Camarillo is a small city of about 65,000 people situated in the Pleasant Valley area of Ventura County. This scenic city features mountainous views and is known for its almost-perfect climate, which features sun on most days throughout the year.
Camarillo is home to many parks, leisure facilities, restaurants, and shopping areas, including Camarillo Premium Outlets and Las Posas Plaza Shopping Center. The city is also known for its central location that makes it easy to access attractions in other areas.
The beaches of the Pacific Coast are only a 15-minute drive away, and the city of Los Angeles is an hour’s drive away. Despite this strategic location, Camarillo maintains a small-town feel without the crowds of the nearby cities.
Many festivals and events take place in Camarillo throughout the year, including the Summer Concerts in the Park Series, The Annual Greek Festival, The Camarillo Air Show, The Casa Pacifica Annual Wine & Food Festival, and The Camarillo Fiesta Street Fair.
Below are 15 of the best things to do in and around Camarillo, California.
1. Learn About the Area’s History at Pleasant Valley Historical Society Museum and Botanical Gardens
The Pleasant Valley region is steeped in history. You can learn about this long and colourful past, and about the culture and the people who made the area what it is today, at the Pleasant Valley Historical Society Museum and Botanical Gardens.
The vast collection features a wide range of artefacts, photos and documents. As you explore the exhibits, you’ll come across the Bill Doctorman Telephone Collection and the Roland Gisler Fire Trucks.
A reference library is also on-site; visitors are encouraged to make use of it to learn even more about local history.
When you’re finished going through the museum, you can head outside to the lovely Charles L. Honn Botanical Garden.
2. Enjoy the Beautiful Weather at Camarillo Grove Park
In the past, it was a stagecoach stop, but now, this sprawling natural area is home to Camarillo Grove Park.
This beautiful park might be located in the city, but you wouldn’t know it. It’s the perfect place to get away from urban life without having to travel far.
Inside this park, you’ll find the Outdoor Nature Center and Interpretive Trail, where you can learn about the flora and fauna of the area.
There are also two hiking trails in the park. Along the way, you’ll see stunning views and possibly even spot some wildlife.
Also on-site are picnic areas with BBQ grills, a playground, a dog park, and restrooms.
3. Sample Local Wine at Cantara Cellars
Cantera Cellars is the perfect place to start a weekend in Camarillo. This beautiful winery is situated on the outskirts of the city, and cellar tours and wine tastings are available.
Many of the grapes used to make the wines are from a vineyard in Lodi, and ten varietals are harvested in a typical year.
Syrah, Mischievous Lodi, Zinfandels, and Tempranillos are just some of the wines you’ll have the opportunity to taste during your visit.
4. Satisfy a Craving at Adolfo Grill & Daily Bar
Whether it be lunch or dinner, when hunger strikes, you’ll have no problem finding something delicious at Adolfo Grill & Daily Bar.
Since 1967, this popular eatery has been serving a range of fresh, handcrafted dishes made with the freshest ingredients available.
Some of the items on the menu include a variety of appetizers, salads, signature burgers, seafood dishes, and grilled items. Outdoor dining is available.
The restaurant also hosts happy hour; this is where you’ll have the chance to sample various whiskeys, Scotches, tequilas, and martinis.
5. Find Some Bargains at the Camarillo Premium Outlets
With around 160 different retail stores, you’re bound to find everything you need and more at the Camarillo Premium Outlets.
Searching for the perfect gift to take home to someone special? Need a new outfit for an upcoming event? You’ll find it here, and you’ll find some great deals, too.
Some of the shops include Nike, Lululemon, Michael Kors, and Tommy Hilfiger. A variety of eateries and cafes are also on-site.
6. Visit the Commemorative Air Force Southern California Wing Museum
Aviation enthusiasts love exploring the Commemorative Air Force Southern California Wing Museum. But even if you’re not a fanatic, you’re sure to find the exhibits and displays quite fascinating.
Many artefacts related to the history of flight and World War II are showcased throughout the museum. You’ll also have the chance to see some extraordinary Air Force combat aircraft.
