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Meet Stanley at the Malibu Wine Safari!

Looking for an experience to make your visit to Conejo Valley more memorable? Look no further than the Malibu Wine Safari, which takes visitors on a wine tasting adventure through the thousand-acre Saddlerock Ranch and vineyard.

The wine may be great, but the company is even better. Saddlerock Ranch happens to be home to a number of retired animal celebrities who starred in countless Hollywood films, and now they are living the good life as visitors spoil them with attention.

One of the most popular animals on the safari is Stanley the Giraffe. This famous, friendly fellow loves to eat, take photos with new friends and get lots of good petting from visitors. When you book your safari tour, make sure you select the Giraffe Tour or the Vineyard & Lunch Tour – these are the two options that will bring you up close and personal with him.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when meeting Stanley:

  • Make a funny face in photos. Stanley likes people with personality!
  • If you don’t like animal kisses, keep your distance. Stanley’s giraffe tongue is big enough to lick his, or your, whole face.
  • Snacking is Stanley’s favorite activity, so if the guides allow you to feed him, make sure you have some giraffe-friendly snacks in your pocket!
  • Always, always give him some petting, or his feelings might get hurt.
  • Remember to be gentle and respectful of Stanley and all his celebrity pals!

Want more Stanley? Follow his antics on Instagram, and be sure to read up on Saddlerock Ranch and make your reservations before you visit!

Instagrammers Take Conejo Valley

We may be able to tell you the latest restaurant openings, best hiking trails for your skill level and our favorite breweries, but it’s even better when visitors and locals share their own experiences.

Here’s a look at some of the best Instagram posts we’ve seen lately that highlight what we love about Conejo Valley!

This is a great shot of Paramount Ranch by @shooneek. The popular Hollywood filming location makes for a memorable stop (and photo backdrop) during a hike or bike ride on some of the area’s awesome trails.

One of the coolest experiences Conejo Valley has to offer is the Malibu Wine Safari. Taste some the beautiful wines of the Santa Monica Mountains while mingling with exotic animals, who just happen to be retired movie stars! @leesha_danae captured a great shot of our beloved Stanley.

We’ve been obsessed with Five07 Coffee Bar & Eatery since it opened, and for a good reason. Look at these gorgeous drinks from @jcadventurez!

@patriciamizenofficial captures a perfect beer flight from The Dudes’ Brewing Co. in Thousand Oaks. Who else could go for some cold craft brews on a hot day?

There is truly so much to see and do in Conejo Valley! Book your trip today to see another side of Southern California.

Kick Back and Relax in Conejo Valley

Yes, National Relaxation Day is a thing, so on August 15, be sure to celebrate the right way while visiting Conejo Valley. We hope some of these places inspire you to kick back and relax!

  • Visit the Lindero Country Club – This laid back country club in Agoura Hills is open to the public, and has something for everyone. Spend the day lounging in a poolside cabana, enjoy a leisurely lunch at the club’s restaurant, or try a low-key round of golf.

 

  • Get a massage – What better way is there to unwind than to get a massage or spa treatment? There are a number of day spas and massage parlors around Conejo Valley, including In Touch Massage and Day Spa, which comes highly recommended by locals.

 

  • Lounge by the pool or hot tub – You may not even have to leave your hotel to relax. Many of the properties throughout Conejo Valley have lovely pools and inviting hot tubs.

 

  • Meander through the Conejo Valley Botanic Garden – Located in Thousand Oaks, this 33-acre open space is a peaceful place to take a stroll. The ample flowers, plants, butterflies, birds and trees create a beautiful ambiance that is certain to bring some tranquility and relaxation to your day.

 

  • Take a yoga class – Yoga may be the ultimate de-stressor and a perfect way to find some calm, quiet space. There are plenty of yoga studios around Conejo Valley, including Agoura Power of Yoga in Agoura Hills and CorePower Yoga in Thousand Oaks.

 

  • Malibu Creek State Park – This is a huge green space located southeast of Thousand Oaks. While many visitors go the park to take advantage of the great hiking trails, it’s also a nice spot to take a quiet walk or to have a scenic picnic with spectacular mountain views.

