Forty-Seven Things to Do In Thousand Oaks

The City of Thousand Oaks was incorporated on September 29, 1964. Most of Newbury Park was annexed by the city in the 1960s/1970s. Casa Conejo, Newbury Park's first planned community built in the early 1960s and the Lynn Ranch area of Thousand Oaks are unincorporated areas of Ventura County that technically are not annexed into the City of Thousand Oaks. Why that is, I'm not sure. The City of Thousand Oaks also annexed the Ventura County portions of Westlake Village in 1968 and 1972. A bit complicated, eh?

Enough history for now! Let's look at the future...like tomorrow or this coming weekend. Here are 47* things to do in the City of Thousand Oaks in random order.

*It started out as 47 things to do but we've lost count since originally posting this.

 View of Boney Mountain from the Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa area.

View of Boney Mountain from the Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa area.

 Older version of City of Thousand Oaks sign.

Older version of City of Thousand Oaks sign.

Christmas and Other Holiday Season Events Around Ventura County

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Hop onto the holiday bandwagon and check out some of these dozens of events in and around Ventura County, most of which are FREE! Christmas parades, Santa visits, carnivals, train rides, holiday runs, holiday home tours, boutiques, nativity displays and lots of holiday music and entertainment!

This list will be updated regularly as we move our way through the Thankgiving and Christmas holiday season! Submit additions here.

Do contact event coordinators as things sometimes change! Also, some events require RSVP.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Sat 11/17: Annual Tree Lighting and Santa's Arrival at Simi Valley Town Center

Sat 11/17: Tree Lighting at The Collection at RiverPark

Sat 11/18: Santa Paws Event at Humane Society in Ojai

Thu 11/22: Thanksgiving Day Pumpkin Smash at Santa Barbara Zoo

Thu 11/22: 14th Annual Turkey Day Dash in Thousand Oaks

Thu 11/22: 5th Annual Thanksgiving Day 5K in Simi Valley

Thu 11/22: 11th Annual Ventura Turkey Trot 5K and Kids' 1K

Sat 11/23: Jingle Bell Jump - Santa Parachutes Into Janss Marketplace

11/23-11/25: Dudley House Victorian Holiday Boutique in Ventura

Sat 11/24: 69th Annual Santa Paula Christmas Parade

11/28-12/1: Simi Valley Festival of Trees

Fri 11/30: Holiday Tree Lighting at The Promenade at Westlake (reschedule from 11/16 in consideration of Borderline and wildfire tragedies)

Fri 11/30: 68th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in Oxnard

Sat 12/1: 57th Annual Oxnard Christmas Parade

Sat 12/1: Run for Holiday Fun 5K/10K at Camarillo Family YMCA

Sat 12/1: 11th Annual Oxnard Tamale Festival

Sat 12/1: Ventura Winter Wine Walk and Holiday Street Fair

11/30-12/2: Dudley House Victorian Holiday Boutique in Ventura

11/30-12/2: No Room at the Inn Nativity Display in Camarillo

Sun 12/2: Cancer Support Community Holiday Boutique in Westlake Village

Sat 12/1: Breakfast with Santa at Camarillo Community Center

Sun 12/2: Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis in Agoura Hills (new venue being sought)

Sun 12/2: Holiday Roundup at Leonis Adobe Museum in Calabasas

Sun 12/2: Santa Paws Annual Holiday Photo Shoot in Ojai

Sun 12/2: Holiday Open House at Stagecoach Inn Museum Newbury Park (1-4PM)

Sun 12/2: Snow Leopard Festival / Sledding at Santa Barbara Zoo

Sun 12/2: 7th Annual Holly Jolly Half Marathon, 5K/10K in Camarillo

12/5: Christmas at the Ranch with Santa at Camarillo Ranch House (4:30-7:30)

Fri 12/7: 66th Annual Santa Barbara Downtown Christmas Parade

12/7-12/9: Simi Community Christmas International Creche Exhibit and Music Performances

Sat 12/8: 56th Annual Camarillo Christmas Parade

Sat 12/8: Santa at the Adobe in Agoura Hills

Sat 12/8: 53rd Annual Holiday Parade of Lights at Channel Islands Harbor

Sun 12/9: Heritage Holiday in the Park at Strathearn Park Simi Valley

12/7-12/9: Dudley House Victorian Holiday Boutique in Ventura

12/8-12/9: Footworks Youth Ballet Presents "The Nutcracker" in Oxnard

12/7-12/22: Holidays at the Plaza Downtown Ventura Events

Sun 12/9: Santa to the Sea Half Marathon and 5K in Oxnard

Sun 12/9: Holiday Sing-Along Family Event at The Shoppes at Westlake (3-6PM)

Sun 12/9: 40th Annual "Homes for the Holidays" Home Tour and Boutique in Camarillo

Sun 12/9: Olivas Adobe Holiday Candlelight Tours in Ventura

12/12: Christmas at the Ranch with Santa at Camarillo Ranch House (4:30-7:30)

12/13-12/14: An Irish Christmas at Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza

12/14-12/15: The Bethlehem Experience in Westlake Village

12/14-15: 42nd Annual Ventura Harbor Holiday Parade of Lights

Sat 12/15: Winter Wonderland and Holiday Marketplace at Ventura Harbor Village

Sat 12/15: Holiday Fun at Malibu Country Mart (Noon to 4pm)

Sat 12/15: 7th Annual Purrs & Paws Holiday Boutique & Vintage Market in Ojai

12/19: Christmas at the Ranch with Santa at Camarillo Ranch House (4:30-7:30)

Sat 12/22: Holiday Fun at Malibu Country Mart (Noon to 4pm)

12/24-25: Santa Barbara Zoo is open to the public

Past Events

L.A. Zoo Lights Holiday Light Display Runs From 11/16/18 to 1/6/19

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For the 5th year, the Los Angeles Zoo hosts LA Zoo Lights, a nightly holiday light display throughout a large section of the zoo. This jaw dropping display is sure to bring a smile to your face. There are lighted animals of all types, snowflake lane, twinkle tunnel, reindeer village, brightly lit monkeys all over the place and much more.

