Dorothy's Chuck Wagon Cafe Captured in Oil Painting by Local Artist, Linda Dark

Dorothy's Chuck Wagon Cafe is located in Old Town Camarillo at 2344 Ventura Boulevard, serving home-style breakfast and lunch Monday through Saturday. Their phone number is 805.987.2167.

Linda Dark is an artist has lived in Camarillo since 1978. She enjoys capturing local landmarks in oil on canvas, including her latest work piece above. Check out her work at www.camarillolandmarks.com.

The Chuck Wagon Cafe has been here for quite some time. According to the Pleasant Valley Historical Society, the building was built in 1944 and was owned by Larry Logue, who opened Larry's Malt Shop in 1946. It soon became Carmen's Snack Bar, owned by Ed and Carmen Quinn. Dorothy Johnson took over as new owner in 1983.

OldestRestaurants.com has a compilation of the oldest restaurants that are still in operation at the same location in California. Dorothy's Chuck Wagon Cafe is one of the oldest eateries in Ventura County, following the Golden Chicken Inn in Oxnard (the oldest still standing restaurant in Ventura County; founded in 1929) and Familia Diaz in Santa Paula (1936).

Also on that list as opening in 1946 are Casa Escobar (which closed its Westlake Village location last Fall) and El Tecolote in Camarillo.

A more recent view of Dorothy's Chuck Wagon Cafe.

A more recent view of Dorothy's Chuck Wagon Cafe.

Ventura County Area Daily Deals, Coupons and Other Bargain Hunting Websites

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Launched in November 2008, Groupon popularized the deal-a-day concept for daily discounted "coupons" or gift certificates good for deals at local retailers and service providers, such as spa treatments, classes, restaurants, massages, tanning salons, haircuts, offering 50% to as much as 90% off retail price.

There are now hundreds of daily deal sites around the world. Locally here in the Conejo Valley and Greater Ventura County, ConejoDeals.com was the first site to launch a daily deal program, back in April 2010.

Below are websites that offer daily deals, anytime deals and/or good old fashioned coupons in the Ventura County area*:

ConejoDeals.com - Daily deals centered in the Conejo Valley and surrounding areas.

SimiDeals.com - Companion site launched by owners of ConejoDeals.com.

BlueList was launched in 2015 by the technology arm of NewMark Merrill, which develops and manages numerous shopping centers, including the local Janss Marketplace in Thousand Oaks. Download the app and receive local deals on your smartphone or online at getbluelist.com.

Travelzoo.com - Offers a variety of discounted packages for restaurants, activities and getaways in the Central Coast and San Fernando Valley areas.

Conejo Valley Corridor - Offers a discount card fundraising program that benefits local schools and non-profits while offering everyday discounts at numerous local area businesses.

Groupon Ventura County - Groupon started this VC daily deal site in October 2010.

LivingSocial.com Ventura County - Came to Ventura County in April 2011.

Bogopod.com - Has both everyday printable coupons and limited time vouchers that are usually available a day or two. Covers businesses throughout Ventura County.

Restaurant.com - Offers an array of discount gift certificates at local restaurants. Worth checking out. Do be aware of minimum purchase requirements when you buy.

MOGL.com - Sign up and receive 10% cash back when you dine at over 100 local restaurants. For each dollar members earn, MOGL puts 10 cents into a jackpot which then goes to the top 3 customers at every restaurant every month!

LocalFlavor.com offers a number of deals in the Ventura County area.

Sweet Deals Ventura County offers a number of special deals at Ventura County businesses.

The Coupon Shopping Network offers special deals at a variety of Conejo Valley and other Ventura County based businesses.

MoneyMailer.com - Offers printable coupons for hundreds of local businesses as well as a mobile app. Type in your zip code and look for coupons when you need them.

LocalSaver.com - Printable coupons for local restaurants, retailers and service providers.

CouponsAndMoreVentura.com - Printable coupons for businesses in the Ventura area.

CouponsAndMoreOxnard.com - Printable coupons for businesses in the Oxnard area.

* Note that this list is current as of January 2017 but is subject to change at any time. Feel free to CONTACT US with any notable changes.

Amazon Local announced it closed its local deals site effective 12/18/15.

Jumping and Climbing Options In and Around Ventura County

If your kids are bouncing off the walls around the house and need to jump off some steam, perhaps they need a new environment for jumping and/or climbing in and around Ventura County. Here are some options to consider.

Sky High Sports - The Trampoline Place, is located at 166 Aviador Street in Camarillo, offering wall to wall trampolines where you can literally jump off both the floors and the walls to your heart's content. Dodgeball and other fun activities also await you.  There's also a Sky High Sports in Woodland Hills.

