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“Expensive to park, be prepared”

Will Rogers State Historic Park
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Beverly Thrills Electric Bike Tour
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Self-Guided Celebrity Homes and Movie Sites Bike Tour
Ranked #79 of 560 things to do in Los Angeles
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: State historic park in the Santa Monica mountains includes hiking and equestrian trails, picnic grounds, guided tours of the Will Rogers historic ranch house and weekend polo matches.
Los Angeles, California
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Expensive to park, be prepared”
Reviewed July 13, 2012

While it is a little pricey to park ( so plan on staying for a few hours) it is a huge beautiful park. On Sundays you can watch Polo matches..so much fun.

2 Thank Lauri B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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94 reviews from our community

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Seattle, Washington
Level 6 Contributor
94 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“A Walk in the Park”
Reviewed July 10, 2012

I've been to this park several times over the last 10 years. It has a good amount of walking trails that wind up, down, and around the rolling hills above the neighborhoods of Pacific Palisades and Brentwood. There's not a great deal of vegetation because of the almost desert-like climate, but that's mainly a good thing because it means there are lots of pretty views in every direction, especially looking out to Santa Monica Bay. There are a few benches where visitors can stop and rest, which is probably a welcome relief to those not accustomed to a fairly rugged setting. The downside is parking costs $12 (or is it $15?).

Visited July 2012
Thank AnaCasanaSeattle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, CA
Level 5 Contributor
48 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“Early "Hollywood" History and a Present Day Retreat”
Reviewed June 15, 2012

I went to this park in order to hike the two-mile Inspiration Trail that was supposed to have a wonderful panoramic view of the Pacific Palisades area, and it certainly does have a great view! I enjoyed the hike and a group of horseback riders passed me on the trail going in the other direction. The trail is also open to mountain biking, although some diversions from the main trail were closed to bicycles due to some restoration efforts. The Inspiration Trail also connects with a longer trail that is part of the Topanga State Park system for those who want a much longer hike.

There were people doing polo exercises on the polo grounds that is there, I saw that this was also a great place to come picnic or for kids to just play around on the extensive grass fields. It costs $12 to park there (which is used to help maintain the facilities, something if not done will cause the park to regress back to the Will Rogers Estate), but there are restrooms and drinking fountains and plenty of parking, so the entrance fee is not out of line.

After my hike, the timing was perfect for a docent-led tour of the interior of Will Rogers's house (included in the park admission fee), which was not his main house; THAT was in Beverly Hills, but as roads were dirt at the time, it took too long to travel back and forth, so Will had this ranch as a retreat and as a polo field. It seems clear that this was his favorite place to be, though. The Beverly Hills house is no longer standing.

The tour was quite enjoyable and the docent was very knowledgeable about the house's contents and history. There were several wonderful examples of western paintings and sculptures, gorgeously-tooled and silver-decorated saddles, and blankets and baskets and other treasures from various Native American tribes. Will Rogers referred to himself as "the Cowboy Indian", but he was well-beloved all around the world, having close friendships with people like Florenz Ziegfield and Charles Lindberg. In fact, after the Lindberg baby kidnapping, Rogers "hid" the Lindberg's away on this ranch so as to protect them from the paparazi and to worry and grieve in piece.

During the Depression, Rogers was earning half a million dollars a year (you may want to use an inflation calculator to see what the spending power of that would be in today's money), but he gave almost all of it away save for basic living expenses. Apparently he did not believe in having a lot in the way of possessions, and so much of what he had in that ranch house were not things he bought, but were gifts to him from others.

Rogers had a several-thousand-volume library of books, all gifts, but he read almost none of them because he didn't have the time (he read newspapers, instead)...but he did write about twelve books himself!

It was great seeing this house and its contents, which adds to ones appreciation of this beloved entertainer and personality, and it also gives visitors a peek into this "early" period of "Hollywood" history when a person could buy 300 acres of prime land extending from the hills all the way over to, and including, the seashore (which is now Will Rogers Beach). And today, what had been a retreat for Will Rogers, can be a retreat for us, to escape the traffic and the L.A. rat race!

Visited June 2012
4 Thank thomasdosborneii
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Rosa, California
Level 5 Contributor
63 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“I didn't expect to like it but I loved it!”
Reviewed June 4, 2012

This used to be Will Rogers' house and ranch. When I saw it many years ago, I expected it to be a tacky, wildly lavish movie star's palatial estate but it wasn't at all. When I saw his living room, it looked like a really friendly place--the kind of place where you could sit on the couch, take your shoes off and kick back. If Will was still alive, I'm sure you could.

I quickly realized that given the amount of money that he had (and the time that he had it), he could easily have built something close to the Hearst Castle. Instead, he built a warm and comfortable house on some land that's fun to walk or ride horseback around. Nothing pretentious anywhere. That told me more about Will Rogers, the man, than any biography ever could.

Visited July 2011
1 Thank Larry W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lincoln, Nebraska
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Tranquil setting wonderful history”
Reviewed April 28, 2012

Parking fee paid on entrance to park. As you enter you see the polo field which is very well maintained and used (we were told) every weekend. There is a small gift shop and theatre featuring Will to view before taking the house tour. The home is vintage 20's - 30's and gives you a wonderful glimpse into the short life of Will Rogers. The stables are also available to view on the impeccably kept grounds.

Visited April 2012
1 Thank nurse024
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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