 

  • DeLiese Cellars – Looking to relax with a beverage? Savor some of the best local wine at DeLiese Cellars in Thousand Oaks. This locally owned wine tasting room offers a handful of varietals in a laid back, friendly place.

 

Whatever your ideal definition of “relaxation,” Conejo Valley is sure to offer a little slice of zen!

It’s Time for a Ladies Trip to Conejo Valley

Admit it, you’ve been putting off planning your next ladies’ trip. Well, we’re here to help make your next ladies’ trip in Conejo Valley effortless! Whether you are planning for a bachelorette party or a relaxing girlfriend getaway, Conejo Valley is the ideal destination. Read on to see why your next ladies’ getaway should be in this Southern California hidden gem.

Start Your Morning Right

Kick-start your morning with a stop for a local morning cup of Joe from Five 07 Coffee Bar & Eatery. Not into coffee? No problem! They also have flavorful smoothies, Acai power bowls, crapes, and California classic avocado toast.

Day Spa Retreat

Now that you’ve fed your belly, it’s time to feed your soul with some well-deserved pampering at a local spa. The natural beauty of Conejo Valley will allow you to catch your breath and relax. Try an invigorating salt treatment at Halo Salt Spa for “halotherapy” or try more traditional spa offerings at Nirvana Day Spa. Either way you’ll leave relaxed and rejuvenated.

Shop ‘Til You Drop

No girlfriend weekend would be complete without a shopping trip. From the old world charm of The Village at Dos Vientos Ranch and scenery at The Lakes to impressive stores at The Oaks, Conejo Valley’s retail scene has a store for every shopper. When you’re ready for a lunch break, each of these locations has numerous restaurants including the popular Umami Burger. Insider tip: try the truffle fries! You can thank us later.

Get Wild

Take a walk on the wild side of Conejo Valley with an unforgettable experience at Malibu Wine Safaris. Tour their ranch located in Malibu and get up close and personal with zebras, llamas, and the famous Stanley the Giraffe. The rolling vineyards surrounding you make the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable gal-pal experience.

Sip the Grapes of Conejo Valley

Take the afternoon easy and wander to a couple rolling vineyards for wine tasting. Visit DeLiese Cellars to try varietals from various regions of California or stop by Cornell Winery for a charming atmosphere to sip on wines from central coast mountains.

Taste a Different Side of Southern California

Treat yourselves to authentic Mediterranean cuisine at Petra in Thousand Oaks. Serving up traditional recipes in a vibrant environment, the food will not disappoint! Or escape to New Zealand with unique Kiwi fare at Aroha. This fine dining experience is sure to awaken your taste buds!

Girl’s Night Out

If the group is up for a night on the town, get those boots on for dancing at Ventura County’s largest country dance hall, Borderline Bar & Grill. You’ll sure to have a boot-scootin’ good time! For a trendy atmosphere and great live music, watch the stage at The Canyon. If musical theater is more your style see what is playing at Cabrillo Music Theatre or Conejo Players Theatre. 

Are you ready to see another side of Southern California with your gal-pals? What are you waiting for? Book your next ladies’ getaway to Conejo Valley here!

Explore the Great Outdoors of Conejo Valley

From hiking to biking, and even horseback riding, Conejo Valley is the ideal destination for those with an adventurous spirit looking to take a breath and explore! Here are a few ways you can enjoy being outside in Conejo Valley.

Wake Up to Some Fresh Air

Start your morning early with a scenic hike in Conejo Valley where outdoor recreation is abundant. Your adventure awaits on more than 140 miles of trials that lead to mountaintops with sweeping views, waterfalls and the California coastline. If you would like to stay off your feet, many trails also welcome mountain bikers and horseback riders.

Hit the Green

The stunning surroundings in Conejo Valley make it the ideal location for a day of golf. Several pristine golf courses are available for those looking for a lesson, driving range or a full round.

