Simi Valley is a city of nearly 130,000 residents that’s located in Southern California’s Ventura County.
Simi Valley’s convenient location near a number of major highways gives visitors easy access to some of the Los Angeles area’s premier attractions. But it’s relatively rural setting has a pleasant way of making most guests feel like they’re farther away than they really are.
With beautiful stretches of Pacific coastline to the west, amazing state and national parks just east, and LA’s iconic historic and showbiz related attractions, there’s lots to do for those with varied interests.
Below are 15 things to do in and around Simi Valley.
1. Strathearn Historical Park and Museum
More than a century ago, the area around Simi Valley was largely undeveloped.
Back then, ranches and grazing cattle were more common sights than today’s highways and shopping malls.
Thankfully, for those who prefer the former to the latter, there are still opportunities to get up-close-and-personal with the area’s history.
The Strathearn Historical Park and Museum are located near downtown Simi Valley on Strathearn Place. They feature one of the area’s most expansive and well-preserved collections of historical items and original buildings.
Regardless of whether you’ll be showing yourself around or joining a docent-led tour, you’ll want to check out the visitor’s center first.
2. The Skateboarding Hall of Fame
The Skateboarding Hall of Fame is one of Simi Valley’s most unique attractions. Since 2009, it has been preserving and promoting a slice of local sporting culture that often gets overlooked by its more traditional counterparts.
The museum showcases the sport’s development and highlights the lives of those who’ve made the biggest contributions along the way.
Even most non-skaters have heard of Tony Hawk, but he’s just one of many visionaries who’ve made the hip activity what it is today.
The facility is located on Simi town center way in Simi Valley and includes original equipment, photographs, and other memorabilia.
3. Grandma Prisbrey’s Bottle Village
Nobody’s sure exactly why ‘Grandma’ had such an affinity for old bottles, but the unique village that now bears her name is one of Simi Valley’s most eclectic cultural attractions.
For more than two decades in the middle of the 20th century, Tressa Prisbrey collected discarded bottles and used them to build statues, shrines, and sections of her home, which is now listed on both state and national registers of historic places.
A must-visit destination for those who don’t mind venturing from the well-worn path, it’s conveniently located on Cochran Street in Simi Valley, close to other attractions worth checking out.
4. House of the Book
Located on more than 2,000 acres of prime real estate along Peppertree Lane in Simi Valley, the House of Book is an attraction that doesn’t get nearly as much foot traffic as others in the area.
House of Book is a Jewish community and cultural center offering a variety of programs centered on education, social issues, and the arts. It was originally established in the ‘70s.
It’s particularly well-known for its stunning contemporary architecture that’s been featured in several hit movies over the years.
The facility’s expansive grounds include gardens, a performing arts center, and an outdoor recreation course.
5. Simi Hills Golf Course
For golf aficionados and lovers of the great outdoors, hitting the links is a great way to enjoy the Southern California weather, which is darn near perfect for much of the year.
Simi Hills Golf Course is located on Alamo Street in Simi Valley. It features well-manicured fairways, undulating greens, and some sand and water hazards to make things interesting for experienced players.
Frequently ranked as one of So Cal’s best golf values, it was even rated by Golf Digest as one of the country’s premier public courses.
Trained instructors offer lessons for players of all ages and skills.
6. Dr. Conkey’s Candy and Coffee Co.
For harried travelers in need of quick shots of sugar and caffeine to get them through their hectic days, Dr. Conkey’s Candy and Coffee Co. is a local eatery worth checking out.
It’s been an institution for more than three decades, and it’s run by the same family that founded it in Simi Valley all the way back in 1983.
Now, it’s equal parts espresso bar and candy shop. They also sell unique trinkets and keepsakes that you won’t find at big-chain retailers.
Nearly all of what you’ll enjoy at Dr. Conkey’s was made fresh on-site. That goes for everything from their vast selection of gourmet coffees to homemade fudge and delectable chocolates.
7. The Santa Susana Depot Museum
Though they still play key roles in the state’s economy, most aficionados agree that the golden age of California railroads lasted from the end of the 19th to the middle of the 20th centuries.
The Santa Susana Depot Museum is located on Katherine Road in Simi Valley. It is housed in a restored train depot that looks much the way it did back in the ’50s.
In addition to an impressive collection of railroad-related memorabilia, the depot features a number of miniature working trains that give guests of all ages a glimpse at how the real railroad operated in the past.
