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The CVG "Do Something" section contains hundreds of things to do throughout Ventura County and surrounding areas! For listings by category/type, CLICK HERE. Also visit Kid Fun, Fitness & Sports, Local Events, Local Buzz and Events Calendar for even more things to do!

Sunday
Apr122015

Conejo Mountain Edison Road Trail in Newbury Park

The Conejo Mountain Edison Road Trail (also referred to as the Powerline Trail) in Newbury Park runs adjacent to the Dos Vientos community (trailhead on Via Ricardo gets you to it) and takes you up about 1,000 feet in a few miles of hiking/running.

You'll be treated to beautiful views of the entire valley stretching towards Boney Mountain in the distance, then off towards Camarillo and the Oxnard Plain. In the video below, I ran to the top of the mountain; you can also run down the other side, all the way down to Old Conejo Road...but there's a locked gate there. However, the Ventura County Trails website provides some alternative routes that may come in handy at www.venturacountytrails.org/TrailMaps/DosVientos/AreaTrails.htm

The Powerline Trail trailhead is on Via Ricardo in Newbury Park, just west of Via Pisa. You can extend the hike by half a mile (each way) by parking at Dos Vientos Community Park and taking the Park View Trail to Via Ricardo, where you will cross the street (there's a crosswalk) to the Powerline/Edison Trail.

The Conejo Open Space Foundation has a simple map of the trail and additional comments at www.cosf.org/website/html/conejo-mountain.html



Trailhead off of Via Ricardo

This shot was taken in late January 2015, when it was actually green up there!

Sunday
Apr122015

Soter Point at Marina Park in Ventura

Dedicated in 2011, Soter Point at Marina Park in Ventura consists of a shaded picnic area, benches, attactive landscaping and a 15 foot mermaid statue. Soter Point is the result of a private/public partnership between local Ventura residents and the City of Ventura.

The inscription on a plaque on the Mermaid of Soter Point tells the story:

This stunning landmark overlooking the Ventura Harbor represents a trailblazing cooperative effort to beautify our community through private citizens working with public agencies. Andy Soter developed and landscaped the area in memory of his daughter Andrea, a successful and much admired investment manager. The mermaid sculpture and its foundation were donated by Russian emigrants Alec and Tatyana Benke, as an expression of love for their new country, America. Samuel Povar created the first collaboration of this nature in 2007 as a tribute to his late wife Orianna and worked tirelessly to make this Marina Park project a reality. And, the Ventura City Council and the Coastal Commission gave their enthusiastic blessing. Now Povar, Soter, and Benke, all Ventura residents, hope to inspire others to use private capital along with public cooperation and support…to envision something beautiful and make it happen.

Soter Point is located at the southernmost point of Marina Park, a short walk from the main playground area of the park. With beautiful views looking out toward Ventura Harbor and picnic area cooled by sea breezes, Soter Point does not Disa-Point.

Bench faces south toward Ventura Harbor Village

INFORMATION ABOUT AND DIRECTIONS TO DOZENS OF LOCAL AREA BEACHES AT THIS LINK

Thursday
Apr022015

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

Founded in 1916, the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History is a very low key museum that makes for a great excursion to Santa Barbara with the kids.  There are eight exhibit halls with perrmanent exhbits featuring birds, mammals, insects, ocean life, a planetarium and more. Many of the exhibits are "hands on" with buttons and interactive features that kids particularly enjoy. There are an additional two halls for changing exhibits.

Some of the thousands of insects on display at the Cartwright Hall of Plants and InsectsYou and your kids can roam the nature paths and visit the well stocked gift shop, full of educational items. I can vouch for the fascination kids (and adults) have at this Museum. It is a very comfortable museum that in my experience is rarely is crowded. The "Museum Backyard" area and gardens has a picnic area, stream, "Dino Dig," and other enjoyable features. The pond and stream often have tadpoles that captivate the kids.

