Adamson House Tour and Malibu Lagoon Museum


The Adamson House at 23200 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu is a National Historic Site and a registered California landmark. The house and grounds share one of the most beautiful beach locations in Southern California, with a view of the Malibu Lagoon, Malibu Beach and the Malibu Pier. In addition to its world-famous Malibu Tile, the house contains hand-carved teakwood doors, hand-painted murals, molded ceilings, hand-wrought ironwork and lead- framed bottle glass windows.


The Adamson House Tour is a guided tour through the house which contains its original furnishings and is decorated with the renowned Malibu Potteries tile. Trained volunteer docents relate the history of the house, details of its architecture and furnishings, and the history of the family that lived in and created this distinctive home. Admission (as of July 2018) is $7 for ages 17 and up, $2 ages 6 to 16 and under 6 is free. Cash only.

The Malibu Lagoon Museum adjoins the Adamson House and contains a collection of artifacts, rare photographs and documents depicting the colorful history of Malibu. The museum tour takes the visitor from the early Chumash Indian era through the Spanish California culture. Here is an excellent opportunity to relive the genteel and romantic ranching days of the famed Rindge and Adamson families. Learn about dramatic episodes in Malibu's rich history: the Malibu Railroad; the 50-room Castle on the Hill; the 17-year legal battle over a Malibu highway; the Malibu movie colony; the Malibu Dam, and much, much more. Admission to the Museum is free.

Adamson House.jpg

The Adamson House Garden Tour is a docent-led walking tour of the landmark gardens, beautifully preserved in their 1930s appearance. It is offered every Friday of the month, 10:00 a.m. The Adamson House Tour admission fee includes a house garden tour; no reservation is required. Reservations are necessary only for groups of 10 or more at 310-456-8432. Group tours are Tuesdays at 10:00 a.m.

More information at or call 310.456.8432.

Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades

The Getty Villa is located at 17985 Pacific Coast Highway in Pacific Palisades, one mile north of Sunset Boulevard, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It is about 28 miles from the heart of Thousand Oaks. The most direct path is the 101 south to Old Topanga Canyon Road, though you can also take other arteries like Malibu Canyon and Kanan to PCH.

The Getty Villa is one of two locations of the J. Paul Getty Museum, the other being the spectacular Getty Center in Brentwood.

The Getty Villa houses the J. Paul Getty Museum’s extensive collection of over 44,000 Greek, Roman and Etruscan antiquities dating from 6,500 BC to 400 AD, including the Lansdowne Heracles and the Victorious Youth. More than 1,200 of them are on view in 23 galleries devoted to the permanent collection. An additional six galleries present changing exhibitions, often featuring works from other institutions.

Main museum at the Getty Villa

Main museum at the Getty Villa

The Family Forum features hands-on activities that encourage shared learning and discovery for children, while another interactive installation, the TimeScape Room, helps place the collection in an historical context.

On a personal note, this place is stunning, Pristine, well maintained, peaceful. The grounds take you back to how the Romans may have lived. Although my younger son in 3rd grade was not particular engaged during our first visit, my 6th grader had learned about the Greek and Roman Gods in school and found many of the exhibits quite interesting. There's also a cafe and gift shop.

Due to the severe drought this was not filled with water, but is beautiful nonetheless

Due to the severe drought this was not filled with water, but is beautiful nonetheless

Located on a pristine 64 acres, the Getty Villa is modeled after the Villa dei Papiri, a first-century Roman country house, the Villa is an airy, sunlit environment, featuring mosaic floors and colorful trompe l’oeil walls and paintings. Its four gardens and grounds are planted with species known from the ancient Mediterranean, creating lush and fragrant places to stroll. There is also a 450 seat outdoor theater at the Villa.

You'll notice that these many of the antiquities on display have damages incurred for various reasons (they were outdoor displays thousands of years ago).  This adds to their aura.

You'll notice that these many of the antiquities on display have damages incurred for various reasons (they were outdoor displays thousands of years ago).  This adds to their aura.

