Camarillo Ranch House
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Camarillo Ranch House is one of the prettiest Victorian homes I've seen. The wrap-around balcony, turrets, and overall shape of the creme-colored house look so darling from the outside! There are Spanish gardens with a particularly nice Spanish fountain from 1920, an arch covered in vines, and a herb garden. Red, red barns greet you as you enter the driveway. It's weird how the street the house is on is now a business park, because it used to be a wide, sweeping ranch all owned by Adolpho Camarillo. The town of Camarillo was named after him; first, the railroad station, and then eventually the town. Adolpho's father came to California back when California was still being settled by Russians, Mexicans, and Americans, and didn't belong to any one country. Adolpho's father gained land through a Mexican land grant, and when Adolpho was only 16 he inherited the Camarillo Ranch. In 1840 gold was discovered in California, and after that, America forcibly took the land of homeowners in California. Luckily, the Camarillo family had the papers for their home and were able to keep it. One of the Camarillo grandaughters still lives in Camarillo. What a great heritage she has!
Adolpho studied business in LA and succeeded tremendously as a businessman. He was able to pour a lot of money into this gorgeous home! Take in high ceilings, the wonderful parlor area with its curve of windows, the wooden fretwork and the stained glass window, the curved wooden staircase, and the sweet, sweet bedrooms upstiars, decorated with pale silver wallpapers- all combine to make Camarillo Ranch home so charming! The furnishings are not the original ones, but were carefully selected to match what used to be there. The third floor, with its little play area in the turret at the top is not open to the public, unfortunately. Oh, to be a little girl in those days must have been so fun! On the upstairs balcony, look out at the exterior, made of rock and glass pieces in the cement- Camarillo was copying Gaudi, the great Spanish architect.
Camarillo gave land to build a church, and the majestic Church of Mary Magdalene was built, nearby on Lewis Street. He had stained glass windows commissioned from Germany.
Outside the back of the house, check out the Australian tree, called a "widow maker" because of its dangerous, heavy pine cones, and the magnificent Moreton Bay Fig Tree amongst lush grounds.
When I entered, they offered me a tour, and it was really interesting, so make sure you do the tour!
Don't miss out on seeing this lovely house! Camarillo (and the valley part of Ventura County in general) are not very nice- industrial, agricultural (strawberry fields forever, but not in a good sense), and often derelict- but there are little gems to be found, such as this one.
Old Town Camarillo, which has been revitalized recently, has a cool European-style cafe with super good food, Panini Place, plus stylish Element Coffee where you can hang out with free wifi. A walk around the old town to beautiful St. Mary Magdalen Church is really pleasant.
Valle Lindo Park is a large park filled with redwoods, bridges, winding paths, and play equipment- a pleasant place for a walk or to stop with your kids.
It's also interesting to drive around and check out the Camarillo mansions in the Crestview and Spanish Hills area.
Photo GalleryClick on photo to see large version
201 Camarillo Ranch Road, Camarillo, CA 93012, call (805) 389-8182.
Exit Highway 101 northbound at Flynn Rd, turn right on Mission Oaks Blvd, left on Camarillo Ranch Rd.
Exit Highway 101, southbound at Dawson. Turn right on Petit St, right on Dawson to go back under the freeway. You will now be on Mission Oaks Blvd, and should turn left very soon on Camarillo Ranch Rd.
Open Wed, 12-4, Sat 10-2, Sun 12-4. $5 donation requested- includes a great tour!
This is an interactive map, you can zoom and move it.
Overall Visitor Rating:
|We had such a great time. Thanks volunteers for your hard work. What a great family tradition!|
|I am thoroughly enjoying all of your photos.|
|brings history to life..good for the family|
|I just stumbled upon your web site. It is wonderful, I LOVE IT! We are always trying to find fun and inexpensive things to do. Well now I found you! I thought I knew a lot of places but you just made my list 200 times better.|