The museum is open 7 days a week and is closed certain holidays. As of April 2014, admission is $12 for adults, $8 for 65+ seniors and teens (13-17) and $7 for children 2 to 12 years of age. Become a Museum member and you don't have to pay for admission. The Museum also offers birthday parties for members. Family memberships are currently $80/year.

Free Family Sundays are on on the third Sunday of January, February, March, April, September, October, November, and December. No free days in May, June, July and August.

Also in the "Backyard" area of the Museum, there is a physical structure managed by the Santa Barbara Audubon Aviary that cares for birds of prey that are no longer able to survive in the wild. Often volunteers will bring these birds out for visitors to admire. These birds are beautiful.

The "temporary" exhibits are always interesting.  In Fall 2008 the Museum had an exhibit entitled "Giants - African Dinosaurs" that featured life size replicas of African dinosaurs and actual dinosaur bones.

Dino #1Dino #2Dino #3

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History is located at 2559 Puesta del Sol Road, Santa Barbara. More information at www.sbnature.org or 805.682.4711.

The "Backyard" area of the Museum makes for a peaceful, rustic wedding/party venue.

Saturday
Mar282015

Happy Camp Canyon Regional Park in Moorpark

Happy Camp Canyon Regional Park in Moorpark is a 3,000 acre wilderness area with 12 1/2 miles of trails maintained by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. I've hiked back here from time to time and rarely see anyone in these quiet canyons!

There are a couple entry points to Happy Camp Canyon. The one shown above is adjacent to Rustic Canyon Golf Course, 15100 Happy Camp Canyon Road, Moorpark. The other, main entry point shown below is at 14105 Broadway Avenue, Moorpark. Park here and hike to the canyon entrance point.

If you're looking for relatively flat trails well suited for comfortable hiking, mountain biking and horse riding, Happy Camp Canyon is a good choice.

You can take the main Happy Camp Canyon Fire Road for quite a ways and either head back the way you came or take the more strenuous Middle Range Fire Road back and catch some great views. I veered north up a steep maintenance road to some power lines shown below.

Or try the 8 mile, strenuous, South Ridge Loop (via the Middle Ridge Fire Road).  Begin at the canyon gate; about 100 yards beyond, turn right and follow a dirt road up to the ridge top. Continue east along the Big Mountain Ridge to a junction, enjoying views on your right of Moorpark, Simi Valley, the Santa Monica Mountains, and all the way to Channel Islands. At the junction, turn north and drop down into Happy Camp Canyon. When you reach an old corral (and picnic area), turn west and walk back to the entrance gate on Happy Camp Canyon Fire Road (in the canyon bottom), approximately four miles. 

There is no cost for parking here. For more information, visit www.lamountains.com/parks.asp?parkid=18 and for a park map, click www.lamountains.com/maps/happyCamp.pdf.

NOTE: Because of sensitive habitat, dogs are not allowed past entrance gate.

Saturday
Mar282015

Cheeseboro/Palo Comado Canyons in Agoura Hills

Cheeseboro and Palo Comado Canyons include 4,000 acres in the northernmost section of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, in the Simi Hills. Stroll to Sulphur Springs or hike to the top of Simi Peak for panoramic views of Oak Park, Agoura Hills and Simi Valley. The Chumash lived in these canyons for thousands of years. Many trails within the canyons may have originated with the Chumash and then were expanded by the ranchers who followed.

Cheeseboro Canyon has some of the best cycling and running trails in the area. The lower trailhead is accessed from Cheseboro Road and there is plenty of parking. (On a side note, no one has been able to explain to me why Cheseboro Road is spelled differently than Cheeseboro Canyon.)

