Chumash Indian Museum / Oakbrook Regional Park

Reported 11/11/18: Oakbrook 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. Many trails are not accessible due to fire damage, however.

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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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Leonis Adobe Museum - Calabasas

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The Leonis Adobe Museum in Calabasas was the first designated Los Angeles historic monument on August 6, 1962.  The Leonis Adobe was the home of Miguel Leonis, known as the King of Calabasas, who owned over 10,000 acres of land. The museum features his authentically furnished two-story Monterey-style adobe with original buildings, period livestock, gardens and a vineyard. The house was originally built in 1844, six years before Los Angeles was incorporated and California became a state.

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Also on the property is the Plummer House, the oldest house in Hollywood and in 1935 was named California Historical Landmark No. 160.  The house fell into disrepair and became dilapidated before the salvageable front portion of the house was moved to the Leonis Adobe site in 1983 and subsequently  repaired, restored and refurbished.  It now serves as the onsite Visitor Center and gift shop.

Plummer House Visitor Center

Plummer House Visitor Center

The Leonis Adobe, located at 23537 Calabasas Road in Calabasas (near the Sagebrush Cantina) is open Friday and Sunday from 1pm to 4pm and 10am to 4pm on Saturdays. Visit www.leonisadobemuseum.org or call 818.222.6511 for more information. Suggested donations are $4 for adults, $3 for seniors and $1 for children under age 12.

On a personal note, I've been to the Leonis Adobe and it is an amazingly large piece of property in the heart of old town Calabasas, paralleling, yet nearly invisible to, the 101 freeway.  In addition to the historic buildings, the site has an impressive assortment of vintage wagons and farm equipment. There's also a well manicured garden area and lots of farm animals to see and feed, including some longhorn bulls, sheep, goats, chickens and a horse. Bring quarters to buy food. Plus they have many activities for the kids year-round.

Commemorative Air Force Aviation Museum at Camarillo Airport

Located at the Camarillo Airport at 455 Aviation Drive, the Southern California Wing of the Commemorative Air Force has hangars devoted to preserving, maintaining, displaying, and flying World War II aircraft.

The Commemorative Air Force Southern California Wing Aviation Museum is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 am to 4 pm and Sundays noon to 4pm. Closed Mondays, New Year's, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Donations of $10 for adults, $5 for ages 10 to 18, $3 for ages 6 to 10 are requested. Kids under 6 and active military are free. Visit www.cafsocal.com or call 805.482.0064 for more information.

You can rent out the hangar for events! Visit hangarevents.com for more information.

Also, take a vintage WWII airplane ride on a PT-19 Cornell open cockpit aircraft or aSNJ-5/AT-6 "Texan" aircraft! Get a 20 minute ride on the Ventura County coastline or along the mountains for only $250 (PT-19) or $395 (SNJ-5)! Or try the P-51 Mustang Warbird for $1,495! What a thrill! Visit www.cafsocal.com/rides for more information.

Docents are enjoyable to speak with as they have a lot of history to share at this museum. Two 15,000 sq ft hangars and a newer (2016) 32,800 sq. ft. hangar complex serve as a Museum Hangar and a Maintenance and Restoration Hangar.

The Museum Hangar contains some of the many artifacts that are currently on display as well as a gift shop. It also houses any of the aircraft that are not away on a mission or undergoing maintenance.  For safety reasons the maintenance hangar is not available for a walk-through, however visitors can observe any work in progress from behind a safety perimeter.

There are a number of aircraft on display, including several you can physically inspect, which is always fun to do with the kids. There are some interesting WWII exhibits on hand too. 

The only authentic Marine BPJ-1J variant of the famed Mitchell B-25 Bomber. It flew into Camarillo from Midland, TX in 1993 for a 20 year restoration project. It is now flight-ready!

The only authentic Marine BPJ-1J variant of the famed Mitchell B-25 Bomber. It flew into Camarillo from Midland, TX in 1993 for a 20 year restoration project. It is now flight-ready!

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The Kakovlev Yak-3 is widely considered the lightest fighter aircraft between 1939 and 1945.

The Kakovlev Yak-3 is widely considered the lightest fighter aircraft between 1939 and 1945.

Skateboarding Hall of Fame and Museum in Simi Valley

The Skateboarding Hall of Fame and Museum opened at the Simi Valley Town Center in December 2018. It is located directly across from the Vans store in the mall in a space of over 10,000 square feet.

The International Skateboarding Hall of Fame is a 501(c)(3) non-profit founded by Todd Huber. It was created to honor the passion, dedication and contributions to skateboarding history and culture by skateboarders and cultural icons through the decades.

The Museum displays hundreds of skateboards and other skating artifacts going back decades. There is also an art gallery, gift shop, theater/library (over 600 skating videos as well as skating magazines) and skate shop.

The Museum also has a mini skating ramp with a fun wall ride available to local youth for a fee.

Admission to the museum is free. Donations to the non-profit are always welcome. Hours are currently (January 2019) Thursday/Friday 2-9PM, Saturday 10AM-9PM and Sunday 11AM-7PM.

