Rancho Los Alamitos Historic Ranch & Gardens

Rancho Los Alamitos Historic Ranch & Gardens Rancho Los Alamitos Historic Ranch and Gardens - A Place for All Time. The Rancho is open Wednesday - Sunday, 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM. Reservations and face coverings are required.\
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Rancho Los Alamitos is located within Bixby Hill and accessed through the residential security gate at Anaheim and Palo Verde. Admission to and parking at Rancho Los Alamitos is free. Special events that require reservations and have an admission fee are listed on our website. Rancho Los Alamitos is twice listed on the National Register of Historic Places - once as the sacred Tongva village of Povuu’ngna, the traditional birthplace of the native people of the Los Angeles Basin and, second, for the evolution of its significant historic landscape over time. The site includes traces of the ancestral village, a ranch house with a central core of adobe ca.1800, four acres of lush historic gardens developed during the 1920s and 1930s, and the restored working ranch barnyard of the early-mid 20th century. With the opening of the Rancho Center, the film, new exhibits and room environments feature the landscape, the people and the place over time and within the context of the development of the region and the state. This exceptional site reveals the early Tongva presence, the Spanish and Mexican periods, the ranching and farming era, and the imprint of 20th century development. A quintessential place for people to experience the living story of southern California, Rancho Los Alamitos is a microcosm of the region, past to present.

Rancho Los Alamitos is excited to participate in the second annual Long Beach Gives! This is a 24-hour, city wide day of...
07/10/2020

Rancho Los Alamitos is excited to participate in the second annual Long Beach Gives! This is a 24-hour, city wide day of giving. Stay tuned for more information to come. #longbeachgives #RanchoLosAlamitos

This photograph shows a young boy riding a Shire horse at Rancho Los Alamitos around 1933. Although draft horses like #S...
07/09/2020

This photograph shows a young boy riding a Shire horse at Rancho Los Alamitos around 1933. Although draft horses like #Shires were bred for working rather than riding, this image reveals two distinct characteristics of Shires like our Preston: their incredible size and their gentle nature. How tall do you think this gentle giant is? (Bonus points: How many hands high might that be?) #Shirehorse

Help us care for Preston and his barnyard friends! Make a gift to support him today. https://bit.ly/PrestonBirthday

Shire horses are among the tallest horse breeds. Horses are measured in “hands,” a unit of measurement that equals 4 inc...
07/07/2020

Shire horses are among the tallest horse breeds. Horses are measured in “hands,” a unit of measurement that equals 4 inches. They are measured from the ground to the withers (the highest point of its back just above its shoulders). How many hands high do you think Preston is? #Shire #Shirehorse Help us care for Preston! Make a gift to support him today. https://bit.ly/PrestonBirthday

We are CLOSED on Saturday, July 4th. This archival photograph shows four Bixby children with their grandfather on the So...
07/04/2020

We are CLOSED on Saturday, July 4th. This archival photograph shows four Bixby children with their grandfather on the South Drive celebrating the Fourth of July in 1913. You can walk the South Drive with your family when you visit. Be sure to make a reservation on our website (https://rancholosalamitos.org). We’re open again on Sunday, July 5 from 1:00 to 5:00pm.

Taken in 1954, this photograph from our archives shows a team of Shire horses doing one of the things they do best. Shir...
07/03/2020

Taken in 1954, this photograph from our archives shows a team of Shire horses doing one of the things they do best. Shires are known for their ability to pull great weight, like wagons, carts, and plows. Shires did the work that trucks and tractors do today. #Shirehorse

Sign up today for Cool Crafts on the Go! On Wednesday, July 15, explore the Rancho with a history scavenger hunt and pic...
07/02/2020

Sign up today for Cool Crafts on the Go! On Wednesday, July 15, explore the Rancho with a history scavenger hunt and pick up a bag of new craft activities to do at home (1 per child). Space is limited to ensure physical distancing of all participating families, and reservations are required. To sign up, visit http://bit.ly/EventsRLA

Shire horses, like our Preston, are the largest and strongest of the draft breeds. Did you know one Shire can pull up to...
07/01/2020

Shire horses, like our Preston, are the largest and strongest of the draft breeds. Did you know one Shire can pull up to 8,000 pounds? For comparison, a full-size pickup truck weighs about 5,000 pounds. Two Shires together can pull almost three times that (that’s more than four trucks!). What function do you think draft horses served at the Rancho 100 years ago? #ShireHorse #Shire