The UCLA/Getty Master’s Program in Archaological and Ethnographic Conservation is housed on this campus. The collection is documented and presented through the online GettyGuide as well as through audio tours.

Admission to the Getty Villa is free of charge but requires advance reservation with a timed ticket that you can obtain at, or by calling (310) 440-7300. There is a parking charge of $15 per car; $10 after 5pm for evening events. 

Open Wednesday–Monday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Closed Tuesdays and on major holidays (January 1, July 4, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day).

Outdoor amphitheater has an authentic feel to it

Outdoor amphitheater has an authentic feel to it

Train Rides at Griffith Park

Griffith Park & Southern Railroad

The Griffith Park & Southern Railroad has operated almost continuously since 1948.  GP&S Railroad, 4400 Crystal Springs Drive, Los Angeles (near Los Feliz and Riverside) and Travel Town Railroad, 5200 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles, Forest Lawn exit from the 134 Fwy.) are open 364 days a year, closing only on Christmas Day.

If your kids are Thomas the Tank Engine fans, then this is a no-brainer half day excursion.  We visited GP&S over a Memorial Day weekend and the kids could not get enough of the 1 mile mini-train ride, traveling over 2 bridges, a tunnel and a mini-Western town.

Travel Town is a 3/8ths of a mile track that does 2 loops, so you do get 1/4 of a mile more ride for your money on the GP&S track.  Both rides are $2.75 per person as of March 2018 ($2.25 for seniors over age 65). GP&S also has a simulator ride, pony rides and concession stands.  Travel Town also has a railroad equipment history museum as well as dozens of old-time railroad locomotive and cars.

For more information, visit or call 323.664.6903 (GP&S) or 323.662.9678.

Pics and vid from a trip to Travel Town in April 2011.


Olivas Adobe Historical Park - Ventura


The Olivas Adobe Historical Park is operated by the City of Ventura and serviced by the Olivas Adobe Historical Interpreters. It is on the National Register of Historic Places and is State Historical Landmark No. 115.

The Adobe represents a superb example of a large home from the Rancho Period prior to California statehood in 1849. The home was started in 1847 and completed in 1849 through the efforts of local Chumash people, and occupied by Don Raymundo, his wife Teodora, and their 21 children until 1899.

Ultimately, the City of Ventura received the adobe and a large land parcel from the Max Fleischman Foundation that included 450 acres that extended from the Olivas Adobe to the ocean, where the Olivas Golf Course, the San Buenaventura Water Reclamation Facility and the Harbor are now located. The Park includes exhibits, extensive gardens, and the restored adobe buildings.

The Olivas Adobe is also available for weddings, receptions, fiestas and special events.

The Park is located at 4200 Olivas Park Drive in Ventura.  Grounds are open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on weekends. Free admission. Costumed docent-led tours of the house take place on weekends from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (tour tickets are $5 for adults $3 for children under 12 and seniors and free to under 4). For more information, visit or call 805.658.4728.


Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum


A local must-see is the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, located at 40 Presidential Drive, Simi Valley.  With sweeping hilltop views of the surrounding valleys, this 153,000 sq ft museum on 100 acres is incredible and quite interesting for all ages.  A wealth of memorabilia and artifacts from throughout Reagan's life is on display at the museum.


In February 2011, over 26,000 sq ft of new exhibits and dozens of interactive displays spanning Reagan's life were introduced.  There are 24 galleries that pay tribute to our 40th President's life. You can act in a movie with Reagan, deliver his inaugural address with a teleprompter, set the table for a state dinner, learn about his economic policies in interactive games, read his handwritten diary, ride a horse alongside Reagan at Rancho del Cielo, and much more. There is also a full-scale Oval Office replica and a 9 1/2 foot, 6,300 lb section of the Berlin Wall on display.

Volunteer docents are very friendly, helpful and extremely knowledgeable, they are there to help guide you through your visit and answer your questions.

