California Historic Homes & Gardens

History & Heritage, Magazine Features


Hearst Castle

California may be known for lots of things—Hollywood and the movies, the Gold Rush, Golden Gate Bridge, beaches and breathtaking Pacific views, Silicon Valley, the intellectual centers of Stanford and Berkeley, and much more. But perhaps it is not as well known as it should be for its wealth of historic homes and gardens. These sites reflect the rich history of the state and unique tastes of former owners, whether they were community leaders, gold prospectors or an occasional bordello madam.

Let’s take a look at a handful of the many possible visits that could be included in the next itinerary you develop to California. It might be a garden here or an unusual home there, sprinkled in a standard tour. Or, it could be a specialty tour featuring a number of homes and gardens for your local garden club or women’s group looking for an entire trip designed around this focus. Here are a few of the many possibilities:

FILOLI, Woodside. If you remember the ’80s, you may remember this house as the Carrington Mansion in the popular TV series Dynasty. Home for nearly 20 years to William Bowers Bourn II, owner of one of California’s richest gold mines, the estate got its name by combining the first two letters from his credo: “Fight for a just cause; Love your fellow man; Live a good life.”


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