15 Best Things to Do in Thousand Oaks, CA

Thousand Oaks, CA
trekandshoot / shutterstock.com

Nestled in the heart of Southern California, Thousand Oaks is a vibrant city of colors and contrasts.

It is the second-largest city in Ventura County, located within the Los Angeles Metropolitan area.

From bustling commercial centers to scenic mountain views, the city has a lot to offer for locals and visitors alike.

Here, you can travel with your friends or family and enjoy a few of the thousand delights that Thousand Oaks has to offer.

Paradise Falls

Paradise Falls Waterfall in Thousand Oaks
Joshua Shabun / shutterstock.com

Paradise falls deserves a special mention, as it is one of the most well-known sites in Wildwood Regional Park.

Accessible by gentle hiking trails, the waterfalls have crisp and cold water that serves as the perfect reward after a few miles of hiking.

The picturesque view is also perfect for Instagram posts and landscape photos.

Strike a pose, take a shot, and upload it on your socials to let people know that you’ve been to this amazing location.

California Museum of Art Thousand Oaks

Established in 1919, this world-class museum features works from talented local artists to famous international masters.

It is a place where people can connect, appreciate art, and share ideas.

The museum is accessible and thought-provoking, housing art installations as well as photography and painting exhibits.

Try your hand at making art by participating in the engaging programs offered, such as virtual art days and stencil workshops.

You’ll return with new knowledge and maybe even an engaging and relaxing hobby to try.

Conejo Valley Botanic Garden

Conejo Valley Botanic Garden in Thousand Oaks, CA
TOLocal, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Visit Conejo Valley Botanic Garden, one of the most famous botanical gardens located within the city.

The admission is free, so you can bring your whole family and check out all that the facility has to offer.

Aside from exploring verdant gardens, bird habitats, and exotic blooms, you’ll also find charming hillside views within these gardens.

They also offer programs where you can try your hand at plant and nature-related activities, such as tree planting and wildlife conservation workshops.

Reign of Terror Haunted House

For thrill-seekers and horror junkies alike, the Reign of Terror Haunted House is the perfect destination.

The award-winning haunted house features more than a hundred rooms and sections littered with creepy props, realistic special effects, terrifying mechanical creatures, and scary living characters.

You’ll have a hair-raising experience as you get chased down by ghouls, spooked by ghosts, and haunted by spirits in interconnected sections.

This is not for the faint-hearted.

So if you’re up for it, enter the haunted house and face your deepest fears.

Wildwood Regional Park

Clouds in Wildwood Regional Park, CA
trekandshoot / Shutterstock.com

One of the most visited locations in Thousand Oaks is Wildwood Regional Park, an attraction that features many things to try.

Beautiful spots like Paradise Falls, Mount Clef Ridge, Indian Caves, and many other sites for nature lovers are located in the park.

Within the 1,765-acre public space, visitors can try hiking, camping, and horseback riding.

The park is also teeming with wildlife.

From western pond turtles to ring-tailed cats, you can spot an array of mammals, reptiles, birds, and other animals within the area.

As with all wild fauna, you must practice caution and avoid startling or scaring them in any way.

Conejo Valley Art Museum

For museum and art lovers, the Conejo Valley Art Museum is a definite addition to your list.

Here, you’ll find art and designs bursting with creativity.

From exquisite fine art to abstract modern installations, a wide range of works is displayed within the museum.

The exhibits will help you see new perspectives, contemplate your roots, and find creative ways to express your thoughts and emotions.

The Gardens of the World

The Gardens of the World in Thousand Oaks, CA
TOLocal, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Gardens of the World is another must-see botanical facility to add to your list.

It boasts a selection of botanical gardens with flora collected from various locations worldwide.

Owing to the relaxed and rustic environment, visitors can enjoy the harmony of lush landscape and sophisticated architecture.

The aesthetically pleasing surroundings are also perfect for photoshoots and videos.

With the blooming arcs, bewildering mazes, and sparkling waterscapes as your background, your images will be nothing short of fantastic and magical.

Golfing

For golfing enthusiasts, there are many courses etched within the green hillsides of Thousand Oaks.

Some of these public facilities, such as the Los Robles Greens Golf Course, offer the same conveniences that exclusive golf clubs offer.

Be sure to check out opening times and reservation fees beforehand for a hassle-free golfing experience.

Winery Visits

Thousand Oaks is part of the Conejo Valley, a region dubbed as the Gateway to the Wine Country.

Here, you’ll find many long-established wineries that offer premium beverages as well as wine tasting activities.

Sip your way through the various wineries dotting the region, such as NABU Wines, Sunland Vintage Winery, and Alma Sol Winery—all located within or nearby Thousand Oaks.

After a few glasses, you’ll definitely find out why Southern California is famous for its lush and aromatic wines.

Before leaving for home, don’t forget to bring a bottle or two during parties or anytime you need a drink.

Oakbrook Regional Park

Rabbit Ridge Trail in Oakbrook Regional Park
King of Hearts, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Oakbrook Regional Park is the perfect place for those who want to experience nature without going too far from modern conveniences.

Located along the Lang Ranch Parkway, the park offers numerous trails for hiking and exploring.

Under the towering oak trees, you can sit down, relax, and read your favorite book.

The park also houses an interactive museum about the Chumash people.

Farmer’s Markets

Fresh produce is always in season at the various farmer’s markets dotting the local communities of Thousand Oaks.

With fertile soil, an excellent climate, and innovative farming practices, the region has produced high-quality vegetables and fruits.

There are more than twelve weekly farmer’s markets held in various locations all over the city.