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Sky Zone Trampoline Park is located at 2825 Johnson Drive in east Ventura. Similar to Sky High, Sky Zone offers wall to wall trampolines with open jump sessions, a "SkySlam" court and more.

Platinum Sports Center is located at 160 W. Cochran Street in Simi Valley, offering, among many other things, an indoor trampoline court for bouncing off the walls and play slam dunk volleyball, dodgeball and other fun activities during open gym time.

Boulderdash Indoor Rock Climbing is at 880 Hampshire Road, Suite A, Thousand Oaks, 10,000 sq ft climbing area with sections ranging from 25 feet to 45 feet tall. Fun for all ages. We've enjoyed some fun birthday parties here. Boulderdash also has a facility in Chatsworth.

The Agoura Hills/Calabasas Community Center at 27040 Malibu Hills Road, Calabasas features, among other things, a 35 foot rock climbing wall.

Santa Barbara Rock Gym is an 8,500 sq ft facility located at 322 State Street, Santa Barbara.

Not for the inexperienced...rock climbing at Westward Beach in Malibu.

Not for the inexperienced...rock climbing at Westward Beach in Malibu.

For more seasoned climbers, there is a sheer cliff used by rock climbers at Westward Beach in Malibu as well as near the Rock Pool at Malibu Creek State Park.

Free Admission Days at Museums in Ventura County and Adjacent Areas

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The "Do Something" section of Conejo Valley Guide highlights over 250 things to do throughout Ventura County and surrounding areas, including over four dozen museums. Let's take a closer look at the museums on the list that offer free admission days. The information below of course is subject to change, so be sure to contact the museums first to confirm.

Historic Dudley House Museum in Ventura is open the 1st Sunday of the month most of the year and admission is free (donations encouraged).

Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center at Channel Islands National Park located at the Ventura Harbor is open year-round free of admission.

Admission is free year-round at the Reagan Ranch Center Exhibit Galleries in Santa Barbara on State Street in front of the Amtrak Station.

Ojai Valley Museum offers free admission the 1st Friday of each month.

Santa Barbara Historical Museum offers free admission year-round; donations are welcomed.

Santa Barbara Maritime Museum offers free admission the 3rd Thursday of each month.

Museum of Ventura County’s Agriculture Museum in Santa Paula offers free admission on the 1st Sunday of the month.

The unique Woolworth Museum in Downtown Oxnard is free to enter year-round.

Channel Islands Maritime Museum offers free admission on the 3rd Thursday of each month.

Nethercutt Museum in Sylmar offers free admission year-round to its showcase of vintage cars.

1956 Rolls Royce Phantom Saloon at Nethercutt Automotive Museum

1956 Rolls Royce Phantom Saloon at Nethercutt Automotive Museum

Admission to the Conejo Valley Art Museum is free year-round.

U.S. Navy Seabee Museum in Port Hueneme offers year-round free admission.

Free Family Days at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History on the third Sunday of January, February, March, April, September, October, November, and December. No free days in May, June, July and August.

Free admission at the Museum of Ventura County in Downtown Ventura the 1st Sunday of the month.

There is no admission charge at the Pleasant Valley Historical Museum and Botanical Garden in Camarillo.

For the largest collection of skateboards, scooters and related memorabilia perhaps anywhere, visit the Skateboard Museum at Skatelab in Simi Valley! Free admission!

Santa Paula Art Museum offers free admission on the 1ST Wednesday of the month.

The Santa Susana Depot and Museum in Simi Valley is open to the public on weekends, free of charge.

Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles offers free year-round admission.

Aviation Museum of Santa Paula is open the 1st Sunday of each month with no admission charge.

Kidspace Kids Museum in Pasadena offers Free Family Night from 4pm to 8pm the 1st Tuesday of each month, except September.

The Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades is free of charge year-round.

Bank of America offers free admission to over 150 museums around the country the first full weekend of each month.

You like FREE!? Click here for hundreds of other free activities and things in and around Ventura County!

There's an annual "Museums Free-For-All" day at various Los Angeles area museums. Visit www.socalmuseums.org/free-for-all for more information.

Over 40 Things to Do in the City of Simi Valley

The City of Simi Valley was incorporated on October 10, 1969, making it the 2nd youngest of the 10 cities in Ventura County (Moorpark was incorporated in 1983). It is the 3rd largest city in Ventura County in population (approximately 127,000 in 2014), following Oxnard and Thousand Oaks.

What do all those people like to do in the City of Simi Valley? Well here we will tell you things to do there.

