Bixby Knolls is an affluent Long Beach, California, neighborhood that draws many to its family-friendly feel, which is rich in historic architecture and charming shops and restaurants.
Bixby Knolls was once 300,000 acres of land gifted to Spanish soldier Manuel Nieto in 1784. In the decades thereafter, the land was reduced by half due to Nieto's legal missteps with Mission San Gabriel friars. Several decades after Nieto died in 1804, the land was reduced further by the soldier’s heirs who divided it into six parts. One of those parts would become the land on which Rancho Los Cerritos was built, which cattle rancher John Temple purchased in 1843.
Rancho Los Cerritos | Source: wikipedia.org
Temple’s cattle business was short-lived, due in part to the 1860s drought, which opened the door for sheep ranching company Flint, Bixby & Co. to buy the land off of him for $20,000. Jotham Bixby, brother of the company’s founder, successfully ran the business for 15 years before that, too, went belly-up, due to increased industrialization. No longer able to afford the land, Bixby sold it to the Virginia Country Club in 1920, which helped developed the surrounding land now known as Bixby Knolls.
True to its country club roots, Bixby Knolls is now an incredibly upscale neighborhood full of big, million-dollar homes and idyllic tree-lined streets. Thanks to its rich history, the neighborhood is also rife with historic architecture, with most of the area's homes being custom-built between 1920-1950. A walk down the street will greet you with a compelling mix of Tudor, Craftsman, Mid-Century, and Spanish-style residences, many of which have been meticulously restored to retain their original charm.
You’ll also find the original adobe ranch house, Rancho Los Cerritos, that Temple built in the mid-19th century, which is now a city-owned historic site that operates as a museum. The public museum is outfitted with the Victorian furnishings that were popular during the 19th century and opens for tours and events every Wednesday through Sunday.
In addition to beautiful architecture, the city’s efforts to revitalize its shopping and dining strip on Atlantic Avenue increasingly draw people to Bixby Knolls. The now-walkable main drag features an array of restaurants, gastropubs, and boutique retailers that are easily accessible by foot and bike thanks to infrastructure improvements that made it much more friendly to pedestrians and cyclists.
Atlantic Avenue is also home to a number of family-friendly events, like First Fridays, which, aptly, takes place every first Friday of the month and features live music, pop-up vendors, and artists exhibiting their works. Resident businesses also stay open late, fostering a sense of community and neighborhood pride.
If you’re interested in calling this historic neighborhood home, then check out the all active homes for sale in Bixby Knolls.