Long Beach’s Secret Garden

BY: CARLI CRITCHFIELD

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Long Beach is a city of many things, it has so many things to offer and so many hidden treasures. One of them being the gardens and ranch, or its official name “The Rancho Los Alamitos.” Less than a mile away from campus, you can come to this beautiful ranch and multiple gardens and feel like you are somewhere else completely. Founded in 1790 the property used to be 300,000 acres, much more than the seven and a half acres it currently is. The land was originally given to Manuel Nieto in 1790 but was handed down over time. The last private owners were in 1968 before the ranch was donated to the City of Long Beach, making the land open to the public and into what the Rancho Los Alamitos is today.

The barn, gardens and the ranch house have gone through some restorations to get to the great condition that it still stands in. The barn and Rancho Center was originally built in 1948 and went under some restoration just two years ago. The ranch house is open to the public, however, you have to take a tour to get inside.

There are multiple gardens on the property ranging from a cactus garden to a rose garden. The rose garden is breathtaking, and I can only imagine what it looks like in the spring. Each garden has something different to offer and gives you a little feeling of nostalgia, especially the rose garden. It reminded me of something out of “The Secret Garden” novel.

This place cannot be described in words. I recommend everyone to go and take a look. It’s completely free, unless you want to buy something from the gift shop. You can take a tour or just wander around yourself, or both! It takes you right out of the city without having to really go anywhere.