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Conejo Valley: Uncovering Another Dimension Of Southern California

Image Source: Ansel B / Shutterstock

It’s distinct. It’s surprising. It’s the Conejo Valley.

Officially pronounced “koh-neh-ho” and originating from the Spanish word for “rabbit,” this area in Southern California can be found along the familiar route of U.S. 101 between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, yet it stands on its own.

Unlike the hustle and bustle of L.A. or the elegance of Santa Barbara, the Conejo Valley, encompassing Thousand Oaks and Agoura Hills, reflects a modern interpretation of suburban life from simpler times.

Nestled among hills and surrounded by trees, the Hyatt Regency Westlake provides a comfortable and welcoming base for visitors. The hotel’s calming atmosphere is complemented by a striking blue sculpture in the lobby, refreshing fruit-infused water, and a helpful front desk staff.

My exploration of the region began at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, perched on a hill in Simi Valley. The library, the largest of its kind in the U.S., houses a wealth of historical artifacts including a replica of the Oval Office and the iconic Boeing 707 used as Air Force One by multiple U.S. Presidents.

Thousand Oaks, deriving its name from the abundance of oak trees, takes pride in preserving its natural allure, with over a third of its land dedicated to open spaces. The area boasts 150 miles of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding.

The Lakes at Thousand Oaks, a hub for dining and shopping, offers a leisurely experience with picturesque ponds and a serene ambiance. For nature lovers, the Conejo Valley Botanic Garden’s diverse collections like the Butterfly Garden and Rare Fruit Orchard are a must-visit.

Agoura Hills, a laid-back neighbor to Thousand Oaks, features the quirky Whizin Market Square, home to boutique shops and The Canyon entertainment venue. The area also boasts a thriving craft beer scene and an array of dining options like Decker Kitchen and Cork Dork.

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The Conejo Valley hosts various annual events, such as the Swedish American Central Association’s Midsummer Festival and the Thousand Oaks Pop-Up Arts & Music Festival, offering a vibrant cultural experience for locals and visitors alike.

Conejo Valley, often described as the starting point of the Central Coast, is a region waiting to be explored.

Image Source: Ansel B / Shutterstock

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