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“Delightful hidden treasure!”

Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park
Ranked #6 of 74 things to do in Carlsbad
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed February 22, 2013

We started with the 12-min video (highly recommend - background info makes visit much more interesting) & then we wandered around in & out of buildings (a docent was leading a private tour & we went in on coattails!) thoroughly enjoying peacocks strutting around, esp. the all white one - stunning! Small children would be bored...this is a quiet & serene visit for historically-minded adults, esp. those interested in Hollywood memorabilia & the beauty of Carlsbad's rolling hills...we enjoyed ourselves for about two hours. If u walk the entire trail, u can spend much more time than that...very friendly & accommodating staff. There are benches & picnic tables throughout, as well as a beautiful wedding venue...I would most highly recommend for a pleasant, low key outing & plan to go back with a picnic basket! (we were quite warm in Feb so summer months would be toasty)

1  Thank Soozie-QZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"cisco kid"
in 46 reviews
"beautiful peacocks"
in 6 reviews
"white peacock"
in 5 reviews
"short film"
in 8 reviews
"free city"
in 3 reviews
"television series"
in 3 reviews
"hollywood stars"
in 6 reviews
"visitor center has"
in 3 reviews
"california history"
in 6 reviews
"his life"
in 5 reviews
"free tour"
in 5 reviews
"walking trails"
in 4 reviews
"special events"
in 5 reviews
"guided tour"
in 8 reviews
"great place for kids"
in 3 reviews
"bring your camera"
in 4 reviews
"nice place to visit"
in 4 reviews
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203 - 207 of 230 reviews

Reviewed January 29, 2013

this pocket park is a real gem, tucked within the housing areas of Bressi/Carillo Ranch. This real ranch has been restored to it's glorious past when Leo Carillo (Pancho of The Cisco Kid fame) owned it in the 30's, and entertained his Hollywood and local friends. It's a City park and you can walk the grounds or book areas to have events there. Watch out for the peacocks and their droppings. Very special place in Carlsbad.

Thank apandaoside
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 26, 2013

you will find plenty free parking, landscaped park with comfortable walkways, ranch buildings, windmills; peaceful and hidden gem.
Some uneven walkways around buildings. Guided tours. Used for weddings

Thank bess32355
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2013

This attraction is located in Carlsbad, about a half-hour south of Oceanside and an hour north of the city of San Diego. Carlsbad is nice for a quiet couple's or family vacation: a small city that has a really pleasing downtown of shops and restaurants, a stretch of clean, gorgeous beach, a couple of big resort hotels, and Legoland California and its adjacent Seaquarium.

And then there is this "hidden" attraction. About five miles east from I-5, tucked away in a huge, lovely residential development, is Leo Carillo Ranch. It contains what is left of the original ranch estate of actor Leo Carillo, who starred in many Hollywood films of the 1930's and 1940's. The entire Carlsbad area used to be just ranchland and farmland until the mid-20th century--great swatches of private acreage where horses were a more common form of getting around than automobiles.

Carillo Ranch time-capsules this place in history for the rest of us to enjoy. Just so you know, this isn't a regular gift-shop and snack-shack kind of attraction. There is a small gift store, and you can purchase water and maybe a snack, but don't plan on feeding the kids here. The park is about preserving the historic grounds of a property that the actor called home, and built out, and shared with family and friends. You can walk the grounds, guided or unguided, and see the many outbuildings, residential quarters, and recreational areas that once hummed with life and activity. Cacti, pepper trees, and other botanical species beautify the grounds and make for an interesting walk for the nature-minded.

Then there are the peafowl: Everywhere you see them, peacocks and peahens walking along the soil thick with fallen pepper tree leaves, and resting in the lower branches of the trees. You hear their strange cat-like calls echoing through the grounds. And if you're lucky, a peacock will take a shine to you and just strut his stuff, which is really breathtaking, if you keep your eyes on the tail and not his silly little face.

I'm lucky to live close by, so I can enjoy peace and quiet and a step back in time here often, which I do. Admission is free, which is a rare treat in this day and age--there is a contribution box if you are so moved.

2  Thank AnnonSheena
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 23, 2013

Loved this place! Went there with the family for a photo shoot / browsing session. So rustic! Great atmosphere. Peacocks strutting about - feels like a horse-drawn stage coach should pull up and a woman in a hoop skirt should be greeting guests. Well worth a visit for a few hours - just don't let your kids chase the peacocks for too long - they get tired, too....

Thank bkm425
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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