I was planning a day trip with my mother to McKenna’s Tea Cottage in Seal Beach and I wanted to take the time to explore the area before we ate. I Googled “Thing To Do In Long Beach” and the Rancho Los Alamitos Historic Ranch and Garden popped up first on the list. As a lover of all things historic and garden related I knew that we must take a trip.
The Rancho is a site with a lot of historical significance. The land was first inhabited by the local Native Americans since 500 A.D and was then colonized by the Spanish during the great expedition. It was acquired by the Bixby family in the late 1800’s and was then donated to the City of Long Beach in 1968.
Visiting the ranch was certainly an unexpected but pleasantly surprising find. The land was so beautiful and well kept – I certainly plan on going back.
You start by walking into the main building and signing in at the front desk. It is recommended that you watch the 15 minute “About” video (which we ended up doing) and proceed to walk into a large history explanation room. As we walked into this beautiful flower covered mural room we were approached by a guide who explained the Native American significance of the land which I found fascinating.
Directly outside is the barn and to our surprise there were livestock! We got to pet an incredibly friendly goat and came across several hens and their domineering rooster. We proceeded to the garden section and it was beyond my wildest dreams.
The garden was big and luscious and you could just get lost in there. We ran across gigantic succulent plants and forested like areas which housed Catholic symbolism throughout it’s branches.
In another area of the garden were more European inspired sections for hosting garden tea parties. You can actually book a luncheon tour so that is definitely something I look forward to planning in the near future.
By the time we looped around the terrace it was time for us to leave. If you plan on visiting, expect to spend a couple of hours at the grounds to get the full experience.
Visiting The Ranch
Parking and admission is currently open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm. Guided tours are every 30 minutes and the grounds are occasionally closed for special events.
Note: The grounds will re-open Wednesday through Sunday starting January 10, 2018.