Exhibits include: Intro Theater, Foundations of a Leader, GE Theater, Governor Years, Victory & Inauguration, Assassination Attempt, The Oval Office, First Lady, Berlin Wall, Rebuilding America, Threat Theater, Peace Through Strength, Summits, American Heroes, Ranch & Camp David, Post Presidency, Mourning Ronald Reagan, Legacy Theater, National Treasures Gallery, Mary Jane Wick Gallery (Special Exhibits) and the Air Force One Pavillion (1st Level: Marine One, 2nd Level: History of the Flying White House, Presidential Motorcade, 3rd Level: Flights of Freedom, Air Force One Theater, Board Air Force One). Outside is a decommissioned F-14 Tomcat, a replica of the White House Rose Garden, a piece of the Berlin Wall and President Reagan's Memorial Site.

The Air Force One Pavilion opened in October 2005.  It features the actual Air Force One aircraft used from 1973 to 2001 and you can walk through aircraft when you visit the museum.  There are also motorcade vehicles, helicopter and other items on display. 

In addition to the permanent exhibits discussed above, there are always temporary exhibits on display. Check out the museum's website for details.

Dine at the Reagan Library! Reagan's Country Cafe offers panoramic views and is open to the public from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily, 7 days a week. You can access the cafe without entering the Museum. The Ronald Reagan Pub is located inside the Air Force One Pavilion and offers drinks and prepackaged sandwiches and other items.

The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. Parking is free of charge. Admission costs vary based on the special exhibit on hand. Tickets for museum admission during the Genghis Khan exhibit 2/16/18 to 8/19/18 are $25 for ages 18 to 61, $22 ages 62+, $18 ages 11 to 17 and $15 for ages 3 to 10. Children 2 and under are free. Active U.S. Military with ID are also FREE. More information at or by calling 805.577.4000.

Anthony C. Beilenson Interagency Visitor Center in Calabasas


The Anthony C. Beilenson Interagency Visitor Center is located at King Gillette Ranch, 26800 Mulholland Highway, Calabasas. It opened to the public in June 2012.


The Visitor Center is jointly operated by the National Park Service, California State Parks, the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority.

It features exhibits and interactive displays, the work of local artists, tours of sustainable features and a native plant garden. There is a tremendously comprehensive exhibit covering things to see and do within the Santa Monica Mountains.

The Visitor Center was formerly the horse stable for the Gillette Mansion. It retains some of its original design while achieving LEED Platinum certification as the first "net zero" visitor center in the National Park Service. Cool! (literally and figuratively)

Visitor Center staff and volunteers are very friendly and helpful and have a ton of information to share to help you enjoy what we have in our backyard.

There's also gift shop in the center with a variety of items including books, handmade items, kids' items and more.

Call 805-370-2301 or visit Open 9am to 5pm year-round, except Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Year's Day.

Nearby hiking is plentiful, including the Inspiration Point hike at King Gillette Ranch and across the street at Malibu Creek State Park.


King Gillette Ranch in Calabasas


The 588-acre King Gillette Ranch (26800 West Mulholland Highway, Calabasas) is situated adjacent to Malibu Creek State Park. This scenic parkland at the lower end of the Las Virgenes Valley is a haven for larger mammals of the Santa Monica Mountains and offers a rare unspoiled view of California’s rich archaeological, cultural, and historic resources, including a Chumash settlement, and nationally significant structures designed for razor magnate King C. Gillette in the 1920’s by Wallace Neff, architect of California’s Golden Age.

View of King Gillette Ranch from Inspiration Point, south of the Gillette Mansion

View of King Gillette Ranch from Inspiration Point, south of the Gillette Mansion

A short, somewhat steep roughly 1 mile hike from the parking area south of the Gillette Mansion leads to a knoll with 360-degree views—including the famous rock formations of Malibu Creek State Park. This is referred to as Inspiration Point. You will love the spectacular views from up there.

View from Inspiration Point west towards Malibu Creek State Park.

View from Inspiration Point west towards Malibu Creek State Park.

Other activities include strolling, bicycling, photography, and picnicking. King Gillette Ranch is owned and managed by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority in cooperation with the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area unit of the National Park Service, the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, and California State Parks.  More information at or call the Anthony C. Beilenson Interagency Visitor Center at 805.370.2301.

