West Hills is a community of about 42,000 people situated in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles County.
The neighborhood is known for having many parks and green spaces and for being in a great location; it’s only half an hour from downtown Los Angeles.
In West Hills, there are many historic landmarks, restaurants, and shopping areas, such as Fallbrook Center, West Hills Shopping Center, Westfield Topanga & The Village, and Platt Village.
Below are 15 of the best things to do in and around West Hills, California.
1. Get to Know West Hills with an Outing to Knapp Ranch Park
Knapp Ranch Park is a community park divided into two sections and has many facilities and opportunities for outdoor activities.
The section near Kittridge Avenue features a softball diamond, basketball and tennis courts, a playground, and picnic areas.
The other section near Twisted Oak Drive features walking trails and picnic areas surrounded by spectacular views.
2. Visit the Chumash Indian Museum
The Chumash Indian Museum is an indigenous interpretive centre situated in nearby Thousand Oaks.
The museum, which is on the grounds of a former Chumash village, displays items related to the history of the Chumash people, including artefacts such as tools and woven bowls.
Outside the museum are replicas of traditional houses, a nature preserve with a series of hiking trails, several ethnobotany gardens, and two rock shelters with ancient pictographs.
3. Grab a Healthy Meal at Jinky’s Cafe
Jinky’s Cafe has had a presence in West Hills for quite a few years. This popular eatery is one of the best places around for delicious, healthy food and drink options.
While it’s mostly known for its chilli, available in more than 20 different flavours, Jinky’s serves a wide array of items for breakfast and lunch.
Pancakes, omelettes, burgers, sandwiches, salads, and pasta dishes are just some of the items you’ll find on the menu. Gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian options are also available.
You can choose from many flavours of smoothies and fresh juices, and there’s also a coffee bar on-site.
4. Explore The Gardens of the World
The Gardens of the World in nearby Thousand Oaks is one big botanical garden with several smaller gardens within it.
This beautiful garden features a variety of demonstration gardens, including a French garden with a large waterfall, an English rose garden, a Japanese garden with a koi pond, and an Italian grapevine garden.
A walking trail connects all the different areas of the garden.
5. Admire the City’s Historical Buildings
West Hills may be a small area but there are quite a few historical buildings that are worth checking out.
Orcutt Ranch Estate was built in 1920 and was once the home of a Union Oil Company executive named William Orcutt. The property is also home to beautiful gardens and citrus orchards.
The Francis Lederer Estate is the former home of film star Francis Lederer. Today it’s a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument.
The Francis Lederer Residence is another former property of Francis Lederer and is a stunning example of a structure built with several architectural styles, including Mediterranean, Spanish Colonial and Mission Revival.
The Leonis Adobe is thought to be the oldest remaining building in the region. Constructed in 1844, it was once the home of a prominent rancher named Miguel Leonis. Today, this site is also a living museum and you can tour the house, barn and blacksmith shop.
6. Get Outdoors at Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park
Situated at the point where the Santa Susana Mountains join the Simi Hills, Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park is a beautiful wilderness area. It features deep canyons, steep ridges, and an abundance of flora and fauna.
A series of walking trails in this park each lead to an overlook where you can enjoy stunning views of the area.
As you explore the park, you’ll possibly spot some of the wild animals that live in the area, including coyotes, deer, and foxes.
7. Grandma Prisbrey’s Bottle Village
Situated about 25 minutes from West Hills, near Simi Valley, is a peculiar attraction that has become a California Historical Landmark. Known as Grandma Prisbrey’s Bottle Village, the site is a stunning work of art.
The village was made by Tressa Prisbrey between the 1950s and 1970s. It’s made entirely from recycled items from a nearby landfill.
As you explore the site via the walkways, you’ll see shrines, buildings, and sculptures. Tours are available.
8. Enjoy Live Entertainment at The Conejo Players Theatre
The Conejo Players Theater, situated in nearby Thousand Oaks, has been entertaining audiences with world-class live shows since the late 1950s.
It’s one of the oldest playhouses in the state and each season hosts a wide variety of performances, including plays, musicals, and stand-up comedy acts. Many renowned actors have performed here, including Kurt Russell and Amanda Bynes.
9. Visit the Skateboarding Hall of Fame and Museum
Skateboarding is a popular sport in California and even if you’ve never ridden a board, the Skateboarding Hall of Fall and Museum is a fascinating place to visit.
Since 2009, the museum in nearby Simi Valley has been dedicated to showcasing the history and culture of skateboarding. It also honors the contributions of the key players who made the sport what it is today.
Inside the museum are exhibits displaying artefacts, memorabilia, and photographs related to skateboarding through the years.
10. Admire Beautiful Art at the Conejo Valley Art Museum
The Conejo Valley Art Museum is a leading fine art museum in nearby Thousand Oaks. Since the late 1970s, the museum has showcased up to seven different exhibits throughout the year.
Much of the artworks are modern and are created by artists from all over the world, including well-known artists such as David Rose and Elizabeth Williams.
The Thousand Oaks Artwalk is a popular event that takes place every year and features outdoor art displays and concerts.
11. Explore Calabasas Creek Park
Calabasas Creek Park is a beautiful park that offers the best of both worlds. Visitors of all ages can enjoy a range of attractions while getting fresh air and learning about local history.
Situated in the downtown area of nearby Calabasas, this long-standing park features exhibits detailing what life was like in the late 1800s.
A replica of the original park, antique furnishings, and the Calabasas Jail, are some of the historic elements you’ll see as you explore the park.
Also on-site is a realistic restoration of an ancient Chumash village where you can learn all about these native people, their culture, and how they lived before the arrival of Europeans.
12. Taste Local Wine at Alma Sol Winery
Alma Sol Winery is a family-run winery situated in nearby Thousand Oaks. Since 2011, the winery has been crafting outstanding Bordeaux single varietals and other blends.
All grapes used in the creation of their wines are hand-picked and artisanal winemaking techniques are at the forefront of their business practices.
Some of the wines that are made include Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Tempranillo. These and other creations can be sampled at the on-site Sunland Vintage Winery Tasting Rooms.
13. Get a History Lesson at the Santa Susana Depot Museum and Model Railroad
The Santa Susana Depot Museum and Model Railroad in nearby Simi Valley is an interesting place to visit for all ages. This depot represents an old Southern Pacific depot and is now a beautifully-refurbished historic site and museum.
Exhibits include a replica of the Southern Pacific Railroad Depot and a model of the city of Simi Valley. Other items on display include various artefacts such as tools, equipment, and memorabilia related to the railroad.
14. Spend a Day in Nature at Malibu Creek State Park
In 1974, Malibu Creek State Park was created to preserve the Malibu Creek Canyon.
This beautiful park in the Santa Monica Mountains features more than 8,000 acres of green space where you can participate in a wide range of outdoor activities.
Hiking, mountain biking, fishing, horseback riding, picnicking, rock climbing, and nature viewing are among the popular activities in the park.
As you explore the park, you’ll see three natural preserves and the remains of former Chumash Indian homesteads.
15. Take a Tour of the Strathearn Historical Park & Museum
Situated in nearby Simi Valley, the Strathearn Historical Park & Museum takes you on a trip into the past.
After you finish browsing the visitor centre, you have two choices when it comes to how you’ll explore the park. The first option is to tour it on your own. The second option is to tour it with a guide.
The outside grounds are where you’ll find many well-preserved buildings, including the Simi Library, the Strathearn Windmill, the Wood Ranch Barns, and the Currier Apricot Pitting Shed.
You can visit each of these buildings but only visitors who embark on a guided tour can explore the inside of these buildings.