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Fill the Bins in Conejo Valley

We’re approaching the last few months of the year, a time where many in our community give back to those in need. We at the Conejo Valley Tourism also think it is a great time to give back to those in the Conejo Valley community that make it unique and we want to encourage locals and visitors to fill the bins and give back to the community.

This year, we are partnering with the Manna Conejo Valley Food Bank to increase non-perishable food donations. Founded in 1971 by a group of people who felt that no person should ever go hungry in the Conejo Valley, the Manna Conejo Valley Food Bank has been providing food assistance to friends and neighbors in need for more than 40 years. Through this partnership, Conejo Valley Tourism has provided donation bins to hospitality businesses that are part of the tourism district.

The food bank will accept non-perishable food items including canned vegetables, stews, beans and chilies; dry pastas such as spaghetti and macaroni and cheese; additional boxed items including potatoes, cold cereals, crackers and cookies. Visitors and locals alike can donate non-perishable food items from October 2 until November 17 to the following 14 donation locations:

  • America’s Best Value Inn (Thousand Oaks)
  • Best Western Plus Thousand Oaks Inn (Thousand Oaks)
  • Courtyard by Marriott (Thousand Oaks)
  • Hampton Inn & Suites (Agoura Hills)
  • Hampton Inn & Suites (Thousand Oaks/Newbury Park)
  • Homewood Suites (Agoura Hills)
  • Hyatt Regency Westlake (Westlake Village)
  • La Quinta Inn & Suites (Thousand Oaks/Newbury Park)
  • Motel 6 (Thousand Oaks)
  • Palm Garden Hotel (Thousand Oaks)
  • Premier Inn (Thousand Oaks)
  • Quality Inn (Thousand Oaks)
  • Sheraton Agoura Hills (Agoura Hills)
  • TownePlace Suites by Marriott (Thousand Oaks)

If you are visiting Conejo Valley between now and November 17, we encourage you to fill the bins with food for the Manna Conejo Valley Food Bank! To learn more about the Manna Conejo Valley Food Bank, please visit http://mannaconejo.org/.

Hidden Gems of Thousand Oaks Make a Memorable Trip

While it’s difficult to uncover any true hidden gems when you travel these days (thanks, Internet), there are still a few spots around Thousand Oaks that are off-the-beaten path. These unique places—including little-known eateries, majestic parks and arts & entertainment—are sure to be a memorable addition to any Thousand Oaks itinerary. The best part? You may not have to wait in line, search for a parking spot or take your turn for a photo op! Read on to discover these gems.

If you want to get outside…

Gardens of the World: This privately-owned garden is a beautiful, quiet retreat from the bustling city around it, and pays homage to various world cultures. Come here to relax, take a walk or a tour or enjoy reading a book in the sunshine.

Conejo Creek Dog Park: If you’re traveling with a canine companion, you’ll be thrilled with the Conejo Creek Dog Park in Thousand Oaks. It offers 3.5 wide open acres for playing and running with lots of local, happy pups to befriend!

Time to Eat!

Mouthful Eatery: This Peruvian-style eatery gets rave reviews from locals who can’t get enough of the fresh, flavorful dishes and vibrant ambience. The menu includes the popular “La Sarita,” a pork sandwich, as well as tasty salads and refreshing beverages – we recommend trying the cucumber & mint lemonade!

Little Calf Creamery: Occupying an unassuming storefront at the Conejo Valley Plaza Shopping Center, the Little Calf Creamery is said to have some of the best homemade ice cream in the region. The creamery also includes a full menu of burgers, sandwiches and salads, as well as a kids’ menu.

Literary and Theatrical Pursuits

Conejo Players Theatre: If you’re a theater buff, you’ll want to take some time to check out a show at the Conejo Players Theatre. This community theater is committed to providing affordable theater experiences – including musicals, plays and improve comedy – for locals and visitors all year long.

