During your trip to Simi Valley you will get an opportunity to explore the incomparable charm of one of Southern California’s most breathtaking regions. The family-friendly area is filled with a number of things to experience, whether you’re in the mood for sightseeing, shopping, or spending a day at a museum.
1.Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum
© Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum
The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum is dedicated to the life and works of the 40th President of the United States, Ronald Wilson Reagan, and his wife, former First Lady Nancy Reagan. The library and museum also house the gravesites of the Reagans. Visitors are able to explore the 243,000 square foot facility and its many exhibits which cover President Reagan’s life. Exhibits focus on his childhood, film career, political career, military service, and marriage. Other aspects you’ll be able to see include a 1965 Ford Mustang which President Reagan used during his first gubernatorial campaign and the suit he wore during his inauguration.
40 Presidential Dr, Simi Valley, CA 93065
2.Strathearn Historical Park & Museum
© Strathearn Historical Park & Museum
Explore the well-preserved Strathearn Historical Park & Museum to be transported back in time to Simi Valley’s past. Start your day at the Visitors’ Center and then head on out to the park grounds if you’re planning for a self-guided tour from afar. The park is filled with historic buildings and structures, but you can only explore the inside of these while on one of the many docent-led tours that are available. Some of the buildings and structures which still stand today are the Simi Library, the Printz/ Powell Colony House, the Strathearn Windmill, the Currier Apricot Pitting Shed, Wood Ranch Barns, and the Pioneer Memory Garden.
137 Strathearn Pl, Simi Valley, CA 93065, Phone: 805-526-6453
3.Santa Susana Depot Museum and Model Railroad
© Santa Susana Depot Museum and Model Railroad
The Santa Susana Depot is a historic Southern Pacific depot that can be found in the stunning Simi Valley. The museum is housed in the beautifully-restored depot and is enjoyable for visitors of all ages. One of their best exhibits is a model of the Southern Pacific Railroad Depot which has been fully restored to look exactly like it did in the 1950s. Train enthusiasts young and old are mesmerized by the operational miniature representation of Simi Valley. Other aspects of the museum include accurate displays of static and operating artifacts which were used at the depot in its early years of operation as well as nostalgic railroading memorabilia.
Santa Susana Depot, 6503 Katherine Rd, Simi Valley, CA 93063, Phone: 805-581-3462
© Corriganville Park
Corriganville Park is popularly known by its former name: Corriganville Movie Ranch. Purchased by actor and stuntman Ray “Crash” Corrigan, the park was a working film studio and movie ranch that has provided sceneries and sets for popular television shows and movies such as Star Trek, The Lone Ranger, and The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin. Filled with boulders, mountains, lakes, caves, waterfalls, and several man-made sets like hotels, saloons, jails, and shops, the property was the site of thousands of recordings throughout its history. Today, visitors will be able to see the remains of the movie and theme park buildings from its past, but the stunning natural California landscape which made it popular in the first place still thrives. Trails have been established for easy exploration ranging from the short, quarter-mile Hummingbird Trail to the 1.1 mile long Interpretive Trail.
7001 Smith Rd, Simi Valley, CA 93063, Phone: 805-584-4400
5.Skateboarding Hall of Fame and Museum
© Skateboarding Hall of Fame and Museum
The Skateboarding Hall of Fame and Museum was created in 2009 to honor the contributions which were made to skateboarding history and culture throughout the decades. The museum highlights the passion and dedication of several cultural icons that have made an impact in the skateboarding community. The museum is filled with displays, photographs, artifacts, and other memorabilia and often hosts events to meet legends such as Tony Hawk, Tony Alva, Rodney Mullen, Mike McGill, Patti McGee, and Laura Caswell. One of their most famed events is an annual gala which honors and celebrates that year’s inductees.
