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Conejo Valley: A Look at What’s New in 2018

From restaurants and breweries to trampoline parks and painting, Conejo Valley is buzzing with new hot spots as the year begins. Take a look at what’s new and start planning your 2018 trip today!

Food & Drink

  • Be one of the first to check out Five07 Coffee Bar & Eatery in Thousand Oaks, which opens this January! The eatery will include tea and espresso drinks of all kinds from the coffee bar, bright and flavorful smoothies, Acai and power bowls and more filling items including crepes, sandwiches and dressed-up toast.
  • Agoura Hills is welcoming some tasty new restaurants this year, too. Naked Ramen has officially opened a brick-and-mortar location after operating as a pop-up only in recent years. This is the place to go for an authentic, delicious bowl of ramen. Charm Thai Cuisine also recently opened, which features Thai favorites in a modern yet warm atmosphere.
  • Inspired by the owner’s patriotic lineage, the recently opened 14 Cannons Brewery in Westlake Village is a must-see for beer aficionados. The brewery is reinventing the craft brew experience and features beautiful craftsmanship, from a copper top bar to hand-crafted wood décor. Its flagship beer, Tyrannicide IPA, is sure to go down smooth. And for any “Bachelor” fans out there, the owner and builder of this brewery also built The Bachelor Mansion!
  • Also new to Westlake Village, the farm-to-table restaurant Moody Rooster recently opened and offers guests a culinary experience inspired by local, seasonal ingredients in a fun, rustic atmosphere. Head chef and owner Collin Crannel’s resume includes upscale eateries around Los Angeles, including a Michelin-starred restaurant.

Arts & Entertainment

  • If you’re looking for something totally different to do during your visit to Conejo Valley (or if you have older kids who need to burn off some energy), check out DoJoBoom Extreme Air Sports at Janss Marketplace in Thousand Oaks. This recently-opened location is the place to go for a major adrenaline rush – with a range of athletic endeavors including obstacle courses, trapezes, giant trampolines, a rock climbing wall and much more.
  • While most visitors may not think to check out the local library, bibliophiles may be interested in the new Author! Author! program at the Thousand Oaks branch library. The program just launched, and will feature two authors each month to discuss and sign copies of their latest books. You can learn more at the library’s website.
  • Looking for a little fun after some shopping, dining or hiking? Painting with a Twist is a newcomer to Thousand Oaks, and offers paint-and-sip style events led by a team of talented local artists.

There’s surely more new sights and places to discover this year, so book a trip soon and be one of the first to explore Conejo Valley in 2018!

Check Out Conejo Valley’s Live Music Scene

In addition to dining, hiking, relaxing and shopping, Conejo Valley is a great place to catch a concert or enjoy live music! Whether you want to grab a drink with live, local music in the background or attend a popular concert, here are some of our favorite live music venues in the area.

Borderline Bar & Grill (Thousand Oaks) – Dust off your boots and head to Borderline for a night of country music and dancing! This is the region’s largest country music hall and also features a full dining menu and bar. Dance to your heart’s content on the 2,500-square foot dance floor, or play bar games and pool until the wee hours of the morning. A full list of acts and events can be found here.

The Canyon (Agoura Hills) – Listen, dine and dance at The Canyon, a beloved venue that celebrates popular bands of the past and present. The Canyon is trendy yet comfortable, with a fully stocked bar and a deliciously-crafted dining experience. Upcoming shows include a Led Zeppelin Tribute, The Temptations and Wilson Phillips.

Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza – One of the best venues around the region, the three-acre Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza features a variety of shows and concerts. Experience an abundance of culture and great entertainment at this prized local facility. Upcoming shows include the Beach Boys, The Boston Pops and Los Lobos.

Twisted Oak Tavern (Agoura Hills) – Whether you’re craving a craft brew or interested in the full dining experience, you’ll also enjoy live music throughout the week when you check out the Twisted Oak Tavern. This vibrant bar and restaurant features local ingredients and beer brewed on-site with a modern twist on the classic tavern.

Conejo Valley has live music experiences to suit any mood and style, so be sure to check out one of these spots on your next trip!

Crank Up Your Spirit with Holiday Lights in Conejo Valley

Conejo Valley is glowing with holiday spirit! Many local residences have turned on their holiday lights, and these dazzling displays are a sight to behold. While you’re visiting, check out the best and brightest spots, according to locals.

