I visited the Descanso Gardens in October with my dad and grandma. The rose garden was still in full bloom, the camellias were budding but not ready to bloom just yet, some of the summer flowers were still lining the promenade and a few trees were showing fall colors. The blooming schedule is dependent on Mother Nature but from the tenative schedule it looks like the best month to visit is April when you should be able to see azaleas, camellias, roses, irises, lilacs, wildflowers, tulips, clivia, wisteria and native California plants with March and May also having a lot in bloom.
I wouldn't have noticed the steepness of the pathways except that we were pushing a wheelchair, the gardens are accessible but it was still a little difficult. I hadn't noticed that there was a tram nor am I sure that we could have even gotten Grandma onto it but it's worth asking if you have someone in your group that finds long stretches of walking challenging. In fact, we passed on going into most of the California Garden because we were afraid that we wouldn't be able to handle the wheelchair going downhill.
If you visit on the weekend, the Japanese tea house has tea service on Saturday and Sunday with Japanese snacks.
Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors
Descanso Gardens is a 160 acre garden, approximately 20 mins from downtown LA. Go any time of the year to see an ever changing palate of color. Admission is $6 adults, $4 seniors and students, $1.50 kids. Tram ride is $2. Small enough to see everything. Nature walks with free bird watching walks on 2nd/4th Sunday each month. Every Memorial day there is a 5K and 10K run here that goes through the local neighborhood.
This is a rather small establishment but lots of people are inside. Pizza and sandwiches is their menu with other sides such as curly fries, potato salad, etc. I ordered a hot submarine without onions. It was very good served with a Kosher pickle slice, a few carrot sticks and a pepperoncini. My boyfriend ordered the Philadephia cheesesteak and I had a bite of his sandwich which was also very good. I would definitely come back here again. We haven't tried the pizza. It didn't look too appetizing but lots of people were ordering it.
Every time we visit Grandma we end up going to one of the many Marie Callender locations near Los Angeles as it's her favorite restaurant. The one closest to her on Lincoln in Marina del Rey was closed for business when we tried to visit the day before so I asked at Descanso about close locations and they recommended this one or the one in Pasadena. Marie Callender's first restaurant opened in 1964, it is now a chain of 150+ locations in the US and Mexico, mostly in western states.
Favorite Dish: The entrees here are very reasonably priced and while not gourmet food, it is good solid American fare such as chili, pot pies, country fried steak and meatloaf along with sandwiches, salads and pasta. I wasn't terribly hungry so I ordered a caesar salad. Grandma had corn chowder and dad had chicken quesadillas which he said was very good.
Be sure to save some room for dessert, there is a huge pie menu with many delicious options. I tried the German chocolate pie this time which was good but I was sorry I wasted the calories on it. Grandma had the lemon chiffon and really enjoyed it.