California Museum of Art Thousand Oaks

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The California Museum of Art Thousand Oaks (CMATO) will provide a world-class cultural experience for visitors and locals alike. Artists, educators, lovers of art, tourists, students and the general public will appreciate the world-class exhibitions of paintings, sculpture, photography, music, drama and dance. CMATO will be located at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, west of City Hall and the Performing Arts Center.

Until the new museum is completed, CMATO will operate on the 2nd floor of The Oaks - a Macerich property - in a 5,500 square foot location across from JCPenney. The facility showcases the work of established and emerging contemporary artists. It is also host to artist lectures and educational programs geared towards all ages.

Museum hours are Thu 3-7PM and Fri-Sun 12-7PM, excluding U.S. public holidays. Admission is a suggested donation of $6.

Learn more at cmato.org.

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Janss Marketplace in Thousand Oaks

Janss Marketplace in Thousand Oaks

Janss Marketplace at 275 North Moorpark Road in Thousand Oaks (corner of Moorpark Road and Hillcrest) is an open air mall that has a large outdoor eating area, interactive water fountain, monthly Kids Fun Zone and outdoor kids play area.

Retailers and other businesses at Janss Marketplace include Gold's Gym, Ulta Beauty, Old Navy, Burlington Coat Factory, Nordstrom Rack and others.

Eateries include Buca di Beppo, Panera Bread, Karma Indian Cuisine, Crazy King Kong Sushi, Lucky's Dog House, Subway, Sunset Terrace Restaurant, Greco's New York Pizzeria, Cold Stone Creamery, Sharky's, The Dudes' Brewing Company, Matcha Tea and Boba and Janchi Korean BBQ.

And for entertainment, there’s Regal Cinemas, Dojoboom Extreme Sports, Dave & Buster’s and the Conejo Valley Art Museum.

Visit www.janssmarketplace.net/coupons for special offers/coupons at Janss merchants.

For more information visit www.janssmarketplace.net or call 805.495.4662.

In 2009 the Janss Marketplace added a NEOS Wall, a fun interactive game right outside the Golds Gym.  This game is free. 

Some former occupants of Janss Marketplace: Toys R Us (summer 2018) Wachovia Banking Center (closed April 2011), Akio’s Sushi (Oct 2012; now Crazy King Kong Sushi), Sizzler/Fuddruckers/Hooters (currently vacant), TGI Fridays (2012)/DISH (Nov 2013) (now Janchi), Aaron Brothers (2018), Tuesday Morning (June 2012), Radio Shack, Marshalls, Mervyn’s, Mann 9 Theatres/Regency Theatres (now Regal Cinemas), Burger King/Salad Gourmet (2016)/Poke Tiki (Apr 2019).

Conejo Valley Botanic Garden - Thousand Oaks

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The Conejo Valley Botanic Garden is a 33 acre retreat of hiking trails and natural habitat adjacent to Conejo Community Park off of Lynn Road and Gainsborough. 

CVBG now offers plant sales (weather permitting) every Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. featuring California native and drought tolerant plants. Reasonable prices! Enter at the Kids' Adventure Garden entrance (400 W. Gainsborough Road).

This is really a special place to bring the kids for low key hike.  There are numerous trails and a short walk/hike to the top of the mountain rewards you with sweeping views of the entire Conejo Valley, from Westlake Village to Thousand Oaks to Newbury Park.

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Here is what you'll find at the CVBG:

  • The Nature Trail is 3/4 of a mile long and meanders above the creek through oaks and willows. This is a moderate trail.

  • The Little Loop Trail leads you above the creek, through chaparral and around a meadow.

  • The Native Plant Section and Lower Meadow feature southern and northern California plants.

  • Lillian's Meadow showcases perennials, shrubs and trees that thrive with minimal water.

  • The Salvia Garden delights hummingbirds and butterflies.

  • The Butterfly Garden is a safe haven that provides nectar and food sources for butterflies and caterpillars.

  • The Nursery houses workspace for the plant propagation team and hosts plant sales.