Private Residences & Neighborhoods

Is there anything better than driving around neighborhoods to see festive lights with a cup of hot chocolate in hand and your favorite Christmas station turned up? Here is a list of streets with holiday lights in Conejo Valley that we recommend checking out (just remember to be respectful as these are private residences).

  • 10291 Principe Place, Santa Rosa Valley
  • 4321 Fireside Lane, Moorpark
  • 469 Highland Avenue, Simi Valley
  • 538 Brisbaine Avenue, Thousand Oaks (one of many brightly lit homes on this street)
  • 1700 Shetland Place, Thousand Oaks
  • 1566 El Dorado Drive, Thousand Oaks
  • 5332 Via Patricia, Thousand Oaks
  • The North Ranch neighborhood, Thousand Oaks (cruise Upper Ranch Road and Golf Course Drive for spectacular lights)
  • Candy Cane Lane in Camarillo – Just outside Conejo Valley at the corner of Dunnigan and Gemini Streets in Camarillo visitors will find “Candy Cane Lane” – one of the most festively lit streets in the area!

More Lights & Holiday Fun

You’ll find even more sparkle and spirit at these popular Thousand Oaks shopping destinations.

  • The Lakes at Thousand Oaks (2200 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks) – In addition to a stunning lights display with giant snowflakes and poinsettias everywhere, The Lakes has a special Holiday Ice Rink that is open through January. Bundle up and enjoy ice skating all afternoon and into the evening!
  • Janss Marketplace (275 Moorpark Rd. East, Thousand Oaks) – This local shopping destination shines all month long. Check out the Holiday Lights Spectacular, which takes place December 15 to December 23 and includes 3D light shows every evening. There are also free holiday train rides every weekend. Santa’s Village also opens December 15, which features face painting, storytelling and photos with Santa.

Ready to celebrate the holidays in Conejo Valley? Make your escape for a little shopping and light-viewing before Santa comes to town!

The Rich & Famous in Conejo Valley

The streets of Conejo Valley may not be as star-studded as the nearby City of Angels, but when you’re visiting, you still may bump into a few of the Hollywood elite who call Conejo Valley home. Here are a few places we suggest exploring around the region and you may spot a celebrity or two.

Looking to wine and dine while in Conejo Valley? You may run into Kris Jenner if you eat at Mastro’s Steakhouse. She’s been spotted dining here with her boyfriend Corey Gamble. If you enjoy shopping, head to The Oaks Shopping Center in Thousand Oaks. Shannon Dougherty, Pamela Anderson and Britney Spears are among the handful of celebs spotted shopping here on multiple occasions. How about taking a cooking class while on vacation? Head to The Lakes shopping center and you might spot James Van Der Beek. He’s hosted kid-friendly cooking classes at Lassens. In the mood for some sushi? Make your way to Yamato in Agoura Hills and you might see Kylie Jenner. Looking to explore Conejo Valley’s trails? Head to Point Magu State Park and you could see Reggie Miller. He’s one of the many celebrities who enjoys hiking in the beautiful mountains of Conejo Valley.

Open space, uncrowded streets and picturesque views appeal to many of us – even Hollywood’s rich and famous! Beautiful Conejo Valley offers privacy, fewer paparazzi and a safe, relaxed feel for the local celebs who live here. With plenty of sprawling mansions and gorgeous real estate to choose from, why wouldn’t they want to call it home?

While you may or may not spot famous residents when you’re in town, we can assure you that many of them have (or have had) a local address, and retreat to Conejo Valley after their busy schedules in nearby L.A.:

  • The Kardashian-Jenner Klan
  • Britney Spears
  • Justin Bieber
  • Colbie Caillat
  • Heather Locklear
  • Will Smith
  • Amanda Bynes
  • Wayne Gretzky
  • Jaime Foxx
  • Jennifer Lopez
  • Angelina Jolie
  • Drake
  • Ozzy & Sharon Osbourne
  • Denise Richards
  • Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

Many of these residents live in gated communities in Calabasas and the prestigious Hidden Valley neighborhood and have been spotted shopping, dining and playing at places in Thousand Oaks and Agoura Hills. Rumor has it that celebrities like Conejo Valley precisely because they don’t get mobbed by paparazzi and fans. So, if you’re visiting and you spot one of these famous residents, play calm, act normal and be discreet if you try to snap a photo!

Best Places to Grab Pizza in Conejo Valley

Whether you torched some calories while hiking in Conejo Valley or worked up an appetite after a day of shopping, sometimes you just want to grab a pizza for dinner – even on vacation. With dozens of fantastic pizza joints, Conejo Valley is one of the best places for pizza lovers in Southern California.

