It wasn’t too long ago that Thousand Oaks was known as an epicurean wasteland, but within the past 15 years, this suburban town and its immediate neighbors have evolved into quite the hip hangout. Just a 50 minute drive north of downtown L.A. (barring traffic), T.O., as the locals have affectionately dubbed it, offers an assortment of interests ranging from a world-class performing arts center to the most scenic hiking trails in Southern California.
With more than 15,000 acres of open area and 140 miles of multi-use trails, there’s plenty of space to cycle, run, walk, enjoy great equestrian tracks or visit historical points of interest.
The community is a golfer’s paradise with several popular courses nearby. And thankfully, Thousand Oaks has become a destination well known for its fabulous restaurants and eateries, beating its former reputation to the contrary.
Another evolution in the region over the past dozen years has been the increase of shopping areas, much to the delight of longtime residents who previously had to drive into “the city” to make purchases. The Oaks Mall and Janss Marketplace were once the only options in town where locals could shop, but the stores within offered little in terms of selection and style.
Now, Thousand Oaks is home to fabulous shopping with spots like The Lakes at Thousand Oaks, The Promenade at Westlake and a variety of other strip malls that feature great restaurants, spas and retail stores. Even the Oaks Mall and Janss Marketplace have undergone a few nips and tucks and now feature upscale shops and fine dining experiences that can satisfy the most persnickety foodies.
The people in T.O. are big on recreation and celebration. There are a multitude of fitness clubs, and plenty of opportunities to get involved in community sports and activities such as 5 and 10k races, usually in support of a worthy cause. The Gardens of The World, Oakbrook Regional Park Archaeological Area, and minutes further, the famed Ronald Reagan Presidential Library offer visitors many entertainment options.
It’s a 10-minute drive from one point to the next, allowing T.O. to retain that small-town spirit despite the fact that it continues to grow exponentially. And with its timeless charm and endless array of things to do and places to see, Thousand Oaks is a must-visit for anyone passing through Southern California.