The 5 Best Spots To Hit Up in the Conejo Valley
Quietly tucked away about an hour north of Los Angeles is the small suburb of Newbury Park in the Conejo Valley. I’ve lived in New York for over a year now and whenever I come home, the adjustment from a bustling city where you can order in everything like coffee and dish soap to a town that closes by 10:00pm is a rough one. But after a while, it becomes addicting. The birds chirping me awake in the morning? The unlimited free, spacious, non-metered street parking? People smiling, waving and asking how you are, then sticking around to hear your answer? Yearround 70-degree weather? (Well, that is nice, but a little rain wouldn't hurt.)
Here are some other things to take advantage of when you make the drive up to my hometown.
Satwiwa. This is a beautiful former Chumash village that I first visited in fourth grade on a field trip. I took for granted that it has great hiking trails on the Santa Monica Mountains and on clear days, a view of Catalina Island. But now that I'm an adult and can appreciate nature and crap, I make it a point to get outside. If I'm feeling extra energetic, I'll pack a picnic and hike down Sycamore Canyon to Point Mugu in Malibu or go horseback riding at Circle K Ranch.
Gardens of the World. A curated garden that gives a nice sampling of, well, gardens around the world. There’s French, Italian, Japanese and English gardens to enjoy year round.
The library. Look, I love books and I love free things. But more than that, I love going into my local library and not waiting for a desk to work at or, like, six months to borrow a book. I can literally walk in and grab it off the shelf and read it the very same day! For free!
Home. There’s nothing like a home cooked meal, hot herbal tea, the family dog, and hummingbirds that once nested in their tiny shells outside the door growing into teenagers. Sitting outside in the sun to read while the windchimes ring and being surrounded by squirrels, bluejays, lizards, bumble bees, doves and the local parrots really does something for the soul.
In N Out. Sure, New York has Shake Shack, but nothing compares to this California classic. Animal style or not, it's pretty much required right after you land at the airport as the unofficial welcome-home meal.