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Camarillo

This sunny Ventura County city beckons outdoor enthusiasts with more than 270 days of bright, blue skies each year

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A former ranch town with a sunny disposition, the little city of Camarillo is graced with rich history, exceptional produce, and near-perfect weather. Boasting a central Ventura County location with easy access to many of California’s most popular attractions, Camarillo has retained an under-the-radar feel.

Originally a 10,000-acre ranch owned by the Camarillo family, the city’s classic style and agricultural roots remain. Spend an afternoon learning about the founding family at Camarillo Ranch where you can find docent-led tours of the original 1892 Queen Anne Victorian home. The Pleasant Valley Historical Society Museum and Botanical Gardens also provide a window into the area’s multilayered past. Don’t miss the Chumash artifacts and the on-site butterfly preserve. For a bird’s-eye view of history, visit the fascinating Commemorative Air Force Southern California Wing Museum where you can browse original combat aircraft.

Afterward, take a stroll through Old Town–or hop aboard the free trolley–to find one-of-a-kind pieces at the Antique Mall, fresh produce at the Farmers Market, and locally roasted beans at Kay’s Coffee Shop. For a full-day shopping experience, head to the popular Camarillo Premium Outlets. This breezy outdoor mall features 160 shops, including high-end retailers like Jimmy Choo, Salvatore Ferragamo, Hudson, Tory Burch, and Versace. You’ll also find a Lafayette 148 New York pop-up and a location of hot-sauce mecca Pepper Palace.

Ample sunshine makes outdoor adventure easy any time of year. Hike through interpretive trails at a former stagecoach stop in Camarillo Grove Park. Run or bike along the paved path at Calleguas Creek Park. Amp up the thrill factor at Skydive Coastal California or Skyrider Ultralights, where you can learn how to fly an old-fashioned aircraft right above the waves. Golf aficionados will want to spend some time on the links at one of Camarillo’s scenic courses.

This city’s deep agricultural roots have fostered a vibrant viticulture–and there are plenty of spots to taste the regional bounty. Camarillo Custom Crush offers novice winemakers the opportunity to produce their own label, while visitors have the pleasure of sipping the delicious results. Take a tour of Cantara Cellars before relaxing on the deck with a charcuterie board, or if malt and hops are more your style, head to Institution Ale Company, Flat Fish Brewing Co., or Twisted Oak Tavern & Brewery.

Camarillo proper has plenty to explore–but it’s also an ideal jumping-off point for other SoCal attractions. Roughly 40 miles from both Los Angeles to the south and Santa Barbara to the north, the city also offers easy access to some of Ventura County’s most beautiful beaches–just a 15-minute drive from sunny valley to sandy shores.

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