Santa Barbara County
Cities and Towns
Los Olivos is an unincorporated place
in Santa Barbara County, California. Approximately 1000 people
live in and near Los Olivos. The ZIP Code is 93441, and the
community is inside area code 805.
Sometime around 1880, on a bluff overlooking Alamo Pintado Creek, just north of the town of Ballard, a two-story house was built, with a wide, covered front porch and neatly symmetrical arched windows in the center gable, situated on prime farmland. It became the property of twenty-two-year-old Alden March Boyd, of Albany, New York, when he paid $8,000 for "157 acres, more or less, together with the dwelling house," in 1885. He planted five thousand olive trees, and called it Rancho De Los Olivos. The 1880s were a boom time for California. On November 16, 1887, the Pacific Coast Railway line extension from Los Alamos was completed. The developers of the narrow-gauge railway first named their town El Olivar, then El Olivos, and finally Los Olivos, after Boyd's nearby ranch.
Los Olivos is one of five communities (with Ballard, Buellton, Solvang, and Santa Ynez) that make up the Santa Ynez Valley. The town is near SR 154, a scenic road from Santa Barbara over San Marcos Pass, through the coastal Santa Ynez Mountains. Los Olivos was connected by the narrow gauge railroad to points north as far as San Luis Obispo until the train made its last run in 1934. The southern terminus of the railroad was in front of Mattei's Tavern, where a stagecoach line continued over San Marcos Pass into Santa Barbara. The tavern is still in operation, and is one of the highlights of the area, with a well respected restaurant and historic charm.
Downtown Los Olivos
Los Olivos is renowned for its wineries
and tasting rooms. Starting in Los Olivos and stretching north is
the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail.
The town is home to college-prep Dunn School and Midland School. Dunn School is located along SR 154 and has both boarding and day students. Midland School is located on Figueroa Mountain Road and has only boarding students.
Various celebrities have called this area home, including Cheryl Ladd, Noah Wyle, David Crosby, Bo Derek, Kelly LeBrock, Steven Seagal, John Forsythe, Ray Stark, Robert Cray, and Jimmy Stewart. Former US President Ronald Reagan lived about 9 miles (14 km) south at Rancho del Cielo ("Sky Ranch"). Singer Michael Jackson's former property Neverland Ranch is located about 5 miles (8.0 km) north. There are also a number of large thoroughbred horse ranches in the area.
In May, 1986, Los Olivos was used as the location setting for the fictional town of "Mayberry" in the made-for-TV movie Return to Mayberry, based on the popular 1960s sitcom The Andy Griffith Show. Several locations in Los Olivos were featured in the 2004 movie Sideways. The Los Olivos Grand Hotel, built in 1985, is now Fess Parker's Wine Country Inn, owned by former Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett star, Fess Parker.
This page was last updated July 19, 2009.