Rancho Santa Fe

Rancho Santa Fe’s well-hidden estates make for some of the most exclusive addresses in the county.

History: In 1906, the Santa Fe Land Improvement Company, an arm of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, bought all the lands that made up the original San Dieguito land grant and planted millions of eucalyptus trees to be used for railroad ties. The venture failed as the wood was not suitable for tracks. With the aid of developer Col. Ed Fletcher, the company changed direction and in the 1920s developed Rancho Santa Fe as a community of “gentleman farmer” estates with citrus and avocado trees. Each ranch was linked by winding roads to a central civic center. Lilian J. Rice was the lead architect, designing the town center in the Spanish Revival style that became the standard for buildings in the community.

How it got its name: It was named after the Santa Fe railroad.

Landmarks: The Osuna Ranch adobe dates to 1830, when Juan Osuna owned the land. The home and the ranch, which is still used for boarding horses, are open only to property owners in the Rancho Santa Fe Covenant, which was established in 1928. The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe started out as La Morada, a guesthouse for prospective buyers that was designed by Rice.

Things to do: For 30 years, the Rancho Santa Fe Polo Club has been holding matches during summer.

Notable locals: The long list of rich and famous residents includes Howard Hughes, Bing Crosby, Bill Gates, Janet Jackson, Jenny Craig, Phil Mickelson and singer Jewel.

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Today's Market Trends for Rancho Santa Fe *

$3,867,520

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$591

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337

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* All data pertains to single-family homes