Grant R. Brimhall Library – While you may not think to visit a local library on vacation, the main library that serves Thousand Oaks boasts more than 80,000 square feet of space, including a stellar children’s section if you’re looking for something to occupy the kids for a couple hours. This one is worth visiting!

Sprinkle a few of these hidden gems into your Thousand Oaks itinerary when you plan your next visit. They’re sure to offer you a glimpse of Conejo Valley that you may not have otherwise experienced!

Conejo Valley Plays Backdrop to the Best of the Silver Screen

In addition to the many great movies that have been filmed in Conejo Valley, dozens of TV shows have also been set in locations throughout the Southern California region over the past 50 years. From pastoral ranches to tucked-away mansions to the majestic Santa Monica Mountains, beautiful Conejo Valley is a go-to location for TV production for good reason. Walk through the decades with us as we take a look at some of the best TV shows filmed here.

1960s-1980s

The iconic, 14-season Western series, Bonanza, also calls Conejo Valley home. Many scenes throughout the years were shot at the Janss Conejo Ranch, a previously wide-open space located in Wildwood. Much of the land has since been developed for homes and retail space.

The 1970s hit show M.A.S.H. was also shot in Conejo Valley. Malibu Creek State Park, which was formerly owned by 20th Century Fox, was home to the set for 11 seasons and 251 episodes. Today, visitors can still go to Malibu Creek State Park to see the restored set.

1990s

Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills, which has been the set for countless films – especially Westerns – has also seen many TV sets. Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, was filmed at Paramount Ranch in the 1990s, and fans were allowed full access to watch the show being filmed each week.

Beverly Hills, 90210, was perhaps one of the most formative series of the 1990s. While the show is based in Los Angeles, and more specifically Beverly Hills, an episode of Beverly Hills 90210 was filmed in Thousand Oaks.

2000s

Sweet, bubbly Summer Roberts may have been one of the most beloved character from everyone’s favorite sun-drenched, teenage drama of the early 2000s, The O.C. In the show, scenes at Summer’s house (which was fictionally located in Newport Beach) were filmed at a stunning, 7,350 square foot mansion in Agoura Hills.

In the hit show 24, President Charles Logan is seen living at a presidential retreat while under house arrest in seasons 5 and 6. This home is located in Hidden Valley, a small community in the beautiful Santa Monica mountains just outside of Los Angeles.

Lastly, since 2008 the show The Biggest Loser was filmed at King Gillette Ranch, near Malibu Creek State Park. In a more recent episode, contestants went on a run from Hidden Valley to Camarillo.

Next time you come to Conejo Valley, spend an afternoon scene-spotting and Hollywood sightseeing. You may stumble upon some other former TV sets, or perhaps a show in the making!

Catch a Sunset in Conejo Valley

Whether you’re here to check out the beaches of Malibu or want to explore the wide-open trails of Agoura Hills and Thousand Oaks, the Conejo Valley rewards its visitors daily with spectacular sunsets. Take in the golden rays on a sun-kissed beach, or hike up a hill for views that will take your breath away.

Here are five of the best places in Conejo Valley to view a stunning California sunset.

Zuma Beach: In the mood to relax? Soft sand, excellent surf and front-row sunset views are abundant at Zuma Beach, one of the most popular beaches in Los Angeles County. Come during the late afternoon when surfers are out to catch the best waves, and stay for the awe-inspiring sunset.

Westward Beach to Paradise Cove: If you’re looking for a little more activity after your beach day, just south of Zuma Beach you’ll find a quintessential beach hike from Westward Beach. This moderate, four-mile trek takes visitors along the glittering Pacific Coast for front-and-center sunset views.

Sandstone Peak: Also known as a prime spot to catch a sunrise, Sandstone Peak is the highest point in the Santa Monica Mountains. This is a moderate, three-mile upward climb, so bring plenty of water! Panoramic views of the Pacific Coast will greet you at the top – the perfect place to watch the sunset sparkle over the ocean.

