Rancho Los Alamitos
About Rancho Los Alamitos in Long Beach, California
Perched at the very top of the gated Bixby Hill in Long Beach, California is a rambling rancho that is an oasis for visitors to travel back in time. Under the shade of the large willow and cottonwood trees sits a rancho (ranch house) once owned by a prominent family that was instrumental in the growth Southern California. Now operated by the city of Long Beach, this tourist attraction is popular for all ages and all times. Adjacent to the west sits the campus of Cal State Long Beach. Not far away is one of the most active ports in the nation at the Port of Long Beach. But on this hill, there are butterflies, hummingbirds, horses, squirrels and a pace reflecting the era in which Rancho Los Alamitos was established.
Rancho Los Alamitos (Ranch of the Little Cottonwoods), which began as a simple adobe building early in the 19th century, reflects the physical and cultural changes that took place in California from the Spanish colonial period, through the Mexican territorial era, and into the modern American period.
Originally constructed as the center of a cattle ranch by Manuel Perez Nieto, a corporal in the Spanish army, the ranch grew under the later ownership of Mexican Governor José Figuero, the American Abel Sterns (the first alcalde, or mayor, of Los Angeles during the Mexican period), and the Bixby family. These owners transformed the small adobe building into an elegant 18-room ranch house. In the early 20th century, the grounds were planted with extensive landscaped gardens. The Bixby family donated the ranch house and grounds to the city of Long Beach in the 1960s.
The history of this National Register site spans 1500 years. The 7.5 acres are comprised of six agricultural buildings (including a working blacksmith shop), four acres of award-winning gardens and a sprawling adobe ranch house (built circa 1800). The barns area is home to a number of farm animals such as draft horses, sheep, goats and chickens. Rancho Los Alamitos is open for tours without reservations (check their site for days and hours). All tours are free!
- 6400 E Bixby Hill Rd
Long Beach, CA 90815
- (562) 431-3541
- Visit website
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