Your visit to the Golden State doesn’t have to be expensive. There are so many places in California that won’t put a dent in your wallet. I’ve written about the frugal travel secrets and hidden gems of the San Jacinto Valley. But if you wanted to be a little closer to the beach and Hollywood, consider a trip to the Conejo Valley. And despite it’s proximity to Rodeo Drive and Beverly Hills, there are cheap and free things you can do in the Conejo Valley.
Disclosure: My trip to the Conejo Valley was provided courtesy of Augustine Ideas for the #VisitConejo #VisitConejo Valley #CatchYourBreath Press Trip before the #DiscoverOxnard16 #NATJA conference. All opinions are 100% mine.
- The Conejo Valley
- Things to do for Movie Lovers in the Conejo Valley
- Paramount Ranch
- Adventurous Things to do in the Conejo Valley
- 1. Hiking
- 2. Electric Bikes
- Spending Time Outside in the Conejo Valley
- 1. Gardens of the World
- 2. California True Colors Garden and Learning Center
- 3. Conejo Valley Botanical Garden
- Things to do in Conejo Valley for Culture Lovers
- 1. Stagecoach Inn Museum
- 2. Reyes Adobe Historical Site
- 3. Chumash Indian Museum
- Breweries and Wineries
The Conejo Valley
Conejo is the Spanish word for rabbit. And like many areas of Southern California, rabbits run free among the rolling hills. So you may see a rabbit or two during your trip.
If you’re not from California, you may be wondering, “how do you say conejo?” It’s not cone-joe. Nor is it coney-hoe. It’s koh-neh-oh. However you say it, the Conejo Valley is worth a visit.
The Conejo Valley includes the following cities in Los Angeles and Ventura County:
- Agoura Hills
- Newbury Park
- Oak Park
- Thousand Oaks
- Westlake Village
Just 10 miles from the beach and 30 miles north of downtown Los Angeles you’ll be close to the waves and the stars. Here are my favorite secret, free and frugal things to do in the Conejo Valley. Bring the kids because all activities are family friendly.
Things to do for Movie Lovers in the Conejo Valley
A deserted old western town where frequented by gunslingers and people lived in fear. But in reality, Paramount Ranch is a magical place where stories come to life and adventure is around every corner.
Purchased by Paramount Pictures in 1927, Paramount Ranch has been used to film many tv shows and movies including:
- American Sniper (2014)
- Charlie’s Angels (1976 to 1981)
- CSI, Las Vegas (2000 to 2015)
- Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman (1993 to 1998)
- Gunsmoke (1955 to 1975)
- Norbit (2007)
- Scorpion (2004 to present)
- Scream (1981)
- Sutter’s Gold (1936)
- The A Team (1983 to 1987)
- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1938)
- The Bachelor (2002 to present)
- The Cisco Kid (1950 to 1956)
- The Dukes of Hazzard (1979 to 1985)
- The Fugitive (1963 to 1967)
- The Great Outdoors (1988)
- The Lake House (2006)
- The Love Bug (1968)
- The Mysterious Dr. Fu Manchu (1929)
- The X-Files (2001 season finale)
- Van Helsing (2004)
Adventurous Things to do in the Conejo Valley
With 140 miles of public use trails, you’re sure to find at least one hike that fits your fitness level and ability. You can use the Conejo Valley website to see the trails, difficulty, and length.
2. Electric Bikes
One of the best things about an electric bike is that you get to choose if you want to pedal or if you want to sit back and coast. The only difference between an electric bike and a regular bike is the motor.
You can rent (or buy) an electric bike from Pedego 101 in the Conejo Valley. Bikes are rented by the hour ($15 and $25) or for the day ($50 and $85). Pedego also rents child trailers so you can bring your little ones.
We only did a half day ride. But it was a blast, I could have (and wished) we had our electric bikes for an entire day!
Spending Time Outside in the Conejo Valley
1. Gardens of the World
For horticulture fans the Gardens of the World is a must visit. Entrepreneurs Ed and Lynn Hogan created the Gardens of the World to give the community of Conejo Valley a little touch of heaven.
Display gardens include:
- Japanese Garden
- French Garden and Water Feature
- Mission Courtyard
- English Perennial & Rose Garden
- Italian Garden
The Gardens of the World is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm. Admission to the Gardens of the World is free. Donations are greatly appreciated.
2. California True Colors Garden and Learning Center
So if you’re a fan of brown plants (like Jeff) you should plan a visit. Otherwise, it’s worth skipping. (But that’s me because I like green plants and not brown ones…)
The California True Colors Garden and Learning Center is free to visit.
3. Conejo Valley Botanical Garden
You should visit the Conejo Valley Botanical Garden for the perfect combination of gorgeous flowers and greenery with desert plants. Turn the little ones loose in the Kid’s Adventure Garden to play in the tree house and zoo garden. But remember to keep your dogs on a leash.
There’s no fee to visit the Conejo Valley Botanical Garden. You can visit from sunrise to sunset. However, the Kid’s Adventure Garden is only open Sundays from 11 am to 3 pm.
Things to do in Conejo Valley for Culture Lovers
1. Stagecoach Inn Museum
You’ll find antiques, unique collections, and ghosts in this former inn turned museum at the Stagecoach Inn Museum in the Conejo Valley. Downton Abbey fans will enjoy being up close and personal with dresses from the early 1900’s. The Stagecoach Inn Museum is a California Historical Landmark.
Docents lead tours and will regale you with stories. Be sure to ask about Pierre.
The Stagecoach Inn Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 1 pm to 4 pm. Admission costs (cash only) are as follows:
- Adults – $5
- Seniors (62 and older) – $4
- Youth (13 to 21) – $4
- Children (5 to 12) – $2
- Children under 5 – Free
2. Reyes Adobe Historical Site
The Reyes Adobe Historical Site is an 1800’s adobe style home and barn built where the first Agoura Hills home was built in 1850. Artifacts and documents from the Reyes families are on display.
You can take a docent led tour on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month from 1 pm to 4 pm.
Suggested donations are:
- Adults – $3
- Seniors – $2
- Children 5 to 12 – $1
- Children under 5 – Free
3. Chumash Indian Museum
The Chumash were the Native Americans who lived in Central and Southern California and the Channel Islands and one of the oldest tribes in the United States. Interested in the Chumash culture? The best place to learn more about the Chumash people is at the Chumash Indian Museum.
The Chumash Indian Museum is open Thursday to Sunday from 12 pm to 5 pm. Closed on Easter Sunday. The park trails are open every day from 7 am to dusk.
- Adults – $5
- Seniors – $3
- Children (12 and younger) – $3
- Family (up to 5 people) – $10
Breweries and Wineries
Oh, don’t think I haven’t forgotten these. The Conejo Valley breweries and wineries get their own post.
Close to the beach and stars in Hollywood, the Conejo Valley is the perfect spot for the value oriented traveler.
From breathtaking vistas, scenic hikes, and inexpensive museums, there’s something to do for everyone. For really great food made from scratch without artificial ingredients, check out Hugo’s Restaurant. It’s great for adults and everything is kid friendly.
Stay tuned for where to stay and eat for less in the Conejo Valley. And the breweries and wineries post. 🙂
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