4226 Valley Fair St, Simi Valley, CA 93063, Phone: 805-368-1998
6.Arroyo Simi Bike Path
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The Arroyo Simi Bike Park, also known as the Arroyo Simi Greenway, comprises several multi-use paths which take you through a majority of Simi Valley. The paths are located on both sides of the Arroyo Simi Flood Control Channel and is a popular place with walkers, joggers, cyclers, skateboarders, and horseback riders. The greenway has undergone a major upgrade over the years and visitors will be able to make use of seventeen new access trail entries, new asphalt bikeways, signalized crossings, directional and interpretive exhibit signs, and many other site amenities. The bike path is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is only closed due to heavy rain or flooding.
7.Rocky Peak Trail
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Found within the Santa Susana Mountains, Rocky Peak Trail is a popular hiking trail that leads to the panoramic 2,715-foot summit, Rocky Peak. The peak can be found at the center of the 4,800-acre Santa Susana Park and visitors can access the trail from the parks Rocky Peak Road. Requiring hikers to be moderately skilled, the trail will take you through a more desolate path and have moments where you’ll need to scramble over boulders to continue. The trip is extremely exciting and is approximately 4.75 miles round trip, with an elevation change of about 900 feet.
8.Santa Susana Pass State Historical Park
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Visitors will find Santa Susana Pass State Historical Park right on the cusp of where the Santa Susana Mountains meets Simi Hills. The park is filled with deep canyons, high ridges, and an abundance of flora and fauna. Some of the native animals you may come across include coyotes, ring-tailed cats, mule deer, and gray foxes. There are several trails which wind throughout the park and lead to overlooks which provide stunning vistas of the surroundings. While there, you’ll also learn about the rich history of the land ranging from being the home of two distinct groups of Native Americans as well as being a transportation corridor dating back to 1769.
9853 Andora Ave, Chatsworth, CA 91311, Phone: 818-784-4849
9.Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center
© Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center
There are several aspects of the Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center which attracts visitors, especially art and architecture aficionados. Since it’s opening in 1995, the Cultural Arts Center has hosted everything from dramas and musicals to jazz performances and rock ‘n roll concerts. Prior to that though, the Gothic structure had been around since the mid-1920s as the Simi Community Methodist Episcopal Church. Even after being refurbished in 1981, you can still see hints of its past elegance like in the downstairs lobby light fixture that has hung in the same place since 1924 or in the stained glass windows which were recreated by the original company.
3050 E Los Angeles Ave, Simi Valley, CA 93065, Phone: 805-583-7905
10.Grandma Prisbrey's Bottle Village
© Grandma Prisbrey's Bottle Village
Identified as a California Historical Landmark, a U.S. Historic District, and on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, Grandma Prisbrey’s Bottle Village is a stunning art environment created by Tressa “Grandma” Prisbrey. For over twenty years between the 1950s and the 1970s she built a village of sorts using recycled items and discards from the local landfill. You’ll be able to see walkways, shrines, sculptures, buildings, and much more during the public tours which are conducted. Please note that there are limitations to the tour such as no open-toed shoes, no heels, no water or restroom facilities, no strollers, and that it is not ADA accessible.
4595 Cochran St, Simi Valley, CA 93063
11.Ali Baba Cafe
© Ali Baba Café
Since 1999, the Ali Baba Cafe has been serving delicious authentic cuisine that seems to come to Simi Valley straight from the Mediterranean. All of the food at Ali Baba’s Cafe are made from scratch and use health-conscious methods to bring out the exotic flavors of each dish. The menu features daily lunch and dinner specials which focuses on ingredients which are currently in season. Other items include homemade soups and meat, seafood, and vegetarian entrees. Their pita sandwiches, kebabs, stuffed grape leaves, baba ghanoush, chicken shawarma salad, and the tilapia plate are extremely popular with their regular patrons.
