Exploring the Outdoors: A Conejo Valley Guide

Located 45 minutes north of Los Angeles, just off the 101 freeway, the Conejo Valley is a splendid outdoor playground, virtually undiscovered by its cosmopolitan neighbors. The gateway to the Santa Monica Mountains Recreational Center, the area originally settled by the Chumash people spans both southeastern Ventura County and northwestern Los Angeles County and offers a wide variety of opportunities to get outdoors with the family.

Given its close proximity and easy accessibility, the Conejo Valley makes for the perfect date night, day trip or weekend getaway, and its thriving craft beer and wine scene is an added bonus when looking to balance outdoor play with nightlife merriment. The rural beauty of this area is hidden in plain sight, boasting more than 500 miles of hiking and biking trails making it a unique destination that is friendly for the entire family.

Here are just a few ways you and your family can get off-the-beaten path and explore the hidden gems the Conejo Valley has to offer.

Hiking and Biking

Paramount Ranch Hike

A 17 mile bike ride took us to an oasis #outdoorfamilies #outfam #getoutdoors #travelwriter #ilovemyjob

A post shared by Jennifer Fontaine (@jennifer_fontaine) on


  • Distance: 4 miles round trip
  • Elevation Gain: 150 ft
  • Open to: Hiking, Biking
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Directions
2903 Cornell Road, Agoura Hills, CA, 91301
Take the Ventura Freeway (U.S. 101) to Kanan Road exit. Head south on Kanan for 0.5 miles. Turn left on Cornell Way and veer to the right. Continue south for 2.5 miles. The entrance is on right side of the road.

Grasslands Hike – Malibu Creek State Park

  • Distance: 0.75 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 105 feet
  • Open to: Hiking, Biking, Equestrian
  • Difficulty: Easy

Directions
27000 Mulholland Highway, Agoura Hills, CA 91301
From Highway 101, take the Las Virgenes Road exit and go south for 3.1 miles to Mulholland Highway.  Take a right on Mulholland Highway and almost immediately, look for the Grasslands Trail on the left.

Los Robles Hike – Los Padres


  • Distance: 6 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 900 feet
  • Open to: Hiking, Biking, Equestrian
  • Difficulty: Easy

Directions:
From the 101 freeway, drive to the south end of Moorpark Rd, turn right on Greenmeadow Ave., and go a half mile to the parking lot.

Paradise Falls Hike – Wildwood Park

  • Distance: 2.5 miles (loop)
  • Elevation change: 260 feet
  • Open to: Hiking, Biking
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Directions
928 W Avenida De Los Arboles, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360
Take the 101 Freeway to Thousand Oaks to exit 45 for Lynn Road. Drive north for 2.5 miles on Lynn Road, and turn left on Avenido de los Arboles. Drive to the end of the street and park in the lot on the left.

Pedego 101 Electric Bike Tour

Biking is a great way to explore a new city, allowing you the ability to cover a ton of ground, and connect with your surroundings without being confined to the interior of a car. Electric bikes give you more flexibility to discover farther distances even if you’re with young kids or grandparents.

During our time in the Conejo Valley we hooked up with Pedego 101, who offers a full fleet of electric bikes with a variety of models that fit all shapes and sizes. They were so knowledgeable and welcoming, after our 13-mile bike ride across picturesque bridges and through tree-lined canyon roads, we felt as if we had gained a family.

Pedego 101
2859 Agoura Road Westlake Village, CA 91361
(805) 379-9245
www.pedego101.com

Family Friendly Dining

The Malibu Cafe
Nestled in the gentle, rolling hills of its word-famous namesake, Malibu Cafe is a cornerstone of coastal, rustic living. Eat decadent corn and lobster chowder, listen to down-home live music and lounge under the canopy of centuries-old California oak trees tastefully decorated with elegant chandeliers.

Malibu Cafe is as kid-friendly as it gets with 100% outdoor seating and plethora of fun kid games such as jumbo Jenga and air hokey set up on the lawn for all to enjoy. The biggest challenge you might have to face at this laid back ranch-style restaurant is leaving.

The Malibu Cafe
327 Latigo Canyon Road Malibu, CA 90265
(818) 540-2400
http://www.themalibucafe.com



Tavern 101 Grill and Tap House

Another kid-friendly tavern to try when you have a hankering for mouth-watering BBQ is Tavern 101. Located just off the 101 freeway, this hidden little gem of a restaurant offers a laid-back atmosphere, hand-crafted cocktails and more meat than any one person could ever attempt to consume.

Tavern 101 Grill and Tap House
28434 Roadside Drive  Agoura Hills, CA 91301
(818) 991-7227
http://www.taverngrills.com

“Adults Only” Offerings

101 Cider House

Some of the most interesting and unique cider this year is coming out of a dark corner in an unassuming industrial park in the Conejo Valley. A budding pioneer of the craft beer industry, Mark McTavish and the rest of his talented 101 Cider House team are self-proclaimed cider evangelists.



Sourced locally, their product is raw, made with natural ingredients and 100% fresh pressed juices. the end result is vibrant and daring and sure to knock your socks off.

101 Cider House
Tasting Room Hours: Thursday 5pm – 10pm, Saturday 1pm – 11pm, Sunday 1pm – 5pm
31111 Via Colinas, Westlake Village, CA 91362
(818) 851-9018
http://www.101cider.com

Sunland Vintage Winery

Michael and Debby Giovinazzo are making old school hip again with their throw-back vintages that conjure up thoughts of Old Italy and its robust yet delicate wines. Their award-winning Sunland Vintage label tickles the palate and their bright and cheery tasting room will have you coming back for more.

Sunland Vintage Winery
Tasting Room Hours: Thursdays & Fridays 6pm – 9pm, Saturdays 1pm – 6pm, Sundays 1pm – 5pm
1321 E Thousand Oaks Blvd. #108 Thousand Oaks, CA 91362
(805) 379-2250
http://www.sunlandvintagewinery.com

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