Cheeseboro Canyon Trail (CCT) is a 4.6 mile, fairly easygoing main artery into the park, whereas the 4.4 mile Palo Comado Canyon Trail, which largely parallels the CCT, is much more challenging. The Cheeseboro Ridge Trail also parallels the CCT and seems to be favored by cyclists with its long, rolling hills, though distance runners also will enjoy this trail.  Take CCT up through Sulphur Springs and you'll be running through a small (usually) stream bed and a brief rotten egg smell. Then soon the trail becomes more desert-like as you make your way up to the Sheep Corral Trail and the Shepherds' Flat area. It is really beautiful up there though it can get pretty hot, so carry some water!

While there are plenty of steep hills in this area, this is also a great place for strollers, as many of the trails are quite wide and flat.

The only bathroom that I'm aware of in these trails is at the Cheseboro Road trailhead and is not particularly pleasurable to use...just a heads up.

Visit www.nps.gov/samo/planyourvisit/placestogo.htm to learn more and to access a nice pdf trail map. The trailhead is located at 5792 Cheseboro Road. Contact the visitor center at 805.370.2301. Dogs are allowed but must be on a leash at all times.

Monday
Mar232015

Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard

Channel Islands Harbor is located in Oxnard; take the 101 Freeway to Ventura. Exit Victoria Avenue. Turn south onto Victoria Avenue. Continue on Victoria for approximately 5 miles until you reach Channel Islands Harbor.

Channel Islands Harbor offers a variety of activities for the entire family. Throughout the year various events are held including the Celebration of the Whales, visits by Tall Ships, Concerts by the Sea, Fireworks by the Sea on July 4th, the Ventura County Boat Show, Ventura Vintage Rods Harbor Run Classic Car Show, and the annual Parade of Lights.

Harbor restaurants include The Waterside Restaurant and Wine Bar, H.C. Seafood & Co., Fisherman's House, Moqueca Brazilian Cuisine, Whale's Tail and more. You may shop at clothing, gift and accessories stores or cruise the Harbor on the Channel Islands Harbor Water Taxi.

Visitors may rent boats at Hopper Boat Rentals, or Channel Islands Kayak Center, visit the Channel Islands Maritime Museum or just enjoy a beautiful day at one of the local beaches. Weekends offer live musical entertainment. Fresh fruits and vegetables plus arts and crafts may be found at the Harbor's Farmers' Market held at the Marine Emporium Landing from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. every Sunday, rain or shine!

For more information, visit www.channelislandsharbor.org or call 805.985.4852.

Conejo Joe and family stop by the harbor as often as possible for various events and to walk around, as well as to walk a few blocks over to the beach!  Quite a nice opportunity to beat the Conejo Valley heat...and only 15 to 20 minutes away!

Thursday
Mar192015

The Collection at RiverPark in Oxnard

The Collection at RiverPark is an outdoor shopping center located on the northeast side of the 101 freeway in Oxnard, between the Oxnard and Vineyard exits.

The 650,000 sq ft center includes a combination of entertainment, retail, restaurants, various services, open space with fountains, parks and playgrounds and quality art. Parking is available on the streets as well as several parking lots.

As of March 2015, the following businesses operate at The Collection:

Stores and other businesses include Century Theaters, REI, Target, Whole Foods Market, H&M, ULTA, 24-Hour Fitness, Bank of America, California Welcome Center, Charming Charlie, Color Me Mine, Massage Envy Spa, Sleep Number, Soma Intimates, Republic of Couture, Windsor, Painted Cabernet, White House Black Market, Polish NailBar, Jos. A. Bank, European Wax, Francesca's, Active Ride Shop, Lane Bryant and Chico's.

The Container Store is coming soon!

Restaurants include Famous Dave's, Five Guys Burgers & Fries, Gandolfo's NY Deli, Gen Korean BBQ House, Kabuki Japanese Restaurant, Menchie's Frozen Yogurt, Panera Bread, Starbucks, Settebello Pizzeria Napoletana, Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar, Larsen's Grill, Toby Keith's Bar & Grill, Maria's Italian Kitchen, Ben and Jerry's and Yard House. Sabra Fish Grill is coming soon and sweet shop It'Sugar is also anticipated to open in 2015.

