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Huntington Library
Photograph: Michael JulianoDesert Garden.

8 amazing cactus gardens and shops around L.A.

Satisfy your succulent obsession at these amazing cactus gardens in and around Los Angeles

Michael Juliano
Written by
Michael Juliano
Time Out contributors

No, Los Angeles isn’t a desert—but Angelenos do have a penchant for prickly plants. Cactuses are seemingly everywhere in L.A.: botanical gardens, oceanfront Malibu bluffs and drought-tolerant yards. To satisfy your succulent-loving tendencies, take a trip to these stunning cactus gardens, boutiques and nurseries—among our favorite things to do—both within L.A. and a short day trip away.

  • Things to do
  • Event spaces
  • San Marino
  • price 2 of 4

Like much of the rest of the grounds and collections, the desert garden at the Huntington Library is astounding in its size and specimens. As you wander along a tangle of pathways, you’ll encounter tiny flowering cactuses, hearty golden barrels, yuccas and a tree-like species that weighs in at 20 tons. On Saturdays, an adjoining greenhouse showcases thousands of varieties of succulents.

  • Museums
  • Art and design
  • Westside

For some visitors to the Getty, the setting trumps the artwork—and we can’t blame those people. At the southern tip of the travertine and white metal-clad complex, you’ll find a slim walkway that overlooks a small cactus garden perched atop the hill with the cityscape behind it.

  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Woodland Hills

This peculiar park turns a dusty intersection median into an off-the-beaten-path cactus garden. Palm trees and cactuses dot the gravelly grounds, which also include archways and cherub sculptures. That handles the what and the where, but as for the why—as best we can tell, the drought-tolerant art park of sorts is an extension of the equally eclectic house next to it (you’ll finding parking near there on Aledo). Only in Topanga, right?

  • Shopping
  • Flower shops
  • Echo Park
  • price 2 of 4

If your taste in desert plantlife leans a little more indie, hit up Echo Park’s hottest—literally—rare cactus emporium. The 3boutqiue specializes in unusual breeds of cactuses too quirky for Pinterest, ranging from modest $25 varietals to near-thousand dollar conversation pieces. Whether or not you’re in the market for a nine-foot Lophocereus schottii, the place is worth a window shop.

  • Shopping
  • Boutiques
  • Highland Park
  • price 2 of 4

This drought-tolerant Highland Park retailer specializes in perfectly apartment-sized cactuses, succulents and stylish pots. If you need to do some more serious shopping, the space accepts consultations on Mondays. You’ll find their potted cactuses around town at the likes of Block Party and Guisados.

  • Shopping
  • Desert
  • price 1 of 4

Even cactus cynics will delight in this Joshua Tree-area emporium, where eccentric decor complements rows and rows of cactuses of all kinds. Simply wander around and admire the flora, or for only 59 cents, dig up your own cactus to take home.

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