Friday, November 15, 2013

Exploring Ventura County

We spent three nights in Santa Paula, CA, a small agricultural town just East of Ventura. This brief stop over was simply a good distance between our two one-week stays in beach towns and gave us a new area to explore. The day we arrived it was 95 degrees...I guess Mother Nature doesn't know it's November!

The detail in this mural on the Santa Paula library was incredible, depicting the first inhabitants of the area.

On our first full day we decided to explore Santa Paula on foot as downtown was just a mile from our RV park and it was going to be a hot day, making air conditioned museums much more attractive. The several museums in downtown Santa Paula teamed up to offer a deal of $6/person to visit all the museums in one day. Santa Paula also has a number of excellent murals scattered around downtown.

Mural depicting the citrus history of the area.

Agriculture is the backbone of commerce around these parts; Santa Paula is known as the "Citrus Capital of the World" and also is a big producer of avocados and strawberries. It was also one of the early oil towns in California. We visited the Agriculture Museum, the California Oil Museum and the Santa Paula Art Museum.

A working replica of an early oil well...those pulleys were moving!

Mural showing the train depot, which happened to be across the street.

The next day we drove about 20 miles North to go for a hike and explore the charming town of Ojai. There are a number of trails into the mountains surrounding Ojai which borders the Los Padres National Forest. We hiked the Cozy Dell trail, a 4 mile RT out and back with a little bit of climb and a lot of great views.

One of the occasional oak shaded parts of the trail.

Lovely views of citrus and avocado orchards and Los Padres National Forest land beyond.

Ojai is known as an artist community and has a charming Spanish vibe to it. After a fire in 1917 demolished much of the town, prominent early settler Edward Libbey worked with Richard Requa, famous for his Spanish Revival architecture in San Diego, to create the look of downtown.

Post office tower and entrance to Libbey Park designed by the Libbey-Requa team.

Tomorrow we head back to the beach...via the dreaded drive through Los Angeles. When we lived in San Diego and had to drive through LA, we'd often leave the house by 4am to ease the pain of that drive. Hopefully departing mid-morning on a Saturday will not be too bad. Next up - a week in San Clemente.


  1. Looks like an interesting area. We have yet to make it to that part of CA but maybe we should think about it.

  2. Great walks in the city and the country. The best of both worlds.

  3. Farmer Lisa looks cute driving that tractor. Whoo 95 degrees! In our part of the world an Arctic front passed by and we had cold sweater days.

  4. What a great idea for the community to charge one price for all the museums and attractions! Nice change of pace for the two of you:) I love the beautiful murals. Yummy produce:)

    Glad you got time for one hike. Tell Hans I am glad to see he is keeping up the "Hansin' Pace" and staying way out front. Haha!!

    Enjoy your new beach:)