  • The Herb Garden exhibits an extensive and unusual collection of medicinal, kitchen and aromatic herbs.

  • The Bird Habitat has a fresh water source and is planted with native plants that provide year-round food source for birds.

  • The Australian Section features collection of plants from down under.

  • The Desert Garden hilltop landscape features cacti, succulents and desert trees and provides a panoramic view of the Conejo Valley.

  • The Rare Fruit Orchard holds an extensive collection of trees.

  • The Tranquility Garden is planted in the Japanese style featuring California native plants.

  • The Oak Tree Grove has many species of North American and other oak trees.

  • The Trail of Trees exhibits 50 trees with a variety of genera.

If you have small kids, they will love the Kids' Adventure Garden and treehouse, open on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  They'll enjoy hiking through the trails and exploring the streams and bridges.

Conejo Valley Botanic Garden is located at 400 West Gainsborough Road, Thousand Oaks.  For more information visit www.conejogarden.org.

Desert Garden at the top of the hill, featuring cacti, succulents, etc.

Desert Garden at the top of the hill, featuring cacti, succulents, etc.

Japanese style Tranquility Garden featuring native California plants

Japanese style Tranquility Garden featuring native California plants

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Wildwood Park in Thousand Oaks

The main entrance into the 1,765 acre Wildwood Park is at the corner of Avenida de los Arboles and Big Sky Drive in Thousand Oaks. The Chumash Indians lived in Wildwood Park for nearly 8,000 years, until the early 19th century, when the Spanish colonized California. Eventually the park became owned by the Janss Corporation, which sold it to the Conejo Recreation and Park District in 1967.

Main trailhead accessible from the parking lot at Ave de los Arboles and Big Sky

Main trailhead accessible from the parking lot at Ave de los Arboles and Big Sky

Wildwood Park is an extremely popular hiking and cycling spot and CRPD frequently hosts nature hikes there. The park has 14 trails covering 17 miles, including two year-round waterfalls, Paradise Falls and Little Falls.  Wildwood is known for its spring wildflower displays from January to June.

The park hosted a number of movie/TV productions in the 1930s to the 1960s, including Spartacus, Wuthering Heights, Wagon Train, The Rifleman and Gunsmoke.

Call the CRPD at 805.495.2163 for more information about the park. But for lots of detailed information about Wildwood Park, including trail maps and pictures, visit the Conejo Open Space Foundation website at www.cosf.org/website/html/wildwood.html.

As far as facilities in the park, there are drinking fountains at the main parking lot as well as at the Teepee, at Paradise Fall and the two restroom areas in the park. One of the restrooms are located at Meadows Center, a small building located across the bridge that is adjacent to the short trail to the Indian Cave. CRPD often host short hikes from the main parking lot to Meadows Center for fun, games and s'mores.

Bridge over creek that connects Wildwood Canyon Trail to Meadows Center, which has restrooms and drinking fountain.

Bridge over creek that connects Wildwood Canyon Trail to Meadows Center, which has restrooms and drinking fountain.

The other restrooms are at the bottom of Wildwood Canyon. You can get there by taking the Tepee Trail roughly 1/2 mile to the bottom of the canyon, or alternatively from Paradise Falls about 1/4 mile down the Wildwood Canyon Trail. The Arroyo Conejo Creek runs down from Paradise Falls to here and is fun to explore (keeping in mind still that this is partially urban runoff and thus you don't want to play around in it too much).

Additional restrooms at the bottom of Wildwood Canyon.

Additional restrooms at the bottom of Wildwood Canyon.

Sign at Paradise Falls indicating this particular water is partially urban runoff and best not to swim in.

Sign at Paradise Falls indicating this particular water is partially urban runoff and best not to swim in.

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Disc Golf in Ventura County

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Looking for disc golf options in Ventura County? You’ve come to the right place. These are all available to the public, free of charge.