There is unique public art placed throughout the center, including metal sculptures, ceramic tile murals, fountains and more. Shea Properties has spent around $1 million on art, bringing in seven artists for 18 individual art installations. Artists include Frank Bauer with his ceramic tile murals and benches and tile sidewalk medallions, and Michael Amescua with his cut metal sculptures.

For a map of The Collection, click here. Visit www.thecollectionrp.com or visit their Facebook page to learn more. To get there from the 101 North, exit on Oxnard Boulevard and turn right. Turn right again on Town Center Drive.

Playground at The Collection

Wednesday
Mar182015

Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens

The 133 acre Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens first opened in 1966. The Zoo is home to more than 1,100 mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles representing more than 250 different species of which 29 are endangered. In addition, the Zoo’s botanical collection comprises several planted gardens and over 800 different plant species with over 7,400 individual plants. The Zoo receives over 1.5 million visitors per year and is owned and operated by the City of Los Angeles.

Some personal experience. There's a children's zoo area with a petting zoo and fun exhibits. There's also a play area for kids that was quite popular as we passed by.  My 4 year old was particularly mesmerized by the gorillas, giraffes, flamingos, zebras and sea lions. The food was not cheap but it was decent. We shared a burger, corn dog and fruit salad and I appreciated the reasonable quality.

Some advice! The line to get into the park was pretty long. Looked like it would take 20 to 30 minutes just to get in the park. My advice is to buy an L.A. Zoo Membership! There is a $126 one-year family membership (as of March 2015) that gives you FREE admission for 2 adults and all of your kids, plus 2 one-time guest passes.  If you have a family of 4 and visit the park twice a year, this membership SAVES YOU MONEY as the regular entry cost is $19 for adults and $14 for ages 2 to 17. Ages 62+ is $14. (Pricing as of March 2015.) Plus, there was NO LINE to get in with your membership card! That alone gave us an extra 30 minutes in the park today (and that's a big deal with a 4 year old).  Lastly, the card gives you 10% off your meals and gift shop purchases.  Seems like a no brainer!

Zoo membership also gives you free or discounted admission to zoos and aquariums across the country.

The Living Amphibians, Invertebrates, Reptiles (LAIR) exhibit opened in March 2012. There is a damp forest section that has Fiji Island banded iguanas, poison dart frogs, Guatemalan palm vipers and Fly River turtles, an area where you can watch staff taking care of the animals, tortoises, lizards, crocodile swamp, desert reptiles and much more. There is a large number of Mexican reptile species as we discovered that Mexico has more reptile species than any other country on earth.

The L.A. Zoo is located at 5333 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles. Visit www.lazoo.org or call 323.644.4200 for more information.

Short and sweet video tour of Los Angeles Zoo thanks to Richard Corben:

Hippo relaxing at the Los Angeles Zoo Nicely appointed kids' play area at Los Angeles Zoo

Rhino at Los Angeles Zoo is just kickin' itZebra at Los Angeles Zoo is having a snack

Some fairly lousy video footage of The LAIR in April 2012. It was a hot and fairly crowded day in April 2012 and capturing video footage with my 6 year old was a challenge that day :>

Sunday
Mar152015

Boney Mountain Peak Hike From Newbury Park

At an elevation of 2,825 feet, the presence of Boney Peak (also known at Mount Boney), is felt throughout the Conejo Valley and surrounding areas. Want to climb it?

Well you can! It is challenging, but possible. Boney Mountain is located in the Santa Monica Mountains. One way to get to Boney Peak is via the Upper Canyon Trail from the Danielson Monument.

Danielson Monument

First off, hike your way up to the Danielson Monument, click this link for details. The monument is next to the remains of a burned down cabin shown below.