Pizza Nosh – Known for its friendly service and a great vegetarian menu (in addition to plenty of selections for meat-eaters), Pizza Nosh is a low-key place to enjoy high-quality pizza in Agoura Hills.

Winners NY Pizza – This east-coast style pizzeria is a go-to spot for great pies, subs, pastas and salads. Go for The Meat Head if you’re feeling carnivorous, or the Vegi Delight if greens are more your thing.

Parma Pizzeria Napoletana – This family-run business is a must-try for pizza lovers. This pizza maker specializes in the Sicilian tradition, and is dedicated to making sauce and dough from scratch every day.

Greco’s New York Pizzeria – Located at the popular Janss Marketplace food court, come to Greco’s if you’re craving a giant slice with a nice, big soda.

Winner’s Pizza – Not to be confused with the Winners NY mentioned above, this Winners Pizza is equally delicious. It has every topping you could want, plus a few specialties like Buffalo Chicken pizza and Winners Eggpizza.

Toppers Pizza – If you dare to venture off the popular path of pepperoni or classic combos, try Toppers Pizza. With unusual toppings including carnitas and honey drizzle, you’ll have fun exploring this local pizza spot.

Pizza purists, vegetarians and foodies can likely agree that Conejo Valley has plenty of pizza for everyone. Don’t forget to keep this list nearby during your next trip in case a pizza craving strikes!

Mingle with Locals in Conejo Valley

There’s no better way to explore a new place than checking out the best local hangouts. Conejo Valley is no exception. While you can experience a number of fun tourist attractions, there are also some great places to mingle with locals. Plus, with a roster of celebrities residing in Conejo Valley to get away from the hustle and bustle of neighboring Los Angeles, you may even see a member of the Hollywood elite when you’re in town!

The Oaks in Thousand Oaks – With fashion and food galore, this indoor-outdoor mall is a premier shopping destination in Thousand Oaks, frequented by many Conejo Valley residents. According to locals, celebs drop in here regularly for their own shopping sprees, too.

Old Place Restaurant in Agoura Hills – Reviews say this restaurant is one of Agoura Hills’ best kept secrets. Make reservations for a memorable dining experience, and check out Cornell Winery & Tasting room next door while you wait for your table.

The Dudes’ Brewing Company in Thousand Oaks – Beer lovers in town know that The Dudes’ tasting room in Thousand Oaks is a prime location for some of the best craft brew in the region. Grab a CalifornIPA or a Blood Orange Amber to get a true taste of SoCal’s local brewing scene.

Thousand Oaks Farmers Market – With the popularity of local farmers markets, it’s no surprise that Conejo Valley is home to a few. The Thousand Oaks Farmers Market is one of the best in town, and has been around since 1991, providing local bounty every Thursday all year long. Grab some fresh, local produce to have on hand as a healthy snack during your vacation.

Ready to plan your trip to Conejo Valley? A few local spots will make a welcome addition to your itinerary while you’re here. See you when you get here!

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!

Kingsmen Shakespeare Festival Comes to Conejo Valley

Friends, Romans and countrymen of Conejo Valley, lend me your ears! This summer marks the 21st annual Kingsmen Shakespeare Festival in Conejo Valley. The festival will take place at Kingsmen Park on the Thousand Oaks campus of California Lutheran University.

Produced by Cal Lutheran’s professional theater company, the Kingsmen Shakespeare Company, the festival will hold two productions of William Shakespeare’s plays including “Love’s Labour’s Lost” taking place on June 30, July 1-2, July 7-9 and July 14-16, and “Julius Caesar” on July 21-23, July 28-30 and August 4-6.

Bring a low-profile lawn chair and a blanket and watch one or both of the productions this summer in Conejo Valley. While advance ticket sales are not available, we do have an opportunity for you to win a set of four tickets to the festival. Be sure to check out our Facebook page for details on how you can win a pack of four tickets to Conejo Valley’s own Shakespeare event!

The festival grounds open at 5:30 p.m. for picnicking and entertainment. General admission is $20 for adults and free for those under 18. Individual tickets are available at the door only. For lawn box reservations or more information, visit kingsmenshakespeare.org or call 805-493-3452.

 

Eat, Drink, Repeat in Thousand Oaks

Thousand Oaks is a hub for great food, local wines and craft brews. When you’re in town, your itinerary is easy: Eat, drink, repeat!

Here are a few of the best spots around Thousand Oaks to savor a family meal, grab a cold (and crafty) one, sip a nice glass of wine, or enjoy some late-night fun and entertainment.

