We're Exploring LA County's 88 Cities. Here's Your Guide To Agoura Hills
Los Angeles County has 88 cities, and KPCC/LAist plans to explore them all. We're recruiting listeners and readers to take us to the neighborhoods they live in and love. From Long Beach to Lancaster, follow our journey here and on the radio with Take Two.
Here's your guide to...
AGOURA HILLS: A WESTERN CLASSIC
This city is one of the last in L.A. County when you're heading towards Ventura, but it's been a destination for generations.
Paramount Pictures went there in the 1920s to buy a ranch and film westerns. It's how the city got its original name: Picture City.
More recently, singles head to the area looking for love and a glass of wine -- "The Bachelor" mansion is in the nearby hills. The city also boasts some famous residents, including comedian Ray Romano, NFL linebacker Clay Matthews and activist Erin Brockovich.
But it's the city's off-screen past that has captured some residents' hearts.
OUR GUIDE: DEBORAH KLEIN LOPEZ
Years lived in the city: 31
Favorite thing about Agoura Hills: Ladyface Mountain. "When I'm coming from the San Fernando Valley or the Conejo Valley, you can see the mountain as you're driving over and I think, 'Yay, I'm home.'"
EXPLORING THE CITY
1. CHUMASH PARK, 5550 Medea Valley Dr.
In 1969, the construction of a Vons in Agoura Hills led to a discovery in the soil: the land was a burial ground for the native Chumash Indians.
"The first people that were in the area, the Chumash -- this is where they lived," Klein Lopez said.
Their history dates back about 8,000 to 9,000 years ago, according to Chumash elder Beverly Folkes.
"They lived a wonderful life because of the area," she said.
The city honored that past by creating Chumash Park near Medea Creek -- and understanding this history is important to new residents like Klein Lopez.
"It just shows the arc of humanity and why we're here," she said.
2. THE REYES ADOBE, 30400 Rainbow Crest Dr.
The Reyes Adobe is the first settlement in what would later become Agoura Hills.
Built around 1850, it was the home for widow Maria Antonia Machado, her husband Jose Jacinto Reyes and her 14 children. The adobe was also a rest point along the El Camino Real.
"It was the last stop between Los Angeles before you headed up to Santa Barbara," Klein Lopez said.
Different families moved in and out of the compound until 1978, when it was sold to a developer and laid vacant for decades as neighborhoods sprung up around it.
"The house itself really went into disarray," she said.
Then in 2002, city officials worked to restore the property and turn it into a historical landmark and community center and now "it's like a mini-museum," Klein Lopez said.
Artifacts from its days as a home and working ranch line the rooms. The site also hosts Reyes Adobe Days every fall, letting neighbors come together to celebrate the area's past and present.
3. LADYFACE ALE COMPANIE, 29281 Agoura Rd.
Ladyface Ale Companie is a short drive off the 101. It's a relative newcomer to the area.
This gastropub opened in 2009 and serves up plates like the Blue Moo burger alongside house-made microbrews.
"Many of them are named after the local areas in Agoura Hills," Klein Lopez said. Those names include Reyes Adobe Red.
Local bands and comedians make regular appearances to entertain patrons, but the real star can be seen from the bar's patio -- Ladyface Mountain.
4. LADYFACE MOUNTAIN
"Legend has it that Ladyface Mountain is named because when you look at it, it looks as if a lady is lying on her back looking up towards the sky," Klein Lopez said. "The Chumash believed that she was looking up at the sky, waiting for her lover to return."
Hiking up it can be a strenuous journey, with an estimated 1,150-foot elevation gain in just two miles.
"My family knows to spread a little of my ashes atop Ladyface," Klein Lopez said. "She is our protector."
MORE TO LOVE ABOUT AGOURA HILLS
- Reyes Adobe Days Festival: this four-day event takes place every October at the Reyes Adobe house, and it's a celebration of California's 1800s rancho era. The festivities include a parade, a 10k run, live music, panning for gold and tours of the historical house.
- Visit the Old Agoura neighborhood, where horses rule the streets and one city park includes a horse arena. Old Agoura is also the way to Cheeseboro and Palo Comado Canyon, part of the National Park Service that links to miles and miles of trails.
- Whizin Market Square: This was once the only commercial stop between Los Angeles and Ventura. It is the site of the city's famous "clock tower" and has had many iterations over time, from Wild West themes to today's antique mart destination. It is home to The Canyon Club, a popular concert and event venue
- Grab some amazing food at Plata Taqueria, then finish off your night with something sweet from Tifa Chocolate and Gelato.
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