California Travel Tips

Rodeo: An Exclusive California Destination and Experience

Published on: February 17, 2020


Millions of Californians have gotten their kicks traveling Route 66. But when it comes to Rodeo, there’s a world of difference between famed Rodeo Drive and those who head for the Rodeo for a good time.

Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills–considered one of the most glamorous places in the world to live, eat and, especially, shop–was built and marketed as the shopping destination of a lifetime. Once called Rancho Rodeo de las Aguas, the “rodeo” name came from the Spanish word meaning to roundup or surround. In 1977 the Rodeo Drive Committee launched a publicity campaign designed to convince people that Rodeo Drive was the shopping street of the rich and famous. It worked!

The Rodeo, on the other hand, from Spanish ranchero days when untamed herds of cattle were gathered in the spring for branding, ear-marking and castration, has its own  status symbols such as fine cowboy hats and Western clothing you don’t typically see at Rodeo Drive boutiques.

At  events such as Southern California’s Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival in April you’ll notice stylish boots, hats and even chaps, but you may not see the Rodeo. You’ll have to head for fairgrounds and equestrian centers to watch sports that grew out of the practices of Spanish ranchers and their Mexican ranch hands (vaqueros), a mixture of cattle wrangling and bullfighting that dates back to the sixteenth-century conquistadors.

So if Los Angeles has the highest concentration of Hispanics in the U.S. (around 97% in East L.A.,) why is there no Rodeo or La Charreada nearby? The majority of Rodeos in California take place in horse or cow towns once considered dust spots on maps.

Rodeo  Experiences

KING CITY: Salinas Valley Wine Country PRCA Pro Rodeo February 28-29, 2020 features wine tasting.

CHOWCHILLA: Western Stampede March 6-8 includes an historical cattle drive on Robertson Blvd. (not the Robertson Blvd. in Beverly Hills).

NORCO: Norco Horse Week April 16-27  comes from the city which hosts barrel racing clinics on Thursday nights.

PALM SPRINGS: Hot Rodeo May 1-3 isn’t referring to the weather. It’s a rodeo where gay Caballeros compete.

REDDING: Redding Rodeo May 13-16 invites ladies “tough enough to wear pink” to help fight breast cancer.

See more stylish rodeo experiences Californians love!

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