Big, strong horses eat a lot. Help us feed and care for Preston. Every donation makes a difference! http://ow.ly/hreI50AmpXm

We're honored to be counted among the best places in L.A. to find cool, shady trees. The enormous Moreton Bay Fig trees ...
06/29/2020

We're honored to be counted among the best places in L.A. to find cool, shady trees. The enormous Moreton Bay Fig trees on our Front Lawn are 130 years old, but you'll also find historic pine trees, palm trees, pepper trees, and more when you visit. Make a free reservation for your self-guided tour by visiting our website. http://ow.ly/8VVD50Al0mr

06/26/2020

Photo by Jim Farley

When you visit Preston and our other livestock this summer, don’t miss the historic structures! In this photograph from ...
06/25/2020

When you visit Preston and our other livestock this summer, don’t miss the historic structures! In this photograph from about 1930, two ranch workers stand with a pair of Shire stallions. The spacious barn behind them, built specifically to care for Shire horses, still stands today. Do you recognize it? Make a reservation on our website to come see it in person: Wednesday through Sunday, 1:00 to 5:00pm. We look forward to seeing you soon! #Shire #Shirehorses #RanchoLosAlamitos

Meet Preston, Rancho Los Alamitos’ Shire horse!  Here he is as a foal with his mother, Valentina. June is his birthday m...
06/23/2020

Meet Preston, Rancho Los Alamitos’ Shire horse! Here he is as a foal with his mother, Valentina. June is his birthday month. To celebrate we’re sharing fun facts about Shires for one month and raising money to support our livestock program. Your gifts provide food, healthcare, fly control, and enrichment for our animals. Make a donation on our website. https://bit.ly/PrestonBirthday #Shire #ShireHorses #RanchoLosAlamitos

We can’t wait to welcome you back to the gardens and barnyard at Rancho Los Alamitos! We will reopen some of our outdoor...
06/18/2020

We can’t wait to welcome you back to the gardens and barnyard at Rancho Los Alamitos! We will reopen some of our outdoor spaces – like the tranquil Native Garden pictured here – beginning Saturday, June 20. To prioritize health and safety, we are making changes to how we operate and ask that you reserve a free ticket for your self-guided walking tour. Email [email protected] or visit our website for reservations and full details. #RanchoLosAlamitos

Sign up today for Cool Crafts on the Go! On Wednesday, June 17, drive a loop around the Rancho, pick up a bag of ranch-t...
06/11/2020
Cool Crafts on the Go - Drive Through

Sign up today for Cool Crafts on the Go! On Wednesday, June 17, drive a loop around the Rancho, pick up a bag of ranch-themed crafts to do at home, and explore a slice of California history. Space is limited and reservations are required. To sign up, visit http://ow.ly/g2OX50A5qeA

This is your chance to visit Rancho Los Alamitos from the comfort and safety of your car and pick up kid-friendly crafts to take home.

05/27/2020
Baby Hummingbird at Rancho Los Alamitos

When cattle and sheep were raised at the Rancho, baby livestock were born in spring. Today in springtime, we can find baby wildlife instead, like this little hummingbird recently spotted by our livestock staff. #RanchoFromHome

No matter how chilly the water is, beach-going has long been a Memorial Day pastime. This photo of Long Beach from our a...
05/23/2020

No matter how chilly the water is, beach-going has long been a Memorial Day pastime. This photo of Long Beach from our archives was taken in May 1909. We wish you a safe Memorial Day weekend as we honor those who have served our country. #RanchoFromHome

Happy #CAMuseumsWeek! While our physical doors remain closed, we miss our volunteers and visitors the most. But our virt...
05/22/2020

Happy #CAMuseumsWeek! While our physical doors remain closed, we miss our volunteers and visitors the most. But our virtual doors are open! On our Virtual Visit page, you can explore water history in Southern California, dive into our archives with at-home activities, and take a look behind the gates at the Rancho. We encourage you to explore the engaging resources our inspiring @calmuseums friends are sharing, too! #RanchoFromHome

Our gardens are home to local history…and local wildlife! These baby birds were a recent surprise to our garden staff in...
05/21/2020

Our gardens are home to local history…and local wildlife! These baby birds were a recent surprise to our garden staff in the Rose Garden. Tell us about a time you’ve been surprised by wildlife in your garden or neighborhood. #RanchoFromHome

While we remain closed, our Reopen the Rancho Task Force is working hard on a phased reopening plan to welcome you back ...
05/20/2020

While we remain closed, our Reopen the Rancho Task Force is working hard on a phased reopening plan to welcome you back as soon as we can. The health and safety of our visitors, volunteers, and staff is our top priority. We will announce our reopening here and on our website. Thank you for your patience and support!

