Rancho Los Alamitos in Long Beach has twice been listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the first time as the blessed Tongva village of Povuu’ngna – the original birthplace of the natives of the Los Angeles Basin – and the second time for being able to maintain culture while evolving from its historical grassroots and altering its landscape significantly, in accordance with its prior norms and values. The ranch’s advent has led to the creation of films, art, and modern exhibits that showcase the nuances of the native people. In addition, the place demonstrates the transformation of the ranch with the passage of time, which helps to provide context to these changes.

Tracing its roots back all the way to the 1920s and 30s, Rancho Los Alamitos includes remnants of an ancestral village, four acres of extensive historical gardens, a working ranch barnyard that was restored in the early 20th century as well as an adobe-core ranch house dating all the way back to around 1800.

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1.Exhibits and Events

Exhibits and Events
© Rancho Los Alamitos

The Ranch House

Built by the Nieto family on a hilltop adjacent to Puvunga, this abode was used as a home for the horses and the rancho vaqueros, since the native families never actually resided here. It is believed that the most valuable commodity for the natives was the freshwater spring under the hill. Visitors may learn about the history of the ranch house, all the way into the 1800s, giving you a glimpse of the life of the people who lived here.

The Gardens at Rancho Los Alamitos

These gardens are more than just large green spaces, they’re prominent historical sites. Developed in the 1920s by Florence Bixby, this was one of the most defining eras in the advent of large and moderately sized gardens in Southern California. An excess of money from the oil, real estate, and movie profits funded an ideal environment for the creation of beautiful and exquisite gardens without competition. For visitors, this is a treasure trove of historical knowledge as well as a nice place to sit, relax, and be taken aback by the sheer work and craftsmanship that has gone into these gardens.

Barns in Winter

Barns in Winter presents a chance to see the usual activities of a ranch or farm. These typically take place in the early spring, though the dates change from time to time depending on the season and weather conditions – so if this holds your interest, be sure to follow the website! Activities here include live sheep shearing, preparations of ranch-themed meals with tasting, and an event where you use the tools at your disposal to make a take-away craft for your home. The activities here are a great way to spend time with your family! Barns in Winter is currently scheduled for Saturday, March 18, 2017, with a fee of $7 per person.

Springtime in the Gardens

Guided by the ranch’s exclusive historical gardens expert, Janet Brown Becker, visitors can join a curated tour of the gardens. Spring is a great time to enjoy the ranch’s nationally recognized gardens as all the plants are blooming and the scenery is breathtaking! Ms. Becker graduated from Berkeley with a degree in landscape architecture (with a specialization in California garden design).

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2.Planning your Visit

Planning your Visit
© Rancho Los Alamitos

To be fair, there are a lot of very good things to be said about the Rancho Los Alamitos. A single visit can impart you with a wealth of historical knowledge and cultural background supported by curatorial documentation and practical displays. It combines historical integrity and accuracy with beautiful scenery, well-executed landscapes and an ambience of respite. Whether you enjoy a peaceful stroll in beautiful gardens, or itch to know more about the lives and development of the natives of California in the context of modern culture, this is the place for you.

Note that the events and activities covered above are just a few of the ones we found notable, but there is something for everybody. If you’re interested in learning more, you can check out the website linked below for more details as well as information on how to get there.

Make sure you carry comfortable clothes since the ranch has numerous adventurous activities bound to make one feel truly rejuvenated!

Back to: Things to Do in Long Beach, CA

6400 Bixby Hill Rd, Long Beach, CA 90815, website, Phone: 562-431-3541

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Long Beach, CA: Rancho Los Alamitos