There is a trail that veers left next to the chimney. This is where you want to go. You're looking at a challenging 2 mile climb to Boney Peak. Most of the trail is narrow single track. There are some really steep, rocky sections, some with deep crevices, that may freak you out. You may have to duck your head from time to time. The trail is definitely challenging, both going up and coming back down. Definitely not for everyone.

The trail gets tight at times

The trail is not "officially" maintained by the National Park Service and thus there are NO SIGNS that say, hey, go this way to get to Boney Peak.  But I've seen plenty of people make it up there just fine as the path is fairly obvious. Just stay on the main path.

After twists, turn, rocks, crevices and hills, the trail flattens out a bit near the topOne thing to note when you think you've reached the top. Look at the picture at the top of this post. To the left of the circled area is a large boulder. This is not the peak. There's a trail to the left behind it that you'll have to go up to get to the actual peak. Again, there are no signs. But you should be able to see the path pretty easily. You will be climbing some sheer rock face to get there. Can be slippery. And standing on the top of Boney can be both exhilarating and scary as hell! So be careful!

The final ascent to the top on sheer rock path

How long does it take to get from the trailhead at Wendy and Potrero and back? I'd allow for 4 to 5 hours if you are hiking. If you are a strong runner you can get up to it in as little as an hour (I'm talking top notch runner) to hour and a half, but you will only be able to "run" about half of the trail above the Danielson Monument. The rest is more of a technical hike in and around the rocks, boulders and crevices.

Here's some views you'll be treated to at the top.

Sunday
Mar082015

Rubicon Theatre Company - Ventura

The Rubicon Theatre Company has provided theater productions, festivals, special events and education programs (outreach, camps, classes, etc.) in Ventura since 1998.  The Rubicon's mission is Some of the actors that have performed at Rubicon in the past include Ed Asner, John Ritter, Stacy Keach, Jack Lemmon, Efrem Zimbalist Jr. and other luminaries.  The Rubicon Theatre is very intimate, with only about 200 seats! 

The theatre is located at 1006 E. Main Street in Ventura.  For more information, visit www.rubicontheatre.org or call 805.667.2900.

Present innovative, first-rate professional theatrical productions, festivals, special events and education programs for the enrichment, entertainment, and education of the region's residents and visitors.
Saturday
Feb282015

Hunt Olive Tree - Historical Landmark in Thousand Oaks

Hunt Olive Tree LandmarkWhen Richard Orville Hunt and his wife Mary Jane Hunt planted trees in their orchard on the Salto Ranch (currently Lynn Ranch) over 130 years ago, they probably never contemplated that one of their trees would be thriving in the Circuit City (now Sprouts Farmers Market as of 5/12/10) parking lot. 

Well, that's where this beautiful old timer is.  I'm not exactly sure why the Hunt Olive Tree was moved here from its prior home in 1993, but she looks like she is doing o.k.  This tree near the entrance of the Sprouts parking lot at 600 West Hillcrest was designated a Ventura County Historical Landmark #64 on January 25, 1982. It is also Historical Landmark #4 in the City of Thousand Oaks.

Richard Hunt served as postmaster of the Newbury Park Post Office (which at the time was located at his ranch) for 18 years, beginning in 1891.

So go pay homage to this lovely link to our local history en route to buying some fresh fruits, veggies and other health foods at Sprouts!

The Hunt Olive Tree next to the old Circuit City sign. I'll keep it in here for nostalgia's sake.

 

Thursday
Feb262015

Mullin Automotive Museum

Opened in Spring 2010 and located at 1421 Emerson Avenue in Oxnard, the Mullin Automotive Museum is a 47,000 square foot facility with a collection of over 50 French Art Deco cars from the 1930s and 1940s, including Bugattis, Delages, Delahayes, Hispano Suizas, Talbot-Lagos and Voisins. Peter W. Mullin is the founder/owner of the Museum and the collection.

