A California Hidden Gem: Grand Tradition Estate & Garden

I’ve been doing a lot of research lately for several trips in my future and I am specifically seeking out those “hidden gems” to discover and experience. You know, things off the beaten track that make you feel like you are experiencing a town like a local. I am a Southern California native and this past weekend I discovered a hidden gem surprisingly located only 2 hours away from home. Grand Tradition Estate & Gardens is located in Fallbrook, California, a small rural community in North San Diego County. Grand Tradition was the brainchild of Fallbrook couple, Beverly and Earl McDougal. They purchased the property in the 1970’s and turned this former swampland and orange grove property into what I like to call a “life event center”, a venue for weddings and other special events. The entrance is rather unassuming and looks like the driveway to an adjacent office building. But once you turn down the driveway and pass the gates, you realize you’ve discovered something special tucked back behind the main road.
grand tradition estate and garden fallbrook beverly house

The main building on the property is known as Beverly Mansion, which looks and feels like a Victorian Era home but was specifically built in the 1980’s as a special event venue. Instead of constructing a Spanish style building, which would be more appropriate with the surrounding community, Beverly McDougal opted for a Victorian because she wanted something more “romantic” in style. The McDougals had no experience in architecture or landscaping but they did a lot of research and had a ton of vision. And when they ran short of money during the construction process, they cut all the shingles for the facade of Beverly Mansion by themselves in order to reduce costs. They left no piece of wood left for scrap. beverly mansion grand tradition fallbrookgrand tradition estate and garden beverly mansiongrand tradition estate and gardengrand tradition estate and garden fallbrook 1grand tradition estate and garden fallbrook californiagrand tradition estate fallbrook garden

Behind Beverly Mansion is a large heart shaped lake with a fountain and gazebo. The gazebo is a popular spot for weddings. The day I visited, I witnessed a couple taking engagement photos here and throughout the property. grand tradition the veranda beverly house fallbrook

The Veranda Restaurant is located on the backside of Beverly Mansion. The Veranda overlooks the vast gardens, pond, and fountain. I enjoyed a nice lunch with some of the ladies in my family to celebrate a belated birthday.

the veranda grand tradition estatethe veranda restaurant grand tradition fallbrook

the vernada restaurant grand tradition estate and gardenthe veranda restaurant

What I enjoyed most about visiting Grand Tradition was spending time with family and being able to slow down to enjoy the moment. The short few hours visiting Grand Traditions made me forget the stresses of daily life while enjoying such a beautiful park like setting.

If you decide to visit Grand Tradition, I strongly suggest you take a golf cart tour of the grounds. For $25.00, our small group (in addition to the entrance fee), received a private tour of the property. Our docent was friendly, very knowledgeable when it came to identifying particular plant material, and provided a great overview of the history of the site. A wonderful afternoon was had by all…

grand tradition estate and garden fallbrook

Photos 1, 5, 6, & 13 via Grand Tradition; All other photos by Reviving Charm.

8 thoughts on “A California Hidden Gem: Grand Tradition Estate & Garden

  1. After Orange County says:

    Yes, it is a beautiful estate. My youngest son was a child actor and we attended a “Wrap Party” there for a movie he was in. What a special night it was, complete with carriage rides around the grounds. Then surprisingly, his high school had their Prom there. My husband and I played chauffeur for he and his date so we all got to see and experience it once again. I had no idea it was open to the public, as I thought it was only for special events. I also know someone who got married there. Learn something new everyday! Thanks for the memories.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Reviving Charm says:

      I’m glad the post could
      bring back some very happy memories. The facility is open to the public and they opened a couple of new areas (Compass Garden and another area I forget the name of) so if it’s been several years since your last trip then you will have some new areas to explore should you go back.

      Like

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