Following in the Footsteps of Rancheros in Santa Cruz, California
This nineteenth-century dairy ranch was home to five generations of the Wilder family, and when you enter its peaceful green grounds, tucked in a protected coastal nook, you can see why they stuck around. The Wilder Ranch's rambling cluster of restored buildings includes a white clapboard Victorian, fronted by an ancient cypress tree with hoary branches touching the ground. Check out the barns and the collection of innovative farming equipment, and admire the glossy-feathered clutch of chickens. Then strike out for Old Landing Cove Trail, which winds through flat fields to a bluff overlooking a secluded beach. Once busy with schooners offloading lumber, it's now a protected habitat for snowy plover—and a perfect contemplative moment.