Photo By: San Diego County Historical Society

Rancho Santa Fe has a rich history dating back to its founding in the late 1920s. After the Santa Fe Railroad's early failed experiment in growing Eucalyptus trees, Rancho Santa Fe was established as a rural residential community with an emphasis on agriculture and on preserving the unique landscapes. Additional information on how the community was developed can be found in the History section. A Community Map is included to see the overall layout of the community. Click on the Google Map link at the bottom of the page to zoom in and look around the village and adjacent areas.

The unique character of the community still exists today in large part thanks to the application of architectural controls and other protective regulations which can be found in the Association Information section.

In addition to preserving and maintaining the character of the community, the privacy, safety and security its residents are of utmost importance. Fortunately, the covenant has a full-time private security patrol in addition to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department and the California Highway Patrol. Additional information on security and fire protection can be found in the Safety section.

The community of Rancho Santa Fe was first established in 1928, and is commonly referred to as the "Covenant" by local residents. But the name "Covenant" actually came about because of how the community was created. At that time, a group of property owners entered into a mutual agreement to preserve and maintain the character of the community and its rare landscape features, and to uphold the quality of future architecture. This mutual agreement came to be known simply as the Covenant and now refers not only to the principal governing document, but also to the community itself.

Today, the Covenant of Rancho Santa Fe encompasses approximately ten square miles or approximately 6,730 acres, and is home to around 5,000 residents. Near the center of the Covenant area is the Village of Rancho Santa Fe, with shops, restaurants, other commercial businesses and the historic Rancho Santa Fe Inn. The Rancho Santa Fe School District's new campus is located adjacent to the Village. The Roger Rowe School was specifically built for grades K-6th and middle school aged children. The Roger Rowe campus is state of the art, and includes a performing arts center, dedicated classroom labs, and a computer for every child.

In the heart of the Covenant and to the north of the Village is the renowned Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club. The Rancho Santa Fe Golf Course is a Max Behr designed 6,940 yard par 72 course and is open only to Covenant members and their guests. In the late 1930s, the Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club served as the original site for “clambakes” hosted by Bing Crosby, one the early residents of the Covenant.

Surrounding the golf course and the Village, the majority of the Covenant is comprised of rolling topography with low density, large lot residential development where the average lot size is over two acres. A private equestrian and hiking trail network runs throughout the community. The private, secure, rural character of the community, combined with its proximity to the ocean and nearby access to world class medical facilities and cultural venues are what set the Covenant apart as being a highly desirable place to live.