Directions from the Conejo Valley: Take Hwy 101 (Ventura Freeway) to the Las Virgenes/Malibu Canyon exit. Head south on Las Virgenes Road and continue to Mulholland Hwy, about two miles. Turn left onto Mulholland Highway and immediately look for the King Gillette Ranch entrance on the right.

McCrea Ranch Visitor Center in Thousand Oaks

Opened in 2011, the McCrea Ranch Visitor Center is the former family home and ranch of Western film actor Joel McCrea and his wife and family.  McCrea Ranch is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Center provides a variety of interpretive, educational, and cultural programs for the community, while preserving the unique history of this property through the Conejo Recreation and Park District. At some point and as funds become available in the future, the Visitor Center will be open to the general public. Visit for upcoming events at McCrea Ranch or call 805.495.2163.

McCrea Ranch is located at 4500 N. Moorpark Road, Thousand Oaks, near the bottom of the Norwegian Grade.


The Woolworth Museum in Downtown Oxnard (CLOSED)


Although the vintage items in the Woolworth Museum still reside in the building as described below, the museum is generally not open to the public at this point.

What is believed to be the only Woolworth Museum in the world is located in the Woolworth Building (circa 1950) at 210 West Fourth Street, Oxnard (4th and A Streets). This small, unique museum contains all sorts of nostalgia associated with the F. W. Woolworth Company, one of the original "five and dime" stores. Woolworth closed its stores in 1997.

The Woolworth Building is a 16,800 square foot building completed in 1950 that was completely redeveloped in 2003. It is now occupied by office tenants.


Many of the old items in the museum exemplify what Woolworths used to sell. Other items relate directly to this building and the people who worked there, including two managers and a woman who worked here on the first day that the store opened in 1950. There are souvenirs from the Woolworth Building in New York, which was the tallest building in the world when completed in 1913.

There is a collection of books related to the Woolworth stores. There are several items from old lunch counters, including dishes and menus, as well as some items that relate directly to the pivotal civil rights sit-in that took place at a Woolworth lunch counter in 1960.

Photos of various Woolworth stores from 1878 through the 1960s are seen throughout the building. There is a working antique dial pay-phone, a take-your-own photo booth from the 1940s and games and vending machines from the 1930s through the 1960s.


There is a vintage cash register, like those found in most stores in the 60's and 70's, displayed so visitors can push down "No Sale" so that the cash-drawer pops open with the familiar ch-ching, bell ringing and all, and the wooden drawer can be examined and closed.

Also seen is a 1959 Cavalier 96 Coke machine, which dispenses ice cold vintage coke a not quite as vintage price of $1.25.

So stop by sometime! Just walk in. No attendants and no entrance fees. The museum is typically open from 7:30 am to 2:30 pm Monday to Friday and 9 am to 2:30 pm on Saturday.

For more information and pictures, visit (not functional as of 8/6/18).

Throwback time seen in the men's room

Throwback time seen in the men's room

Aviation Museum of Santa Paula


The Aviation Museum of Santa Paula is open the first Sunday of each month, with a "Chain of Hangars" from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Closed if there is rain. FREE (but donations are appreciated).

Hangar Number One is the first in the museum's chain of hangars. It tells the story of the founding of Santa Paula Airport in 1930. Each of the privately owned hangars houses a variety of vintage aircraft and privately owned collections of memorabilia, from antique radios to race cars. Several other aircraft owners put their antique aircraft on display and many vintage aircraft also fly in each month.

A museum tram is available to save you some steps between hangars. The Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 723 offers free airplane rides to kids ages 8-17. The Museum's Gift Hangar, located inside CP Aviation, offers a variety of toys and apparel for airplane buffs of all ages.

More information at or call 805.525.1109. The Aviation Museum is located near the corner of Santa Maria Street and 8th Street in Santa Paula. More info at this link.