We end our #NationalPublicGardensWeek virtual tour in the Rose Garden, home to heritage roses that thrive in the Souther...
05/17/2020

We end our #NationalPublicGardensWeek virtual tour in the Rose Garden, home to heritage roses that thrive in the Southern California sunshine. They are all varieties introduced in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s - and some even earlier! Like several other gardens on-site, the Rose Garden is based on a design by the Olmsted Brothers. Behind all the Rancho’s gardens are fascinating stories of nature, culture, and change. Thank you for following along this week! #OurGardensYourHome #RanchoFromHome

The next stop on our #NationalPublicGardensWeek virtual tour is the Cutting Garden. Designed by the Olmsted Brothers fir...
05/16/2020

The next stop on our #NationalPublicGardensWeek virtual tour is the Cutting Garden. Designed by the Olmsted Brothers firm in 1928, this sunken garden has four rectangular beds edged by red brick paths. The beds are planted with familiar flowers like the Shasta daisies seen here. When the Bixby family lived here, this garden offered a colorful selection for the ever-present bouquets in the home. #OurGardensYourHome #RanchoFromHome

05/15/2020

Today, we’re entering the Friendly Garden with the Rancho’s Historic Gardens Associate, Janet. The Olmsted Brothers firm designed this small, enclosed garden in 1928. This garden carved out a small space at the Rancho for Florence Bixby, an avid gardener herself, to have a personal garden and a specific place to accommodate all the gifts and exchanges of plants she received from friends. #NationalPublicGardensWeek #OurGardensYourHome #RanchoFromHome

05/14/2020
Barnyard Sheep Shearing Results - One Piece of Wool

Sheep shearer shows how he took the wool off of the sheep in one piece "like a blanket." We want to be sure that you get to see the result of the shearing that our sheep got last week. Our resident Navajo-Churro sheep got their spring haircuts! In a previous post, we saw Graciano shearing one of our resident sheep and in another, we saw the newly groomed sheep greeting each other. Here’s the wooly result! After shearing, wool like this goes on a processing journey: washing, sorting, carding, spinning, weaving, and finishing. #RanchoFromHome

Take a virtual seat in our Cactus Garden this #NationalPublicGardensWeek. This section of the garden has its origins in ...
05/13/2020

Take a virtual seat in our Cactus Garden this #NationalPublicGardensWeek. This section of the garden has its origins in a botanical experiment aimed at cultivating spineless cacti to feed Fred H. Bixby’s cattle. Though the experiment failed, the effort sparked Florence Bixby’s interest in planting a garden of succulents and cacti from California and beyond. Along the way, she sought the guidance of William Hertrich, landscape gardener and Superintendent of Henry Huntington’s estate, now our friend, the Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens. #OurGardensYourHome #RanchoFromHome

Our next #NationalPublicGardensWeek stop is the Native Garden. Florence Bixby initially envisioned an alpine garden with...
05/12/2020

Our next #NationalPublicGardensWeek stop is the Native Garden. Florence Bixby initially envisioned an alpine garden with flowing water, delicate plants, and textured rocks. But the semi-arid Mediterranean climate defeated her. Working with landscape designer Paul Howard and native plant expert Allen Chickering, she turned her attention to California native plants, like these Douglas irises along the banks of our recirculating stream. #OurGardensYourHome #RanchoFromHome

05/11/2020

We continue our virtual #NationalPublicGardenWeek tour with a stop at the Front Lawn, taking in two massive trees native to Australia. Lots of newcomer plants like these were available in California nurseries by the 1870s. Florence’s mother-in-law, Susan Bixby, planted these Moreton Bay fig trees around 1890. This was quite fashionable at the time, and these newcomers can be spotted throughout the L.A. Basin today. Where have you seen a giant Moreton Bay fig tree? #OurGardensYourHome #RanchoFromHome

Florence Bixby worked with landscape architect Paul Howard on the redesign of the Old Garden in 1923. The layers of gree...
05/10/2020