LA Zoo Lights will be held nightly, from November 16, 2018 to January 6, 2019, with the exception of Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Learn more and purchase tickets at www.lazoolights.org. LA Zoo Lights is a rain-or-shine event.

But WAIT...discounted tickets available at bit.ly/LAZooLights2018 (affiliate link).

 Scene from LA Zoo Lights 2014

Scene from LA Zoo Lights 2014

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LA Zoo Lights will be held nightly, with the exception of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, from November 18, 2016 through January 8, 2017. Learn more and purchase tickets at www.lazoolights.org. LA Zoo Lights is a rain-or-shine event.

 

Craft Breweries with Onsite Tasting Rooms In and Around Ventura County and Adjacent Areas

According to the Brewers Association, there were 6,372 total U.S. breweries at the end of 2017, up 16% from one year prior (and over double the number of breweries in 2013). Over 98% of these breweries are craft breweries, consisting of microbreweries, brewpubs and regional craft breweries.

A craft brewer is defined as being small (annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less), independent and traditional (flavors derived mostly from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients).

We've seen and experienced this growth in and around Ventura County, so how about if we summarize them right here! This list includes local craft breweries with onsite tasting rooms ranging from the Conejo Valley out just past Ventura County into Carpinteria.

Conejo Valley (Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks, Agoura Hills)

14 Cannons Brewery and Showroom opened at 31125 Via Colinas, Suite 907 in Westlake Village opened in September 2017, featuring a handful of freshly brewed craft beers as well as an actual brewery showroom. www.14cannons.com 818.652.6971

Ladyface Alehouse & Brasserie, the Conejo Valley's first microbrewery and brewpub, opened in November 2009 at 29281 Agoura Road, Agoura Hills. Offering a full selection of craft brews and full lunch/dinner menus daily. ladyfaceale.com 818.477.4566

Westlake Brewing Company opened its small volume brewery in early 2016 at 31111 Via Colinas #200, Westlake Village. Offers craft beers and craft soda in an industrial feel.  The taproom, open Wednesday through Sunday, has old school pinball machines, shuffleboard table and live entertainment. westlakebrewingcompany.com 818.851.9052

Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company opened its Westlake Village taproom at The Shoppes at Westlake, 30770 Russell Ranch Road, in December 2015. Offers up craft beers brewed onsite as well as at other locations in Santa Barbara. Also a full-service restaurant with indoor/outdoor seating open daily. www.figmtnbrew.com 818.874.1305

Five Threads Brewing Company at 31133 Via Colinas, Suite 109, Westlake Village opened in October 2015. Offers fresh brewed craft beers in its tasting room seven days a week. www.fivethreadsbrewing.com 805.457.5990

Twisted Oak Tavern opened in 2015 at 30105 Agoura Road, Agoura Hills, offering a full gastropub experience with a full lunch/dinner menu and over 30 craft beers on tap made onsite. Open daily. www.twistedoaktavern.pub

Coming soon to Thousand Oaks at 244 E. Thousand Oaks Boulevard: Tarantula Hill Brewing Company sometime in early 2019. tarantulahillbrewco.com

Ventura

Topa Topa Brewing Company is a microbrewery that opened on June 6, 2015 and is located at 104 E. Thompson Boulevard in Ventura,. Offers a variety of microbrews in a small tasting room area. www.facebook.com/topatopabrewingco 805.628.9255

Poseidon Brewing Company opened its tasting room on August 11, 2014 at 5777 Olivas Park Drive, Unit Q, Ventura and is open Tuesday through Sunday. Ooh, they offer up a free pint on your birthday if you present Valid ID with birthdate! www.poseidonbrewingco.com 805.477.0239

Anacapa Brewing Company opened its doors back in 2000 with a seasonal rotation of over 25 beers in this full service restaurant/brewery in the heart of Downtown Ventura at 472 E. Main Streetanacapabrewing.com 805.643.BEER (2337) (gotta love that phone number)

Flat Fish Brewing is a brewery co-owned and located with Cantara Cellars at 126 N. Wood Road, #104 in Camarillo. They will soon be opening a taproom where both beer and wine are offered. Currently open Thursday through Sunday. flatfishbrewing.com 805.484.9600

MadeWest Brewing Company opened its doors in January 2016 and is located at 1744 Donlon Street, Ventura, offering a variety of craft beers, plenty of indoor/outdoor seating, food trucks and more. www.madewest.com 805.947.5002

Ventura Coast Brewing Co. is at 76 S. Oak Street in Downtown Ventura. Offers indoor/outdoor patio seating, flights, 4 and 16 ounce pours of its creations. Open 7 days a week. www.vcbc.beer

Leashless Brewing opened in early July 2017 at 585 E. Thompson Blvd, Ventura, offering organic, Belgian style ales. www.leashlessbrewing.com

Concrete Jungle Brewing is located at 4561 Market Street in Ventura in the former Surf Brewing location. The offer 20 house-brewed beers on tap. Open daily at noon, except Mondays (closed). Learn more at concretejunglebrew.com. 805.650.4816

Transmission Brewery and Tasting Room is being built out at 1098 East Front Street, Ventura.

Seaward Brewing is being built out at 1920 Goodyear Ave., Suite D, Ventura. www.seawardbrewing.com Updates at www.instagram.com/seaward_brewing.

A second Rincon Brewery is being built out at 4100 Telegraph Road, Ventura. Follow their Facebook page for updates at www.facebook.com/pg/rinconbreweryventura.

