Rancho Santa Fe, originally named Rancho San Dieguito in 1841, was a Mexican land grant from Governor Pio Pico to Juan Maria Osuna, the first mayor of the Pueblo of San Diego. The land was purchased by the Santa Fe Railway in 1906 to plant a Blue gum eucalyptus tree plantation for use as railroad ties but the wood was too soft to hold railroad spikes. Thus, the Santa Fe Land Improvement Company was formed to develop a community of country estates, with 6,200 acres of the land grant renamed Rancho Santa Fe in 1922.
From 1921 to 1927, architect Lilian Rice developed the community, including the village center and several homes. During that time, the Santa Fe Land Company constructed “La Morada”, a guest house to house potential land purchasers. It was renamed “The Inn” in 1941 and is a famous landmark and resort destination today in the heart of the village, featuring hotel rooms and suites, a spa, and a restaurant with beautiful garden settings.
The historic planned community of Rancho Santa Fe, deemed “The Covenant”, was registered as a California historical landmark in 1989. The Covenant features a village lined with shops, dining, offices, and banks, as well as Spanish influenced homes, with most of them on 2 acre private lots. Enjoy fine dining at Mille Fleurs, drinks at Nick & G’s, or decadent desserts at Thyme in the Ranch, a local favorite. Street names in the area are also Spanish influenced and as you drive through the one way streets, you will notice that mature landscapes and greenery abound. There are nearly 60 miles of equestrian and pedestrian trails throughout the Covenant, with homes able to accommodate 1 horse per acre. Every home purchased in the Covenant affords an automatic social membership to the exclusive Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club.
Rancho Santa Fe, one of the top 10 most expensive zip codes in the nation, is home to many major league sports players and affluent residents. There are over 55 exclusive communities including Fairbanks Ranch, The Bridges, The River Estates, Del Mar Country Club, Cielo, and the Rancho Santa Fe Farms, to name a few. The communities are surrounded by award-winning golf courses, rolling hills, and award-winning schools such as the acclaimed R. Roger Rowe. From town, you can head west towards Del Mar and Solana Beach, north towards Encinitas, east towards Escondido, and south towards Carmel Valley and La Jolla.