When people claim the West doesn’t have a sense of history, they probably haven’t visited this historic, 7.5-acre site. While children age 9 and under will likely enjoy the working blacksmith shop and the barnyards with their resident ponies, bunnies, ducks, goats and chickens, older children and parents might get drawn into this well-preserved slice of 18th century California, too. Self-guided and docent tours are available every 30 minutes until 4 p.m., and visitors can see the original furniture that was donated along with the property itself by the Bixby family, who lived in and added onto the property for three generations.
Though now secluded within the upscale, gated community of Bixby Hill (just say you’re visiting the Rancho at the gate), Rancho Los Alamitos is made up of six agricultural buildings and also has elegant gardens owner Florence Bixby cultivated in the 1920s and 1930s.
Call before going, as the property is sometimes closed for private events and the ranch house will be closed for much of 2017 so that seismic retrofitting can be done on the historic structure. While the ranch is closed, the gardens, barnyard and Rancho Center may be open.
Open 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Parking and admission are free.