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Stow House, Goleta

Santa Barbara, California, United States


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 the many sunny trails at Lake Los Carneros.
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 16, 2013). 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, 2016). 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 Gallery

Free summer concert in the garden beside the house.

Stow House and its lovely position in front of the large lawn.

Banana grove at Stow House.

Christmas rein-goat at Stow House.

December is a nice time of year to visit Stow House, when it's decorated old-fashioned style.

The Stow House kitchen is cute at Christmastime.

The back balcony at Stow House.

Lake Los Carneros.

Donna Greene and the Roadhouse Daddies play amongst the wonderful banana trees.

Families gather to hear a free summer concert at Stow House, August 2010.


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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. Closed in January. Suggested fee is $5 for adults and free for kids.
Dates and times of special events are found here.
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