Tap’d Ventura is opening its doors at 546 E. Main St at 2pm on Thursday, November 1st. Tap’d will be serving 43 taps of craft beer “by the ounce” along with fast/casual foods including burgers, flatbread pizzas, salads and more. tapdventura.com 805.667.8771

Camarillo, Oxnard

Institution Ale Company is a microbrewery founded in 2013 that recently moved to a larger location and tasting room at 3841 Mission Oaks Boulevard in Camarillo. Food offered includes artisan flatbread pizzas and soft baked pretzels. institutionales.com 805.482.3777

Casa Agria Specialty Ales is a small brewery located at 701 N. Del Norte Boulevard, Suite 310 in Oxnard, brewing up a handful of specialty beers since February 2015. There is now a small onsite tasting room open to the public Thursday through Sunday. www.casaagria.com 805.485.1454

Red Tandem Brewery is a nanobrewery featuring 7 high quality ales brewed onsite to customers at its tasting room at 109 Harbor Boulevard, Oxnard Shores at Channel Islands Harbor. It was founded in September 2014 and opened to the public in May 2016. Open Wednesday through Sunday. www.redtandembrewery.com 805.236.2105

Moorpark, Simi Valley

Enegren Brewing Company opened in July 2011 in Moorpark and is now located at 444 Zachary Street, #120 (a newer, 15 barrel brewery opened in January 2015).  www.enegrenbrewing.com 805.552.0602

Mad Era Brewing will be coming soon (Fall 2018 anticipated) to the former home of Marie Callender's at 20 W. Cochran Street in Simi Valley (cross street Madera Road. Hmm. Mad Era. Madera. Hmm.)

Other Local Cities

The Ojai Valley Brewery Tap Room is located at Azu Restaurant and Bar at 457 E. Ojai Avenue. The brewery is located 3 blocks away. The taproom is open noon to close 7 days a week. ojaivalleybrewery.com/the-tap-room 805.640.7987

Rincon Brewery at 5065 Carpinteria Avenue in Carpinteria is a craft brewery and restaurant open 7 days a week. rinconbrewery.com 805.684.6044

Island Brewing Company has been brewing in Carpinteria since July 2001 at 5049 Sixth Street (Linden at the railroad tracks). Its open redwood beam tasting room was originally built as a packing house for lemons and citrus. Located right next to Carpinteria State Beach too! Open 7 days a week. www.islandbrewingcompany.com 805.745.8272

BrewLAB is an artisanal nano-brewery located at 4191-8 Carpinteria Avenue in Carpinteria. Tasting room is open Thursday through Sunday. www.brewlabcraft.com 949.922.9152

Other Options on Tap

Some additional craft beer tasting options in the area are highlighted below. These ones serve up tap beers from other craft breweries and/or produce the beer elsewhere. We have included on this list bars/taverns serving up at least a dozen craft beers on tap.

Conejo Valley

The Dudes' Brewing Company Tasting Room opened at Janss Marketplace in Thousand Oaks on July 15, 2016. Although the beers and are not brewed on site (this is done in Torrance), they have 20 tap handles for your imbibing pleasure. www.thedudesbrew.com

Bottle & Pint is a specialty craft beer store and taproom at 1714 Newbury Road, Suite G, Newbury Park. Open seven days a week, they have a revolving list with 20 beers on tap. Bring your own in or have it delivered. 805.480.9500 www.bottleandpint.com.

Draughts Restaurant & Bar at 398 N. Moorpark Road, Thousand Oaks has 45 craft beers on tap as well as a full restaurant. 805.777.7883 www.draughtsrestaurant.com

The Crown and Anchor at 2891 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd, Thousand Oaks has 17 draft beers and ciders on tap, serves food, lots of TVs and periodic live entertainment. www.crownnanchor.com 805.497.0070

Boney Mountain Tavern, located at 722 N. Wendy Drive, Newbury Park, has 32 beers on tap, including a variety of craft beers. boneymtntavern.com 805.498.6511

Finney's Crafthouse & Kitchen just opened at the Westlake Plaza, 982 S. Westlake Boulevard, Westlake Village, in the former home of Galletto. They serve up 30 craft beers on tap. www.facebook.com/Finneyscrafthouse 805.230-9950

Wades Wines at 30961 Agoura Road, Suite 321, Westlake Village offer over 50 beers on tap, wine tasting and thousands of other spirits for sale and tasting. Retail store is open daily. Tasting is open Thursday through Sunday. www.wadeswines.com 818.597.9463

Other Local Cities

McGregor's Craft Beer and Wine is a new tasting room/bottle shop at 144 W. Los Angeles Avenue #105 in Moorpark, with 16 rotating taps and an expanding library of wine. Open daily. 805.553.9818 www.mcgregorscraftbeer.com

Bottle & Pint has a 2nd location at The Annex, a cool food "court" area within The Collection at RiverPark in Oxnard.

Barrelhouse 101 at 545 E. Thompson Blvd, Ventura has an insane number of craft and micro beers on tap...over 100. Open daily with full menu. www.barrelhouse101.com 805.643.0906

The Local Beer & Wine Bar is located at 795 Camarillo Springs Road in Camarillo, Suite E. It is open daily at noon (11am on Sundays). 16 rotating taps are offered. thelocalcamarillo.com

The Dugout Sports Grill serves about 22 taps of beer along with cocktails, food and 32 TVs at 109 W. Cochran Street, Simi Valleywww.thedugoutsimi.com 805.955.9200

Winchesters Grill & Saloon at 632 East Main Street in Ventura has over 30 beers on tap, mostly craft types. They also have a full menu and full bar. www.winchestersgrill.com 805.653.7446

Yard House at The Collection at Riverpark in Oxnard has well over 100 beers on tap of all varieties.  www.yardhouse.com/locations/ca/oxnard/oxnard-the-collection-at-riverpark 805.981.8707

Cask Alehouse is located at 5952 Telegraph Road in Ventura (at Victoria), offering a rotating selection of 32 beers on draft, many of which are brewed here in Ventura County (such as Surf Brewing, Made West, Topa Topa, Poseidon and Five Threads). www.facebook.com/caskalehouse 805.765.4201

Two Trees Restaurant and Taps is located at 7822 Telegraph Road in Ventura, serving up 28 beers on tap along with full breakfast, lunch and dinner menus. www.twotreesrestaurantandtaps.com 805.659.3365

Fluid State Beer Garden, located at 692 E. Main Street, Ventura, offers craft beers, sourdough pizzas and more. www.fluidstatebeer.com 805.628.3107

LOOKING FOR WINE? CLICK HERE FOR LOCAL WINE TASTING OPTIONS!

