Mr. Gillette’s glamorous, elaborate Spanish Colonial Revival style villa in its sea of sprawling lawns floats like a green island in the rolling caramel-colored, oak-dotted Calabasas hills. From the Visitor Center, explore the native plant garden, stroll along the tree-lined allee, past the pond and through the lavish estate grounds before ascending the trail through land that once held a large Chumash village. A 1-mile loop – steep in parts – gets you up to Inspiration Point, with a bird’s eye view of the villa and over to the surrounding Santa Monica Mountain perimeter.
A film crew had engulfed the villa on the day we visited, so I can only assume the tile work in the courtyards and around the pool and fountain is lovely.
Regular programs include weekly summer campfires, hopefully returning soon.
Free 2-hour parking at the Visitor’s Center, $7 parking fee beside the mansion. The Visitor Center has yet to re-open as of May 2021.