Mugu Peak at Point Mugu State Park: Point Mugu State Park, located in Malibu, offers a five-mile stretch of beautiful beaches, and is also the entry point for the trail that will take you to Mugu Peak. While this is a more challenging hike, the jaw-dropping views of sky, sand and ocean that await hikers at the top of the trail are well worth it.

Tarantula Hill: Located in Thousand Oaks, Tarantula Hill is accessible with an easy, one-mile hike to the top. It isn’t beachfront, but it promises sweeping 360-degree views at the top and a peaceful spot for taking in a gorgeous So-Cal sunset.

Ready to discover your favorite sunset view in the Conejo Valley? Explore the many trails, attractions and places to stay, and come visit us soon!

Take Your Fantasy Football Draft to Conejo Valley

American’s Sunday tradition of watching football is about to kick-off with the 98th season of the National Football League (NFL), which also means it is time to draft your fantasy football teams. While the gridiron gets its stripes, we’ve gone ahead and listed out the best sports bars in Conejo Valley for you to hold your fantasy football draft or to spend Sunday’s catching your favorite team’s game. Take a look at some of the sports bars Conejo Valley has to offer.

Twisted Oak Tavern, Agoura Hills

Twisted Oak Tavern was established in 2015 in the heart of Agoura Hills, bringing a modern take on the traditional tavern along with a brewery producing craft beers on site. Packed with TVs playing the hottest sporting events, Twisted Oak Tavern is a great sports bar for your next fantasy football draft.

Bar Stats:

  • Wi-Fi: Free
  • TVs: Plenty of them
  • Happy Hour: Daily from 3:30 – 6:30 p.m.
  • Good for Groups: Bring the whole team

Cronies Sports Grill

Cronies is the place to join your friends and family for great sandwiches, hamburgers and salads while enjoying their famous Smokin’ Cold, 20 oz. Schooners. Watch your favorite sporting events on the many big screens in an open family-friendly style restaurant.

Bar Stats:

  • Wi-Fi: Free
  • TVs: Plenty of them
  • Happy Hour: You bet! Monday – Friday, times vary by location
  • Good for Groups: Bring the whole team 

Public School 805

A chef-driven gastropub serving craft beers that delivers “an education in the art of food and beer.” Public School 805 has plenty of TVs inside and outside the restaurant so you are sure to not miss any of the sporting action.

Bar Stats:

  • Wi-Fi: Free
  • TVs: They have them inside and outside
  • Happy Hour: “Recess” is Monday – Friday from 3 – 7 p.m.
  • Good for Groups: Bring the whole team

Finney’s Crafthouse

Located in Westlake Village, Finney’s Crafthouse is a locally owned restaurant and bar that brings upscale cooking to casual dining. Offering more than 30 craft beers on draft, a full bar featuring hand-crafted cocktails, fine California wines and seven HDTV’s perfect for seeing that winning touchdown.

Bar Stats:

  • Wi-Fi: Free
  • TVs: Plenty of them
  • Happy Hour: Yup, from 3 – 6 p.m. Monday – Friday
  • Good for Groups: Bring the whole team

Boney Mountain Tavern

Featuring more than 32 beers on tap, you will not go thirsty at Boney Mountain Tavern in Newbury Park. Sports memorabilia is mixed in with flat screen TVs so you never miss the action at this local sports bar.

Bar Stats:

  • Wi-Fi: Free
  • TVs: Plenty of them
  • Happy Hour: Yes, along with weekly promotions. Check website for the latest specials
  • Good for Groups: Bring the whole team

Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery

The Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery has its roots deep in the rousing tradition of Scottish, Irish and English Pubs. Originally started in Las Vegas, Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery’s Thousand Oaks locations offers a festive atmosphere and the go-to place to watch sports, enjoy a cold beer and hang out with friends. Offering a delicious, mouth-watering menu, with more than 30 draft and bottled beers to choose from and an extensive spirit selection.

