A visit to Reagan’s Rancho del Cielo

8 Mar

Yesterday I had the good fortune to visit the former home of President Ronald Reagan, Rancho del Cielo, along with the stables and secret service outpost also found on the property.  It’s not a place that’s open to the public, so I felt doubly excited to see it all.

The ranch is located at the tippy top of the Santa Ynez Mountain range, and the drive up is a little harrowing.  One of my bosses told us a story about how her daughter, who was a toddler at the time, would talk about getting “the big spit” when she felt nauseous on car rides.  It was an apt story.  No one got “the big spit”, but it was touch and go for me for a while.

When we pulled into the drive a horse trotted alongside us for a moment, and (I kid not) a herd of deer grazed in a field nearby.  This place is as bucolic as bucolic gets.  I wouldn’t have been surprised to learn that Snow White hosts dinner parties there.

I think what struck me most was how perfectly, refreshingly simple it all was.  The living room, dining room, kitchen, master bedroom, and bathroom all reminded me a bit of the rooms in my grandparents’ house (both sets).  The house is something like 1800 sq. feet, and everything has been left just as it was when they lived there.  I visited the Reagan Library not too long ago and thoroughly enjoyed it, yet I can’t help but feel like I know Reagan better now having seen his family photos, tiny bathroom, the twin beds in the Master bedroom pushed together with a monogrammed quilt, and boot-lined closet.  Whatever your politics, you can’t help but respect that.

Here are some photos from our visit.  I sadly used my cell phone, so the image quality is kind of gross:

The view from the car, about halfway up.

Rancho del Cielo

The Reagan's.

In the foyer area.

A sideboard.

A bar area near a kitchen about the size of mine (i.e. tiny)

Living room.

On the nightstand in the master bedroom.

On a bench at the foot of the bed.

The closet.

The Liberty Bell shower head.

Above the fireplace.

In the stable.


Reagan and Thatcher.

The Secret Service outpost.


Intelligence area overlooking the ranch.

I'm guessing these weren't used for ordering pizzas.

President Reagan's code name was "Rawhide."

On the fridge.

5 Responses to “A visit to Reagan’s Rancho del Cielo”

  1. Mike March 8, 2012 at 7:36 pm #

    I still think you should have stolen that awesome track jacket for me. I mean, come on, there was no one manning the secret service office! Sounds like it was a lot of fun though.

  2. Jenn March 8, 2012 at 8:35 pm #

    I love all the photos of all the places you visit, so amazing you got to visit somewhere that not a lot of people get to see.

    • Loni.Found.Herself March 8, 2012 at 10:01 pm #

      Thanks, Jenn!

  3. luckygrrr March 9, 2012 at 9:22 am #

    The Liberty Bell shower head is a hoot! And I love that chair in the foyer. You’re right. It does make one think of their own grandparents.

    • Loni.Found.Herself March 9, 2012 at 9:32 am #

      My husband found a similar shower head on Ebay, if you’re interested. 😉

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