If you’ve ever wanted to visit a small town that happens to be big on artistic talent, then the hidden gem of Harmony, California is the place for you to see.
Located halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles on Highway 1 along central California’s coast, the one-block town of Harmony is more like a village. It’s so small! However, there’s plenty to see and do there. Oh, and I should mention that the population is only 18 people.
Established in 1869, Harmony was first a Swiss dairy settlement that finally got its name in 1907, when the feuding dairy farmers there called for a truce and to live in “harmony.” I don’t know if that’s fact or legend, but it sure makes for an interesting story.
The Harmony Valley Dairy Co-op closed in 1955 and the little village began to decline. The town was all but abandoned until the 1970s, when it was rediscovered by free spirited individuals looking to live a rural, artistic life (hippies?). Harmony was purchased in 1981 by the Lawrence family, and then the whole town went up for sale again in 1997, adding to the incredible (and curious) history of this place.
In 2014, Harmony was purchased by the Van Der Horst family, who have been working to revitalize the town ever since. Today, Harmony is a quirky roadside hamlet where you can experience amazing glass blowing, delicious ice cream, beautifully made pottery, a tiny wedding chapel, and vibrant local wines. Tourism equates to money, which leads to more restoration and revitalization efforts to breathe new life into this tiny community.
This concludes my Weekend Wander series…for now. It might return next summer. I hope you’ve enjoyed it and have found some inspiration for your next trip. Feel free to leave me ideas in the comments below for places I should go next time I have the chance.
As always, thanks for stopping by. ❤