Hollister Ranch History & Information
The Hollister Ranch is a 14,400 acre area of land located south of Point Conception, at the northernmost edge of the area known as "Southern California." The Ranch is a cattle ranch that is sparsely developed with homes on large, agriculturally zoned, 100 acre parcels. The Ranch contains approximately 8.5 miles of Pacific Ocean shoreline, an area characterized as empty points and coves, rolling hillsides, and beach bluffs.
"The Hollister Ranch Owners’ Association seeks to develop and maintain Hollister Ranch in a manner that ensures the full enjoyment of the historical traditions and natural advantages of the area for all who acquire property therein and yet encourages diverse individual expression within the environment. The Hollister Ranch Owners’ Association believes that this fundamental concept can serve the interests of those who become such owners by fostering a beneficial land use that retains the unique beauty of the land and creates an atmosphere enriching the spirit of its participants." - CC&Rs, 1971
History & Region
The Ranch was part of the 1794 Rancho Nuestra Señora del Refugio Spanish land grant to José Francisco Ortega. This was the only land grant under Spanish rule in Santa Barbara County, California. The grant encompassed much of the Gaviota Coast.
In 1869, William Hollister and his family acquired the Ranch property, and began using it for cattle ranching. It has been a working cattle ranch ever since. On average, approximately 500,000 pounds of beef are shipped annually from the Ranch.
In 1971, the Ranch was subdivided into 136 separate, approximately 100 acre parcels, and some common areas. 133 of the parcels are now privately owned. The other 3 lots are commonly owned by the Hollister Ranch Owners' Association and used for administrative, cattle ranching, and other common purposes.
The land located to the immediate west of the Ranch is privately owned and includes the Dangermond Preserve, owned by the Nature Conservancy. The Gaviota State Park, with its Wind Cave trail and Gaviota State Peak trail borders the HR's east. The Santa Ynez mountains lie along the northern boundary of the Ranch over which lies the magnificent and historic Rancho San Julian. The Pacific Ocean lies along the Ranch's southern boundary.
How do Partnership Interests & Building Rights work at the Hollister Ranch?
How do Hollister Ranch Owners & their Guests Access the Ranch?
What are the unique allowable Hollister Ranch Structures? And how are parcels Improved?
Hollister Ranch Owners' Association (HROA), Board of Directors, Committees, & Activities
How are Hollister Ranch properties typically financed? What are the county property taxes?
How are utilities at the Hollister Ranch handled? What fire protections are in place?
Who owns property in Hollister Ranch?
There are several hundred owners of Hollister Ranch parcels. Some are original owners who purchased parcels in the 1970s when parcels were a few hundred thousand dollars. Over the last 50 years, since the HR was subdivided in 1971, homes have been built on 80% of the 133 privately owned Hollister Ranch parcels.
People are drawn to the Hollister Ranch land and community for a wide variety of reasons and often cite the landscape, effective rules regarding preservation, water sports (surf), privacy, and the desire for a traditional California lifestyle. The Hollister Ranch is approximately 2 hours from downtown Los Angeles.
Is Hollister Ranch related to Hollister Co., the California lifestyle clothing brand?
Hollister Co., often advertised as Hollister with clothing designs usually styled "Hollister - California", is a retail surf lifestyle brand owned by Abercrombie & Fitch founded in 2000. The company created a fictional history surrounding its founder coming to California. According to this history, John Hollister, Sr. emigrated from New York City to the Dutch East Indies, and established the company bearing his name upon returning to the United States and settling in California in 1922.
In fact, Hollister, California is a city in Central California without a coastline and known for cattle ranches and was founded by the family that purchased the Hollister Ranch. The brand's logo is a flying seagull. The Hollister Ranch is 25 miles west of Santa Barbara, in Gaviota, California - "gaviota" is the Spanish word for seagull.
Can you camp at Hollister Ranch?
Overnight camping near the beach or other common areas is prohibited. Very short-term camping at parcels may be available but is governed by an individual parcel's partnership agreement.
Beachside camping is available outside the HR 2 miles east of the gatehouse at Gaviota State Park Beach & Campground.
Is Hollister Ranch open to public?
Can the public surf at Hollister Ranch?
People can and sometimes do use boats to access the state-owned “wet beach” along the Ranch’s southern boundary. The Ranch does not attempt to stop this activity. Please see this page regarding the convenient Public Access topic.
In California, the State owns the coastline's tidelands, sometimes known as the “wet beach,” lying seaward of the mean high water line, and thus the public has always had access to the wet beach on the Gaviota Coast, which includes Hollister Ranch's tidelands. The eastern boundary of the Ranch is adjacent to Gaviota State Beach, which is itself adjacent to Highway 101 and open to the public.