Trails and Hikes and Outdoors

View from Mt McCoy Trail Peak

View from Mt McCoy Trail Peak

Eleven of My Favorite Things to Do In and Around the City of Ventura

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Incorporated in 1866, the City of Ventura is the county seat of Ventura County. The official name of Ventura is the city of San Buenaventura. Mission San Buenaventura was founded by Franciscan priest Junipero Serra on March 31, 1782 and was named after Saint Bonaventure. Enough with the history lesson...here are some of my favorite things to do in this beautiful city!

You can't miss the 1,600 foot long Ventura Pier, with its panoramic views, fishing and ocean-breezes. There's a cool little playground area in the sand just west of the pier, bicycle rentals nearby, miles of beachfront bike path and Surfers' Point. San Buenaventura State Beach stretches from the Ventura Pier down south past the homes of the Ventura Keys.

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Ventura Harbor Village is home to 33 acres of harborside activities, shopping and restaurants. There's an arcade with an antique carousel, boat rides, kayaking and sailing and quick access to family-friendly Harbor Cove Beach and Surfer's Knoll Beach. Also within a short walking distance is the Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center, an inspirational and interactive source of information about the Channel Islands National Park. Bring the kids!

Ventura Harbor Village is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.

Ventura Harbor Village is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.

For some of the most spectacular views of Ventura, stop by Grant Park / Serra Cross Park. You can drive up there, or park above the historic Ventura City Hall building and walk to Grant Park via the Ventura Botanical Gardens Demonstration Trail. This nice 1 mile trail, opened in October 2012, will give you a nice little workout, with views along the way.

A view from the Ventura Botanical Gardens Demonstration Trail

A view from the Ventura Botanical Gardens Demonstration Trail

Golf N' Stuff is a family favorite, especially when it's really hot in the Conejo Valley and you're looking for an outdoor alternative to the beach.  The kids never tire of the two 18-hole mini golf courses, bumper boats, large, nicely appointed arcade, go karts and bumper cars. Sign up with their email club and receive periodic 2 for 1 deals.

Mini golf fun at Golf N' Stuff Ventura.

Mini golf fun at Golf N' Stuff Ventura.

Another popular family choice is oceanfront Marina Park in the Ventura Keys, a decent sized park with plenty of grassy area, a newer playground, the popular zip line and path to adjacent picnic and viewing area Soter Point. We enjoy riding bikes from the park to the Ventura Beach Path.

Marina Park zip line about the "San Salvador"

Marina Park zip line about the "San Salvador"

In Downtown Ventura, the Museum of Ventura County hosts a collection of over 30,000 pieces of fine art and historical items and a changing lineup of exhibits displaying items of local relevance. The Museum's Research Library houses over 150,000 resources related to the history of Ventura County. And the Museum regularly hosts public events geared towards all ages as well as free admission the first Sunday of each month.

The IKEA Museum Opened in Älmhult, Sweden in June 2016

Overview IKEA Museum. © Inter IKEA Systems B.V. 2016

Overview IKEA Museum. © Inter IKEA Systems B.V. 2016

As noted at this link, IKEA will be relocating early next month from its existing location in Burbank to a new location nearby that is nearly double the size.

There was a massive outpouring of excitement about this new store on the CVG Facebook Page and several folks hoped that the new store could perhaps travel 35 miles west to Thousand Oaks or Camarillo. IKEA does not share its expansion plans but with only 43 stores in the entire U.S. and the new Burbank store occupying the largest footprint of any U.S. store, I would venture to bet that we will not be seeing an IKEA store in nearby Ventura County for the foreseeable future.

IKEA was founded in Sweden in 1943 by 17 year old Ingvar Kamprad, who named the company after his initials, Elmtaryd (the farm he grew up on) and Agunnaryd (his hometown in southern Sweden). Kamprad turned 90 in 2016.

Now, for IKEA fans planning to be visiting Scandinavia in the future, you'll have to check out the IKEA Museum.

Opened in June 2016 this 75,000 sq ft museum is located in the original building that housed the very first IKEA store in Älmhult, Sweden in 1958. The museum features a main exhibition in three parts, a temporary exhibition, a gift shop and a restaurant.

IKEA Museum tells the story of IKEA and how an entrepreneur from the southern parts of Sweden, the province of Småland, together with his co-workers decided to create “a better everyday life for the many people."

Visitors are invited to explore the driving forces in society that shaped IKEA, the people behind it, the ideas and inspiration for the products – but also what IKEA may be tomorrow.

Learn more about the IKEA Museum at ikeamuseum.com/en.

Mosaic of smaller portraits of IKEA co-workers. © Inter IKEA Systems B.V. 2016

Mosaic of smaller portraits of IKEA co-workers. © Inter IKEA Systems B.V. 2016