From shopping to beer and hiking; although at first glance you may be unsure of what to spend your time doing whilst in Camarillo, a city in the Ventura County of California, we’re created our top ten activities that we are sure will inspire you to get out and explore. Camarillo is know for its relaxed and laid back charm so feel free to take your time.
1. Grab a bargain at Premium Factory Outlets
Looking for a designer handbag, outfit, sneakers, or anything else with a label then look no further than Premium Factory Outlets. There are plenty of designer stores on site for you to peruse, to be honest we started counting the number and got bored but we definitely got past 30! With up to 6% discount the regular retail price we’re sure that both you, and your wallet will be feeling happy.
Premium Factory Outlets
Address: 740 Ventura Blvd, Camarillo, CA 93010
Website: Premium Factory Outlets
2. Stop by Institution Ale Brewery for a quick one
After all of that designer shopping it would be simply rude (wouldn’t it?) to pass by without stopping at the Institute Ale Brewery. With a rotating beer selection all brewed on site, alongside a fantastically simple yet oh so yummy food menu we’re sure that you’ll be happy catching your breathe here. We recommend grabbing a freshly made pretzel as a final treat. They also offer tours if you book in advance.
Institution Ale Brewery
Address: 3841 Mission Oaks Blvd., Camarillo, CA 93012
Website: Institution Ale Brewery
3. Get to grips with WWII at the Aviation Museum
At the volunteer run Southern California Wing of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) you can learn about the history of combat aircraft. Not only can you get up-close and personal with these mechanical birds but also they perform in air to over 10,000 spectators each year. The volunteers know a whole tonne about these planes and are available to answer questions on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. For a tour though, you’ll need to be in a large group.
Southern California Wing of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF)
Address: 455 Aviation Dr, Camarillo, CA 93010
Opening Times: Tuesday-Sunday, 10am - 4pm
Price: Adults 10 USD
4. Go back to basics at Camarillo Grove Park
With its outdoor nature centre and hiking trails Camarillo Grove Park is popular with the locals and tourists alike. Along the trails you’ll see plenty of signage so you can stop and learn about the flora and fauna of the area. If you have children be sure to get them exploring in the nature themed play area with boulders, logs and other structures that they can investigate. There are two main looped hiking trails; the lower loop is a gentle slop with magnificent oak trees, interesting volcanic rock formations and wild sage. The upper one is still fairly moderate and is only 1 mile (1.6 km) in length but takes in cactus species, creeks and a panoramic view of Pleasant Valley. Be careful of the 600 foot (182.88 meter) vertical drop at one of the points on the route though. Our challenge to you is to see if you can find the oldest tree in the district. It’s in Camarillo Grove Park somewhere!
Camarillo Grove Park
Address: 6968 E. Camarillo Springs Road, Camarillo, California
Website: Camarillo Grove Park
5. Go organic with the McGraths
We love the McGrath Family farm, not only do they create amazing produce but they also go the extra mile to open up their doors and teach others about organic farming and food. There are tonnes of education events happening throughout the year, we particularly recommend the farm tours and taking your children to a ‘U-Pick’ event where they’ll be able to select their own produce. Teaching children how food goes from the garden to their plates is so important, we agree with the McGraths.
McGrath Family Farm
Address: 1012 W Ventura Blvd, Camarillo, CA 93010
Website: McGrath Family Farm
6. Get foodie at the Farmers Market
It’s a fact…we couldn’t mention McGraths without mentioning the amazing Camarillo Farmers Market which takes place every Saturday morning at 8 am and is the place to shop if you want fresh, tasty, organic produce. McGrath’s is just one of the regulars at the market which in total has 55 vendors and 7 different crafters whose work is featured, such as: jewelry, pottery, geodes etc. Be sure to check out their website because sometimes they’ll have live music during the farmers market and then it becomes even more social than it already is, you can easily spend a few hours walking around and listening to the music.