Florence Bixby worked with landscape architect Paul Howard on the redesign of the Old Garden in 1923. The layers of greenery – almost all newcomers to Southern California – were intentional. Look closely to find the boxwood hedge along the path and the wall of bamboo that screens out the sounds and sights of the road beyond. #NationalPublicGardensWeek #OurGardensYourHome #RanchoFromHome

For #NationalPublicGardensWeek, join us on a virtual tour of the Rancho’s historic gardens from the comfort of your home...
05/10/2020

For #NationalPublicGardensWeek, join us on a virtual tour of the Rancho’s historic gardens from the comfort of your home. First, meet Florence Bixby, pictured here in the Old Garden around 1950. The Rancho’s “outdoor rooms” were her vision and took shape in the 1920s and 1930s. Wealth from the Seal Beach oil strike, plans of famed landscape designers, labor of ranch gardeners, Southern California’s Mediterranean climate, and the ancient freshwater spring that sustained Povuu’ngna for generations made these gardens come to life. Follow along as we explore the garden’s design history this week. #OurGardensYourHome #RanchoFromHome

05/09/2020

Meanwhile back at the ranch...our resident Navajo-Churro sheep got their spring haircuts! Fall is the next time our sheep will be sheared. Unlike shearing technology, which has changed much over time, this seasonal cycle parallels Rancho history. Merino sheep were raised at Rancho Los Alamitos in the late 1800s, and their wool was sheared each spring and fall. Until fall, thanks for following along with our sheep shearing series! #RanchoFromHome

05/08/2020
National Public Gardens Week - Support Your Local Garden

Rancho Los Alamitos is participating in National Public Garden Week May 8 - 17, 2020. Presented by the non-profit American Public Gardens Association, this year’s week is focused on increasing financial support for member gardens. #RanchoFromHome #NationalPublicGardensWeek #OurGardensYourHome

National Public Gardens Week is May 8-17, 2020. Support your local public garden and find them at npgw.info

05/07/2020

Meanwhile back at the ranch...our resident Navajo-Churro sheep got their spring haircuts! In our last post, we met Graciano, who shears livestock all over California. Here we see him using modern electric sheep shears to trim the wool on one of our resident sheep. This technology has changed over time! When merino sheep were raised at Rancho Los Alamitos and Cerritos in the 1800s, they were sheared with metal hand shears. #RanchoFromHome

05/06/2020

Meanwhile back at the ranch ... our resident Navajo-Churro sheep got their spring haircuts! We’re bringing you a series of videos exploring this seasonal event. First up, meet Graciano of Legacy Shearing. His family has been shearing sheep for five generations. Today, Graciano shears livestock all over California, including our sheep here at Rancho Los Alamitos.
#RanchoFromHome

This class photo from our archives was taken at Miss Ransom & Miss Bridges’ School in Piedmont, CA during the flu pandem...
04/30/2020

This class photo from our archives was taken at Miss Ransom & Miss Bridges’ School in Piedmont, CA during the flu pandemic of 1918-1919. All three Bixby daughters attended this boarding school, and Elizabeth Bixby was in her senior year at this time. How do you think their experience was similar to or different from what students today are experiencing? One lesson we can glean from these students of a century ago is that we will get through this difficult time together. #RanchoFromHome

How did you celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day last week? Let’s keep the celebration going! Rancho Los Alamitos...
04/29/2020

How did you celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day last week? Let’s keep the celebration going! Rancho Los Alamitos is exploring the history of water in our region. The story of Southern California is the story of water, and what we learn from the past informs our sustainable future. Visit our website to view our new film, “Rancho Los Alamitos and the Story of Water.” We appreciate our partners in this project: Long Beach Water Department, @lbwater, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, @mwdh2o, Water Replenishment District, @WRDsocal, and the City of Long Beach, Office of Sustainability, @lbsustainability. #RanchoFromHome

04/28/2020

Enjoy a #MuseumMomentOfZen today: a look at the seasons through the leaves of an Eastern redbud tree at the Rancho. Seasonal change in Southern California can be very subtle. What seasonal changes are you observing this spring? #RanchoFromHome

Address

6400 E Bixby Hill Rd
Long Beach, CA
90815

** Finding your way by car: Rancho Los Alamitos is located within Bixby Hill and accessed through the residential security gate at Anaheim and Palo Verde. From the 405 Freeway, exit at Palo Verde Avenue and turn south. From the 605 Freeway, exit at Willow, follow to Palo Verde and turn south. ** Finding your way by bus: Long Beach Transit bus line #81, exit at Anaheim and Palo Verde. ** Parking: Limited parking is available at the Rancho on normal operating days. Please note: On days when special events are scheduled at the Rancho, parking is at CSULB Lot 11 located on Palo Verde Avenue. Enter at the first entrance south of Atherton. Continuous shuttle service to the Rancho is provided on special event days. (Shuttle is handicapped accessible.)

