Woodland Hills is a small, upscale city of about 64,000 people situated in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles County.
The city is actually a suburb of Los Angeles, so the major attractions of the area are easily accessible. The cities of Calabasas, Tarzana, and Topanga are also nearby, and the beautiful beaches of Malibu are only a short drive away.
Woodland Hills is known for its many parks and green spaces and an abundance of outdoor activities, including hiking and biking. It’s also known for its posh boutique shops and shopping areas, such as Westfield Topanga & The Village and El Camino Shopping Center.
There is an excellent selection of restaurants, cafes and bars in Woodland Hills, and many of them can be found on the lively Ventura Boulevard.
A variety of festivals and events take place in Woodland Hills throughout the year, including the CAIS Honors Music Festival and the Gavito Tango Festival.
Below are 15 of the best things to do in and around Woodland Hills, California.
1. Spend a Day in Nature at Malibu Creek State Park
The main purpose of the Malibu State Creek Park is the preservation of the Malibu Creek Canyon. However, it also serves as a getaway for visitors who wish to escape their urban surroundings and spend a day surrounded by nature and spectacular scenery.
Situated in the Santa Monica Mountains, the 8,215 acres of pristine green space is home to three preserves. There’s also an opportunity to learn about the area’s history and see the remnants of old homesteads.
Some of the popular outdoor activities in the park include hiking, fishing, biking, horseback riding, rock climbing, and nature viewing. Picnic areas are also on site.
2. Witness Life-like Dinosaurs at Kokoro Exhibits
Kokoro exhibits is one of the most fascinating and interactive attractions in the Woodland Hills area. The facility takes pride in creating realistic animatronic dinosaurs for visitors of all ages to watch and interact with.
These dinosaurs look, move and sound like the real thing. For added effect, they are housed in an area that is a recreation of their natural habitat. Even the skin, fur, and body movements are made to look like the real thing.
Animatronic displays of insects and ice age mammals are also available. Some of the other on-site attractions include remote-controlled dinosaurs and sculptures that you can ride.
3. Enjoy a Show at the Conejo Players Theater
Since 1958, the Conejo Players Theater has been providing world-class entertainment. As one of the oldest theatres in the region, it has a long list of memorable shows to its credit.
Some of these shows have included performances from famous actors such as Kurt Russell and Amanda Bynes. This 185-seat theatre hosts a wide variety of performances throughout the year, including musicals, plays, and comedy shows.
4. Enjoy a Delicious Comfort Meal at The Local Peasant
The Local Peasant in Woodland Hills is the perfect spot to grab a delicious meal in a comfortable, friendly environment.
On the menu, you’ll find a wide variety of generous, expertly-prepared dishes made with locally-sourced ingredients. Appetizers, burgers, salads, pizzas and main courses, such as the Grilled Cheese and tomato bisque and Portobello Sandwich, are just some of the items available.
There are also more than 20 tap beers available, including locally-sourced options. The wine is locally-sourced as well, and the skilled bartenders make handcrafted cocktails.
5. Admire Fine Art at the Conejo Valley Art Museum
The long-established Conejo Valley Art Museum is a leading museum showcasing fine arts in the Thousand Oaks area.
Every year, around seven exhibitions are featured at the museum. These exhibitions include both modern and traditional pieces. In the past, they have featured well-known artists such as Elizabeth Williams and Howard Brodie.
The museum also holds popular events throughout the year, such as the Thousand Oaks ArtWalk.
6. Learn About Indigenous History at the Chumash Indian Museum
Before the arrival of Europeans, the Thousand Oaks area was home to the Chumash people. In fact, the Chumash Indian Museum is situated on the site of the former Sap’wi Village. The goal of this indigenous interpretive centre is to preserve the culture and history of the people.
The interior part of the centre features 5,400 square feet of exhibits showcasing a wide variety of artefacts, including woven bowls and a tomol canoe.
The exterior part of the museum features replica ‘ap houses and a malamtepupi playing field. There’s also a large nature preserve with hiking trails and four gardens. Guided tours are available. During one of these tours, you’ll see old photographs within rock shelters.
7. Spend a Day Golfing at Los Robles Greens Golf Course
Los Robles Greens Golf Course is a scenic, well-maintained course in Thousand Oaks that is open to the public and suitable for golfers of all levels.
