my upcoming trip to LA (8/17-19), I would like to visit a historic or notable estate or mansion that is open to the public.

I had the opportunity to visit Biltmore Estate two years ago and I am interested in anything that would be similar to it in the LA area. I can rely on private transportation, so that wouldn't be an issue.

Are there websites you can suggest that list historic homes and estates open to the public or do you have any personal recommendations? Thanks!

los angeles
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1. Re: Historic homes or estates open to the public

LA is not particularly friendly for historical landmarks, but there is one exception, the Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hillls. Its open everyday except when a special event is being held. There's also guide tours on Sats. Here's the link: www.greystonemansion.org/Home_Page.html.

Santa Monica, CA
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2. Re: Historic homes or estates open to the public

What a cool question! I just googled it and came up with:

losangelesforvisitors.com/attractions/histor…

laconservancy.org/tours/tours_partners.php4

San Diego...
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3. Re: Historic homes or estates open to the public

The most famous in California is Hearst Castle, but that is 245 miles northwest of Los Angeles, about a 4-hour drive just to get to San Simeon. Within the greater Los Angeles area, I think the Huntington Library is well worth visiting. It's located in San Marino, near Pasadena. It's the former estate of railroad magnate Henry E. Huntington, but it's now open to the public. The library part has a Gutenberg bible, and the former residential house is now an art gallery, with Gainsborough's "The Blue Boy" and other art of that period. But the real attraction is the extensive gardens surrounding it, 120 acres of gardens in 14 themes. Unfortunately the Japanese Garden, one of the signature sights there, is closed for renovation at this time. But there is still enough to see, including a Chinese garden and many others, to make it it worth a visit. The hours they are open are limited, I think 10:30 am to 4:30 pm, and it is closed entirely on Tuesdays. I have been to it 4 times and I recommend it. http://huntington.org/

Corona del Mar, CA
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for San Diego, Orange County, California
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4. Re: Historic homes or estates open to the public

The ones you would want to see might be the Huntington Library, The Getty Villa and the Greystone Mansion. Unless things have changed, you can't go in Greystone, just wander the grounds, but the cool thing is when you see it, you'll recognize it from lots of movies.

The Getty Villa and Huntington aren't displayed as mansions, they have displays in them of other topics.

Rancho Santa...
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5. Re: Historic homes or estates open to the public

ddff is right. Check out the L.A. Conservancy. Contrary to pal's take, there's a vertiable gold mine of historic architecture in Los Angeles. The Conservancy has done extraordinary work in mobilizing to preserve it. I agree with the recommendation of others, if you have to choose, go to the Huntington in San Marino.

Check out this organization -- The Da Camera Society. They perform chamber music at historic sites in Los Angeles. Excellent stuff.

http://dacamera.org/

On a hunch, I'd recommend you visit the Central Library in downtown. This is one of the city's most beloved buildings. After it was vandalized twice by arson in the late 80s, the Conservancy came into being.They always have some nifty exhibits at the Getty Gallery which is there. It is also astonishingly beautiful.

HTH

Los Angeles
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6. Re: Historic homes or estates open to the public

The Gamble House in Pasadena has tours. http://www.gamblehouse.org/tours/index.html

Pasadena has occasional other tours as well (bugalows, the Castle Green, etc.)

Anaheim, California
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7. Re: Historic homes or estates open to the public

Something I caught last night on KCET and the Huell Howser series. Not truly historic in age, but tours are provided (must book in advance, no set price, just a "donation" is requested) and handled by the Glendora Historical Society is Rubel Castle.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubel_Castle

http://glendorahistoricalsociety.org/

Tours are usually between 2 to 3 hours in length.

LA
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8. Re: Historic homes or estates open to the public

Love Huntington Gardens

Their cactus garden is just out of this world.

Easy to spend a full day there. Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring sunhats or umbrellas for sun protection. They also have a Tea Room for refreshments.

San Antonio, TX
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9. Re: Historic homes or estates open to the public

I stayed in Topanga over 4th of July weeend and wasn't able to visit the Getty though we passed it and marveled several times.

I think I will go to the Huntington since I have a full day to myself. Thanks for the suggestions - and please keep them coming!

Corona del Mar, CA
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for San Diego, Orange County, California
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10. Re: Historic homes or estates open to the public

Bella, just be sure it is the Getty Villa in Malibu and not the Getty Museum.

Hearst Castle is the only thing close to the Biltmore Estate in CA. The Winchester Mystery House is interesting, but nothing like the Biltmore.