NIGHTLIFE OPTIONS IN AND AROUND VENTURA COUNTY

Closed

Darryl's Couch was a craft beer bar located at 795 Camarillo Springs Road in Camarillo.  www.darrylscouch.com They closed on Sunday, March 11, 2018, after operating for 5 1/2 years. Now located there is The Local Beer & Wine Bar.

Surf Brewery was the first packaging craft brewery in Ventura County when it opened in June 2011. It closed in early 2018. Now operating at this location is Concrete Jungle Brewing.

Campgrounds and RV Facilities In Ventura County and Adjacent Areas

Looking to "rough it" locally in the vicinity of Ventura County and surrounding areas? Here's a compilation of local camping facilities run by federal, state and private organizations that may help you make that final push to get off of that sofa and start smelling the fresh air! As you can see, there are literally thousands of campsites available in and within a one hour radius of Ventura County.

There are a number of camping options in the local Santa Monica Mountains, including Leo Carrillo, Point Mugu State Park and Malibu Creek State Park. Booking for California State Parks can be done online at reserveamerica.com at least 2 days in advance and as much as 7 months in advance. Or call 800.444.7275.

NOTE: Leo Carrillo State Park has been closed until further notice due to the Woolsey Fire. The fire burned through the campground and several structures, such as the visitor center, sector office, employee residences, three lifeguard towers, shop structures, the Junior Lifeguard Complex and several restrooms. If you have a reservation, contact ReserveCalifornia at 800-444-7275. For the latest information on how the wildfires have impacted state parks, visit www.parks.ca.gov/newsroom

Leo Carrillo State Park is located at 35000 W. Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu. The Canyon Campground has 135 family sites, each with a table and fire ring. Restrooms, drinking water and coin-operated showers are available. "Hike and Bike" campsites are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. The group campground at the back of the canyon can accommodate up to 50 people. Peak season is March 1 to November 30 and off-peak is the month of December. Campsite is steps away from 1 1/2 miles of beach with tidepools, coastal caves and reefs to explore. Maximum of 8 people per campsite. Fees as of May 2017 are $10/person for Hike and Bike sites, $45 to $60/night for canyon sites and $225/night for the group site. Visit ReserveCalifornia.com at THIS LINK to make reservations.

 Camping at Leo Carrillo State Park is extremely popular.

Camping at Leo Carrillo State Park is extremely popular.

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Point Mugu State Park is located at 9000 W. Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, offering a variety of camping options described below.

The Big Sycamore Canyon Family Camp is north of PCH, offering 58 tent/RV spaces along with drinking water, restrooms, showers and fire rings. There is also 4 tent spaces available for "Hike and Bike" camper. Pets are allowed on leash in the campground. Fees as of Summer 2018 are $45/night and $10/night for Hike and Bike spots. Visit ReserveCalifornia.com to make reservations.

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Thornhill Broome Family Camp offers 68 tent/RV spaces with no hookups, but you're talking literally on the beach camping. No flush toilets; just chemical toilets. Cold outside showers. Sites have picnic tables and fire rings. Pets are allowed on leash in the campground. Fees as of Summer 2018 are $35/night. Visit ReserveCalifornia.com to make reservations.

 Thornhill Broome RV Park as seen from across PCH.

Thornhill Broome RV Park as seen from across PCH.

La Jolla Valley Hike-In camping accommodates up to 3 tent spaces; no water, no fires. $10 per person, per night, payable at the La Jolla Valley/Ray Miller Trail parking area. There is also a group hike-in spot for 10 to 20 people. There is also a reservable La Jolla Valley Group tent camp for 9 to 50 people available that has drinking water, flush toilets, showers and a fireplace. Fees as of August 2018 are $225/night. This is a walk-in group camp for tents only with parking available for up to 12 vehicles, 25 yards from the campground. Located across from Thornhill Broome. Visit www.reservecalifornia.com to reserve the group camp.

 La Jolla Valley Group Camping Area

La Jolla Valley Group Camping Area

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The Danielson Group Multi-Use Area is located in Sycamore Canyon within Pt Mugu State Park and is available for groups of 10 to 50 people. There is drinking water, flush toilets, showers, tent spaces and fireplace. Pets allowed on leash in campground. Contact California State Parks to book the reservation at 805.488.5223 or 805.488.1827.

The Sycamore Group Multi-Use Area accommodates 10 to 25 people and includes drinking water, chemical toilets, tent spaces and fire rings. Pets allowed on leash in campground. Contact California State Parks to book the reservation at 805.488.5223 or 805.488.1827.

NOTE: MALIBU CREEK STATE PARK HAS BEEN CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE DUE TO THE WOOLSEY FIRE OF NOVEMBER 2018. CHECK FOR UPDATES AT THIS LINK.

Malibu Creek State Park at 1925 Las Virgenes Road, Calabasas offers a family campground with 62 tent/RV spaces, drinking water, restrooms, showers and fire rings. Pets are allowed in the campground (but not in the back country trails). Fees are $45/night as of August 2018. There is also a group campground available for 10 to 60 people at $225/night. Reservations at ReserveCalifornia.com.

The National Park Service maintains the Circle X Ranch Group Campground is located at 12896 Yerba Buena Road, Malibu. There is only one group campsite located here for tent camping only. Pets on leash are allowed. Drinking water and pit toilets available, along with picnic benches and grills. No electricity. Room for 10 to 75 people. Reserve a spot at www.Recreation.gov at THIS LINK. Cost as of Summer 2018 is $35/night for 10-25 people, $75/night for 26-50 and $125/night for 51-75. Open year-round. Enjoy hiking up to Sandstone Peak and the Grotto Trail from Circle X Ranch!

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Tent camping is available year round on all five islands in Channel Islands National Park in National Park Service-managed campgrounds. Some of them have water. All have tables and vault toilets. There are a total of approximately 70 campsites. Campgrounds on each island are as follows:

  • Anacapa Island: Year-round camping. No water. 7 sites.

  • Santa Cruz Island East - Scorpion Anchorage Campground open year-round about 1/4 mile from the beach. Water is available here. 25 campsites and 6 group sites.

  • Santa Cruz Island Mid - Del Norte Campground at Prisoners Harbor open year-round. Backcountry camp four miles from the harbor. No water. 4 sites.