Powered Pedals

If your feet are barking after a day of hiking or golfing, try a little electric power. Pedego 101 Electric Bikes offers rentals so you can experience Conejo Valley in a new way. If you’re feeling up for it, ride down to Paramount Ranch to see the staged western town that is a popular set for TV shows and movies. You might recognize the buildings from Westworld or Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.

Around the World

Enjoy a peaceful walk through Gardens of the World where you can travel to Japan, Italy or even France right in Conejo Valley! Take in the gorgeous plant and water features with a picnic lunch from Rhineland Deli or a good book.

Toes in the Sand

Venture out to Malibu with an easy drive to the beach. Zuma Beach is known for wide sands and excellent surf. If you want a better look at the surroundings, venture out on one of the nearby trails to a scenic overlook.

Cheers to a Good Meal

End your day of exploring by indulging in a hearty dinner at Treehouse Tavern. This classic Americana-themed tavern and grill will provide a refreshing new stop to your travels. Or head to Umami Burger for a must-try burger and thirst quenching craft beer, wine or craft cocktail.

There is so much to explore in Conejo Valley! Start planning your visit today to see another side of Southern California.

Taste Your Way through Conejo Valley

If you’re a foodie looking for a culinary experience, your retreat to Conejo Valley will be delicious! From breweries to family restaurants and fine dining, Conejo Valley has something for everyone. Here are a few of our favorite places to eat and drink in Conejo Valley.

Breakfast Delights  

Wake up your senses with a warm cup of coffee so you will be ready to take in the serene landscape of Conejo Valley. Swing by Ragamuffin Coffee Roasters for a handcrafted roast made from the highest quality coffee. Pair your warm mug with Natas Pastries and be sure to try the famous crisp puff pastry filled with custard. These Portugese creations are worth a few decadent bites!

Grab a Mouthful

For lunch, we suggest heading to Mouthful Eatery, which offers creative versions of classic sandwiches, salads, plates and deserts. Wash the mouth-watering menu items down with fresh-squeezed lemonades. Another local favorite is Hugos in Agoura Hills. Taste wonderful foods from their kitchen that are sure to dazzle your palate.

Go Wine Tasting  

Spend the afternoon getting a taste of Conejo Valley with many local wineries. A micro-boutique winery that sources premium fruit, Alma Sol, is family-owned and operated. Next up is the Sunland Vintage Winery tasting room where you can actively participate in the experience and become part of the old Italy tradition. For a taste of France, try the beautiful Giessinger Winery which features Malbec, Petite Sirah, Grenache and Carignan wines.  For a unique wine-tasting experience head to Malibu Wine Safaris for a chance to see exotic animals like Stanley the Giraffe and even hike through the rolling vineyards.

Sip Craft Brews

End your day with the warm and inviting atmosphere at Ladyface Ale Companie. While the craft brew scene in Conejo Valley was started here, Ladyface has expanded with a focus on their culinary options. California versions of European country-style dishes along with seasonal produce make this menu a foodie’s paradise. Agoura Hills has the merry Twisted Oak Tavern for beer, food and music as well as the historic Treehouse Tavern & Grill. For a little fun and games, head to the Tipsy Goat for a laid-back atmosphere and shuffleboard or ping pong.

You may be surprised at all the amazing restaurants and watering holes you’ll find in Conejo Valley. You can also check out a few more options. Start planning your visit today to taste another side of Southern California!

Keep Cool in Conejo Valley this Summer

Vacation season is here, which means it’s summertime in Conejo Valley! If you find yourself visiting when the mercury begins to rise, you’ll be pleased to find plenty of ways to keep cool while discovering another side of Southern California.

Here’s a roundup of the best ways to keep cool in Conejo Valley this summer!

 

  • If you love to shop, Thousand Oaks has you covered with the Oaks Shopping Center, which is completely indoors and offers every store and boutique imaginable. You can also pay a visit to The Lakes, an outdoor shopping plaza with plenty of air-conditioned restaurants and shops to provide a break from the heat.

