Location: 671 S. Oakglen Ave., Nipomo, CA 93444

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve driven past the highway sign for historical landmark 1033, The Dana Adobe and thought, “I wonder what that is?” But like most of us, I was always in a hurry going to or coming from somewhere else. After going through the pandemic lockdown in 2020, I was more than eager to get out in 2021. When places started to open back up in June, I decided to ease back into civilization with a visit to Nipomo’s Dana Adobe.

The Dana Adobe was built in 1837 by Boston sea Captain William Dana on 37,000 plus acres of land. In 1999 a historic foundation formed to preserve the adobe and share it’s cultural history with generations to come. In 2016 the cultural center building was finished. According to the Dana Adobe website, the goal of the “DANA Cultural Center is to engage visitors with the stories of California’s Rancho Era History, connecting them with the peoples, the land, and its resources to foster environmental stewardship and cultural understanding.” In 2016 the cultural center was built and in recent years they have added several walking trails.

While visiting the adobe itself is free, for a $5 donation you can also visit the cultural center where you can see cultural artifacts and watch videos explaining the history. A docent is more also more than happy to give you a guided tour of the adobe and grounds. I choose to to explore by myself and on the day I went, I was the only visitor. This allowed me to really take my time in each of the rooms and snap some photos. I then enjoyed the walking trails and surrounding landscape.

Who Should Stop?

I would recommend a stop to anyone who enjoys history, especially California history. Those who have never seen a straw and clay built adobe up close and birders, nature lovers and those just wanting to stretch their legs while driving up or down the 101 (the adobe is minutes off the 101 and parking is free). During the year they host events at the cultural center including dinners and Halloween season ghost stories (the adobe is rumored to be haunted).

Worth Another Visit?

I would visit again for the events and the trails. The view of the fields and Nipomo hills is pretty anytime of year. The trails are wide and it’s very peaceful. As a birder the trail that snakes along the Nipomo creek is particularly enjoyable.