A group of enthusiastic volunteers lovingly maintain the exhibits and aircraft.
While you’re there, you can book a once-in-lifetime flight through the War Bird Ride Program. You can choose from several aircraft to ride on, including a PJB Bomber or SNJ.
7. Take the Kids to Kidstream for a Unique Learning Opportunity
Kidstream is a unique children’s museum highlighting learning in a fun environment. During a visit to the museum, children participate in a wide variety of interactive activities and learn about science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math.
The goal is to inspire kids to pursue their learning beyond their experience at the museum by getting them interested in these topics through fun, hands-on experiences.
8. Learn About Birds at The Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology
The Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology is focused on birds and the conservation of birds and their habitats.
The public is invited to visit and learn more about what the foundation is doing. During a visit, you’ll see fascinating displays of eggs, nests, and bird specimens.
Public tours are available on certain days throughout the month, and a variety of events – including courses and lectures – take place throughout the year.
9. Browse Camarillo’s Farmer’s Market
Camarillo’s Farmer’s Market the best place to find fresh, local produce and many other items. It’s also a popular place with a vibrant atmosphere where locals and visitors gather.
There are many vendors at this market. As you make your way through, you’ll find vegetables, fruit, berries, eggs, grass-fed beef, jam, honey, and preserves. There are vendors selling plants, flowers, and handcrafted jewellery as well.
As you shop, the sound of music performed by local musicians fills the air. When you’re done browsing the market, enjoy a snack from one of the food vendors. Sweet treats, seafood, and breads are some of the items available.
10. Try Local Craft Beer at the Institution Ale Company Brewery and Taproom
At the Institution Ale Company Brewery and Taproom, you can kick back in a lively but relaxing environment and sample a wide variety of handcrafted Ales, IPAs, Stouts, and Lagers. These beers are brewed using traditional techniques.
In the taproom, you’ll find 12 beers on tap at any given time. A kitchen is on-site, so you can enjoy a delicious snack of pizza or pretzels with your beverage. Various events take place throughout the week, including live music performances and trivia nights.
11. Tee Off at Camarillo Springs Golf Course
Camarillo Golf Course is situated in a scenic area of the Conejo foothills. Golfers get a stunning view of the nearby mountains and natural landscape, and sometimes even catch a glimpse of wildlife passing through.
Since 1970, this expertly-designed 18-hole, par-72 course has been a popular golfers’ paradise in Ventura County.
Lessons are available, and a golf shop selling a wide assortment of equipment and clothing is on-site.
12. Search for Treasures at the Antique Mall of Camarillo
The Antique Mall of Camarillo is situated in the Old Town district of the city and is a popular place to find one-of-kind antique items at bargain prices.
As you search through the mall, you’ll find a wide variety of items from different eras. Art Deco, French Provincial, Native American crafts, and vintage furniture are among some of the items and styles you’ll find.
13. Learn About Organic Farming at McGrath Family Farm
McGrath Family Farm is a long-standing producer of local, organic produce with a reputation for being the most delicious around. In season, visitors are welcome to pick their own produce.
Farm tours are available. During one of these tours, you’ll learn about organic farming from start to finish. Throughout the year, there are events at the farm, including the October Pumpkin Tours.
14. Dine on Italian Cuisine at Ottavio’s Italian Restaurant
For more than 50 years, Ottavio’s Italian Restaurant in Camarillo has been serving delicious, classic Italian fare in a cosy atmosphere.
On the menu, you’ll find a wide variety of appetizers, salads, pizzas, pasta dishes, and entrees such as chicken marsala, scallopini of veal marsala, and veal parmigiana. Outdoor dining is available.
15. Visit The City of Camarillo Public Library
While a library doesn’t sound like a place that tourists would usually visit, the Camarillo Public Library encourages visitors to stop by, particularly those with children.
On-site, there’s an extensive collection of children’s books and a pirate-inspired reading room. Many events take place throughout the year, including themed reading days.
A cosy cafe is also on-site, and you can find a wide variety of second-hand books for sale at the Friends of Camarillo Library Bookstore.