Bar Stats:

  • Wi-Fi: Free
  • TVs: Plenty of them
  • Happy Hour: Yes, check location for days and times
  • Good for Groups: Bring the whole team

Draughts Restaurant & Bar

Where great food meets great draught beer, Draughts is a neighborhood favorite hangout for adults, college students and families. Located in Thousand Oaks, Draughts features 45 craft brews on draught and 19 HDTVs scattered throughout the restaurant.

Bar Stats:

  • Wi-Fi: Free
  • TVs: Plenty of them
  • Happy Hour: Everyday from 3 – 6 p.m. and late night on Fridays from 9 p.m. until close
  • Good for Groups: Bring the whole team

Lazy Dog Restaurant and Bar

Located at the Oaks Mall in Thousand Oaks, Lazy Dog Restaurant has something for everyone. With its rustic vibe, a variety of beers on tap and numerous crafted cocktails to choose from, Lazy Dog Restaurant elevates the traditional sports bar to a new level.

Bar Stats:

  • Wi-Fi: Free
  • TVs: Only in the bar area
  • Happy Hour: Yes, check location for days and times
  • Good for Groups: Bring the whole team

 

Catch a game or hold your fantasy football draft in Conejo Valley this season!

Rise and Shine with the Sun in Conejo Valley

Vacation is not exactly synonymous with rising at dawn, but the breathtaking sunrise views in Conejo Valley are worth at least one early wake-up. The Conejo Valley has an incredible network of trails and wide open spaces, making it easy to get out and reconnect with nature. Grab your coffee canteen and a cozy blanket, and take an early morning hike to one of these spots for an unforgettable sunrise!

Cistern, Lookout & Cage Creek Trails Loop

Located in Agoura Hills, these trails are fairly short, and offer quick access to grand views above Malibu Creek State Park. The Cistern Trail connects with the eastern part of the Lookout Trail, where you can hike to see the sun rise over the Goat Buttes, a sandstone rock formation.

If these trails are too challenging or you want something nice and easy to start the day, simply find a spot inside Malibu Creek State Park, where low-key trails promise equally beautiful sunrises.

Lange Ranch & Woodridge

A well-planned trail system loops in and around Lange Ranch & Woodridge, a beautiful open space in Thousand Oaks. Whether you want an easy stroll (it is early morning, after all), or a more challenging hike to earn your sunrise photo op, there are a number of different hikes that lead to incredible scenic views in every direction. 

Sandstone Peak

Looking for a challenge? The highest point in the Santa Monica Mountains, Sandstone Peak in Malibu, features striking views out to the Pacific coast and east toward the Conejo and Simi Valleys. You can take a peek at the sweeping ocean views, but you’ll have to tear yourself away to turn inland and catch the stunning sunrise from the east. There’s plenty of time to gaze at the ocean after the sun is up!

Angel Vista via Rosewood Trail

Most accessible via a moderate four-mile hike on the Rosewood Trail, Angel Vista in Thousand Oaks has some of the best views of the Conejo Valley. With panoramic, 360-degree views, you’re sure to catch the first light of the day at its finest.

These are just a handful of the many places to catch day break in the Conejo Valley. Are you ready to find your sunrise here? Take a look at our trails page and video below to find the best sunrise hike for you. Go ahead and start planning a memorable summer trip!

 

Did Someone Say “Shopping”?

Celebrating Girlfriend’s Day with a little getaway? Come to Conejo Valley to indulge in a day of unforgettable shopping! Whether you love the charm of local boutiques or the glamour of a fabulous mall, Conejo Valley is the perfect place for some serious retail therapy.

To help you plan your trip, here are some of the best shopping experiences awaiting you.

For Of-the-Moment Fashionistas

If you’re in search of brand names and the latest looks and fashion, you’ll be delighted with these great finds.