 

 

  • If a museum isn’t your scene, you can get some indoor activity and exercise in at Boulderdash Rock Climbing, which offers climbing for all abilities and ages. Or head to Sports Academy where you can play all types of sports including basketball, soccer, volleyball and much more.

 

  • Of course, not everyone wants to spend their whole vacation inside. Cool off in the water at the breathtaking Zuma Beach in Malibu! Long stretches of sand and crashing waves will greet you at one of the area’s most popular beaches.

  • Come evening, the temperatures may begin to cool down, but there’s still plenty of fun waiting for you inside one of Conejo Valley’s concert venues. Catch a rock concert at The Canyon, a trendy yet comfortable venue in Agoura Hills, or visit the grand Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza for a pleasant evening of performing arts.

 

 

  • Finally, the best way to stay cool during your visit is to relax poolside at your hotel. From luxurious pools to cabanas, our hotels offer something for every style and budget.

See you this summer in Conejo Valley!

Pedal into Conejo Valley

It’s National Bike Month, and Conejo Valley is the perfect place to ride!

If you’re an avid cyclist spending time around Thousand Oaks, Agoura Hills or Newbury Park for bike month – or even if you’re a weekend cruiser – you’re in for a treat. The area is home to a vast network of both road bike and mountain bike trails that wind through expansive open space and some of Southern California’s most spectacular scenery.

Here are eight ways you can celebrate National Bike Month in Conejo Valley this May.

  1. Fuel up: Savor a hot cup of coffee or grab an ice-cold smoothie before hitting the trails at JRA Bikes & Brew, which doubles as a bike service center and equipment shop. This is a go-to spot for both mountain and road bikers to lounge, plan their rides and gear up.
  2. Buy or rent your gear: If you want to enjoy National Bike Month, but you don’t have your own equipment, pay a visit to Michael’s Bicycles in Newbury Park. The shop features everything from bikes and equipment to clothing and accessories, so you’ll be well-prepared for a couple days exploring Conejo Valley by bike. If you’re a serious cyclist and ready to splurge on something shiny and new, you’ll also find a range of bikes for purchase at Michael’s.
  3. Join a group ride: If you’re not ready to ride solo, you’ve come to the right place. Conejo Valley Cyclists is a local club with a range of weekly rides for all experience levels. Visitors are welcome!
  4. Explore a road bike trail or two: Conejo Valley Cyclists also shares several great road bike trails with the public, so check them out here and map your route.
  5. Check out a mountain bike trail: There are 140 miles of scenic trails throughout Conejo Valley. For a beginner-level ride, try the Potrero Ridge Trail in Newbury Park. For a moderate ride that also offers beautiful glimpses of nature, try the Modelo Trail in Agoura Hills.
  6. Take in a view: With numerous trails offering spectacular views of mountains to the east and the California coast to the west, Point Mugu State Park is an excellent choice for a bike ride, especially for more experienced riders.
  7. Wind down: With convenient bike parking as well as a full lineup of craft beers on tap and a locally-sourced food menu, Twisted Oak Tavern in Agoura Hills is a bike-friendly business offering a great spot to slow down after a long day of biking.
  8. America’s Premier Cycling Event: Taking place near Conejo Valley on May 14 is the popular Amgen Tour of California cycling road race. Stage 2 of the men’s competition kicks off at Ventura Pier. Come cheer on some of the world’s top professional cycling teams as they make their way through California’s iconic highways, byways and coastlines.

You can learn even more about the cycle scene in Conejo Valley here, so start planning and enjoy National Bike Month with the rest of us!

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Conejo Valley

If you’re celebrating Cinco de Mayo in Conejo Valley, you’re in the right place. Thousand Oaks, Agoura Hills and Newbury Park are home to dozens of excellent eateries featuring festive foods and tasty drinks. Check out our round-up of the best options for tacos, margaritas and more!

Best tacos: Bad Ass Street Tacos  

If you’re craving street tacos, this is the place to go. Bad Ass Street Tacos are authentically prepared, delivered quickly, and are delicious and inexpensive. Both indoor and outdoor seating are available here too!

