Hail the King of Calabasas!

A walk through the Leonis Adobe Museum and its grounds in Calabasas will give you a more invigorating, hands-on, and…

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A walk through the Leonis Adobe Museum and its grounds in Calabasas will give you a more invigorating, hands-on, and authentic taste of the San Fernando Valley’s ranching past than anywhere else in the 818. Here, nestled on roughly half an acre just south of the 101 Freeway, are a preserved adobe built circa 1844 and an active farm in miniature with livestock, a vegetable garden, and a small vineyard. Among the accoutrements of ranch life are a water tank bunkhouse, antique wagons, and a windmill with a working well pump.

The farm animals steal the show. Merino sheep, goats, and a pair of humongous Percheron horses idle about. You’ll also meet Texas longhorn cattle, including a pair named Ginger Rogers and Fred “a Steer.” A wooden barn currently holds about a dozen newborn lambs. Nearby is the most colorful, exotic chicken coop ever, bustling with ornately feathered fowl of various breeds.

At the center of it all stands the Leonis Adobe, a two-story ranch house where French Basque immigrant Miguel Leonis—the “king of Calabasas”—lived with his Chumash Indian wife, Espiritu, from the mid-1800s until his death in 1889. The wealthy rancher controlled a vast swath of the western Valley with the help of a large posse of vaqueros. Friendly docents are on hand to recount anecdotes and give tours.

To stretch your legs a bit more, head a hundred yards east to Calabasas Creek Park, where the Leonis Adobe Association has reconstructed a Chumash village.

Leonis Adobe Calabasas
Leonis Adobe Calabasas
Leonis Adobe Calabasas
Leonis Adobe Calabasas
Leonis Adobe Calabasas
Leonis Adobe Calabasas
Leonis Adobe Calabasas
Leonis Adobe Calabasas
Leonis Adobe Calabasas

EAT LOCAL: Sagebrush Cantina, a popular bar and grill right next door, serves traditional Mexican fare on a large patio. On Saturdays, the Calabasas Farmers Market is directly across the street from the adobe from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

From the 405, take the 101 Freeway to Valley Circle Blvd. Turn left onto Valley Circle, then a slight right on Calabasas Rd. Parking for the Leonis Adobe Museum is on the right shortly after. Museum hours are 1 to 4 p.m. Fridays and Sundays, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. Suggested donation of $5. No dogs.

 

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