Why Reagan Loved the Ranch
Ronald Reagan’s love for the ranching life preceded Rancho del Cielo. He had owned ranches elsewhere in California—in Northridge, Riverside, and Malibu. As his second term as governor of California drew to a close, he began looking for something much more secluded. He found it when friend Bill Wilson pointed him toward the Santa Ynez Mountains in Santa Barbara County—about a 45-minute drive from the city of Santa Barbara—where he came upon a 688-acre spot with a tiny circa-1872 adobe house. He immediately fell in love with the place. “From the first day we saw it, Rancho del Cielo cast a spell over us. No place before or since has ever given Nancy and me the joy and serenity it does,” he stated.
On November 13, 1974, the Reagan’s purchased “Tip Top Ranch.” They rechristened it “Rancho del Cielo,” which translates as the ‘Ranch in the Heavens.’
For Reagan, the Ranch became a second home, not only as a private citizen in the 1970s but also while he was president and in the immediate years thereafter. He often observed that he believed the more he visited the Ranch, the longer he would live. This was Reagan’s Mount Vernon.
The Ranch served as an essential retreat for Ronald Reagan for nearly 25 years. “We relax at the Ranch,” said Reagan, “which if not Heaven itself, probably has the same ZIP code.”
And more than a vacation home, the Ranch is where Ronald Reagan came to make some of the most important decisions affecting his-and our nation's-future.
"Riding on one of the tree-lined trails, or gazing up at the western skies, well, there's no better way I know of to sort out a problem," claimed Reagan. "
"There's something about the wild scenery and serenity of the ranch and the easy gait of the horse beneath me that I find particularly relaxing. And while I loved living in the White House, I must confess that nothing is this great wide world of ours quite compares to having a home on the ranch."