White House exhibit comes to San Clemente
San Clemente, which from 1969 to 1974 was the part-time home of President Richard Nixon, is playing host to a traveling Smithsonian Institution exhibit about Nixon's other home during that time – the White House in Washington, D.C.
Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens invites the public to view the exhibit, titled "The White House Gardens," through Feb. 26. You can learn not only about the gardens but also a bit about White House history. You'll catch a glimpse of some people who lived and visited there and strolled the grounds.
Did you know, for example, that President Thomas Jefferson, upon moving into the White House in 1801, decided that landscaping was lacking and designated 8 acres to be fenced for gardens, with the rest of the site to be left for grazing? Or that much of what Jefferson accomplished was undone when the British invaded during the War of 1812 and torched the White House?
The Casa, a landmark on a bluff overlooking the Pacific, is the former home of San Clemente founder Ole Hanson. It includes historical exhibits about San Clemente and the nearby area, and there are paths to stroll around the house and gardens. Ask about docent-led tours.
In concert with the "White House Gardens" exhibit, the Casa will host a series of garden-related events starting at noon Jan. 24 with "Jewels of Nature: Hummingbirds and Your Garden," a free talk by hummingbird expert Monique Rea.
Mike Evans of Tree of Life Nursery will speak at 7 p.m. Feb. 7 on how native gardens enhance people's lives. General admission is $7; students and children will be admitted free.
'THE WHITE HOUSE GARDENS'
Where: Casa Romantica, 415 Avenida Granada, San Clemente
When: Through Feb. 26
Hours: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays; closed Mondays
Admission: Adults, $5; children younger than 10, free
Directions: Going south on I-5, take the Avenida Palizada exit. Follow Palizada toward the coast. After three stop signs, Palizada becomes Avenida Granada.
Going north on I-5, take the Avenida Presidio exit. Turn left under the freeway, then right on El Camino Real. Turn left on Avenida Del Mar and right on Avenida Granada.
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