Boasting a year-round temperate climate moderated by the nearby coastal waters, Santa Paula is located less than an hour from Santa Barbara, Santa Clarita, and Los Angeles. Top attractions include the California Oil Museum, the Santa Paula Theater Center, the Floating Granite Ball, and the Aviation Museum of Santa Paula, along with recreational pursuits such as a round of golf at the Mountain View Golf Course or a visit to Faulkner Farm.
1.California Oil Museum
© California Oil Museum
The California Oil Museum is dedicated to showcasing the history of oil in California and the impact it had on generations of Californians. Based in the Santa Paula Hardware Company Building, otherwise known as the Union Oil Company Building, the birthplace of the Union Oil Company in 1890, the California Oil Museum highlights the inner workings of California’s black gold industry through a variety of photographs, working models, interactive displays, gas station artifacts, videos, and an authentic cable-tool drilling rig from the turn-of-the-century. Visitors can enjoy docent-led tours of the upper level of the museum, which features restored offices from the 1890s when the Union Oil Company was at its zenith, learn how the Native Americans used natural oil seeps, watch a miniature drilling rig bore into the earth, and take a step back in time and explore the memorable brands of gas bought by early California car drivers. The museum is home to the open-air Lundgren Courtyard, which is a perfect spot for picnics.
1001 E Main St, Santa Paula, CA 93060, Phone: 805-933-0076
2.Santa Paula Art Museum
© Santa Paula Art Museum
The Santa Paula Art Museum is dedicated to collecting, preserving and exhibiting Santa Paula’s artistic heritage and to educate and engage the community about the importance of art. The museum features the famous Santa Paula Civic Art Collection which is spread across two distinctive spaces – the Jeanette Cole Art Center and the Cole Creativity Center. The Jeanette Cole Art Center is located in the beautifully restored 1924 Limoneira Building in historic downtown Santa Paula and the institution’s primary exhibition space. The space plays host to a variety of rotating exhibitions of contemporary and vintage art, cultural events, and a gift shop, while the newly renovated Cole Creativity Center, which is located next door, provides a space to inspire artists to create and innovate. The Cole Creativity Center also offers a variety of creative educational programming for children, teens, and adults.
117 N 10th St, Santa Paula, CA 93060, Phone: 805-525-5554
3.Museum of Ventura County - Agriculture Museum
© Museum of Ventura County - Agriculture Museum
The Museum of Ventura County - Agriculture Museum showcases the history of agriculture in Ventura County. Located next to the Southern Pacific Railroad station in downtown Santa Paula, the museum is based in the historic Mill building, which was built as an agricultural warehouse in 1888, and features a remarkable collection of over 1,000 unique artifacts, including vintage farm equipment and tools, plows, bean threshers, blacksmith anvils, tractors, hand-operated nut hullers, and orchard wind machines. The museum also owns an impressive collection of photographs, periodicals, clothing, and considered to be one of the most extensive assemblages in the state. Other museum attractions include vintage tractors and a working beehive.
926 Railroad Ave, Santa Paula, CA 93060, Phone: 805-525-3100
4.Santa Paula Theater Center
© Santa Paula Theater Center
The Santa Paula Theater Center is a community theater in downtown Santa Paula that produces and presents exceptional theater presentations to the tri-counties. Based in the Ebell Club of Santa Paula, a mansion built in 1917 as a women's club with the aim of the advancement of culture, the theater center has been first class local theater experiences to the community since 1985. The Santa Paula Theater Center presents a Main Stage five-show season and a Back Stage at SPTC Alternative four-show season of period dramas, comedies, mysteries, and newly released small theater productions. The center also presents a four-performance concert series, acting training, and a variety of educational programs, workshops, and acting classes for youth and adults.