This 18-hole, par-70 championship golf course has all the facilities one would expect from an elite country club, including a driving range, chipping area, practise green, and golf pro shop.
The Oaks Bar and Grille is where golfers can enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner. American cuisine is served, and the full-service bar features draft beers, wines, and cocktails.
8. Escape Into Nature at Wildwood Regional Park
With 1,765 acres dedicated to outdoor recreation and another 1,400 acres of open green space, visitors to Wildwood Regional Park in Thousand Oaks can escape into a natural world where it feels like you’re miles away from any urban centres.
This vast park features about 27 miles of hiking trails, including the Mesa Trail, Santa Rosa Trail, Wildwood Canyon Trail, and Moonridge Trail. Also on site are the stunning Paradise Falls, Arroyo Conejo Creek, Indian Cave, and the Nature Center, where you can learn more about the park and surrounding area.
Some of the outdoor activities you can participate in include biking, horseback riding, camping, and wildlife viewing. At various times, rangers are available to take visitors on interpretative tours.
9. Indulge with Some Retail Therapy at The Commons at Calabasas
Whether you wish to shop at elite boutiques, chow down on quality food, watch for celebrity sightings, or simply admire the architecture of this stunning structure, The Commons at Calabasas has something for everyone.
This elegant shopping and entertainment destination features high-end shops, such as Sephora and Williams and Sonoma, and a wide variety of eateries.
10. Explore the Beautiful Conejo Valley Botanic Garden
Since 1976, the Conejo Valley Botanic Garden in Thousand Oaks has been charming visitors with its beautiful gardens and stunning natural features. This 33-acre site is situated at the highest point of the city, so the views are as beautiful as the gardens.
There are 15 well-maintained gardens, including a native plant garden, a butterfly garden, and a Mediterranean garden. Also on site are a bird habitat, rare fruit orchard, oak tree grove, and children’s adventure garden.
The Trail of Trees features more than 50 species of trees, and the nature trail takes you along a creek bed to a canyon.
11. Sample Local Wine at the Alma Sol Winery
Alma Sol Winery in nearby Thousand Oaks is a family-owned winery that has been producing and serving high-quality wines since 2011.
Grapes used to make the wines are hand-picked locally, and artisanal methods are used. Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Tempranillo are some of the variants produced at this winery; they can be sampled at the Sunland Vintage Winery tasting room.
12. Visit the Malibu Hindu Temple
The Malibu Hindu Temple in Calabasas is a beautiful temple devoted to the Hindu God Venkateswara. Visitors from all over the country come to the temple, which is one of the biggest in the region, to explore the grounds, admire the stunning architecture, and meditate in the designated spaces.
A beautiful green space is also on-site; this is where you can relax in the fresh air or have a picnic. Throughout the year, a number of public events are held at the temple, including cultural celebrations and ceremonies.
13. Get a History Lesson at the Museum of the San Fernando Valley
The San Fernando Valley has a long and interesting history, and the Museum of the San Fernando Valley is where you can learn all there is to know about the history and culture of the area.
Visitors acquire this information through the many exhibits and a variety of ongoing programs that include historic walking tours and a speaker series.
The museum’s main goal is to obtain, preserve and share artefacts related to the region’s history. Some of the on-site exhibits include WWII history, Aviation in the San Fernando Valley, and Powerhouse Women of the San Fernando Valley. A bookstore is also on site.
14 Take a Trip Back in Time at the Leonis Adobe Museum
If you’re interested in knowing what life was like in the San Fernando Valley in the 1800s, the Leonis Adobe Museum is where you can be transported to the past and experience the California rancher life.
This living museum features one of the oldest buildings in the region, which was constructed in 1844 for local rancher Miguel Leonis.
Guided tours of the barn and blacksmith shop are available, and kids enjoy meeting and interacting with the farm animals that live on site.
15. Explore the King Gillette Ranch
Once the private estate of razor baron King C. Gillette, today, the King Gillette Ranch is open to the public, and visitors are welcome to wander around the grounds and learn about the history of the property.
As you explore the area, you’ll see a well-preserved Chumash settlement and participate in a wide range of outdoor activities, including hiking, cycling, and picnicking.