Overlooking photo of Calabasas. Photo by Okey Isima

Calabasas, California is a city with a rich and fascinating history that spans centuries. From the peaceful lives of the Chumash Indians to the exploits of squatters and bandits, the area has seen its fair share of changes over the years. The name Calabasas is thought to have been derived from the Indian word for “where the wild geese fly” or from the Spanish word for pumpkin or wild gourd.

In the 1700s, Spanish expeditions forever changed the way of life for the Chumash Indians. The diary of Miguel Costanso from 1769-1770 documents encounters with the Chumash in the area. In the 1800s, the area saw a rise in squatter wars and gun fights as large ranches were divided into farms and settlers struggled against poverty and drought.

In the early 1900s, select spots in the Calabasas area developed into weekend respites from the city. The Stunt family developed a homestead on the north slope of Saddle Peak, which was a popular spot for filming motion pictures. Today, this area is known as Malibu Creek State Park.

One of the most notable landmarks in Calabasas is the Leonis Adobe, which is listed as L.A. Historical Cultural Monument Number One. This adobe was extensively enlarged and remodeled by Miguel Leonis in the 1870s, and it serves as an anchor for Old Town Calabasas today. Visitors can tour the adobe and its grounds, as well as the nearby Plummer House, which was moved next to the Leonis property in the 1980s.

Another must-see destination in Calabasas is the Sagebrush Cantina, which was originally a group of small stores built in the early 1920s. The parking lot was once used as a local jail and the famous hanging tree still stands outside. Today, the cantina is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike, offering delicious food and a glimpse into the city’s storied past.

Calabasas is a city that has seen many changes over the years, but it has managed to maintain its unique character and charm. From its rich history to its modern amenities, there is something for everyone in this California city. Whether you’re a history buff or just looking for a fun day out, Calabasas is definitely worth visiting.

The Population of Calabasas

Calabasas, California is a city with a population of approximately 23,058, as of the last census. The median age of the population is 43.5 years old, with 4.4% of the population being under the age of 5, 22.8% being under the age of 18, and 77.2% being over the age of 18. Additionally, 16.1% of the population is over the age of 65.

The primary language spoken in Calabasas is English, with 70.3% of the population speaking it only. Other languages spoken in Calabasas include Spanish (3.8%), other Indo-European languages (16.2%), Asian and Pacific Islander languages (6.0%), and other languages (3.6%).

The median household income in Calabasas is $136,138, with married-couple families having a median income of $209,476 and nonfamily households having a median income of $72,269. The poverty rate in Calabasas is 8.8%.

The employment rate in Calabasas is 60.6%, with the majority of the civilian employed population working in industries such as finance and insurance, and real estate and rental and leasing (15.8%), professional, scientific, and management, and administrative and waste management services (20.5%), and educational services, and health care and social assistance (21.5%).

The majority of the civilian employed population in Calabasas works in management, business, science, and arts occupations (7,389), followed by service occupations (805), sales and office occupations (2,651), and natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations (166).

In terms of education, 71.3% of enrollees are under Kindergarten to 12th grade — making this city a perfect one if you have kids in the family.

Back to Nature and Back to the Roots

The city of Calabasas has a number of landmarks that are very close to nature! Here’s a few of them!

Malibu Creek State Park, located in the Santa Monica Mountains, offers visitors the opportunity to explore its three natural preserves: Kaslow Preserve, Liberty Canyon, and Udell Gorge. The park’s 8,215 acres were established in 1974 to preserve the area’s history and culture, including the remains of homesteads built by the native Chumash people. Visitors can participate in a variety of activities such as hiking, picnicking, fishing, mountain biking, horseback riding, rock climbing, and bird watching.

Photo of Malibu Creek State Park by Yvonne Leow

Leonis Adobe Museum in Calabasas, California is one of the oldest surviving structures in the San Fernando Valley. Built in 1844 as a private residence for a wealthy rancher, the adobe has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places and now serves as a living museum. Visitors can experience what life was like in the 1800s by touring the adobe, barn, and blacksmith shop, as well as interacting with the ranch’s animals.

Photo of Leonis Adobe Museum from Leonis Adobe Museum Webpage

The King Gillette Ranch, also located in Calabasas, was once the property of razor tycoon King C. Gillette. Now a part of Malibu Creek State Park, visitors can explore the ranch and its surrounding public spaces. The ranch, designed by architect Wallace Neff in the 1920s, is also home to a well-preserved Chumash settlement. Popular activities at the ranch include hiking, biking, picnicking, and photography.

Photo from National Park Service

The Malibu Hindu Temple, owned and operated by the Hindu Temple Society of Southern California, has been a part of Calabasas since 1981. The temple is dedicated to the Hindu God Venkateswara and is one of the largest Hindu temples on the west coast. Visitors can explore

Photo from Malibu Hindu Temple Webpage

The city also has a lot of Historic Landmarks. Some of which are as follows:

  • The Masson House
  • The Benson House – Frank Gehry-designed house
  • The Rouse Residence
  • Old Topanga Canyon Road
  • The Bird Path
  • The Park Moderne Fountain
  • Calabasas Schoolhouse Bell
Photo of The Masson House Historical Landmark by Craig Baker
Photo of The Benson House by Craig Baker

The community of Calabasas is one of the main reasons people choose to call it home. With a smaller population compared to other cities, it offers a peaceful and private atmosphere. The town has a friendly atmosphere and a variety of events such as the Calabasas Pumpkin Festival which makes it easy to connect with your neighbors. Additionally, Calabasas has an award-winning school system, the Las Virgenes Unified School District, which includes 15 public schools.

The Calabasas Pumpkin Patch Festival (2022) photo from bucketlisters

Another reason to choose Calabasas is its proximity to celebrities. While Los Angeles is known for its Hollywood stars, Calabasas is known for its star-studded residents. The city has attracted many celebrities such as the Kardashians, Drake, Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez.

Finally, the upscale amenities available in Calabasas are a big draw for many people. With a wide range of options for shopping, dining, and golfing, it offers something for everyone. Calabasas is located in an ideal spot, making it easy to access the region’s most popular attractions.

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