8. Corriganville Park
Though it’s officially called Corriganville Park, most area residents still prefer to use the moniker Corriganville Movie Ranch, which was its original name.
The second option definitely has more of a romantic ring to it; it was named after the famous Hollywood stunt man who once owned it.
Though it was a working movie studio for years, these days, it’s a popular attraction for history-loving movie buffs and those looking to stretch their legs and delve into the area’s showbiz past.
The park is located on Smith Road in Simi Valley. It includes remnants of old movie sets, an interpretive trail, and natural features like lakes and caves.
9. The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum
Regardless of their political leanings, previous guests who’ve visited the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum tend to agree that it was one of the highlights of their trip to Simi Valley.
The facility is dedicated to the life and political career of the country’s 40th President. It’s also the final resting place for Ronald Reagan and his beloved wife, Nancy.
The museum and library are located on Presidential Way. They are spread over more than 200,000 square feet of space and feature a mind-boggling array of exhibits touching on the President’s early life, acting career, and rise to political stardom.
10. Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center
Photo by Jon Neftali Photography
Over the years, the structure that now houses the Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center has played several roles in the community.
In the ‘20s, it was an Episcopal Church. Though it has undergone many renovations and upgrades since then, it still retains much of its original charm and architecture that make it truly unique.
Since the mid-‘90s, the center has hosted a variety of annual events and live performances that run the gamut from rock and jazz concerts to arts and crafts fairs and dramatic theater.
It’s located on East Los Angeles Boulevard within Simi Valley city limits.
11. The Arroyo Simi Bike Path
Though it’s the historic and movie-related attractions that tend to steal the spotlight in Southern California, many fit travelers choose to spend significant amounts of their vacation time enjoying the state’s abundant natural attractions and outdoor activity options.
Arroyo Simi Bike Path is located along the city’s multi-use greenway. It’s a popular escape destination for runners, bikers, and horseback riders.
Many of the paths have recently been paved. Multiple access points are open year-round, making it easy to jump on and off at different locations when the spirit moves you.
12. Greek House Café
Friendly service, ample portion sizes, a comfortable, family-friendly atmosphere, and great overall value keep loyal eaters returning to the Greek House Café time and time again.
As you might expect, the restaurant has been known to draw crowds during peak dining times. Its perennial menu favorites include traditional Greek salads, baklava, kebabs, and out-of-this-world gyros.
Centrally located on Sycamore Drive in Simi Valley, they serve hearty breakfasts like loaded burritos and omelets.
They also have light and veggie-only options that are popular with health-conscious folks with diet restrictions or aversions to meat.
13. Rocky Peak Hiking Trail
At nearly 2,800 feet, Rocky Peak is one of Simi Valley’s most noticeable natural features.
Rocky Peak Hiking Trail is located inside the Santa Susana Mountains. The state park in which it resides is comprised of nearly 5,000 acres of undisturbed natural environments.
It’s easiest to access the trailhead from Rocky Peak Road. Throughout the nearly five-mile trail, hikers will have access to a number of vista points that afford panoramic views of both the city and mountains.
The trail is probably best left to relatively fit hikers due to significant changes in elevation and some pretty rocky and treacherous terrain.
14. Gardens of the World
Located about 20 kilometers south of Simi Valley in Thousand Oaks, Gardens of the World is an idyllic attraction that’s well worth the drive for lovers of plants, flowers, and all-around natural beauty.
The facility’s distinct gardens are spread over nearly five acres that were originally gifted to the city by a successful local couple who wanted the attraction preserved indefinitely.
The gardens feature flora from all over the world, and each distinct cultivated area has its own theme.
Each section is connected by well-marked paths that include quiet seating areas and signs describing the species you’re seeing. There’s usually something in bloom regardless of the season.
15. Six Flags Magic Mountain
Though it’s technically located in Valencia, about 45 kilometers northeast of Simi Valley, Six Flags Magic Mountain is another of California’s most iconic attractions that shouldn’t be passed up by families traveling with kids.
There’s so much to see and do on-site that it’s the kind of place that could easily occupy a full day or more.
In addition to exhilarating amusement park rides like roller coasters and tilt-a-whirls, the park also features live entertainment venues, lots of dining options, and tons of characters from Disney movies that love interacting with children.
The trip from Simi Valley usually takes less than an hour, depending on traffic.