Highly recommended, for fresh air, beautiful scenery, and a bit of Carlsbad history, is a visit to the LEO CARRILLO HISTORIC RANCH PARK in Rancho Carrillo, Carlsbad, off Melrose.
Also known as RANCHO DE LOS KIOTES, the LEO CARRILLO HISTORIC RANCH PARK is a real gem, and we are indeed fortunate that a portion of the original 2300+ acre ranch of Leo Carrillo (remember Pancho and the Cisco Kid in the 1950s?) has been preserved, with original buildings, plantings, plenty of wild peacocks, and lots of memorabilia.
The park is located in the midst of the planned residential community of Rancho Carrillo, down the hill from the Swim Center of Rancho Carrillo Road off Melrose. You are free to wander around on your own everyday except Mondays and a few holidays (Tuesday through Saturday from 9 to 9; Sundays from 11 – 5). But I suggest, as I just did, taking a 1-hour guided tour.
The history of Leo Carrillo and the development of his ranch with hacienda and other outbuildings is fascinating, and such a big part of Carlsbad, and Southern California history. You will never know that you are in the midst of a large residential community when visiting, except for an occasional car and a jet from Palomar Airport.
The Park offers outdoor movies in the summer, and there is a children’s art program funded through the Friends of Carrillo Ranch, Inc.