H: Huntington Library, San Marino, CA

A2Z-BADGE-0002015-LifeisGood-230_zps660c38a0Shangri-La Days shares peaceful and relaxing places to visit, rejuvenate and restore your soul. Follow us and the posts will go directly to your inbox. Don’t worry, after April we go back to our once a week schedule, so your inbox won’t explode.

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H: Huntington Library, San Marino, CA

hungtington1The name Huntington Library is somewhat deceiving. There is a library there – a magnificent one full of beautiful specimens from the past. They also have a vast array of art work … and gardens like you’d never expect to see nestled in this tiny town.

I discovered this gem while a student at Chaffey College. Our interior design class had many field trips and visits there. I never wanted to leave. Visiting here was like a stop in an oasis, peaceful and serene.

The Botanical Gardens, with over 15,000 plant varieties, are an ever-changing exhibition of color and a constant delight. Covering 120 acres, more than a dozen specialized gardens are arranged within a park-like landscape of rolling lawns. Among the most remarkable are the Desert Garden, the Japanese Garden, the Rose Garden, and the Chinese garden. The camellia collection is one of the largest in the country. Other important botanical attractions include the Subtropical, Herb, Jungle, and Palm gardens.

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

1151 Oxford Road San Marino, CA 91108

626.405.2100

http://www.huntington.org/

hungtington2hungtington3Do you have a favorite place where you like to go retreat and find peace? Where is it at? Leave us a comment about your favorite sanctuary location. We’d love to know!

Sedona, Arizona

Sedona, a mecca to artists, outdoorsmen and those on a spiritual quest, lies south of Flagstaff, boasting an array of brilliant red and orange sandstone formations. The awe striking natural formations that surround the land beckon to travelers seeking a serene place for recreation and introspection. I’ve only been there once. I long to return.

McD in SedonaMy days in Sedona were spent visiting only a handful of the artists’ studios that abound. I think one of my favorite sights was the local McDonalds. No golden arches here. In Sedona they boast turquoise arches. After some galleries, we traveled to Chapel of the Holy Cross. A drive up the winding road to the top for a tour and the grandiose view is definitely a must if you’re in the area. A trip to Oak Creek Canyon, once I could drag myself away, led us north to Flagstaff, where we still encountered some snow in patches, although it was April.

According to Wikipedia, “The first Anglo settler, John J. Thompson, moved to Oak Creek Canyon in 1876. The early settlers were farmers and ranchers. Oak Creek Canyon was well known for its peach and apple orchards. In 1902, when the Sedona post office was established, there were 55 residents. In the mid-1950s, the first telephone directory listed 155 names. Some parts of the Sedona area were not electrified until the 1960s.”

sedonaThere’s definitely more than 55 residents now. Wikipedia reports that “Sedona was named after Sedona Arabella Miller Schnebly (1877–1950), the wife of Theodore Carlton Schnebly, the city’s first postmaster, who was celebrated for her hospitality and industriousness.”

If you make a trip to Sedona, and I definitely recommend a March or April trip as opposed to an August visit, be sure to check out some of these locations.

Oak Creek Canyon: a breathtaking 14 mile scenic tour between Sedona and Flagstaff

http://www.arizona-leisure.com/oak-creek-canyon-drive.html

Chapel of the Holy Cross:

http://www.chapeloftheholycross.com/store/default.asp#.VQMvz5VFBMs

Red Rock Secret Mountain Wilderness

http://www.dreamsedona.com/secret-mountain-wildrness.html

Terra Studios, Fayetteville, Arkansas

terra2

Terra Studios, Fayetteville, Arkansas

terra1Where’s my Shangri-La? If it’s not at Laguna Beach, or any other craggy, rocky cove overlooking an ocean visit, my next favorite place to be is at TERRA STUDIOS in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

This ten acre wonderland is full of delightful nooks and crannies. Peaceful and serene, the land is filled with whimsical sculptures showcasing the glass art and pottery done on the premises. Sculpture gardens are outfitted with fantasy creatures, murals, fountains, and interactive art. Benches, picnic tables, and plenty of seating places are scattered around the grounds, giving visitors a place to sit, relax, and reflect.

A favorite spot, where I usually catch my dad when we’re visiting Terra Studios, is on the swings under a shady arbor, overlooking the lake.

terra3A full size traditional 7-channel labyrinth was installed in 2003. The founder’s grandsons worked hard to construct the labyrinth using huge slabs of Wedington Limestone.

When you’ve had your fill of the serene outdoor experience (I doubt it’s possible), wander indoors where you can catch glassblowing demonstrations, with glass artists creating the Bluebirds of Happiness that Terra Studios is known for. Glassblowing demonstrations are from noon to 4 p.m., March 15th through the first weekend in January.

Pottery demonstrations frequently take place in another building . Several galleries exhibit pottery and have handcrafted items from many different artists available for sale. I think of Terra Studios every morning when I drink my orange juice from the delightful hand crafted mug with dragonflies careening around the sides.

Classes, tours, musical performances and other events round out the offerings. Check their web site for specific information on the classes or other events.

terra4Terra Studios is open from 10 am – 5 pm daily, excepting Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, and days of inclement weather.

And the best part of all … it’s FREE! Totally free, unless you want to adopt a dragonfly mug or unique pair of earrings to bring home with you to remind you of the serene day spent amongst art and nature.