  • The Oaks – Offering a bigger, brighter mall-going experience, The Oaks is a mecca for shopping and dining. It features major retailers like Nordstrom, Anthropologie and Apple, as well as a number of great restaurants including the Cheesecake Factory and the Lazy Dog Café.
  • The Westlake Promenade – The Westlake Promenade offers a lovely outdoor shopping experience that you won’t want to miss. Check out a variety of upscale shops (Lululemon among them) and trendy restaurants, or catch a movie in luxury at the Cinepolis.
  • Janss Marketplace – Featuring specialty and discount stores, local food and drink, places to get pampered, and entertainment (including a summer concert series), Janss Marketplace will surely have everything you’re looking for during a shopping spree.

For the One-of-a-Kind Seekers

Looking for local boutiques or a piece that you can’t get anywhere else? Try one of these local favorites. 

  • The Village at Dos Vientos Ranch (Thousand Oaks) – This mission-style town center offers more than shopping – its beautiful architecture, friendly charm and unique shops, restaurants and entertainment space create an experience than you can find anywhere else.
  • Whizin Market Square (Agoura Hills) – Inspired by local boutiques and artisanal creativity, Whizin Market Square is a treasure trove for antiques, handmade jewelry, books and eclectic eats and drinks. Enjoy this truly one-of-a-kind shopping experience while you’re in Conejo Valley.
  • The Lakes (Thousand Oaks) – The Lakes will satisfy shoppers with a picturesque setting and a unique selection of stores and restaurants. Saunter through your favorite shops before taking a stroll around the beautiful grounds. The Lakes also features year-round entertainment.

No matter where you choose to shop, you’re sure to have a blast when you’re shopping in Conejo Valley. Grab your girlfriends and start planning your getaway now.

Sounds of Summer

Summer is almost here and so is Conejo Valley’s summer concert series! We’ve got a great lineup coming to the area this year. Grab your blankets, lawn chairs picnics and join us at the Conejo Community Park for some fun summer sounds. All concerts are free and start at 5 p.m.

May 29: LA ALLSTARS

This high-energy 10 plus piece band will hit the stage with a dynamic show and outstanding vocalists covering multiple music styles, including current hits, classic rock, rhythm & blues, Motown, disco, standard jazz, and swing. Their powerful musical style provides original performances that are hip, edgy, and contemporary. LA ALLSTARS will have you on your feet dancing to the beat all night long!

July 4: Walking Phoenixes

Join us for the Independence Day performance. Special guests Jenna Ryin and Alana Marie start the concert off with a stirring rendition of the National Anthem, followed by the Walking Phoenixes, taking the stage Johnny Cash-style with their signature “all black” three-piece suits to perform not only some of Cash’s biggest hits, but also a number of country-style patriotic selections.

July 23: The Neil Deal

Bringing decades of music from legendary rock music groups Buffalo Springfield, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, and Neil Young to life, this highly acclaimed Southland tribute band The Neil Deal performs an extensive catalog of hit songs tracking Young’s multi-generational career, including his remarkable years as a solo performer.

August 13: Green Today and Blink-180TRUE

Performing Green Day music from a span of over 20 years, Green Today brings the songs, look, harmonies and hooks that Green Day fans deserve. Paying tribute to Blink-182, Blink-180TRUE performs a true-to-era show highlighting songs from the band’s 1995 to 2003-era concerts, complete with exact band attire plus the jokes and stage antics that cemented Blink-182 as an arena rock staple in the early 2000’s.

September 4: Melvin Seals and JGB

Based in San Francisco, Melvin Seals and JGB bring an intuitive, expressive style, soul, spontaneity, and remarkable musical chops to the table. In 1980, Seals joined the Jerry Garcia Band, taking over the band’s leadership after Jerry’s untimely death in 1995. Under Melvin’s direction, the original group- slightly renamed “Melvin Seals and JGB” – pays tribute to Garcia by performing his songs and remaining faithful to his style. With band members who are part of the original Jerry Garcia Band, this shows promises to be a real treat!