The newest disc golf option is at Sapwi Trails Community Park in Thousand Oaks. The course has 19 holes. Hole #1 is located off the parking lot on Avenida de los Arboles at Kensington Drive. The park and course opened in March 2019. and is managed by the Conejo Recreation and Park District (CRPD).

Rabbit Flats Disc Golf Course is located on the west end of Thousand Oaks Community Park, 2525 N. Moorpark Road (next to Thousand Oaks High School). This course opened to the public in May 2010. Park managed by CRPD.

Coyote Point Disc Golf Course is an 18 hole course located at Lake Casitas, 11311 Santa Ana Road, Ventura.

Chaparral Park, located at 217 N. Medea Creek Lane in Oak Park, has a newer 10 hole course. Course map at THIS LINK (that link also provides detailed instructions on how to play!). Park is managed by the Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District (RSRPD).

Also managed by RSRPD is a 12 hole disc Sycamore Park Disc Golf Course at Sycamore Park, 855 N. Planetree Avenue, Simi Valley. Detailed map and instructions at THIS LINK.

There is yet another disc golf course located at Sequoia Park, 2150 Tracy Avenue, Simi Valley. Also managed by RSRPD, this is a 9-hole course. Course map and instructions at THIS LINK.

Finally, there is a 9-hole disc golf course located at Lake Piru Recreation Area, 4780 Piru Canyon Road, Piru.

Chumash Indian Museum / Oakbrook Regional Park

NOTE: Oakbrook Regional Park sustained fire damage and the replica Chumash village was completely lost in the Woolsey Fire of 2018. However, a majority of the oak trees survived. Trails are now back open to the public. Funds are being raised and volunteers are being sought at www.gofundme.com/chumash-indian-museum-wildfire-fund.

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Located in Lang Ranch at the top of Westlake Boulevard near Avenida de los Arboles at 3290 Lang Ranch Parkway, Thousand Oaks, the Chumash Interpretative Center / Chumash Indian Museum contains Chumash artifacts and historical items, nature walks and tours of the beautiful local Oakbrook Regional Park area.  The museum is open Saturdays from 10am to 4pm. Admission price is $5.00 for adults, $3.00 for seniors 65+ and $3.00 for children under 12. There is no charge to walk the trails in the park.

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The Chumash Indian Museum is located on a historical Chumash village site and contains a large collection of Chumash artifacts.

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Stroll around the 436 acre Oakbrook Regional Park, a Ventura County historical landmark #90 (designated in 1983). 

Contact the Center for more information about these and other events, field trips, weddings and birthday parties at www.chumashmuseum.org or 805.492.8076.

To protect the wildlife, dogs are not allowed here.

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Hunt Olive Tree - Historical Landmark in Thousand Oaks

When 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 next to the Circuit City (now Sprouts Farmers Market) 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!

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Ventura County Wine Trail

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Ventura County Wine Trail offers 14 family-owned, award winning wineries right here in Ventura County and adjacent areas! Unique wine tasting tours, five star restaurants, luxury hotels, wine events and attractions, make an amazing wine country destination getaway.

Visit www.venturacountywinetrail.com.

Here are the 14 wineries (updated April 2019) that are part of this trail.

Alma Sol Winery in Thousand Oaks www.almasolwinery.com

Back Patio Cellars in Camarillo www.backpatiocellars.com

Boccali Vineyards and Winery in Ojai www.boccalivineyards.com

Camarillo Custom Crush Winery www.camarillocustomcrush.com

Clos des Amis in Ventura www.closdesamis.com

Herzog Wine Cellars in Oxnard www.herzogwinecellars.com

Labyrinth Winery and Tasting Room in Ventura www.LabyrinthWinery.com

Magnavino Cellars in Oxnard www.magnavino.com

Malibu Sundowner in Westlake Village www.malibusundownerwines.com

Millesime Cellars in Camarillo www.millesimecellars.com

Panaro Brothers Winery in Ventura www.panarobrotherswinery.com

Rancho Ventano Cellars in Oxnard www.ranchoventavo.com

Strey Cellars in Oxnard www.StreyCellars.com

Sunland Vintage Winery and Tasting Room in Thousand Oaks www.SunlandVintageWinery.com

Sapwi Bike Park in Thousand Oaks

Beginners’ pump track at Sapwi Trails Community Park.