Ojai Valley Museum


Founded in 1966, the Ojai Valley Museum at 130 West Ojai Avenue has an extensive collection of art, Native American baskets, pioneer tools and photographs of early days in Ojai.

The Ojai Valley Museum Research Library houses archives including historical journals that chronicle the events of early to contemporary Ojai Valley activities.

Admission as of August 2017 is $5 for adults, $1 for children 6 to 18 and 5 and under free. Open Tuesday through Sunday with guided tours.

Regular hours are 10am to 4pm Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 4pm on Sunday.

FREE admission the third Friday of each month from 5:30-7:30pm (as of August 2017).

For more information, visit or call 805.640.1390.


Reagan Ranch Center Exhibit Galleries in Santa Barbara


President Reagan’s home for 25 years and the Western White House during the height of the Cold War, the Reagan Ranch embodies the life and ideas of Ronald Reagan. In the spring of 1998, Young America’s Foundation stepped forward to save the Reagan Ranch; eight years later, in June 2006, the Reagan Ranch Center in downtown Santa Barbara opened its doors. 

The Reagan Ranch Center in downtown Santa Barbara is open to the general public for tours and visitation Monday through Thursday from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm year round.

These galleries feature original Reagan Ranch artifacts matched with state-of-the-art, interactive, multimedia exhibits that highlight the history of Ronald Reagan’s quarter-century at Rancho del Cielo and the accomplishments of his presidency.


Over six hours of dynamic multimedia exhibits provide access to exclusive speeches, interviews, radio addresses, and original video presentations. The centerpiece of the gallery is a 28-foot-long interactive “timeline” that gives users the ability to explore the “Western White House” during the 1980s.

The galleries also feature several unique collections on display, including the Lorraine Wagner Letter Collection, a nearly 300-piece collection of letters written by Ronald Reagan over a 50-year period and the Russell D. Sibert Collection, featuring rare Reagan-related memorabilia such as campaign buttons, posters and commemorative items.

A massive 5,000 pound section of the Berlin Wall greets visitors as they arrive at the Reagan Ranch Center, reminding the world of Ronald Reagan’s role in eliminating this assault on human dignity and freedom. The president’s famous blue Jeep Scrambler, complete with “Gipper” license plate, sits in the center of the gallery, flanked by a selection of his favorite books, an original saddle and chainsaw owned and used by President Reagan.


The Reagan Ranch Center is designed to engage visitors of all ages; younger children can even earn their “Junior Secret Service Clearance” by completing a fun and educational scavenger hunt.

The Reagan Ranch Center is located at 217 State Street next to the train station.

Admission is FREE. For more information call 1-888-USA-1776 or visit

Camarillo Ranch House


The Camarillo Ranch House is a 3-story, 14 room, 6,000 square foot Victorian home built by Adolfo Camarillo in 1892.  Adolfo is the son of Juan Camarillo, who purchased the land in 1866.  Adolfo operated the ranch from the time of Juan's death in 1880 until 1948.  Adolfo's name proliferates in Camarillo and the local high school was named after him after he gave 50 acres of land for that use.

Camarillo Ranch Hosue

The 4.5 acre ranch was given to the City of Camarillo by the Centex Company in 1997.  Today the property includes the house, a historic red barn and a stable.  In 2001, the City of Camarillo completed a $1.5 million restoration of the beautiful home to exhibit what it looked like during the 1914 to 1930 time frame. The Camarillo Ranch was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.

The Camarillo Ranch is open to the public 7 days a week, 9am-5pm, unless there is holiday or special event. There is no charge to visit the property and walk the grounds during normal hours. The gardens have interpretive signs and there are also picnic benches available for use at lunchtime.

Docent-led tours of the house are currently (as of June 2017) offered on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (last tour starts at 2 p.m.) but effective 7/1/17 will noon to 3 p.m. Donation of $5 per visitor is requested.

The property is used for many special events and can be reserved for private events like weddings and receptions.

The Camarillo Ranch House is located at 201 Camarillo Ranch Road.  Visit or call 805.389.8182 for more information.

Morton Bay Fig Tree

Morton Bay Fig Tree