  • San Miguel Island - Above Cuyler Harbor is back country camping open May through October. No water. 9 sites.

  • Santa Rosa Island - At Water Canyon March through November. 15 sites. Water available.

  • Santa Barbara Island - Above the Landing Cove April through October. No water. 10 sites.

Advance reservations required by calling 877.444.6777 or through Recreation.gov. Currently $15/night fee as of Summer 2018 for individual campsites. No fires permitted; you can only use enclosed gas stoves.  More information at www.nps.gov/chis/planyourvisit/camping.htm.

 Scorpion Anchorage campground on   Santa Cruz Island   (Channel Islands National Park)

Scorpion Anchorage campground on Santa Cruz Island (Channel Islands National Park)

The 1.75 million acre Los Padres National Forest (LPNF) stretches across almost 220 miles from Monterey County through San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura and Kern Counties. The Ojai Ranger District of LPNF includes the Matilija Wilderness and part of the Sespe Wilderness. There are five campgrounds in the Ojai portion of LPNF, including reservable Wheeler Gorge Campground and first-come, first-served campgrounds, Middle Lion, Pine Mountain, Reyes Peak and Rose Valley.

Wheeler Gorge Campground in Ojai is open year-round with dozens of available spots for tents and RVs. Parking spurs are paved and vary in length, accommodating RVs up to 35 feet. At the top of the campground is the Wheeler Gorge Nature Trail. Rangers at nearby Wheeler Gorge Visitor Center provide informative tours during summer/fall months. The campground is adjacent to Matilija Creek and is bordered by oak and sycamore trees and evergreen shrubbery. Most sites are shaded and summer temperatures reach up to 95 degrees.  Each site is equipped with a table and campfire ring with grill. Accessible vault toilets are provided, but drinking water is not available. Visitors must bring their own water and remove their trash from the campground. Standard rate was $25/night as of March 2017.

Rose Valley Campground in Ojai is located at an elevation of 3,450 feet. It is open year-round. There are nine campsites located in a single loop, each with tables, BBQ grills, and/or fire rings. There is one vault toilet in the campground and another across from the lake. Drinking water is not available, so be sure to bring your own. No reservations taken; first come, first served. Adventure Pass is required to be displayed on car ($5/day or $30/year). Half a mile hike gets you to the Rose Valley Falls. Directions: Take Highway 33 north from Ojai 14.7 miles to mile marker 25.84.  Turn right at the Rose Valley Road turnoff and follow the paved road for 3.1 miles. Turn right again at the Rose Valley sign and drive 0.6 miles into the campground.

 Photo Credit: Tom Alexander

Photo Credit: Tom Alexander

Middle Lion Campground is surrounded by chaparral covered mountains, shaded by cottonwood trees and is next to a peaceful stream. It has eight first-come, first-served campsites located along a single loop. Tables, barbecue grills and/or fire rings are provided at each site. There is a vault toilet. No drinking water on site; you must bring your own. Follow Highway 33 north of Ojai for 14.7 miles to the Rose Valley Road turnoff. Turn right and follow the paved road 4.8 miles. Turn right and go 0.8 miles to the campground. **

Pine Mountain Campground is nestled in a small valley along the top of Pine Mountain and consists of six campsites in a circle with a large open area in the middle. There are tables, BBQ grills and/or fire rings, and one pit toilet at this campground.  Water is not available so be sure to bring your own.  The campground is surrounded by moderate hills and is a quiet place for relaxing. At an elevation of 6,650 feet, it offers cooler temperatures on hot summer days. The campground is closed during winter months, through April. Follow Highway 33 to the turnoff at Pine Mountain Summit (mile marker 42.50).  Turn right and follow partially paved road another 4.7 miles. Campground will be on the right. **

One mile further up from Pine Mountain Campground, at an elevation of 7,000 feet is Reyes Peak Campground. It is situated along the southwest side of a ridge and consists of six campsites, each with a table, BBQ grill and a fire ring. There is one pit toilet located near the first few campsites. No water is available, so be sure to bring your own. Panoramic views! You can see the Cuyama Badlands on one side and the ocean from the other side. **

** This site is managed by the Parks Management for the Forest Service.  $20/night for camping, $10 per vehicle. Day use fee (within the campground) is $10 per vehicle or you can purchase and use the Parks Management Pass for $50 (day use only). Pass can be purchased through the Parks Management Company 805-434-1996 or www.campone.com.

The Lake Casitas Recreation Area located at 11311 Santa Ana Road in Ventura offers over 400 campsites. Sites can accommodate tents, tent trailers, campers and RVs, all with picnic tables and fire rings and some with playgrounds nearby. Book early as campgrounds sell out on weekends from mid-March through September. Casitas Water Adventure is open from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. Make reservations at reservations.casitaswater.org, in person or over the phone at 805.649.1122. Sites are limited to six campers. Lake Casitas is a drinking water supply, so swimming is not allowed in it. Dogs are allowed but must be on a leash no longer than six feet long and are not allowed within 50 feet of the lake. Boating on the lake is allowed.

The 60 acre Lake Piru Recreation Area is located on the western shore of Lake Piru, an artificial lake in the Los Padres National Forest. Lake Piru offers 238 tree-shaded campsites, coin-operated hot showers and a store. Each site has a picnic table, fire ring and grill top. The dam is owned and operated by the United Water Conservation District of Santa Paula and a third party operates the campsite; visit campone.com/campsites/lake-piru for more information. Boat rentals and fishing available. Fees vary and are listed on the website. Make reservations by calling 805.521.1500.

Other nearby California State Parks with camping are at McGrath State Beach, Emma Wood State Beach, Carpinteria State Beach, El Capitan State Beach, Gaviota State Park and Refugio State Beach as described below.

The McGrath State Beach Campground has 174 campsites with picnic tables and fire rings, and restrooms with coin-operated hot showers. A group campsite and a hike-and-bike site are also available. Reserve campsites at www.reservecalifornia.com or by calling 800-444-7275. Dogs allowed on leash. The beach is five miles south of Ventura off Highway 101 via Harbor Boulevard. Available March through December. NOTE: McGrath State Beach is currently closed as of August 2018.