Beginners’ pump track at Sapwi Trails Community Park.

The Sapwi Bike Park project is a partnership between the Concerned Off-Road Bicyclists Association (CORBA) and Conejo Recreation and Park District (CRPD). The park is a free, public recreational bicycle skills park facility located in the heart of beautiful Sapwi Trails Community Park in Thousand Oaks.

The park also features several miles of multi-use trails, natural habitat preservation, and other activities such as disc golf, cross-country running, and a non-motorized glider flying area.

The Sapwi Trails Bike Park offers a wide range of trails and features to challenge all ages and skill levels. In addition to a pump track, the park features progressive drop and jump lines – varying in difficulty from beginner to advanced. Outside of the dedicated bike park area, there are several trail side feature areas and a hard-surface beginner level pump track.

This 145 acre Sapwi Trails Community Park is located in the open space between Erbes Road (at Scenicpark Street) on the west and Westlake Boulevard east, with Avenida de los Arboles on the north. There are three parking lots off of Erbes, Arboles and Westlake Boulevard.

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ImmotionVR at The Oaks Shopping Mall in Thousand Oaks

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We were just passing through The Oaks mall recently when we looked up and saw ImmotionVR on the first floor near Aveda. ImmotionVR offers up virtual reality experiences for $8 per ride (5-8 minutes), $25 for 30 minutes and $40 for 60 minutes.

VR experiences offered include Delta Zero, Jinx Thriller, Legend of Lusca Adventure and more.

Hours are 10am to 9pm Mon to Sat and 11am to 7pm Sun. immotionvr.com/us/

Hiking in the North Ranch Open Space in Thousand Oaks

The North Ranch Open Space is represented by several massive sections of nearly 2,600 acres located in the east side of Thousand Oaks. There is a section east of Erbes Road to Westlake Boulevard down to Hillcrest Drive on the west side (this area is referred to as the Hillcrest Open Space Preserve) as well as a section further east bounded by Westlake Boulevard on the west, Lindero Canyon Road on the east and Thousand Oaks Boulevard on south.

These hills are beautiful and quite prominent from throughout the Conejo Valley. Hiking, running and cycling these hills can be a challenge as they are quite steep in most sections.

A main trailhead into the North Ranch Open Space is on Bowfield Street, just east of the North Ranch Playfields. The trail is called the Saddle Pass Trail, winding up and down the hills south towards Thousand Oaks Boulevard.

There are various other neighborhood trail entry points throughout the vast area. One of these is located at Canyon Oaks Park, 6200 Hedgewall Drive, Westlake Village. There's a walkway and a small bridge that leads to a quite intense looking path up the hill. And indeed, it is a very steep path. Definitely not for everyone. This is a path into the Bowfield/Saddle Pass Trail, which is maintained by the Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency.

Small COSCA sign at the bottom of the steep hill from Canyon Oaks Park leading into the North Ranch Open Space.

Small COSCA sign at the bottom of the steep hill from Canyon Oaks Park leading into the North Ranch Open Space.

A view of Canyon Oaks Park from about a third of the way up the hill.

A view of Canyon Oaks Park from about a third of the way up the hill.

There are roughly 3 or 4 miles of trails up here, mostly the Saddle Pass north/south trail but other connector trails to nearby neighborhoods, such as the townhome complex on Via Colinas above Thousand Oaks Blvd and the new Westlake Village Community Park and YMCA.

These hills get quite dry and hot during the summer months but in the spring green up nicely. You may even get the opportunity to enjoy some wildflowers.

Orange beauties can often be seen in the March time frame off the Saddle Pass Trail south section.

Orange beauties can often be seen in the March time frame off the Saddle Pass Trail south section.

Here's another section of trail that connects homes off of Via Colinas into the North Ranch Open Space. Most of these connector trails are quite steep, though generally well maintained!

