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Opa! VC Greek Festival comes to Camarillo

Members of the St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church are cooking up a storm, preparing for this weekend’s Ventura County Greek Festival.  If you love all things Greek, there are several reasons you’ll want to hop on the 101 and head to Camarillo.

The 34th annual Ventura County Greek Festival comes to Camarillo June 22-24. It’s worth the drive from Los Angeles! (source:

For starters, the food is delicious! Authentic dishes, prepared with love in the church’s kitchen.  Gyros, pastichio (Greek lasagna), roast lamb and chicken, spinakopita, dolmathes (stuffed grape leaves) and, my favorite, saganaki (flaming cheese), are just some of the yummy dishes on the menu.  The desserts are just as tasty, baklava, pastries and cookies, packaged to take home while they last.

There’s live music featuring the Olympians, Greek dancers, and everyone’s invited to get out on the dance floor.  Dancers from The Greek at the Harbor perform, and the gorgeous Aris Mikelatos’ will perform his famous table dance (ladies, you won’t want to miss this!).

Related: Take the Scenic Route to the VC Greek Festival – Malibu Drive

Another great feature of this festival is that it’s intimate, there’s plenty of free parking and it’s easy to stop by to enjoy a delicious meal, music, perhaps a little dancing, and be on your way.  The weather in Camarillo is perfect year round, it’s cooler than Los Angeles, and sunnier than Ventura. Admission is $3, or print free admission tickets on their website.  The Ventura County Greek Festival kicks off Friday night and runs through the weekend (June 22-24). Click here for festival hours and the event schedule.

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Camarillo is located off the 101 (Ventura) freeway,  30 minutes north of the San Fernando Valley and 20 minutes south of Ventura.  So, if you’re heading up from Los Angeles, you could stop by the VC Greek Festival, then head up to the Ventura Harbor or Ventura Pier to enjoy the rest of your day.

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Related: Along the way, stop by Gardens of the World in Thousand Oaks


Ventura to Valencia: Drive CA SR126

If you’re looking for a relaxing way to spend a few hours in Southern California, consider taking a drive along State route 126. This 40 mile stretch of smooth, scenic highway connects Ventura and Northern Los Angeles counties.

Six Flags Magic Mountain is on the Valencia side, and Ventura Harbor and beaches are very close to the western stretch of this four lane undivided stretch of scenic highway.

SR126 freeway sign on Interstate 5 in Valencia

SR126 is a scenic California drive from Ventura to Valencia

Here are five fun things to do and see along California’s SR126, a highway that might make you feel as if you’re stepping back in time to the 1930s:

  • Santa Paula Airport – Relive the Golden Age of Aviation at this tiny airport, which features an aviation museum.  Every First Sunday of the month there’s an open house style event, which allows flight enthusiasts of all ages to explore the airport’s hangars, and get an up-close look at vintage airplanes and cars.  Museum admission is free on First Sundays.
    • The ‘Haunted’ Glen Tavern Inn – Explore the rustic charm, and possibly have a ghostly encounter!  Many guests claim to experience paranormal activity while visiting this historic inn, located in downtown Santa Paula.
    • Fillmore & Western Railway Co.:  Ride the rails on a dinner train, help solve a murder mystery, or hop aboard Thomas the Tank Engine.  The Fillmore & Western Railway offers a variety of excursions for train enthusiasts of all ages.   These trains have been featured in TV shows and movies, as the Los Angeles Times blog post.

    • Downtown Fillmore – You might recognize this downtown district, this vintage street scene has been the backdrop of many TV shows and films.  Fillmore’s downtown area is home to unique shops and restaurants.
  • Roadside Fruit Stands:  This area bills itself as ‘the citrus capitol of the world,’ so be sure to taste some locally grown fruits, vegetables, honey and other goodies.  There are several produce stands along route 126.  Most of them can be found on the stretch of road between Fillmore and Valencia.

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Happy driving!!!