125 S 7th St, Santa Paula, CA 93060, Phone: 805-525-4645
5.Floating Granite Ball
The Floating Granite Ball, also referred to as the ‘Kugel Ball’ is an interactive kinetic ball fountain measuring four feet in diameter and weighing 8,800 pounds. The sculpture features a sphere resting within a spherical pocket on a pedestal that is supported by a thin film of water. The water flowing between the pocket and the sphere creates a near frictionless mechanical fluid bearing and can be moved by the touch of a hand. Being denser than water, the sphere does not float, but efficient bearing allows it to be spun by contact and the hydraulics of the fountain can be controlled so that it rotates continually on different axes.
Santa Barbara Street, Railroad Community Park, Santa Paula, CA 93060
6.Aviation Museum of Santa Paula
© Aviation Museum of Santa Paula
The Aviation Museum of Santa Paula is focused on the history of aviation in Santa Paula and Ventura County and highlights the Golden Age of Aviation. Located at the historic non-towered Santa Paula Airport, the museum boasts a variety of exhibits and displays relating to aviation history, aviation pioneers, and pilots with the aim of educating and inspiring the public to take an interest in aviation. The museum is open on the first Sunday of every month, and visitors can explore the Chain of Hangars, which is comprised of privately owned hangars with exhibits that tell the history of the founding of Santa Paula Airport in 1930 and a variety of antique aircraft, memorabilia, and vehicles. The Aviation Museum of Santa Paula is open the first Sunday of each month, from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm.
800 E Santa Maria St, Santa Paula, CA 93060, Phone: 805-525-1109
7.Santa Paula Canyon Falls / Punch Bowls
Santa Paula Canyon Falls and Punch Bowls is a six-mile out-and-back trail in the Los Padres National Forest that is rated as moderate and features a beautiful waterfall. The Santa Paula Canyon Trail begins in the hills behind Thomas Aquinas College and leads to the Punch Bowls and is a reasonably challenging hike with interesting features, with many steep drop-offs and high cliffs. The trail passes Big Cone Camp after 3.4 miles, which has shady campsites and plenty of water, and another mile further, Cross Camp with secluded, neatly arranged campsites overlooking Santa Paula Creek.
Santa Paula, CA 93060
8.Mountain View Golf Course
© Mountain View Golf Course
Nestled between the majestic Santa Paula and Topa Topa Mountains and the rugged cliffs of the South Mountain range, the Mountain View Golf Course is a scenic and challenging 18-hole par 70 golf course that offers an interesting game for all levels of player. Founded in 1968, the course is nestled midway between Ojai and Ventura, and far from the hustle and bustle of the city with picture-postcard landscapes and spectacular views. The clubhouse has a full-service bar that serves an extensive list of libations and serves a menu of casual cuisine such as cheeseburgers and homemade tacos, and barbecue which is served at tournaments and special events.
16799 S Mountain Rd, Santa Paula, CA 93060, Phone: 805-525-1571
9.George Washington Faulkner House
The George Washington Faulkner House, also known as Faulkner House and as Faulkner Farm is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as being an outstanding example of Queen Anne architecture. The historically significant Queen Anne style house was designed and built by Franklin P. Ward and Herman Anlauf in 1894 and is set on a 27.2-acre property that also features an 1886 barn and an outhouse.
287 S Briggs Rd, Santa Paula, CA 93060, Phone: 805-525-9293
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10.Limoneira Pumpkin Patch Ranch
© Limoneira Pumpkin Patch Ranch
The Limoneira Pumpkin Patch Ranch offers a wealth of fun for the whole family. Previously based at the Faulkner Farm, the Limoneira Pumpkin Patch was relocated to the Limoneira Olivelands Ranch and now boasts rolling green vistas framed by majestic mountains and a new five-acre CornMaize. Visitors to the Limoneira Pumpkin Patch Ranch can experience a hay maze, a hay pyramid, old-fashioned hay wagon through the groves, a petting zoo, and flying pumpkins from a recreated French Trebuchet (aka Pumpkin thrower). Other attractions at the ranch include a range of arts and crafts, delicious homemade food, and live entertainment.