Address: 2220 Ventura Blvd, Camarillo, CA 93010
Website: Farmers Market
7. Pleasant Valley Historical Society Museum & Botanical Gardens
Founded in 1964 the Pleasant Valley Historical Society (PVHS) has aimed to protect and conserve a number of local artefacts. They did their dream so well that in 1988 they officially opened up the museum and began sharing that knowledge with others. Today they offer a broad range history of the local area, hands-on-events and classroom style presentations by their dedicated team of volunteers. If you stop by we recommend grabbing the Walking Tour of Old Town Camarillo book which offers a self-guided tour of the area. The garden section of the museum, officially called the Charles L. Honn Botanical Garden provides gentle strolls through native plants to the area, after a while walking you may be so inclined to rest in the Victorian gazebo before continuing on your journey.
Pleasant Valley Historical Society Museum & Botanical Gardens
Address: 720 Las Posas Rd, Camarillo, CA 93010
8. Find your inner rock god or goddess at Rock City Studios
For a little bit of everything rock music related, it is always worth knocking on the door of the lovely folk at Rock City Studios. Offering all types of music lessons from the traditional activities such as playing the guitar, or piano to the more workshop styled lessons such as ‘How To Build A Band’, there is bound to be something that interests you. But perhaps you want to listen rather than play? Then Rock City Studios also has you covered with their regular youth and adult live music nights which are always good fun.
Rock City Studios
Address: 2258 Pickwick Dr, Camarillo, CA 93010
Website: Rock City Studios
9. Follow the Satwiwa Loop and Old Boney Trails
Fifteen minutes drive south of Camarillo you’ll come to this hiking trail which takes you on a 3.6 mile (5.79 km) tour of the Old Boney Mountain into the steep Sycamore Canyon Fall area. Make sure to carry a map with you, it has been known for people to wander off route here. Half way along the trail is the perfect picnic stop with a 100 foot (30.48 m) high cascading waterfall and wonderful surroundings in which you can enjoy your rest.
Satwiwa Loop and Old Boney Trails
Address: 4121 Potrero Road, Newbury Park, CA 91320
Website: Satwiwa Loop and Old Boney Trails
10. Climb Conejo Mountain
A twenty-minute drive in the opposite direction will lead you straight to Conejo Mountain. Although there is no official route up to the top you’ll be able to see the general route people take and refer to as the Powerline Trail which takes you up 1,000 feet (304.8 m) in a few miles of hiking terrain. You don’t need to go too far along this steep trail before you are rewarded with beautiful birds-eye view of Boney Mountain in the distance and Camarillo beyond that. We definitely recommend taking some water for this trip!
Address: 135 Via Ricardo, Thousand Oaks, California91320
Website: Conejo Mountain
11. Explore the Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology
The Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology will engage your attention for a couple of hours. The place will be of particular interest to bird-lovers. They have fossils, eggs, and nests. It’s essential to check the website and book a tour, or a walk-in visit. The Foundation is a proper scientific operation, which makes it extremely interesting.
The preserved birds and other exhibits are fascinating, although little children may not take it as much as adults. Take along a camera as you can take photos of the exhibits. After an interesting and informative tour, check in at the gift shop and pick up a memento of your visit.
Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology
Address: 439 Calle San Pablo, Camarillo, CA 93012-8506
12. Run or cycle the Calleguas Creek Bike Path
The cycle path is a natural setting for those who enjoy physical activity. Not only popular with cyclists, runners and hikers also enjoy the trail as well. The path is well-maintained and takes you on a long loop around. Literally, you get to experience one side of the town to the other, past homes and into wilder areas where the scenery is very pleasant. Cool and shady with creeks, you’ll probably spot some of the local wildlife, especially early in the morning or late afternoon. Around the creek bed, you may be lucky enough to see a coyote. The route takes you from Upland Road to Pleasant Valley. Make sure to take along a camera and some bottled water for the trip.
Calleguas Creek Bike Path
Address: Carmen Drive Camarillo, CA 93012
Get your camera sorted
You may have realized it already that some of the best activities to do in and around Camarillo are hiking trails. We’re sure that you’ll agree that some of the sights on offer are just exquisite; so if you’re heading to Camarillo for a few days be sure to pack your hiking boots, a good map, a picnic and lots of water! Oh, and obviously get your camera sorted… you’ll be needing it!
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