When you think of sunny California, you probably think of sandy and rugged beaches, National Parks, palm trees, the Boulevard, and Disneyland. While those are some of the things we love most about living here, we also love finding new places to explore that are a little more hidden from plain sight. For example, here in Lake Forest, one of our favorite places is Heritage Hill Historical Park.
Heritage Hill Historical Park features over four acres of land with beautiful, fully restored and furnished historic buildings. These buildings represent the rich history of the Saddleback Valley and El Toro areas, with some buildings built as far back as 1863. Not only is the site a peaceful staple of the area, but it’s also free for public use. Keep reading for more information about our favorite historical site in Lake Forest.
A Brief History of Heritage Hill Historical Park
The history of Heritage Hill goes all the way back to the 1840s when the Mexican government provided land grants to Don Jose Serrano in 1841 and 1846. By 1863, the family had built their first home, the Serrano Adobe, on their land. Over the years, the Serrano Adobe passed through several hands until it was eventually given to the Whiting family. The first restoration to the adobe was completed by the Whitings in 1932, and it became an official State Historical Landmark that same year.
After its restoration, the Serrano Adobe was used as a vacation home for the Bakers. In 1969, the Bakers not only sold their 5,000-acre ranch, but they also donated the Serrano Adobe to a public agency to be preserved. Finally, the adobe was donated to Orange County, and the 4.1 acres of land were officially developed into a historical park. Thus, one of our favorite historical sites was born!
Things to Do at Heritage Hill Historical Park
One of the highlights of the historical site is taking a guided tour. Not only are they the only opportunity to walk through the buildings themselves, but they also provide information about the Saddleback area through important events, artifacts, and people. Even better? There are no fees for entrance or public tours at the park.
Besides offering four free walk-in tours on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 11 a.m., Heritage Hill Historical Park also hosts special celebrations throughout the year. With Rancho Days Fiesta, Victorian Christmas, Candlelight Tour, and Autumn Harvest Festival, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy history all year.
What Makes Heritage Hill Historical Park Special
Heritage Hill Historical Park is the best place in Lake Forest to learn about the history of California. Not only are tours informative and interesting, but the guides are also welcoming and knowledgeable. Plus, the entire staff is dedicated to providing a peaceful and interesting place for the public to enjoy.
Two locations are offered for weddings. They allow pets, have an interpretive center, and offer interpretive programs. Plus, their events provide a special opportunity to connect with your community in a beautiful location.
Don’t hesitate to visit Heritage Hill Historical Park in Lake Forest. You won’t regret it! It’s the perfect opportunity to learn more about the history of our state and enjoy some time in the sun. If you’re looking for apartments in Lake Forest, California, consider Crestwood Apartment Homes. We would love to welcome you home!