For the Whole Family

Looking for a family-friendly place for lunch or dinner? Thousand Oaks welcomes all travelers with a number of delicious eateries.

Himalaya Cuisine is a casual fine dining restaurant serving authentic south Asian food from the Himalaya. The menu features more than ten types of light appetizers, soups, salads and more than 30 entrees – both meat and vegetarian – showcasing the unique flavors of the Himalayas.

For something a bit more adventurous, try Moqueca Brazilian Cuisine. This restaurant is known for its unique style of cooking food in clay pots – a technique that comes from Brazil. Family-style dining will ensure everyone has fun trying different dishes.

If you’re in search of a place to just kick back and enjoy some foodie favorites, try The Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar. A friendly atmosphere and expansive menu will offer something for everyone – especially the kids.

Out on the Town

Thousand Oaks is equally entertaining for the kid-free set. Whether you want to grab some late-night food or dance the night away, we’ve got you covered.

Grab a couple drinks and settle in at The Tipsy Goat, a local Irish pub with a lot of personality. The pub has daily food and drink specials, weekly trivia and karaoke, and games including pool, ping pong, darts and shuffleboard.

Brought your dancing shoes? Borderline Bar & Grill is a large country dance hall and live music venue in Thousand Oaks that promises a fun night out. It includes a full food and bar menu, pool tables and big screen TV’s.

If you’re in the mood for something a little more refined, try Sunland Vintage Winery, a go-to spot for wine enthusiasts. The family-owned wine tasting room features Italian inspired ambiance and friendly service, and is the perfect place to unwind as you sip your way through Italian and non-Italian varietals under the winery’s private label.

Good food, good beer and friends are guaranteed at Public School 805, a gastropub serving up delicious food and craft beer in Thousand Oaks. Public School 805 also promises “an education in the art of food and beer,” so come hungry, thirsty and ready to learn!

You may be surprised at all the amazing restaurants and watering holes you’ll find in Thousand Oaks. Check out a few more of them here, and start planning your next visit!

Conejo Valley: The Gateway to Wine Country

Definitely not your typical, crowded wine tasting experience, the Conejo Valley wineries will thrill your palate and deliver a tasting adventure yet-to-be-experienced by many! With a welcoming wine trail all its own, check out why Conejo Valley’s wineglass is way more than half full, from Thousand Oaks down to Malibu and everywhere in between.

Start to sip your way through the Conejo Valley Wine trail at NABU Wines. This Conejo Valley gem produces wine with grapes from the local Santa Monica Mountains. Among our favorite varietals are Chardonnay and Syrah from Malibu, but dozens of other choices await.

Next, check out the recently expanded Sunland Vintage tasting room in Thousand Oaks, where Michael and Debby Giovinazzo welcome you to experience wines unique to their family label. What sets Sunland Vintage apart from others? They produce varietals of Old Italy, such as Nebbiolo, Montepulciano and Dolcetto, along with special proprietary blends including Tre Ragazzi, Delicate Princes and The Goddess.

While you’re at Sunland Vintage, enjoy a glass or two from Alma Sol Winery, a family-owned and operated micro-boutique winery that shares a tasting room with Sunland. Bringing together two vital elements needed to craft extraordinary wines –“soul” and “sun”– the winemakers embrace hands-on, artisan winemaking to produce primarily Bourdeaux blends. Alma Sol handpicks their grapes in small lots, respecting the fruit and guiding its natural potential.

Continue your winery exploration with a visit to the newest wine trail stop, DeLiese Cellars. The friendly husband-and-wife winemaking team will happily pour you a few sips of their famous Neveah Cabernet Sauvignon from Malibu (Neveah is “heaven” spelled backwards) or if you prefer white, try their Allure Chardonnay.

Round out your tasting trip with a stop at Aldabella Winery. This tasting room carefully selects wines from local growers, and is a warm and welcoming spot to relax and enjoy a few small bites with friends after a day on the trail.

Looking for more? Drive the canyon and check out the tasting rooms of Malibu (only 10 minutes up the road from Conejo Valley), and experience Cielo Wineyard, SIP Malibu Grapes, and Malibu Rocky Oaks Estates. To make it a real adventure, check out Malibu Wine Safaris, where you can meet a few exotic, four-legged friends out on the wine trail!

Pick up a wine trail map (available at all wineries) and discover the beauty and character of the Conejo Valley wine trail – “The Gateway to Wine Country.”