Designated a California historic landmark in 1989, the unincorporated town of Rancho Santa Fe is nestled in a rolling landscape populated with eucalyptus trees, lush fruit orchards, and wealthy residents in San Diego’s North County. Rancho Santa Fe homes are about seven miles from the Pacific Ocean, and 30 miles from downtown San Diego and Lindbergh Field.
For generations, Rancho Santa Fe real estate has attracted the rich and famous in search of large estate properties in an exclusive area that offered a charming rural life and the promise of privacy. Rancho Santa Fe real estate is some of the most exclusive in the nation, often limited to those with the means to afford Rancho Santa Fe’s high-priced luxury lifestyle along with the natural seclusion that it’s rolling hills and valleys provide. Buying luxury homes in Rancho Santa Fe vary by type and location. Home prices range anywhere from the $800s to $25 million or more.
Rancho Santa Fe along the San Dieguito River was once an area planted with acres of eucalyptus seedlings to produce wood for the Santa Fe Company’s railroad ties. When the trees proved unsuitable for holding railroad spikes, the area was opened for San Diego home development. The community grew under the strict enforcement of Rancho Santa Fe’s “Protective Covenant” established in 1927, with many of those guidelines still followed today. As a result, the heart of Rancho Santa Fe has no street signs, street lights or even home mail delivery. The primary architect of the original Rancho Santa Fe village was Lillian Rice who envisioned the Spanish Colonial Revival Style of many of the historic public buildings, shops, restaurants and the renowned The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe.
Today the seven-square-mile Rancho Santa Fe area offers luxury San Diego homes for sale on two- to four-acre or larger lots, many exclusive gated communities with 24-hour security, world-class resorts, restaurants and boutiques, as well as Rancho Santa Fe sports venues that include top-notch golf, tennis, polo and equestrian facilities. Rancho Santa Fe schools are also among the best in California.
The homes in Rancho Santa Fe remind many of the Montecito area of Santa Barbara – most Rancho Santa Fe homes are magnificent Mediterranean-style, sprawling custom builds on large lots with gated entryways.
Rancho Santa Fe real estate has expanded over the years to include developments outside the original, and still highly desirable, 6200-acre Covenant area in Rancho Santa Fe. Today there are dozens of neighborhoods withRancho Santa Fe luxury homes for sale to consider. Here are just a few of the prestigious Rancho Santa Fe neighborhoods:
Fairbanks Ranch – The original Rancho Santa Fe property of screen stars Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Mary Pickford, Fairbanks Ranch offers grandiose custom homes, its own village and schools, an expansive equestrian center and the Fairbanks Ranch Country Club with a Ted Robinson-designed golf course.
The Bridges – This guard-gated community of Rancho Santa Fe custom homes is an exclusive enclave centered around a Robert Trent Jones II championship golf course and 35,000-square-foot clubhouse.
The Crosby – Located on the site of legendary performer Bing Crosby’s former Rancho Santa Fe estate, Crosby Estates features a top Fred Couples-designed course, 32,000-square-foot clubhouse, and a tennis complex