In 1906 when the Santa Fe Railroad originally developed the area that is now Rancho Santa Fe, the plan was to grow eucalyptus trees for railroad ties. The wood proved unsuitable for that purpose, so today, instead of a factory town, the Rancho Santa Fe California community is a rural paradise for those who prefer country life just seven miles inland from the Pacific Ocean. Many of the three million eucalyptus trees remain, together with citrus groves tucked in between rolling hills, and give the Rancho Santa Fe community its rustic beauty. Residents of Rancho Santa Fe refer to their city as The Ranch.
At a glance, Rancho Santa Fe California appears to be like any other ranch, with beautifully groomed horses and stables, flowers, fruit orchards and acres of untouched land. But if you look closer, you'll find there's much more to this small hilltop community than meets the eye. With well-traveled roads to the past and strictly-laid plans for the future, Rancho Santa Fe remains one of the United State's premier residential communities.
Located off I-5 a few miles east of Del Mar and Solana Beach, Rancho Santa Fe is a charming, quiet community, yet it boasts some of the most expensive homes in the country. Homes reflect the mood of the ranch; relaxed, calm and open. Because the Ranch land "covenant", a quasi community constitution instituted in 1927 strictly defines and limits architecture, landscaping and overall development, the recurring architectural style is Spanish-Mediterranean. But don't be fooled, every Rancho Santa Fe home is an artwork in itself.
Rancho Santa Fe is listed in Forbes Magazine as having the third most expensive zip code in the United States and the most expensive zip code in California. Many prominent political figures, celebrities and famous athletes call Rancho Santa Fe home. Rancho Santa Fe is almost exclusively residential except for a small downtown area consisting of restaurants and boutiques as well as various country clubs and golf courses.
There are six private golf courses in Rancho Santa Fe. The Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club is one of the premier golf venues in the western United States. Rancho Santa Fe has some of the most beautiful and prestigious country clubs in all of the United States. Members can enjoy a day out on the links enjoying the perfect San Diego weather as they make their way past fish filled lakes and gorgeous waterfalls. The greens are impeccably maintained to ensure golf at its finest. Driving ranges, putting greens and professional lessons are also available to bring out the best in every golfer.
Country Club members can enjoy swimming in lavish, heated pools, play a game of tennis or use the state-of-the-art fitness centers. Year round social events for both friends and family such as wine tasting, fashion shows and book signings provide entertainment for all.
The Ranch is also a popular equestrian community for both seasoned and new riders. Horse lovers are able to use the many private facilities that offer memberships, lessons and boarding capabilities. There are over 40 miles of beautifully maintained trails located throughout Rancho Santa Fe. This exclusive area is committed to accommodating horse owners and the properties and surroundings support that way of life.
Don Juan Maria Osuna, a California soldier and judge, is considered the founder of the Ranch area. The first alcalde (mayor) of the Pueblo of San Diego, Osuna was granted several acres of California land by the Mexican government. He chose 8,824.71 acres of fertile land between the mountains and ocean of Southern California, what is now Rancho Santa Fe. He named his ranch land Rancho San Dieguito after the San Dieguito River, which flowed nearby.
By 1885, the railroad had arrived in Southern California, and expansion was on the horizon. The Santa Fe Railroad company was concerned about the longevity of their railway ties, so they imported Australian eucalyptus, since trees would take years to grow. In 1905 the railroad company bought the original Osuna land (Rancho San Dieguito), restored its boundaries, and renamed it Rancho Santa Fe. Today, the eucalyptus groves remain as a unique and redolent symbol of the Ranch history.
Designed to possess the charm and simplicity of a Spanish village, many celebrities have called the Ranch home. The secluded community became a haven for the famous looking for an out-of-the-limelight place to visit or live. The most well-remembered resident was Bing Crosby. Today scores of professional athletes and celebrities make their homes on the Ranch.← Communities Home