Stumble upon a ranch/museum, just minutes from the city of Los Angeles, and an hour+ from Santa Barbara!!
Happy to say the Leonis Ranch, California's first official Historic-Cultural Monument, came to be due to strong effort for locals who desired to preserve historical land and culture. The land included a house of adobe brick belonging to the so-called "King of Calabasas", real estate businessman, Miguel Leonis, who was prominent through the San Fernando valley.
Whats old is truly appreciated at Leonis Adobe Museum. The Leonis home and West Hollywood's The Plummer House, which was later added to the ample Calabasas property is continuously being restored to their Victorian era beginnings. Plummer House was once deemed the "oldest home in Hollywood".
Among the unique things to do within the museum: see how jails were like in the 19th century, adore the cast-iron architectural beauty of on site Creek Park and view/feed cute sheep, horses, goats, turkeys and doves. For another fun events held on site, check out schedule for film watching, pow wows, cooking demonstrations and more on the LAM site.
Admission to the museum is not required but donations are strongly encouraged ($4 for adults, $3 senior, $1 kids under 12 years old). Parking at the museum lot is $3.50. LAM is acessiable via Metro, Routes 161/245.
Hours: Wed-Sat daytime (see webpage)
Built in 1981 and located in Calabasas, but very near Malibu State Park in a beautiful very detailed traditional Hindu Temple. It was sort of sureal to see it in the mountains on the way to Malibu. The priest live on the grounds to keep an eye on it. The deities at the Malibu Temple include Venkateswara, Rama, Lakshman, Sita, Hanuman, Ganesh, Padmavathi, Bhoodevi, Shiva, Krishna & Radha. Services are welcome to the public and I am not sure about dress codes, but I think it is just common sense what you should wear to a temple. Donations are very welcomed.
The hours are:
The temple is open every day of the year.
Weekdays: Summer hours: 9:00 A.M to 12:30 Noon and 5 P.M to 8 P.M. Winter hours: 9:00 A.M to 12:30 Noon and 5 P.M to 7 P.M.
Weekends&Holidays: Summer hours: 8:00 A.M to 8:00 P.M Winter hours: 8:00 A.M to 8:00 P.M.
Mule deers are fairly common in the Santa Monica Mountains. These like to graze at Pepperdine University. I don't think it makes them smarter though.
The Leonis Adobe homestead has been preserved to provide a glimpse of what life was like here in the 1850's. It's not big, so after a visit, you can go next door to the Sagebrush for Marguerita's.