Here's another section of trail that connects homes off of Via Colinas into the North Ranch Open Space. Most of these connector trails are quite steep, though generally well maintained!

California poppies on March 16, 2019.

California poppies on March 16, 2019.

Brogden Bay Presents Live Music Performances in Thousand Oaks

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Brogden Bay Presents (BPP) organizes live music performances by some of the country’s finest musicians, typically in an intimate format of 200 people or less. BPP

BPP currently partners with Larry Janss and his Four Friends Gallery/Open Borders in Thousand Oaks to bring live music to the Four Friends Gallery. BPP founder Steve Brogden was formerly director of the Thousand Oaks Library, where he brought music performances to the Library for eight years.

Four Friends Gallery is located at 1414 Thousand Oaks Boulevard, Thousand Oaks. Upcoming concerts are highlighted below. More information is available and tickets can be purchased in advance at www.brogdenbaypresents.com.

Upcoming Performances:

Sat, March 30 at 8PM: An Acoustic Evening with Laith Al-Saadi, a final four contestant on The Voice in 2016. $30 online, $35 at the door.

Sat, April 27 at 8PM: An Evening with the Honeysuckle Possums, a high-energy, all-woman band playing bluegrass, originals and old-time mountain music.

The stage at Four Friends Gallery in Thousand Oaks

The stage at Four Friends Gallery in Thousand Oaks

Albertson Motorway Fire Road Trail in Thousand Oaks

The Albertson Motorway is a fire road and public trail that is accessible in the Lang Ranch Open Space in Thousand Oaks. The trailhead is at the east end of Lang Ranch Parkway. Street parking is available on Lang Ranch Parkway. This is a residential area, so be mindful of the neighbors.

The Albertson Motorway trailhead at the east end of Lang Ranch Parkway in Thousand Oaks.

The Albertson Motorway trailhead at the east end of Lang Ranch Parkway in Thousand Oaks.

Given this is a fire road, it is mostly wide, flat and hilly, taking you upwards and eastbound towards the Palo Comado/Cheeseboro Canyons, Las Virgenes Canyons and Ahmanson Ranch. The views are outstanding and get better the higher you go up. You'll see Simi Valley, Bard Reservoir, Thousand Oaks and beyond.

As you meander on the trail, stay towards the right to stick with the fire road. In the first mile and half, there will be several opportunities to veer left onto trails that take you up north towards the Autumn Ridge Trail in the Lang Ranch Open Space, which can be done as a loop (more details at www.cosf.org/website/html/autumn-ridge-to-albertson-loop.html). The Albertson fire road is more of an "out and back" trail where you can reach a particular destination, then turn back.

You will go towards a fairly short section of the trail that is not a fire road, but more of a single track area, for perhaps .2 mile. A fun little section for hikers, quite different than the rest of the trail. 

This is the section of Albertson Motorway not accessible to the public.

This is the section of Albertson Motorway not accessible to the public.

You'll eventually pass through a gate and about a mile and a half from there you will reach a point where you can take a right-hand turn (south) towards China Flat and Simi Peak. Along the way, there are two benches for taking in the view towards the Simi Hills.

You will eventually pass through this gate.

You will eventually pass through this gate.

Bench #1 on Albertson Motorway trail.

Bench #1 on Albertson Motorway trail.

Bench #2 on Albertson Motorway trail.

Bench #2 on Albertson Motorway trail.

The turnoff for Palo Comado/China Flat/Simi Peak is about 2 1/2 miles into the hike. There's a trail on the right. Hard to miss., then you'll see this sign.

Transition to Palo Comado Canyon Trail

Transition to Palo Comado Canyon Trail

If you continue past the transition to Palo Comado Canyon Trail, Albertson Fire Road continues on for awhile as you can see in the map below.

Albertson Fire Road Trail from China Flat turnoff area. (Courtesy National Park Service)

View of Bard Reservoir from Albertson Motorway Fire Road.

View of Bard Reservoir from Albertson Motorway Fire Road.