Stow House, Goleta
||Santa Barbara, CA|
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Goleta is famous for its lemons. And Stow House is where the lemons began. In fact, Stow House was where the first commercial lemon orchard in all of California was planted, 3000 lemons in 1875. Lake Los Carneros, next to the property, was created as a source of irrigation.
Three generations of Stows lived in the beautiful Carpenter Gothic house on the property after William Stow purchased the land for his son Sherman Stow, who built the house in 1872. The gardens are magnificent, with huge old trees and tropical-looking banana groves. Come for a tour of the house on weekend afternoons, then take a stroll in the gardens and around Lake Los Carneros. Bring some bread to feed the ducks!
Tours make the house come to life, as you learn about the family members who lived here. One of the Stow girls didn't want to part with her piano during her honeymoon so she had it carted around the world with her!
The house and gardens are often used for special events:
A traditional July 4th celebration (11am-4pm) brings pony rides, hay rides, games, and live music. $6 for adults, $5 for kids (includes hayride, but parent must pay $2 for hayride), $5 extra for pony rides.
For six weeks in July and August there are free live concerts on Tuesday evenings from 5:30-7:30pm in the garden (starting July 17, 2012). It is blissful and sheltered amongst the banana grove and the musicians are good. Happy Goletians come, bringing picnics with them.
In October, the Old-Time Fiddlers Convention is held here, with a stage by the banana grove (Oct 9, 2011, 10am-5pm). It's great to sit on the lawn and listen to the musicians compete.
PEP holds a Halloween event for the toddler crowd at Stow House.
Stow House hosts a Christmas event that includes a photo with Santa, making cookies in the old-fashioned kitchen, hot cider on the balcony, live chamber music, rein-goats to pet, and Christmas ornament crafts (Dec 10 and 11, 2011).
December is the best time of year to visit the house because it is decorated beautifully for Christmas.
The garden would be a beautiful place to get married.
While you're here check out the South Coast Railroad Museum, on the same property.
Photo GalleryClick on photo to see large version
Stow House is located at 304 North Los Carneros Road, Goleta CA 93117, call (805) 681-7216.
Exit Highway 101 at Los Carneros Rd and head toward the mountains. After Calle Real, the house is on your right, behind the South Coast Railroad Museum. There is plenty of parking.
Tours are Saturday and Sunday at 2pm and 3pm.
Dates and times of special events are found here.
This is an interactive map, you can zoom and move it.
Overall Visitor Rating:
|Missed the festivities. In San Diego, where the city was covered in fog. Very jealous!!!! Home to Santa Barbara tonight.|