Best chips & salsa and best margaritas: Habanero Mexican Grill

Habanero is the perfect place for a Cinco de Mayo happy hour! Locals rave about the chips and salsa at this new establishment in Thousand Oaks, and many more say the margaritas are the best in town. What else could you want? If you’re hungry for more, the restaurant has a full menu with all the favorites.

Best upscale Mexican restaurant: Sabor Cocina Mexicana  

If you’re in the mood for a leisurely, full-scale dining experience, this is your place. Enjoy authentic, modern Mexican cuisine made with farm fresh ingredients on the restaurant’s gorgeous patio – but be sure to get there early or make a reservation as this is a popular dining establishment. Local tip – get their house margarita!

Best overall experience: Adobe Cantina

Adobe Cantina gets five stars for everything from its charming outdoor patio with lovely views to its refreshing margaritas to its lobster tacos and Chile Verde. All in all, we’d say this sounds like the spot to go for the full Cinco de Mayo experience.

Best Guacamole: Plata Taqueria & Cantina

If you’re all about finding the best guacamole around, Plata Taqueria & Cantina is the place to go! Their traditional guacamole dish is a local favorite known for its mouthwatering recipe of pico de gallo, jalapeño and cilantro mixed with avocados – a must-order!

Best Burritos: Latino Market & Grill

Latino Market & Grill brings in visitors from near and far just for their burritos – they are that good! From popular classic burritos to veggie burritos, this place has it all. The restaurant is known for serving layers of authentic ingredients. We recommend their Chile Verde Burrito!

Best Happy Hour: Cisco’s Mexican Restaurant

If you’re looking for a fun place to grab a margarita or some Mexican food for happy hour, head to Cisco’s Mexican Restaurant in Thousand Oaks. This place has happy hour daily, and even has a super happy hour in the afternoon! You can’t go wrong with Cisco’s Margarita and some tacos.

Best Atmosphere: The Alamo Bar & Grill

The Alamo Bar & Grill is known for its fun and lively atmosphere – a perfect spot to celebrate Cinco de Mayo! Their complimentary chips are freshly made served with delicious salsa. Local tip – get their shredded beef tacos!

Are you hungry for chips and guac, yet? There are plenty of options in addition to these local favorites, so come explore for yourself and taste another side of California this Cinco De Mayo!

OakHeart Country Music Festival Returns to Thousand Oaks

Country music, ice cold beer and cowboy boots – it doesn’t get much better than that. OakHeart Country Music Festival is returning to Thousand Oaks this summer and we couldn’t be more excited! Here’s a sneak peek on what you can expect at this year’s event.

Since 2011, the festival has featured 10 or more local and national country artists and has grown to allow for an estimated 7,000 people in attendance. Headlining this year’s event is ACM-New Artist of the Year winner Justin Moore. We can’t wait to hear him sing some of his top singles including “You Look Like I Need a Drink” and “Kinda Don’t Care.” Among the handful of other performers is up-and-coming singer-songwriter Tyler Farr, The Voice contestant RaeLynn, and actress-singer-producer Rita Wilson. (We’re hoping Tom Hanks will make a special appearance!)

The all-ages festival has a little something for everyone. In between sets, you can grab a bite from any of the local food trucks or relax with a cold drink in the bar area. This 21 and over area will be equipped with games and activities such as corn hole, ladder ball and beer pong. There will also be dance floors at the festival with all-day line dancing and a fun kids’ area. You’ll also have a chance to buy a souvenir or two with a variety of vendors expected to be selling shirts, hats, boots, crafts and much more!

One of the coolest features of the event – it’s all for a good cause. For seven years, organizers have worked with the community to grow, and fund local and national charities. Another reason OakHeart Music Festival should be on your country bucket list! Grab your boots and join us at the OakHeart Country Music Festival on Saturday, June 2nd. Buy your tickets here.

While planning your trip to the must-attend event, you can also explore more of the exciting activities and attractions throughout Conejo Valley with these itineraries.

We’re going country in Conejo Valley this summer! Book your trip to see another side of Southern California.