 

 

Bike Safety Tips: A few Rules of the Road

Now that we’ve been embracing the bike life for National Bike Month in Conejo Valley for a couple of weeks, it’s a good time to review some rules and bike safety tips to use when you’re out there on the roads or trails. Proper safety will ensure you’re not unexpectedly sidelined during your visit!

Cyclists share the road with other vehicles and trail space with walkers, joggers and horseback riders. Let’s make sure we can all enjoy the spaces safely and side-by-side.

General Bike Safety

The first and most important safety rule in Conejo Valley and everywhere else: Wear a helmet! This is required by law for everyone under age 18, but it’s a good idea to wear one as an adult, too.

Along with wearing a helmet, remember to use common sense and pay attention when you’re riding. Listen, look and keep your eyes on the road for potential hazards.

Try to stay in your own lane when you’re on the road, and stay only on clearly identified trails if you’re riding on the Conejo Valley trails. Remember to obey all traffic signs, and watch for oncoming traffic including cars, animals, other riders and pedestrians.

Proper Road and Trail Behavior

Remember, if you’re cycling on the street, you are part of the traffic flow. Ride with the traffic; not against it.

When riding on a trail, you’re likely going faster than people on foot – and pedestrians always have the right of way. If you’re looking to get around someone, be sure to pass on their left, moving to the right only once you’ve passed them safely. Call out “passing on your left!” to avoid startling someone.

Need to stop for a quick breather or to check your map or equipment? Pull off the road or trail completely so you don’t get hit or cause an accident.

When you’re on a road with a bike lane, you must stay in the bike lane unless you’re turning left, passing someone or avoiding something in the road. If you are riding in a group, ride single-file both on the road and on the trail. This keeps the space clear of congestion, and helps everyone avoid accidents.

Night Riding

There’s something magical about riding under the stars, but it can also be a risky time to be on the road or trail.

If you choose to take a bike ride in the dark, you are required by law to wear a forward-facing white light. It should be bright enough to provide 300 feet of visibility in front of you and to your sides. It is also a good idea to wear bright or reflective clothing so that oncoming traffic can easily spot you.

OK, enough with the rules – keep these bike safety tips in mind and continue to have fun safely exploring the Conejo Valley by bike!

Conejo Open Space Challenge 2017

Visit Conejo and join the Conejo Open Space Challenge 2017

Calling all outdoor enthusiasts! The Conejo Valley is an ideal destination to visit this spring if you’re looking to reconnect with nature and get outside to enjoy some hiking, cycling, horseback riding or running.

You may not have guessed it, but the Conejo Valley is home to abundant outdoor space, including dozens of trails perfect for outdoor recreation. Picturesque trails and sunny skies are a wonderful way for visitors to catch their breath in the great outdoors and take in the natural beauty of Conejo.

Out on the trails, you can take a leisurely, quiet horseback ride while taking in the surrounding views. You can hike through hills and find your way to see waterfalls. Or, you can take it up a notch with a brisk trail run or a speedy mountain bike excursion, finding inspiration in the beauty around you.

To celebrate Conejo’s great outdoors, now through May 31, you can join in some extra fun on your trip with the Conejo Open Space Challenge 2017. This special fundraiser (put on by the Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency) encourages locals and visitors alike to experience the local trails – and hopefully to gain an appreciation of why it’s so important to protect and preserve them.

The challenge is to check out the 10 best and most beautiful multi-use trails around Conejo (or as many of them as you can). Explore them any way you want – on foot, bike or horseback. To show that you’re participating, snap a few photos while you’re out in the open and tweet, Instagram or email them. You’ll then be entered into a raffle for some great prizes!

The Conejo Open Space Challenge is a unique opportunity to make a difference while exploring a new destination. In addition to visiting the trails, you can donate to the Conejo Open Space Foundation. For all the details and a complete list of trails that qualify for the Conejo Open Space Challenge 2017 with links to maps of each, click here.

So, are you up for the challenge? There’s still plenty of time to plan your trip to the Conejo Valley before May 31st. Let’s get going!