Quick Stops and Curiosities: Ventura, Camarillo & Thousand Oaks

Plaza Park
Downtown Ventura
This is another pleasant, spacious city park, situated on East Thompson Boulevard between South Chestnut and South Fir streets in downtown Ventura. And guess what — it also has its very own Moreton Bay fig tree, just handing out the shade for free over in the northwest corner. Thompson Avenue is old U.S. 101, too, so you’re on good ground here.

plaza park

Dizdar Park
2400 Ventura Boulevard, Camarillo
This relatively tiny, unobtrusive public park, scarcely a half block in size, is right behind the Camarillo Chamber of Commerce. It does feature a small playground in which you can let the kids (human or fur) burn off some energy. If the park strikes you as utterly uninteresting, though, you can always step around the corner and give a respectful nod the statue of Adolfo Camarillo on his steed, right next to the Chamber building. If Adolfo doesn’t move you, you can saunter a scant 500 feet eastward down Ventura Boulevard and admire the stunning architecture of the Saint Mary Magdalen Chapel. And if that doesn’t do it for you, well, there’s a bunch of restaurants nearby.

dizdar park

Conejo Valley Botanic Garden
400 W. Gainsborough Road, Thousand Oaks
And you thought there was nothing more to Thousand Oaks other than suburban development and urban retail sprawl — wrong! There’s a whole world of cool scenes in the Conejo Valley, and the Botanic Garden is one of them. With fine views of the valley and a wealth of utterly fascinating native vegetation, the garden is open daily from sunrise to sunset. Located across from Tarantula Hill, the highest point in Thousand Oaks, it includes a Kid’s Adventure Garden and extensive educational resources. Better yet, admission is free. The Conejo Valley Botanic Garden is just off the 101 by way of Lynn Road. For more information, visit conejogarden.org, or call (805) 494-7630.

conejo valley botanic garden