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Secrets, Free and Frugal Things to Do in the Conejo Valley

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

Cities in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties make up the picturesque Conejo Valley. Traveling Well For Less

With views like this, how could you not want to visit 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
  • Agoura Hills
  • Newbury Park
  • Oak Park
  • Thousand Oaks
  • Westlake
  • 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

Paramount Ranch

Paramount Ranch is a movie ranch built to film movies and TV shows. And you can visit it when you come to the Conejo Valley. Traveling Well For Less

General Store at Paramount Ranch

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

1.  Hiking

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.

View from the top of Angel Vista Trail

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

Work as hard or kick back and relax on an electric bike. Traveling Well For Less

Work as hard or kick back and relax on an electric bike

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

Do you love flowers and beautiful gardens? Then a visit to the Gardens of the World is a must do when in the Conejo Valley. Traveling Well For Less

French Garden and Water Feature at the 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
  • Bandstand

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

You won’t see lush greenery and rows of flowers when you visit the California True Colors Garden and Learning Center. Instead you will find drought resistance plants. Because the California True Colors Garden and Learning Center was developed to teach Californians which plants thrive in the arid climate and use less water.

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

Visit the Conejo Valley Botanical Garden for the perfect combination of gorgeous flowers and greenery with desert plants. Traveling Well For Less

Butterfly Garden at the Conejo Valley Botanic Garden.
Photo courtesy of Conejo Valley Botanic 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 stories galore in this former inn turned museumStagecoach Inn Museum in the Conejo Valley. Traveling Well For Less

Step back into times past with a visit to the Stagecoach Inn

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

Reyes Adobe Historical Site in Conejo Valley documents the first family to settle in Agoura Hills from the early 1800's. Traveling Well For Less.

Facts and fun on display at the Reyes Adobe Historical Site
Photo courtesy: City of Agoura Hills

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 Native Americans lived on the Channel Islands and in Central and Southern California. The Chumash are one of the oldest tribes in the United States. Traveling Well For Less

Canoe at the 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.

Admission costs:

  • 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.

Conclusion

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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Close to the beach, budget friendly. The Conejo Valley is the perfect spot for the value oriented traveler. Cheap and free things to do in the Conejo Valley. TravelingWellForLess.com

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glenn

Thursday 9th of February 2017

I want to go to Conejo Valley someday, I love hiking with my friends.

Aileen Adalid

Sunday 1st of May 2016

Conejo valley looks amazing! I haven't been to the U.S. yet but I'm definitely planning to! With such a big country, for sure there are so many places to see — such as this area. Thanks for sharing!

Debra Schroeder

Sunday 1st of May 2016

Hi Aileen Adalid,

Hopefully you can visit the US (especially California) soon. :) Glad you enjoyed the post.

Laura

Sunday 1st of May 2016

I didn't know about this area at all until our friends moved to Agoura a few years ago from Seattle. They didn't really love it, but were willing to admit that there was a lot to do around the area, if you just look for it

Debra Schroeder

Sunday 1st of May 2016

Hi Laura,

That's a bummer that your friends didn't like Agoura. It's a different vibe from Seattle for sure.

Carla Abanes

Sunday 1st of May 2016

California, the entire state is on my bucketlist. It's been there for the longest time and I really must make plan to visit it soon and pass by Conejo Valley. Thanks for sharing this post, I am a cheapskate traveller :)

Debra Schroeder

Sunday 1st of May 2016

Hi Carla Abanes,

Yes, please do. So much to offer in California.

LOL, I'm a cheapskate traveler too. But I like my certain luxuries and have learned to find the deals to satisfy my frugality and taste for the finer things in life. :)

anna

Sunday 1st of May 2016

I love the print on the kayak in the museum. You have some great tips on things to do and love how you've mixed it up with the right balance of outdoor stuff and cultural things like museums!

Debra Schroeder

Sunday 1st of May 2016

Hi Anna,

Thanks for the kind words!

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