12471 Foothill Rd, Santa Paula, CA 93060, Phone: 888-522-1884
11.The Loose Caboose Garden Center & Gift Emporium
© The Loose Caboose Garden Center & Gift Emporium
The Loose Caboose Garden Center & Gift Emporium is a family-friendly center that sells a variety of plants and garden-related items, fresh produce, eight flavors of local honey, and a selection of dried fruit, nuts, and jerky. The garden center features several ponds stocked with different sizes of koi, and a well-constructed aviary is home to a range of bird species. The gift shop sells unique garden art, plants, fountains and water features, handmade pottery, handmade ponds and koi, railroad memorabilia, antiques, Christmas decorations, and exclusive and unique gifts and souvenirs.
18492 E Telegraph Rd, Santa Paula, CA 93060, Phone: 805-525-8936
Located in the historic Glen Tavern Inn which dates back to 1911, Enzo's is a family-owned and operated restaurant that serves traditional Italian cuisine, fine wines, and handcrafted cocktails in an elegant, relaxed setting. Chef Alberto creates a menu of fine Italian cuisine, including appetizers, antipasto of charcuterie and cheeses, homemade soups and fresh salads, entrées of meat, chicken, and fresh seafood, and decadent desserts. The cuisine is accompanied by a selection of fine wines from Italy, craft and imported beers, and signature cocktails, and freshly brewed coffee and espressos. Enzo's is open for dinner, Tuesday through Sunday.
134 N Mill St, Santa Paula, CA 93060, Phone: 805-933-3444
13.Flight 126 Cafe
© Flight 126 Café
Located at the Santa Paula Airport, the Flight 126 Café is a family-friendly café that serves a hearty menu of all-American cuisine for breakfast, and lunch. The extensive menu features the regular breakfast dishes such as omelets, eggs, hash browns, sausages and gravy, pancakes and waffles, while lunch selections include gourmet sandwiches, fresh salads, homemade soups, burgers and fries, chicken and meat entrées, and sweet desserts. Beverages include fountain and soft drinks craft beers and casual wines, and the restaurant has comfortable indoor seating and charming outdoor patio seating overlooking the Santa Paula Airport runway.
824 E Santa Maria St, Santa Paula, CA 93060, Phone: 805-525-7200
© Monart Design/stock.adobe.com
Tlaquepaque is an authentic Mexican restaurant in Santa Paula that serves a variety of traditional Mexican and Latin cuisine in a warm and welcoming atmosphere. The family-owned and operated restaurant is owned by Irma and Victor Magaña who began serving their delicious homemade fare to the community in 1994. The menu features favorites such as chilaquiles, breakfast burritos, tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas, soups, insalata, and tostadas. Unique dishes include Tostada de Ceviche, Taco, Tamal & Enchilada, Fajitas de Camarones, and Carne Adobada and beverages include cerveza, imported beers, micheladas, white and red house wines, and house-made margaritas.
120 S Mill St, Santa Paula, CA 93060, Phone: 805-933-5535
14 Best Things to Do in Santa Paula, California
- California Oil Museum, Photo: California Oil Museum
- Santa Paula Art Museum, Photo: Santa Paula Art Museum
- Museum of Ventura County - Agriculture Museum, Photo: Museum of Ventura County - Agriculture Museum
- Santa Paula Theater Center, Photo: Santa Paula Theater Center
- Floating Granite Ball, Photo: melnikkrg/stock.adobe.com
- Aviation Museum of Santa Paula, Photo: Aviation Museum of Santa Paula
- Santa Paula Canyon Falls / Punch Bowls, Photo: Brilt/stock.adobe.com
- Mountain View Golf Course, Photo: Mountain View Golf Course
- George Washington Faulkner House, Photo: 8meg/stock.adobe.com
- Limoneira Pumpkin Patch Ranch, Photo: Limoneira Pumpkin Patch Ranch
- The Loose Caboose Garden Center & Gift Emporium, Photo: The Loose Caboose Garden Center & Gift Emporium
- Enzo's, Photo: Enzo's
- Flight 126 Cafe, Photo: Flight 126 Café
- Tlaquepaque, Photo: Monart Design/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: spiritofamerica/stock.adobe.com