Visit www.skateboardinghalloffame.org for more information.

California Oil Museum in Santa Paula

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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, various displays, videos, working models and gas station memorabilia as well as rotating exhibits about science, technology and transportation as well as other more local exhibits on hand.

As of December 2018, admission is a suggested donation of $4. Open Wednesday to Sunday, 10 am to 4 pm.

More information at www.oilmuseum.net or 805.933.0076.

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Left side of California Oil Museum on 10th Street

Left side of California Oil Museum on 10th Street

Display in the rig building

Display in the rig building

Fillmore Historical Museum

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The Fillmore Historical Museum is located at 340 Main Street. Stroll through the Craftsman-style Hinckley home built in 1905 and filled with antique furniture, kitchen items, pump organ and Dr. Hinckley's dental office. Allow time to tour the 1919 Sespe Bunkhouse, a building full of Fillmore history and originally used as a dormitory by farm workers.

Other history on display includes orange and lemon industry history dating back to 1900, military, police and fire department memorabilia, Native American artifacts, Fillmore insectary, antique clothing and toys and more.

The Southern Pacific Railroad Depot, a functioning depot from 1887 to 1970 is also located on site, located adjacent to the Hinckley house. This Depot was designated Ventura County Historical Landmark #48, designated in May 1979. When the Southern Pacific Railroad finished its line between Ventura and Los Angeles in 1887, Fillmore, named after Southern Pacific's West Coast superintendent, Jerome A. Fillmore, was established at the only train stop in the Santa Clara Valley. The town of Fillmore was subsequently founded in 1888 and incorporated on July 10, 1914.

An original Barksdale post office from the late 1800s is also on the site.

As of May 2013, the Museum is open Tuesday to Friday from 9 am to 4pm and Saturdays 10am to 3pm. Donation is Family $10, Adults $4, Students $2 and Children under 5 years, free. Call 805.524.0948 to confirm hours. Visit www.fillmorehistoricalmuseum.org to learn more.

Santa Susana Depot Museum and Model Railroad in Simi Valley

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Visit a fully restored Southern Pacific Railroad depot that was built in 1903 with both freight and passenger trains rushing by at the Santa Susana Depot Museum and Model Railroad. The depot served passengers and farmers in Simi Valley for over 60 years, with a classic passenger waiting room featuring a pot-belly stove, the depot was also headquarters for local freight shipments.

The depot is a museum filled with hundreds of items having both railroad and local historical significance. The depot is owned and managed by the Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District, which took it over from the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1973. The depot was moved to its current location and after 10 years of neglect was restored to its current state by 1996. The depot was restored to what it looked like in 1938.

Also at the depot is the Santa Susana Model Railroad Club’s large operating HO scale model railroad. Located inside the depot's freight room, the layout of the railroad portrays Simi Valley during the mid 1950s. Trains run each weekend, with Sundays being the best day to see several trains operating simultaneously.

The depot is located on the grounds of Simi Valley’s beautiful Oak Knolls Park. For you rail fans, the depot is adjacent to the Union Pacific Railroad’s busy “Coast Line,” which is also utilized by both Amtrak and Metrolink passenger trains. You will standing in close proximity to passing trains, so get ready to wave!

The depot is located at 6503 Katherine Road in Simi Valley. For more information and a map to the depot/parking, visit www.santasusannadepot.org or call 805.581.3462.  The depot is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 1 pm to 4 pm.

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Museum of Military History Posters and Memorabilia at the Simi Valley Town Center

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The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10049 and Simi Valley Town Center host an impressive display at the Museum of Military History Posters and Memorabilia

Hundreds of military posters and historical artifacts are on display that were graciously provided by local veterans and collectors. Artifacts include old weapons, munitions, posters, newspapers, uniforms and much more. Several Vietnam Veterans were on hand, imparting stories and background information to us as we strolled around.

Hours are 11am to 4pm on weekends and noon to 3pm on Wednesdays. There is no admission fee, though donations are encouraged to support local veterans.

More info at www.vfwpost10049.com/museum.html.

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Military Mule with armament (not live of course lol) on display.

Military Mule with armament (not live of course lol) on display.

Historic Dudley House Museum in Ventura

San Buenaventura Heritage, Inc. (SBH) is a non-profit educational and charitable organization founded in 1978 with a primary focus of preserving the Dudley House, an 1892 Victorian farm house, located at 197 N. Ashwood, Ventura. The Dudley House is one of 35 Ventura County properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

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The house is a living history museum reflecting the life of the Dudley family. The terraces and pergola for outdoor events have been installed on the north side side of the house, and the lavender garden with some 100 plants featuring over 20 varieties is on the south side of the house. The basement is used as a community room and visitor center with cooking facilities and is available for small events and receptions. Larger events can be held outside on the grounds.

The Dudley House is open for tours the first Sunday of the month from 1pm to 4pm from January to November. Visit dudleyhouse.webs.com or call 805.644.3286 for more information.  Admission is free but donations are accepted and appreciated.

