The City of Simi Valley was incorporated on October 10, 1969, less than 3 months after Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to land on the Moon. The City covers 42 square miles and as of 2013 was home to just over 126,000 people. Simi Valley is neighbors with Moorpark, Thousand Oaks and the San Fernando Valley.
According to the City's website, the name of the Chumash Indian Village “Shimiji” is believed to be the origin of the City’s name and Ta’apu is the origin of the names of Tapo Street and Tapo Canyon.
But enough of that. Here are some of my favorite things to do in Simi Valley.
The magnificent Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum is a major draw to Simi Valley. This 243,000 sq ft museum at the top of 100 acres of land is a must see for its interactive displays, history, Air Force One and outstanding rotating exhibits. And the views, particularly on clear days, are quite memorable.
The Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival celebrated its 27th anniversary over Memorial Day weekend 2016. It is billed as the area’s largest Cajun, Zydeco, Blues and Roots Music festival. Hosted by the Rotary Club of Simi Sunrise, this massive event attracts over 20,000 attendees.
Lazertag Extreme opened in the Wood Ranch section of Simi Valley in 2013 and at over 5,000 sq ft is a great indoor, multi-level laser tag facility and arcade.
Grandma Prisbrey's Bottle Village is a historical and cultural landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is located on a residential lot that contains shrines, walkways, sculptures and buildings from recycled items and discards, built over a 25 year old period by Tressa "Grandma" Prisbrey. An eyesore to some, a one-of-a-kind treasure to others. Open periodically to the public as the site is restored.
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. There are hundreds of military posters and historical artifacts on display that have been graciously provided by local veterans and collectors.
There are no bowling alleys in the Conejo Valley, which means we have to drive elsewhere for our bowling fix! The closest bowling alley to the center of Thousand Oaks is Harley's Simi Bowl, about 10 miles away off of Highway 23 and Madera Road. This is a 24 lane alley that gets the job done.
The other bowling alley in Simi Valley is on the east end, about 20 miles from Thousand Oaks. Harley's Valley Bowl (formerly Brunswick Zone) has 40 lanes and a large arcade/game room area. Another great choice for fun in Simi Valley. Now why is it that Simi has 64 bowling lanes yet we still have none in the Conejo Valley? Sheesh.
The Mt. McCoy Trail is located on the west side of Simi Valley, just a short hop, skip and jump around the corner from the Reagan Library. You can't miss the hill because there's a large, white cross at the top. A bit over a mile of well-maintained switchbacks takes you to the top.
Simi Valley Days takes place in mid-September each year over a four day period. The event has a long history, going back to 1934. It is a community celebration with carnival rides, games, live music, vendors, food, a parade and much more.
Visit a fully restored Southern Pacific Railroad depot circa 1903 with both freight and passenger trains rushing by day and night at the Santa Susana Depot Museum and Model Railroad. Open on weekends from 1-4 pm, the depot is also home to the Santa Susana Model Railroad Club’s large operating HO scale model railroad, in a layout that portrays Simi Valley during the mid 1950’s. This is a lot of fun to see. And outside, you and the kids will be treated to up close views of Amtrak and Metrolink passenger trains rolling by. Wave and they'll honk at you.
Last but not least, at some point, whether you're into skateboarding yourself or not, you'll have to stop by Skatelab in Simi Valley to explore what may be the largest collection of vintage skateboards in the world. Over 5,000 skateboards, scooters and other skateboarding memorabilia reside in the Skatelab Skateboard Museum (for the most part, the entire 20,000 sq ft facility, as you'll see). Open to the public and free to explore, seven days a week.
Let's add another one to this list. The pristine Studio Movie Grill opened at the Simi Valley Town Center in October 2015. This 41,000 sq ft theater features 9 screens and over 950 seats. A beautiful addition to the mall!
There is PLENTY more to see and do in Simi Valley that is not on this particular list. Check out: