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A Lost Treasure in San Diego: The Leo Carillo Ranch

Peacocks at The Leo Carillo Ranch in San Diego

There are some weekends in our family life, where it seems we have nothing at all to do and no one calls the house. No invite anywhere. No phone ringing. Just an average boring weekend. Then, there are those weekends where we have 5 activities all occurring at the same time. You are go-go-go from dawn to dusk. I think you know what I’m talking about. But with three kids and a busy week, many weekends find us at home just catching up on life: laundry, yard work, science projects, errands. After a few of those and a few way too busy weekends, my husband usually puts his foot down and announces we are going to go explore our beautiful city.

“Millions of people travel to visit San Diego!” he explains. “We live here and we don’t see enough of it!”

One of these exploratory weekends found us in Carlsbad, at the Leo Carillo Ranch.

The Leo Carillo Ranch in San Diego

This Old World California Ranch was purchased in 1937 by actor and conservationist, Leo Carrillo. It was a retreat for him, from his busy life in Los Angeles. Over time, he acquired more land and expanded the ranch to 2,538 acres.

The Leo Carillo Ranch in San Diego

Today, 27 of those acres belongs to the city of Carlsbad, and the old buildings and ranch house have been renovated. The park is now a historical site, and visitors are welcome to enjoy the park, walk around the grounds and lunch at the picnic tables.

Peacocks at The Leo Carillo Ranch in San Diego

And of course, you can walk among the many peacocks and peahens found roaming freely about the park.

Peacock at The Leo Carillo Ranch in San Diego

When we visited the ranch, people were preparing for a wedding there. But what stole my kids’ attention were the peacocks.

The Leo Carillo Ranch in San Diego

Everywhere we turned, we found them.

Even a rare albino peacock.

white peacock (aka albino peacock) at The Leo Carillo Ranch in San Diego

Up on a roof, of all places.

You can learn more about the Leo Carillo Ranch here. And for you out-of-towners, it’s only 7 miles from Legoland.

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6 Responses to A Lost Treasure in San Diego: The Leo Carillo Ranch

  1. We were in Legoland this past January. Yes, your husband is right! We loved our San Diego trip and 4 days wasn’t enough! You are lucky your husband wants to check out ranch. My husband may prefer going to theme parks. LOL. I can totally imagine my kids chasing peacocks with excitement. I better wait a few more years to visit otherwise we’ll get kicked out. Hahaha. Beautiful peacocks!

  2. Juliana at #

    Beautiful pictures Laura…these peacocks remind me of the time when my son was little and we would visit Arboretum which has lots and lots of them…
    Thanks for this nice post and hope you are having a wonderful week :)

  3. Gorgeous peacock photos, I love San Diego.

  4. Laura, I didn’t know about this ranch — how fantastic! What amazing peacocks — and of course your photographs are absolutely stunning! I loved seeing you this weekend!! xo

  5. Lisa at #

    Love your photos! Had a wonderful time exploring the ranch a few years ago.

    • Thank you! Isn’t it peaceful out there? One of those secret places to visit in San Diego!

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