Emma Wood State Beach offers camping for self-contained vehicles (e.g. RVs) only (tents not permitted). No water, restrooms, electricity, fire rings, phones or dump stations are available.  There are 90 spaces, with a maximum vehicle length of 40 feet, due to small turnaround areas. Camping at Emma Wood State Beach is reservation only from mid-May through Labor Day. Pricing as of July 2018 is $40/night and $280/week at www.reservecalifornia.com.

Emma Wood

Four developed group campsites with room for 30 campers are available at Ventura River Group Camp, located two miles south of Emma Wood. Reservations required year-round. There is also primitive RV camping for groups up to 50 people and 20 vehicles.  The maximum length for RV is 45 feet. Railroad tracks and Highway 101 are adjacent to the campground and can be noisy. Dogs on leash are allowed on campground but not on the beach. Chemical toilets available, as are cold showers. Reserve campsites at www.reservecalifornia.com.

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Carpinteria State Beach is a mile long beach for swimming, surf fishing, tidepool exploring and camping. Dogs are allowed only at the picnic area. Four campground areas with 216 family campsites and seven group campsites available.  Exit the 101 at Casitas Pass Road, go west to Carpinteria Avenue, make a right at the signal; then turn left on Palm.  The beach is at the end of Palm Avenue near 4th Street. Call 805.968.1033 or visit www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=599. Reserve campsites at www.reservecalifornia.com.

El Capitán State Beach is located off Highway 101, 17 miles west of Santa Barbara at Exit 117. A sandy beach, rocky tidepools, and stands of sycamore and oaks along El Capitán Creek. It’s a perfect setting for swimming, fishing, surfing, picnicking and camping. A 132-site campground is open year-round. A short walk takes you to the beach. Each site has a picnic table and stove or fire ring; restrooms with hot showers are nearby. Several sites are paved for RVs only. Some sites accommodate trailers and RVs up to 42 feet in length. Five group campsites, accommodating 40-100 people, are available. Hike and bike campsites are also available. Dogs allowed on leash but not on the beach. Reserve campsites at www.reservecalifornia.com..

Gaviota State Park is located about 33 miles west of Santa Barbara on Gaviota Beach Road. Gaviota is popular for swimming, picnicking and surf fishing. This section of the coast was first called "gaviota" (seagull) by soldiers of the Portola Expedition in 1769. A pier on the west end of the beach is used by divers and surfers. A six mile trek up to Gaviota Peak offers a view of the coast and the Channel Islands. There are 41 developed, first-come, first-served campsites available at Gaviota that can accomodate tents, trailers up to 25 feet and RVs up to 27 feet. Between October 1 and March 31, the campground is open Friday through Sunday only. Dogs on leash allowed, but not on the beach. Reserve campsites at www.reservecalifornia.com.

Refugio State Beach is located at 10 Refugio Beach Road in Goleta, about 20 miles west of Santa Barbara. Refugio offers coastal fishing, trails, picnic sites. and palm trees. There are over 60 campsites with an eight camper maximum per campsite. Dogs on leash allowed, but not on the beach. Reserve campsites at www.reservecalifornia.com..

The County of Ventura maintains campsites at Camp Comfort and Dennison Park in Ojai, Foster Park in Ventura, Kenney Grove Park in Fillmore, Oak Park in Simi Valley, Steckel Park in Santa Paula, Tapo Canyon, Simi Valley and Toland Park, Santa Paula. To make reservations, visit www.venturaparks.org or call 805.654.3951 for more information. Maximum stay in Ventura County parks is 14 nights per ordinance.

Camp Comfort is located about a mile from Downtown Ojai at 11969 North Creek Road, Ojai. Hwy 33, S.E. on Hermosa Road. San Antonio Creek runs through this tree-lined park. Individual and group campsites are available online at www.venturaparks.org. There are 15 campsites. There are restrooms, drinking water, a playground, picnic tables, BBQs and fire rings. There are also showers, full hook-ups and laundry available. Dogs are allowed on up to 6 foot leach for a $1/night fee (2 dog maximum).

Dennison Park is located at 7250 Santa Paula-Ojai Road in Ojai. On Hwy 150, south of Nordhoff Road. This is a quiet park with views of the Ojai Valley, offering a feeling of seclusion. There are covered family/group barbecue areas near the entrance of the park available by reservation only. Fees are $21 per night plus a $3 reservation fee as of March 2017. There are 31 campsites. RV camping in lower portion of park only with 35 foot maximum length; no hook ups. Dogs allowed on leash for $1/night fee (2 dog maximum). Individual and group campsites are available online at www.venturaparks.org.

Foster Park is located at 438 Casitas Vista Road, Ventura, off of Highway 33. The park is lush with plenty of trees and two separate campgrounds, Residence Campground (14 campsites) and Red Mountain Campground (23 campsites) but as of April 2015, Red Mountain is closed until further notice. The Ojai Valley Trail runs through the park, which is great for cycling, walking and running. Residence $20-$34 per day, per site (1 RV, 1 vehicle, and 1 tent maximum). Maximum of 6 campers per site. Dogs allowed on leash for $1/night fee (2 dog maximum). Individual and group campsites are available at www.venturaparks.org.

Kenney Grove Park at 823 North Oak Avenue, Fillmore is a developed RV campground with over 50 campsites for RVs and tents. It is owned by the county but is leased to a private party that manages the campground. Most sites have water and electrical hookups and some have fire rings and tables. Park use is by reservation only. There is a playground, restrooms, softball field, horseshoe pits, hot showers and other amenities. Dogs allowed on 6 foot leash in campground only ($1/night fee, 2 dog maximum). Ten full hookups available. Fees are $22 and $36 per night. Call 805-524-0750 for information. Make reservations at www.venturaparks.org.

Oak Park Campground in Simi Valley is just off of the 118 freeway at 901 Quimsa Drive. There are approximately 30 campsites in this rustic, 100 acre open space park. Available for both RVs and tents at $32/night (as of Summer 2018). There are two playgrounds, amphitheater area, fire pits, restrooms and more. Maximum of 6 campers per site. Dogs allowed on leash for $1/night fee (2 dog maximum). Individual and group campsites are available at www.venturaparks.org.

