Did you grow up loving the films and culture of the early Hollywood western? If so, one of the best sights in Santa Monica  for you is the Will Rogers State Historic Park (1501 Will Rogers State Park Rd., Pacific Palisades, 310/454-8212, www.parks.ca.gov , tours Tues.–Sun. 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., free). This 186-acre ranch with its 31-room sprawling home was the home and retreat of Will Rogers and his family.
The Rogers family raised their brood here, and Mrs. Rogers donated the property to the state after her death in 1944. Today, you can tour the large home and check out some of the facilities of the active working ranch that still exists on the property. Or take a walk around the regulation-sized polo field that was Will’s joy.
If you share Will’s love of horses, visit the stables to take a lesson or go out for a ride out on the local range. Travelers who prefer their own two feet can take a three-mile hike to Inspiration Point, or a longer trek on the Backbone Trail out into the Santa Monica Mountains.