Did you feel that? That was the season changing.
I like fall, it's cozy. But candidly speaking, in Canada, it can mark the all-too-brief window between summer's lazy evenings and the impending wet season. (Hello wellies, my old friend.)
By contrast, California's enviable autumn brings light-knit sweater weather and a bountiful harvest, especially in Ventura County's agricultural heartland. Here's how to dedicate a weekend to cozying into Camarillo's special brand of fall.
Savour harvest flavours
To describe Ventura County as bountiful would be an understatement. The region's 2000-plus farms produce more than 100 types of fruit, nut, grain and vegetable crops. But more famously, the county it is known for its strawberry and lemon fields.
Whether it's the satisfaction of hearing the hollow sound of a tomato dropping into your u-pick bucket, or the careful selection of the perfect carton of strawberries at the farmers' market, produce just tastes better when it has been fresh plucked from the vine.
Your Saturday morning should be reserved for the Camarillo Certified Farmers Market, held from 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon in Old Town Camarillo (2220 Ventura Boulevard). You'll be hard pressed to resist the temptation of the tarts, pies and strudels baked from scratch by local vendors. We suggest gathering some fresh harvest produce for a picnic in one of the town's many parks.
If you're the DIY type, McGrath Family Farm is certified organic and offers u-pick hours when produce is in season. Tomatoes last well into the fall when the season for winter squash begins. During the month of October a special section is open just for pumpkins.
Let someone else do the cooking
Where local produce is bountiful, talented chefs are never far off, transforming staple ingredients into creative plates.
Chef Alejandro Castillo
Chef Alejandro Castillo doesn't take shortcuts. We know, because seeking out the best regional produce from local purveyors is a labour of passion. It's also Twenty88's commitment to down-to-earth, California-meets-Mediterranean gastronomy. Ask after the chef's feature entrée of the week for the season's most inspired specialties.
Old Town Cafe
Old Town Cafe
What's fall without pumpkin spice? Back by popular demand, Old Town Cafe is serving up lip-smacking pumpkin bacon pancakes. This cozy cafe is family owned and doesn't shy away from dishing up seasonal specialties. Look for pineapple pancakes in spring and avocado toast that's basically grown in the county's backyard.
Imbibe the season
Leave that lager be, fall is a time for syrupy porters and fruit-infused brews. With 15-20 constantly rotating beers brewed on-site, a visit to Camarillo's very own Institution Ale Company should satisfy the palette of the most discerning of craft beer enthusiasts.
Our picks for fall are Maple Brown Ale, Apricot Day Dreamin' and Nitro Frantic, a coffee oatmeal stout. Sip your flight on the patio while cozying up to the outdoor fire, something the province's campfire bans have deprived you of - until now.
Camarillo: when you go
Camarillo accommodations are wallet-friendly with plenty of options to suit all budgets. Search lodging options here.
See & do:
In-between fall activities, try out some of Camarillo's perennial favourites:
- Set off along the Ventura County Wine Trail, getting your start at Camarillo's Millésimé Cellars and Camarillo Custom Crush Winery.
- Score designer deals at Camarillo Premium Outlets' 160 shops.
- Hit the links at Camarillo Springs Golf, Sterling Hills Golf, and Las Posas Country Club.
- Get cultured: visit the Commemorative Air Force Museum, Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology, and Camarillo Ranch House.
- Soak up the outdoors: hit the beach at San Buenaventura State Beach and explore one of the USA's lesser-visited national parks: Channel Islands.
- Explore the area: use Camarillo as a base to explore nearby Ventura (14 miles), Los Angeles (52 miles) or Santa Barbara (66 miles).
Ready to plan your cozy fall escape to Camarillo?
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