There's a county-run 50 site campground at Steckel Park, 8080 Mistletoe Road, Santa Paula. Santa Paula Creek runs through this campground surrounded by rolling hills, mountains and trees. There's a playground, horseshoe pits, picnic tables, restrooms, etc. $23/night as of Summer 2018. Dogs allowed on a 6 foot leash. Individual and group campsites are available at www.venturaparks.org.

Tapo Canyon Regional Park is located in the midst of the rolling hills and canyons of the Santa Susana Mountains north of Simi Valley at 4651 Tapo Canyon Road. Hikers, equestrian riders, and mountain bikers enjoy this rugged and rural park, which features picnic areas, an equestrian arena and a RV campground with 16 full hook ups. Dogs allowed on a 6 foot leash. Individual and group campsites are available at www.venturaparks.org

Rincon Parkway is located between Faria Beach Park and Hobson Beach Park on Highway 1 off the Ventura Freeway. 127 RV use only parking spaces are available on a first come, first served basis. Tent camping is not allowed. All RVs must be fully self-contained, as there are no electrical hook ups, dump stations, shower/bathroom facilities or water onsite, although there are a handful of porta-johns. There is a 5 day parking limit from April 1 to October 31 and a 14 day limit from November 1 to March 31. Dogs allowed on 6 foot leash; pets are $1 per day per pet.

Hobson Beach Park at 5210 W. Pacific Coast Highway in Ventura is north of Faria Beach Park and the Rincon Parkway. Similar to Faria Park, Hobson Park is wedged between the Pacific Ocean and the base of the Santa Ynez mountains along Highway 1 off the Ventura Freeway. There are 31 first come, first served sites available, 10 with hookups and the rest without. The beach is steps away and there are showers and a concession stand. Dogs allowed on a 6 foot leash ($1/night fee; 2 dog maximum). Map of campground available at www.venturaparks.org

Faria Beach Park at 4350 W. Pacific Coast Highway in Ventura is south of Hobson Beach Park. Another popular beachfront spot with 42 spaces available on a first come, first served basis. Tent and RV camping available. There are showers and a concession stand. Dogs allowed on a 6 foot leash ($1/night fee; 2 dog maximum). Map of campground available at www.venturaparks.org.

Mount Pinos in the Los Padres National Forest is the tallest peak in Ventura County, located about 1 hour, 45 minutes away from the heart of Thousand Oaks, adjacent to Kern County.

Directions to Mount Pinos: From I-5, take Frazier Park exit (Frazier Mountain Park Road). Go west approximately 6 miles. The road name changes to Cuddy Valley Road. Continue on it up Mt. Pinos. The road name changes to Mt. Pinos Highway.

The County of Santa Barbara runs two popular camping parks, Cachuma Lake and Jalama Beach. Both accept online reservations, but 40 sites at Cachuma and 20 sites at Jalama are first come, first served for walk-in customers. 

Cachuma Lake Recreation Area is located at 2225 Highway 154, Santa Barbara, midway between the beach and the town of Solvang. Tent sites, hookups, cabins, yurts and group area available. As Cachuma Lake is a domestic water supply, swimming, water skiing, windsurfing, or any other body contact with the water is prohibited. Fishing is allowed. Detailed list of fees at Cachuma at this link.

Jalama Beach County Park is located at 9999 Jalama Road in Lompoc, an hour drive from Santa Barbara. Named after what used to be a Chumash Indian settlement named Halama. ARCO donated 23.5 acres of land to the County of Santa Barbara in 1943. There are 109 campsites, all overlooking the ocean or beachfront, each with a picnic table and BBQ pit, with hot showers, restrooms and water nearby. 31 sites offer electrical hookups and dump stations are available. Detailed list of fees at Jalama at this link

Privately Operated Campgrounds In the Area

NOTE: the Ventura Ranch KOA was devastated by the Thomas Fire in December 2017 but is now open as new cabins and other facilities are re-built.  Limited services, amenities and activities until the rebuilding is completed.


The 76 acre Ventura Ranch KOA campground is located at 5400 Pine Grove Road in Santa Paula, nestled in Heritage Valley at the foot of the Topa Topa mountain range off highway 150 between Santa Paula and Ojai. They have a large variety of camping options, from RV and tent camping to teepees and cabins. Deluxe cabins have TVs, linens, towels, AC/heater and more...my kind of "camping!" The campground also features a campground, zip lining, rock climbing wall and much more. Dogs are allowed on leash. Learn more and make reservations at koa.com/campgrounds/ventura-ranch or call 805.933.3200 for more information.

The Ventura Beach RV Resort is located at 800 W. Main Street in Ventura, just a bike ride away from Ventura County Fairgrounds and Surfers' Point. This nicely maintained, ocean breeze filled location has 144 RV spots all with hookups and 36 tent sites. There's a playground, free WiFi, showers and restrooms, store, pool and Jacuzzi, basketball court, pool table, arcade and more. Tent spots also available. More information at www.vbrvresort.com.

Ventura Oaks RV Park is located at 255 Burnham Road in Oak View, offering 60 full hookup sites just two miles from Lake Casitas. Park-like setting with picnic tables, fully furnished laundry area, picnic tables and WiFi throughout. Long-term rentals available. Visit www.venturaoaks.com for more information.

Santa Barbara RV Park is located at 516 S. Salinas Street. It is adjacent to the highway, so there will be some noise, but it is also located within a couple miles of the beach, the Santa Barbara Zoo and downtown area. There are 30 sites. Site has bathrooms, showers and a laundry room.  Free WiFi. Dogs allowed. Visit www.santabarbararv.com.

Rancho Oso Resort is located at 3750 Paradise Road, Santa Barbara, 8 miles east of Cachuma Lake. Accommodations include RV camping, horse camping, covered wagons, resort cabins and Tipi camping. Visit rvonthego.com/california/rancho-oso-rv-camping-resort.

