Los Olivos, California

Coordinates: 34°39′50″N 120°07′03″W / 34.66389°N 120.11750°W / 34.66389; -120.11750
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Los Olivos
Downtown Los Olivos
Downtown Los Olivos
Los Olivos is located in California
Los Olivos
Los Olivos
Position in California
Coordinates: 34°39′50″N 120°07′03″W / 34.66389°N 120.11750°W / 34.66389; -120.11750
Country United States
State California
CountySanta Barbara
 • Total2.459 sq mi (6.369 km2)
 • Land2.459 sq mi (6.368 km2)
 • Water0.000 sq mi (0.001 km2)  0.02%
Elevation807 ft (246 m)
 • Total1,138
 • Density460/sq mi (180/km2)
Time zoneUTC-8 (Pacific (PST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−7 (PDT)
ZIP Code
Area code805
GNIS feature ID2583064
U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Los Olivos, California
Shops in Los Olivos
Fess Parker winery, Los Olivos

Los Olivos (/ls ˈlvs/;[3] Spanish for "the olive trees") is an unincorporated community in the Santa Ynez Valley of Santa Barbara County, California, United States. Tourism is popular in this rural area which is an agricultural region with an emphasis on wine grapes. For statistical purposes, the United States Census Bureau has defined Los Olivos as a census-designated place (CDP). The population was 1,132 at the 2010 census. The ZIP Code is 93441, and the community is within the 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.[4]

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.


Los Olivos is one of five communities (with Ballard, Buellton, Solvang, and Santa Ynez) that make up the Santa Ynez Valley. The census definition of the area was created by the Census Bureau for statistical purposes and may not precisely correspond to local understanding of the area with the same name. The town is near SR 154, a scenic road from Santa Barbara over San Marcos Pass, through the coastal Santa Ynez Mountains.


Under the Köppen Climate Classification, "dry-summer subtropical" climates are often referred to as "Mediterranean". Los Olivos has a mean yearly temperature of 61.6 °F (16.4 °C).[5] The average high temperature in the summer months is 92 °F (33.3 °C), while the average low temperature in the winter months is 39.5 °F (4.2 °C).[5] Summers are dry with little to no rain falling from June through September. Winters are mild and wet with the majority of the yearly precipitation (nearly 80%) falling from December through March.[5]


The 2010 United States Census[6] reported that Los Olivos had a population of 1,132. The population density was 460.3 inhabitants per square mile (177.7/km2). The racial makeup of Los Olivos was 1,049 (92.7%) White, 1 (0.1%) African American, 4 (0.4%) Native American, 12 (1.1%) Asian, 5 (0.4%) Pacific Islander, 40 (3.5%) from other races, and 21 (1.9%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 125 persons (11.0%).

The Census reported that 1,132 people (100% of the population) lived in households, 0 (0%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 0 (0%) were institutionalized.

There were 460 households, out of which 141 (30.7%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 276 (60.0%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 36 (7.8%) had a female householder with no husband present, 15 (3.3%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 16 (3.5%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 5 (1.1%) same-sex married couples or partnerships; 109 households (23.7%) were made up of individuals, and 35 (7.6%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46. There were 327 families (71.1% of all households); the average family size was 2.90.

The population was spread out, with 247 people (21.8%) under the age of 18, 67 people (5.9%) aged 18 to 24, 203 people (17.9%) aged 25 to 44, 441 people (39.0%) aged 45 to 64, and 174 people (15.4%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 48.0 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.0 males.

There were 509 housing units at an average density of 207.0 per square mile (79.9/km2), of which 315 (68.5%) were owner-occupied, and 145 (31.5%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 0.3%; the rental vacancy rate was 2.7%. 814 people (71.9% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 318 people (28.1%) lived in rental housing units.

Economy and tourism[edit]

Los Olivos is known for its wineries and tasting rooms. Starting in Los Olivos and stretching north is the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail.[7]

There are a number of large thoroughbred horse ranches in the area. Mattei's Tavern, a former stagecoach stop, is a restaurant.


The Los Olivos School District operates Los Olivos Elementary School.

There are two private college-prep schools, 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.

In popular culture[edit]

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 highlighting Santa Barbara county's viticulture. The Los Olivos Grand Hotel, built in 1985, is now Fess Parker's Wine Country Inn, owned by the family of former Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett star Fess Parker (1924–2010).[8] Parker and his wines were featured on the NBC daytime drama Santa Barbara (first episode of Season Two) of James May and Oz Clarke's Big Wine Adventure. Episodes of The Bachelor were filmed in Los Olivos.

Portions of the 1983 video for the song "Say Say Say", with Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney, were filmed at Sycamore Ranch, five miles (8 km) from the town.[9][10] According to La Toya Jackson, the McCartneys were staying at Sycamore Ranch during the filming. At the time, Jackson expressed interest in someday buying the property. In 1988, he would do so, renaming it Neverland Ranch.[11][12][13]

Notable people[edit]

Various celebrities have called this area home, including Cheryl Ladd, Noah Wyle, David Crosby, Bo Derek, Kelly Le Brock, Val Bisoglio, Steven Seagal, John Forsythe, Ray Stark, Robert Cray, and David Hasselhoff. Former US President Ronald Reagan lived about 9 miles (14 km) south at Rancho del Cielo ("Sky Ranch"). Musician Michael Jackson's property Neverland Ranch is located about 5 miles (8.0 km) north.


  1. ^ "Area figures". U.S. Census. Archived from the original on July 2, 2012.
  2. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Los Olivos, California
  3. ^ White, Ted (2005). Broadcast News: Writing, Reporting, and Producing (4th ed.). Focal Press. p. 123. ISBN 0-240-80659-X.
  4. ^ Etling, William (2005). Sideways in Neverland: Life in the Santa Ynez Valley. iUniverse.
  5. ^ a b c "Monthly Averages for Los Olivos, CA (93441)". The Weather Channel. Retrieved November 12, 2013.
  6. ^ "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA - Los Olivos CDP". U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 15, 2014. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  7. ^ Kettmann, Matt (September 4, 2020). "A Blessing and a Curse: Embracing the Complex Variety of Wines from California's Santa Barbara County". Wine Enthusiast. Retrieved December 24, 2020.
  8. ^ Loe, David (June 1, 2018). "Renovated Santa Barbara resort will no longer carry Fess Parker name". Ventura County Star. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  9. ^ Appel, Stacey (2012). Michael Jackson Style. Omnibus Press. p. 86. ISBN 9780857127877.
  10. ^ Suarez, Jonathan (February 1, 2010). Passed Away. ISBN 9780557302581.
  11. ^ La Toya Jackson; Jeffré Phillips (May 29, 2012). Starting Over. Simon and Schuster. p. 69. ISBN 978-1-4516-2059-7. Retrieved January 19, 2018.
  12. ^ "Joyce Rey | Luxury Beverly Hills Real Estate Agent". www.joycerey.com. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  13. ^ Blistein, Jon (March 2, 2017). "Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch Devalued in Real Estate Market". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 5, 2019.

External links[edit]