General information

The name "Rancho Los Alamitos" means Ranch of the Little Cottonwoods. The Rancho Los Alamitos name was established in 1796 when the rancho was 167,000 acres owned by Manuel Nieto, a retired Spanish soldier. Rancho Los Alamitos is a place for all time: listed on the National Register of Historic Places twice—as the sacred Tongva village of Povuu’ngna and also for its adobe core ranch house c.1800, four acres of lush historic gardens and historic barnyard dating from the early-mid 20th century. The Rancho Center includes a permanent exhibition, film and related program facilities that connect 21st-century audiences with the powerful story of California, its landscape and its inhabitants throughout time. The restored historic Barns Area recalls the great ranching heritage of Southern California. For more information, please call the Rancho office at 562.431.3541 or visit rancholosalamitos.org.

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Our Story

Rancho Los Alamitos is located in Long Beach, California within Bixby Hill and accessed through the residential security gate at Anaheim and Palo Verde. Admission to and parking at Rancho Los Alamitos is free. Special events that require reservations and have an admission fee are listed on our website. Rancho Los Alamitos, the “Ranch of the Little Cottonwoods,” is a Long Beach City Landmark and is twice listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Rancho has a continuous history that stretches back for more than 1500 years and reflects the many people who have called it home – from the first people, the Tongva native American people, to the farmers of the mid-twentieth century. The 7½-acre site includes four acres of nationally significant historic gardens, a ranch house (1790-1933), and restored barnyard of the early 20th century working ranch.

Children and adults alike are enlightened and delighted when touring the ranch house and interpretive center, communing with nature in the lush gardens and visiting with the farm animals (horses, sheep, goats, chickens, ducks and rabbits) housed in the barns area. The Rancho is open to the public from Wednesday-Sunday, 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. (Guests enter at the Bixby Hill residential security gate at Anaheim and Palo Verde.) Guided tours of the Ranch house and Barns Area start every 30 minutes from the Rancho Center with the last tour beginning at 4:00 pm. Visitors may tour the gardens with a docent or opt for a self-guided tour. Admission and parking are free.

This exceptional site reveals the early Tongva presence, the Spanish and Mexican periods, the ranching and farming era, and the imprint of 20th-century development. A quintessential place for people to experience the living story of southern California, Rancho Los Alamitos is a microcosm of the region, past to present.

Nearby museums


Comments

saw this today. what is it?
Hope you’re all doing well on this beautiful May Day!
Thank you to all the volunteers that help this amazing place function!! Your support and energy makes this such a special space and experience. I am very happy to show you all a little spicy love today in thanks!!
Hi everyone Can you help me Is this a death bloom?
I highly recommend this place. One of my favorites. The grounds and property are a perfect size to be able to explore and see everything. I was there on Saturday for the first time, and I am looking forward to going back again to see what is in bloom at a different time of year. Thank you Janet for the very informative and well paced guided tour. I have told everyone about this gem. I appreciated that it was not crowded, allowing for some beautiful photography. It is the kind of place where it is nearly impossible to take a bad photo. I took lots of pictures expecting maybe 1 out of every 3 to be decent, to my surprise all of them came out beautiful; so much so that I could not make up my mind which ones to post to my FB page, so I decided to post them all. Here is the link below to the pics I took. Remember to click on the photo to see it in its entirety. https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2186112811699777&id=100009032379104
such beauty
Beauty can be found in the garden.
Spring is in bloom at the Rancho.
Louie Aguilar they have a Christmas thing for the kids the 12th. Friday You have to register how many people n cars. I used to take you kids there.
your website says suggested $20 donation for pictures. the docents REFUSED to let anyone in with a camera unless they pay $25. What is going on?
Effective November 19th, 50 extra seats will be added to Breakfast with Santa. Call the Rancho for availability. 562.431.3541.
If you have never been to The Rancho please try and go sometime. This Saturday is perfect. Should be fun.