The Museum is open to the public generally only 1-2 days per month. Click here for more RSVP information. Visit www.mullinautomotivemuseum.com or call 805.385.5400 to learn more and to purchase tickets. As of January 2015, admission is $15 for adults, $10 for 65+, $8 for ages 3 through 11 and free for 2 and under. Active Military FREE with ID. Private visits also available for $40 per person.

Upcoming 2015 dates (as of 2/26/15) are as follow (you must buy tickets in advance to reserve a spot):

Sat, Feb 28, 2015 (The Art of Bugatti exhibit - entire museum)

Sat, Mar 14, 2015 (The Art of Bugatti exhibit - entire museum)

Sat, Mar 28, 2015 (The Art of Bugatti exhibit - entire museum)

Museum closed in April

Sat, May 9, 2015

Fri, May 22, 2015

Sat, Jun 13, 2015

Sat, Jun 27, 2015

Sat, Jul 11, 2015

Sat, Jul 25, 2015

Sat, Aug 8, 2015

Sat, Aug 22, 2015

Sat, Sep 12, 2015

Sat, Sep 26, 2015

Sat, Oct 10, 2015

Sat, Oct 24, 2015

Sat, Nov 7, 2015

Sat, Nov 21, 2015

Sat, Dec 12, 2015

This museum and its contents are STUNNING to say the least!! More photos at THIS LINK.

 

Wednesday
Feb252015

Point Mugu State Park

Point Mugu State Park is located in the Santa Monica Mountains, stretching from Newbury Park on the north to five miles of ocean shoreline on the south. The park includes 14,000 acres of land with over 70 miles of trails popular with hikers, cyclists and runners.  It is truly an amazing place, with rocky peaks that include the prominent Boney Mountain State Wilderness that looks over the western Conejo Valley.

The sign in Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa in Newbury Park indicating you are entering State-managed Point Mugu State Park

You can actually hike, run or bike from Newbury Park, from the Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa area managed by the National Park Service down to the ocean via Sycamore Canyon "Sycamore to the Sea," which is about an 8 mile trip one way. But do be aware - the initial 800 foot drop from Rancho Sierra Vista into the canyon via Big Sycamore Canyon Road is a bit more challenging coming back up.

The paved hill drop into the canyon via Sycamore Canyon Fire Road

There are four main canyons in Point Mugu State park. Sycamore Canyon is perhaps the most well known, stretching practically the entire north/south length of the park, where at the bottom of the canyon you'll find the 58 space Sycamore Canyon Campground at 9000 W. Pacific Coast Highway (make reservations at ReserveAmerica.com at this link).

The Sycamore Canyon Campground connects to the Sycamore Canyon Fire Road, which is your access point to a day of fun and adventure in Point Mugu State Park trails.

The La Jolla Valley Natural Preserve is on the western side of the park, with a main access point near Thornhill Broome State Beach at the Ray Miller Trailhead to the La Jolla Canyon Trail which connects with the Loop Trail. Another access point to PMSP La Jolla Valley is the Chumash Trail trailhead, a rocky, steep trail across from Pt Mugu Beach. La Jolla Valley was purchased by the State of California in 1966 and was established as a Natural Preserve in 1972.

Wood Canyon is in the northwest section of the park, where you will find the north/south running Wood Canyon Fire Road, which connects to the Guadalasca Trail, among others.

Serrano Valley is accessible from the south off the Big Sycamore Canyon Fire Road/Trail about a mile north of the beach. A beautiful, serene, area, with a connection to the Old Boney Trail that takes you to the Danielson Monument in the Boney Mountain Wilderness.

The main beach areas in Point Mugu State Park, running southeast to northwest, are Sycamore Cove, Thornehill Broome and Pt. Mugu. Sycamore Cove is a fun day-use park popular with families for gatherings with BBQ grills and picnic tables. Learn more about beaches in the Malibu area at this link.

This is the PCH overpass where on low tide you can walk underneath here to get from Sycamore Cove Beach to Sycamore Canyon Campgrounds and hiking in Pt Mugu State Park. In higher tides, this area can be dicey, so be careful.

