Our visit was hosted by Conejo Valley for review purposes.
When planning a family road trip, I look for hidden gems and free or low-cost adventures. We always seek outdoor destinations, such as a new hiking trail or a botanical garden. Conejo Valley fit our bill! This Southern California destination offers hiking, shopping, museums, beaches, music and so much more. To prepare our trip itinerary, we used http://conejo.com/ to learn about the area, and plan our daily destinations and activities. Here are the highlights of all the exciting places we visited during our time in Conejo Valley.
– Paramount Ranch, nestled in the Agoura Hills area of the Santa Monica Mountains, is a part of American movie history. This picturesque, 750-acre ranch, once owned by Paramount Pictures was used to film western films back in the day. Visitors can enjoy hiking trails, picnicking, and of course checking out the old western styled buildings and storefronts. Parking is free, so pack a picnic and travel back in time while enjoying the beautiful natural surroundings.
– Ronald Reagan Presidential Library – Visit the intersection of our country’s movies and commander and chief, at this beautiful museum that pays homage to America’s 40th president. Learn about the man, his impact on Hollywood and the world. We enjoyed the collection that focused on First Lady Nancy Reagan, and how her love and fierce support of her husband motivated her contributions to the White House. Two memorable highlights for my family were touring Air Force One, and getting up-close with a segment of the actual Berlin Wall.
– Chumash Museum – The first people who lived in Conejo Valley were the Chumash. Located on the site of a former Chumash community, the Chumash Museum is dedicated to preserving it’s culture. It does a great job educating visitors of all ages through exhibits, natural trails and a recreated Village. The exhibits are small, but packed with artifacts for families to learn about this Native American tribe. After a short hike, we reached the huts of the Chumash Village. As we explored the Village, we imagined the joys of challenges of Chumash daily life. The museum also offers docent tours to nearby caves used by the Chumash. Hiking the trails is free, but there is a small admission to the museum.
– Wildwood Regional Park- This treasure of a park was actually one of our favorite areas to hike. Arrive early as this area can be a highly trafficked for a great reason – Paradise Falls. The main trail to the 40-foot waterfall is a reasonable hike with some steep inclines. Paradise Falls is a magical waterfall that releases to the creek below. I wouldn’t swim here, but my daughter enjoyed climbing the rocks and playing around the creek. Another hike to try out is Lizard Trail. The views are definitely worthy of the moderate hike to Lizard Rock. The hike is fairly steep, and the amazing, sweeping views are your workout’s reward! Extra bonus for furry families – this park is dog friendly!
– Music festivals – We are a musical family, and were psyched to add a concert to our holiday itinerary. Conejo Valley offers free live music concerts series throughout the summer. We attended the Tiny Porch Concert series with musical acts David Luning and Bearcoon. Nature is your backdrop, as the Tiny Porch stage is set in Peter Strauss Ranch. Bring a low-back chair or a blanket, and your dancing shoes to enjoy this free intimate event. Donations are not required, but highly encouraged. Money raised is paid to the dedicated artists , as well as the Santa Monica Mountains Fund. Limited VIP tickets are available to attend all shows, and features a special cocktail hour. We had a fabulous evening humming along to the folk sounds of both groups. Children are welcome, and you can even bring the family dog.
Read our suggestions on where to stay and eat in Conejo Valley.