Victorian Holiday Boutique 2018

The 24th Dudley House Victorian Holiday Boutique will be open from 10am to 6pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday starting the Friday after Thanksgiving. The 2018 dates are November 23-25, November 30 to December 2 and December 7-9. The House is beautifully decorated by dozens of crafters who will be selling their items.

Historic Recording Series

During open houses, pre-1930 recordings transferred to CDs are played. A new recording is played each month on the Victrola console in the parlor.

Old Time Radio Series

CDs of radio shows are performed in the radio console on the 2nd floor hallway.

Museum of Ventura County’s Agriculture Museum in Santa Paula

The Museum of Ventura County's Agriculture Museum opened in Santa Paula on September 25, 2011. The realization of more than 40 years of effort and dedication by supporters, the Agriculture Museum is housed in the landmark restored Mill building, at 926 Railroad Avenue, beside the railroad tracks and across from the depot in Santa Paula. The Mill was built in 1888 as an agricultural warehouse, and later served as a feed and grain outlet and an antiques mall.

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Camarillo Bird Museum (Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology)

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The Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology (WFVZ) is a charitable institution based in Camarillo at 439 Calle San Pablo.

The 22,000 sq ft WFVZ (informally referred to as the Camarillo Bird Museum) hosts a natural history collection specializing in eggs and nests of birds. The collections include approximately 250,000 sets of bird eggs (equal to over 1 million individual eggs), representing over 4,000 bird species from around the world. There are also over 18,000 nests, the largest collection of its kind in the world. And over 56,000 bird study skin specimens from over 100 countries.

The Foundation's fundamental mission is to obtain, protect, and manage ornithological collections in a manner that ensures their accessibility to researchers, educators, students, and the public, and to ensure that the materials are used in projects that contribute to the conservation of the world's wild bird species.

The museum is not open to the public except by prior appointment. However, staff conduct public tours on the last Friday of every month from 3-4pm as well as the 2nd Wednesday of the month from 3:30-4:30pm (except Nov/Dec, when dates vary based on holidays). Additionally, individuals and small groups can contact the museum at least 1 day in advance to set up a walk-through of the museum without a tour.

Call at least one day in advance to get on the waiting list (each tour is for a maximum of 20 people). Fee for tours is $5 per person (WFVZ members and kids 5 and under are free).

Visit www.wfvz.org for more information or call 805.388.9944.

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Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara

Dolphins greet you at the entrance to Stearns Wharf.

Dolphins greet you at the entrance to Stearns Wharf.

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Stearns Wharf is located at the juncture of W. Cabrillo Road and State Street in Santa Barbara. Originally constructed in 1872 by lumberman John P. Stearns as the longest deep-water pier between Los Angeles and San Francisco, it is now one of the most visible and visited tourist destinations in Santa Barbara. In 1980-81, the City of Santa Barbara restored the wharf, constructed new buildings on it and assumed operation of the facility.

Our family particularly enjoys visiting the Museum of Santa Barbara Sea Center located on the wharf, followed by a stop at the candy store or the ice cream shop. Of course, The Harbor Restaurant and Longboards Grill are crowd favorites. There's also wine tasting, Moby Dick Restaurant, fish and chips, souvenir shops and other places that are fun to stop by.

View from the end of Stearns Wharf back toward the mainland.

View from the end of Stearns Wharf back toward the mainland.

View from Stearns Wharf

View from Stearns Wharf

You can get onto the wharf in a number of ways. There is limited parking on the wharf. Cost (as of August 2018) is $2.50/hour, but the first 90 minutes are FREE. Or you can park along Cabrillo Road or in a local beach parking lot and walk onto the wharf. Or do what we enjoy...park at the Santa Barbara Harbor and ride bikes onto the wharf. The wood planks are a bit bumpy but you'll survive!

Learn more about Stearns Wharf at www.stearnswharf.org.

Beautiful views of the harbor area as you'll see below from the pier. If you walk onto the wharf, you may encounter some locals that "live off the land" with sand sculptures and other monuments on the sand for your viewing pleasure (and perhaps some spare change). They are part of the carnival atmosphere. And of course on Sundays you'll be treated to the Santa Barbara Arts & Crafts Show that has been running since 1965.

Santa Paula Art Museum

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The Santa Paula Art Museum is the repository and exhibition hall for the Santa Paula Art Collection. Containing over 300 pieces, among its most famous artists are works of the Botkes, both Jessie Arms and Cornelis, who lived on their ranch and worked in their studio in a nearby secluded canyon. Some of the other represented plein air artists are Robert Clunie, Al Dempster, Ralph Holmes, Paul Lauritz, Emil Kosa, Jr., Douglas Shively and Milford Zornes.

The valuable assemblage represents the accumulation of award winning entries in the Santa Paula Art Show which began in 1937 or as gifted memorials. It remains the oldest juried show in California and the collection is recognized as one of the finest of its kind in the state.

The museum is located in the historic Limoneira Building at 117 North Tenth Street, Santa Paula. Open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Admission is $4.00 for adults, $3.00 for seniors and FREE for students and members. First Sundays are free for all visitors.

More information at www.santapaulaartmuseum.org or 805.525.5554.

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