If you are looking for beachfront camping, try Thornhill Broome Beach, with just over 60 spots available for RVs and tents. No hookups here and only porta-johns available, but can't beat the views! And across the street you can't miss the Giant Sand Dune!

Day use parking at the various sites is available for $12. There is very minimal street parking at Sycamore Cove but plenty of street parking adjacent to Thornhill Broome Beach.

Dogs on a leash are allowed in the Park's day use areas, campgrounds and beaches. Dogs are not allowed on the backcountry trails or dirt roads.

Keep driving northwest on PCH and you'll past the famous Mugu Rock and see Pt. Mugu Beach, which also has day use parking, with some parking on PCH. Learn more at the California State Parks website at www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=630.

Mugu Rock up ahead, driving north on PCH from Thornehill Broome.

Lastly, let's cover some of the highest peaks in Point Mugu State Park. The Boney Mountain Wilderness Area, ever so prominent from the Conejo Valley, is located in the Park. But Boney Peak itself, at 2828 feet, is actually in the Circle X Ranch area managed by the National Park Service, along with Sandstone Peak, the highest spot in the Santa Monica Mountains at 3111 feet.

Boney Mountain range overlooks the western Conejo Valley

Other peaks include Tri Peaks at 3010 feet, Laguna Peak (the peak which has equipment from Naval Base Ventura County below), La Jolla Peak and Mugu Peak. Perhaps we'll cover these other peaks in more detail at a later date.

Map of Point Mugu State Park courtesy of National Park Service

COMPILIATION OF ALL SORTS OF HIKE AROUND VENTURA COUNTY

Sunday
Feb222015

Strathearn Historical Park and Museum in Simi Valley

Strathearn Historical Park and Museum is located at 137 Strathearn Place, Simi Valley (off of Tierra Rejada Road, just east of Madera). The Park is operated jointly by the Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District and the Simi Valley Historical Society.

This is a six acre site that houses numerous historical Simi Valley area artifacts and structures. The namesake of the Park is Robert P. and Mary Gray Lamb Strathearn. Originally from Scotland, they purchased 15,000 acres of the old Spanish Rancho and built their Victorian-style farmhouse onto the front of the Simi Adobe. The Strathearns were cattle ranchers and raised seven children.

Stroll through history at the site, which includes the original Saint Rose of Lima Church built in 1902, the Simi Adobe, Strathearn House, Colony House (the first historic building to be relocated to Strathearn Park in 1970), the original Simi Library built in 1930 and used until a new library was built in 1962, two original Wood Ranch barns from the 1940s, the Simi Store gift shop, the Banaga Barbershop and more.

As of February 2015, the park is open 9 am to 3pm Monday through Friday and 1-4 pm Saturday/Sunday. Hour and a half long docent-led tours Wed through Sunday at 1pm for a $3 donation. For more information, visit www.simihistory.com or call 805.526.6543.

The Strathearn HouseThe precursor to Simi Valley Town Center :>El Rancho Simi rocks!

Sunday
Feb222015

California Oil Museum in Santa Paula

The California Oil Museum at 1001 E. Main Street, Santa Paula (corner of Main and 10th) is the birthplace of Union Oil Company (aka Unocal and more recently acquired by Chevron in 2005). The building was completed on October 17, 1890. The museum was established in 1950, and the building was restored to its original appearance for its centennial celebration in 1990. Click here for an early picture of the building. The building is also a California Historical Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The museum has one of the largest displays of vintage gas pumps in California. There is a turn of the century (20th century, that is) drilling rig. There are various displays, videos, working models and gas station memorabilia at the museum. There are also rotating exhibits about science, technology and transportation as well as other more local exhibits on hand.

As of February 2015, admission is free; donations are welcomed and appreciated. Open Wednesday to Sunday, 10 am to 4 pm.

More information at www.oilmuseum.net or 805.933.0076.

Left side of California Oil Museum on 10th Street