El Capitan Canyon Resort is located at 11560 Calle Real, Goleta, adjacent to El Capitan State Beach. This is luxury camping, with nicely appointed cedar cabins with beds, kitchens and restrooms (my kind of camping) as well as 26 salari tents that are spacious with bedding and nearby restroom/shower facilities. Of course, there's also picnic tables, fire pits, etc as well as a store with all the stuff you need to "rough it." Activities include a pool, small playground, bike rentals, hiking, of course the nearby beach and much more. Visit www.elcapitancanyon.com.

Next door to El Capitan Canyon Resort is Ocean Mesa RV Resort at El Capitan, at 100 El Capitan Terrace Lane, Goleta. This resort has 20 tent camping sites and 80 RV sites. Amenities include heated pool and spa, WiFi, TV, convenience store, hiking, snack bar, horseback riding and more. Visit www.oceanmesa.com.

 How cool is this...a llama farm is walking distance from El Capitan Canyon Resort.

How cool is this...a llama farm is walking distance from El Capitan Canyon Resort.

Evergreen RV Park at 2135 N. Oxnard Blvd in Oxnard has 94 full hookup RV spaces. Facility includes restrooms, showers, free wifi, laundry room, BBQs, picnic tables and more. Visit www.evergreenrvpark.com.

Malibu Beach RV Park is located at 25801 Pacific Coast Highway, just east of Malibu Seafood. The park has 142 RV spots and up to 35 tent sites, all with a view of the Pacific. Open 365 days a year. Rates range from $40 for an off-season tent spot to $190 for an ocean view premium spot during peak season on weekends. Amenities include store, game room, restrooms with heated showers, laundry and more. Visit www.maliburv.com.

There are no official campgrounds in the Conejo Valley, but the Conejo Valley Recreation and Park District hosts a Family Campout several times a year in Wildwood Park. Bring your tents and camping gear and enjoy an evening of fun with other local families, including hikes, exploring, meals and campfire. Visit www.crpd.org for more info.

Something noteworthy to add or correct? Contact us!

Compilation of Great Trails and Hikes In and Around Ventura County

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Looking for a good hike around Ventura County and nearby areas? We've highlighted a number of our favorite hikes in the Do Something section of Conejo Valley Guide.

HIKE TO A CONEJO VALLEY BENCH WITH A VIEW

HIKE TO AUTOMOTIVE RELICS IN THE CONEJO VALLEY OPEN SPACE

SEVEN FLAT, STROLLER FRIENDLY TRAILS IN THE CONEJO VALLEY

DOG-FRIENDLY TRAILS IN THE SANTA MONICA MOUNTAINS

  Lone Oak at Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa

Lone Oak at Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa

  Lynnmere Open Space views to the west.

Lynnmere Open Space views to the west.

Views from the Ray Miller Trail in Malibu.

  Danielson Road trail in the Boney Mountain Wilderness.

Danielson Road trail in the Boney Mountain Wilderness.

 Views of Simi Valley from the peak of Mt. McCoy in Simi Valley.

Views of Simi Valley from the peak of Mt. McCoy in Simi Valley.

 Sunset Hills Trail in Thousand Oaks.

Sunset Hills Trail in Thousand Oaks.

 Tree encampment along Los Padres Trail in Thousand Oaks.

Tree encampment along Los Padres Trail in Thousand Oaks.

Over 25 Things to Do in Agoura Hills

The City of Agoura Hills incorporated in 1982 and is part of Los Angeles County. But we consider Agoura to be part of our family, consisting of Thousand Oaks, Newbury Park, Westlake Village, Oak Park and other communities that form the Conejo Valley.

Agoura Hills has an area of 7.86 square miles, with a population just under 21,000. It became the 83rd city in Los Angeles County when residents voted to incorporate, just one year after neighboring city Westlake Village incorporated.

Here is a compilation of things to do in the City of Agoura Hills.

Trails and Hiking

  • Malibu Creek State Park is an 8,000 acre wonderland of trails, hiking, camping and other outdoor activities. The Hike to the Rock Pool at Malibu Creek State Park is extremely popular. Equally if not more popular is the hike to the M*A*S*H television show set. Bring your camera!

  • Cheeseboro/Palo Comado Canyons include 4,000 acres of terrain with dozens of miles of trails to explore in the northernmost section of the Santa Monica Mountain range. Popular with cyclists, runners and hikers.

  • Paramount Ranch, maintained by the National Park Service on Cornell Road in Agoura Hills, was used by Paramount Pictures for over 80 years of film and television production. Another local must-see.

  • The 64 acre Peter Strauss Ranch in Agoura Hills is also managed by the National Park Service and features hiking and an outdoor amphitheater area.

 A "must do" in the Agoura Hills area is the hike to the old M*A*S*H TV series set in Malibu Creek State Park.

A "must do" in the Agoura Hills area is the hike to the old M*A*S*H TV series set in Malibu Creek State Park.

Kids

Fitness Related

  • The Agoura Hills/Calabasas Community Center is a 30,000 square foot facility with basketball courts, fitness studio, 35 foot rock climbing wall, dance/exercise studio, kids' programs and more.

  • Looking for some fresh air on the golf course but don't golf? That's ok, try FootGolf at the Lindero Country Club in Agoura Hills. Quite fun and no experience necessary.

  • Other fitness and sports activities in Agoura Hills compiled at THIS LINK.

 Ah yes, comic relief courtesy of Caltrans signmakers in 2013 when a new Agoura Hills sign on the 101 was put up   filled with typos  . It was subsequently   corrected  .

Ah yes, comic relief courtesy of Caltrans signmakers in 2013 when a new Agoura Hills sign on the 101 was put up filled with typos. It was subsequently corrected.

Other Entertainment, Things to Do and Annual Events

 The old Agoura sign on Agoura Road at Lewis Road.

The old Agoura sign on Agoura Road at Lewis Road.

Closed: Troutdale was a local fishing pond for those looking for the experience of fishing but without the hassle of driving far! Located just off of Kanan Road, near Triunfo Canyon. It appears to be closed as of summer 2018 but perhaps it will re-open one of these days.