1464 Madera Rd Suite J, Simi Valley, CA 91320, Phone: 805-526-8400
© Chi-Chi's Pizza
Having been established in 1958, Chi-Chi’s Pizza is now celebrating over 60 years of business with restaurants all over California. The family-owned business has passed down from generation to generation, but patrons can still expect the same level of friendliness, customer service, and delicious food that Chi-Chi’s has always offered. No visit to Chi-Chi’s is complete without feasting on the signature dish they’re named after - their pizzas. You can choose from a few of their favorite combinations such as the Immigrant or Chi-Chi’s Choice, or build your own by choosing from an array of toppings. Other items on their menu include soups, salads, fresh pasta, sandwiches, fried chicken, and delicious desserts such as their tiramisu, gelato, cheesecake, or flourless chocolate cake.
Simi Valley Promenade: 5145 E Los Angeles Ave, Simi Valley, CA 93063, Phone: 805-526-3393
Beto’s Italian Bistro is a fine dining establishment where you can enjoy authentic Italian cuisine as though it were made in the Old Country. You’ll find that their menu features an array of traditional and eclectic Italian dishes, all of which is made using the finest ingredients and the most authentic methods. Start your meal with some lightly fried calamari, a shrimp and scallop martini, bruschetta, or an antipasto salad. Then move on to one of their delicious pastas such as the meat lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs, linguini and clams, or shrimp scampi. If you’re not in the mood for pasta, don’t worry - their menu also has delicious entrees such as Alaskan halibut served over seafood risotto, roasted duck, eggplant parmigiana, and more.
2325 Kuehner Drive #128, Simi Valley, CA 93063-3978, Phone: 805-578-1568
14.Eggs ‘N’ Things
© Eggs ‘N’ Things
When the residents of Simi Valley are craving a delicious, quality breakfast that feels like they’re dining at home, then the first place they think of is Eggs ‘N’ Things. The restaurants can be found scattered throughout California and serves freshly-made breakfast and lunch concoctions at an affordable price in a warm and welcoming environment. They use high-quality ingredients which has contributed to them winning the ‘Best Breakfast Award’ from the Ventura County Star. Popular items on their menu are their specialty Swedish pancakes, homestyle corned beef hash, the New England clam chowder, and their specialty tuna melt sandwich.
Sycamore Square: 2955 Cochran St, Simi Valley, CA 93065, Phone: 805-527-0055
15.Reagan Country Cafe
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Located within the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, the Reagan Country Cafe is a self-service and ala carte dining establishment which can be found next to the library’s museum store. The Country Cafe is surrounded by stunning vistas of the hills and the Santa Rosa Valley. Diners can choose to sit indoors or on the patio to enjoy a delicious meal prior to or after exploring the museum. Museum admission is not required to dine at the Reagan Country Cafe. On the other hand, if you’re in the mood for a drink and a snack, head on to the first floor of the Air Force One Pavilion to the Ronald Reagan Pub.
Ronald Reagan Presidential Library: 40 Presidential Dr, Simi Valley, CA 93065, Phone: 805-577-8272
15 Best Things to Do in Simi Valley, California
- Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, Photo: Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum
- Strathearn Historical Park & Museum, Photo: Strathearn Historical Park & Museum
- Santa Susana Depot Museum and Model Railroad, Photo: Santa Susana Depot Museum and Model Railroad
- Corriganville Park, Photo: Corriganville Park
- Skateboarding Hall of Fame and Museum, Photo: Skateboarding Hall of Fame and Museum
- Arroyo Simi Bike Path, Photo: Courtesy of liptakrobi - Fotolia.com
- Rocky Peak Trail, Photo: Courtesy ofonlymag - Fotolia.com
- Santa Susana Pass State Historical Park, Photo: Courtesy of Sarah.Camille - Fotolia.com
- Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center, Photo: Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center
- Grandma Prisbrey's Bottle Village, Photo: Grandma Prisbrey's Bottle Village
- Ali Baba Cafe, Photo: Ali Baba Café
- Chi-Chi's Pizza, Photo: Chi-Chi's Pizza
- Betos, Photo: Betos
- Eggs ‘N’ Things, Photo: Eggs ‘N’ Things
- Reagan Country Cafe, Photo: Courtesy of spiritofamerica - Fotolia.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of trekandphoto - Fotolia.com