On your next visit, be sure to schedule it around these weekends if you want to buy our farmers’ fresh and premium produce.

These activities will also give you a glimpse of the hospitality and friendliness that the locals have for visitors and for each other.

Chumash Indian Museum

A Chumash 'ap in Chumash Indian Museum
TOLocal, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A trip to Thousand Oaks wouldn’t be complete without visiting the Chumash Indian Museum.

The center is an interpretation of the society of Chumash people that inhabited the region a long time ago.

From interactive displays to artifacts, there are many interesting exhibits on the site that help preserve the heritage of the Chumash people.

Check out the village and admire the rich cultures of societies that lived in the area a long time ago.

Indoor Rock Climbing

Test your upper body strength and endurance by trying activities such as indoor rock climbing.

One of the established facilities for this sport is Boulderdash Indoor Rock Climbing, and it is open for beginners and professionals alike.

The location has spacious climbing surfaces, with the routes changed regularly to ensure a fresh climbing experience even for long-time enthusiasts.

It’s complete with all the necessary safety equipment and friendly employees who are ready to assist whenever you need it.

So for those looking for an adrenaline rush or a good workout, Boulderdash Indoor Rock Climbing is an ideal choice.

Stagecoach Inn Museum

Outside view of Stagecoach Inn Museum
Los Angeles, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Dive deeper into the history of Thousand Oaks and Southern California by paying a visit to the Stagecoach Inn Museum.

Originally called 'Grand Union Hotel,' this resting area that once served as accommodations for travelers has been turned into a museum.

Within the storied walls, you’ll find permanent and temporary exhibits as well as collections that showcase the life and culture of California in centuries past.

Aside from tours, the facility also accommodates events such as lectures, dress-ups, and school programs.

You can even book the rustic and charming place for weddings and other special occasions!

Just contact the staff and make your reservations as early as you can.

Equestrian Park

Horse lovers will have a grand time at the Rancho Potrero Community Equestrian Center.

The beautiful boarding facility offers various horse-related activities, such as trail riding, basic horse care, and classic horseback riding lessons.

Trail rides are available for kids as young as seven years old, and these are held at an hourly interval.

With the Boney Mountain as a backdrop, the trails surrounding the center offer scenic views that make you feel like you’re in a cowboy movie.

Underwood Family Farms

Experience a hands-on approach to farming by dropping by at the Underwood Family Farms in nearby Moorpark, CA.

Here, you can learn about how various produce is planted, cared for, and harvested.

You’ll also get an opportunity to pick your own fruits and vegetables, so make sure to pick the best-quality ones to take home.

The farm also lets visitors interact with animals such as baby rabbits and goats.

It’s the perfect place for kids and adults who want to pet these soft and cuddly animals.

The Oaks Mall

Outside view of The Oaks Mall
Junkyardsparkle, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Located at 350 West Hillcrest Drive, the spacious Oaks mall houses various retail shops, restaurants, and shopping facilities.

There are more than 170 shops to explore, including an Apple Store, Olive Garden, The Cheesecake Factory, and other established American brands.

However, there are also local shops that offer unique products from within the city and the region.

You’ll find premium wines, local cuisine, sustainable apparel, and more among the numerous stores!

Axe Throwing Clubs

Want to try your hand at accuracy and strength?

Thousand Oaks has various clubs like The Might Axe that focus on ax throwing as a recreational or competitive activity.

When you join, you’ll be able to hurl sharp, well-balanced axes at targets.

Safety is a number one priority here, so as long as you follow guidelines and protocol, you’ll be perfectly fine.

Reserve a cage for a few hours and practice your throwing skills as much as you want.

You’ll get immense satisfaction with every “thunk” as the sharp end of your ax sticks to the wooden targets.

It’s the perfect blend of the upper-body workout, accuracy practice, and reflex training.

Restaurant Hopping

Being a part of the Los Angeles Metropolitan area, Thousand Oaks is home to dining establishments of all kinds.

You’ll find cuisine from various countries and cultures all over the world.

Try Moqueca Brazilian Restaurant for hearty and savory dishes from the vibrant cultures of Brazil.

For those with adventurous taste buds, Mouthful Eatery offers tasty Peruvian cuisine such as Alfajores and Chicken Saltado.

Casa Nostra Ristorante is a hidden gem in the Conejo Valley that offers authentic Italian dishes in a fine dining setting.

When craving southern comfort dishes and zesty cajun cuisine, West of Orleans is the place to be.

You can also visit Finney’s Crafthouse, a locally owned and operated restaurant, for a taste of local flavors and alcoholic beverages.

Another local restaurant, Moody Rooster, offers sustainable, farm-fresh cuisine that changes with the season.

Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza

Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza in California
TOLocal, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Get thrilled by performances from talented local and national artists at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza.

Considered the center of downtown life in the city, this facility hosts various events such as plays and Broadway musicals.

You can visit at certain times of the year for folk music festivals, symphony orchestra performances, and traditional dance routines presented by established groups and individuals from the area.

Annually, there are around 400 performances held at the two theaters, so you can also come any time of the year and still see an exhilarating concert, play, or fine art exhibit.

Participating in these events is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in the thriving nightlife that is the trademark of the Los Angeles Metropolitan area.

Chances are, you might meet a singer or actor that you’ve been a fan of for a long time.

It’s a rare opportunity that you should not miss!

Final Thoughts

There are so many wonderful, charming, and exhilarating places and activities waiting for you at Thousand Oaks.

Delicious cuisine, a bustling nightlife, scenic landscapes, historic sites—there’s something for everyone!

Bring your family or your friends on your next getaway and see all that the vibrant city has in store.