| |

Visit Camarillo: A Perfect Weekend Trip for Military Families in SoCal

This post was developed in association with “Visit Camarillo”. All opinions and experiences included are my own. 

As a military family we love to take local mini vacation trips to explore the areas around where we are stationed. These trips are a great way to explore new places and create lasting memories with our kids. We recently explored Camarillo, California which is just a short drive away from all of the Southern California military bases. With plenty of shopping, dining and activities to enjoy, Camarillo should definitely be on your list of places to visit before you leave your California duty station. 

Where is Camarillo, CA located?

Camarillo, CA is a small city located in Ventura County, California. This hidden gem in the Ventura County Coast attracts visitors with its perfect weather year-round. The city has a population of approximately 67,000 people and a mere 40 miles away from Los Angeles and 25 miles away from the Santa Barbara County border. Camarillo is nestled in the rolling hills of southern California and is surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty. The city’s location makes it easily accessible from major highways like the 101 freeway or Pacific Coast Highway (PCH).

Camarillo is an easy getaway from all of the southern California military installations.

The easy way to plan your trip to Camarillo 

Planning a trip with your family and kids can be both exciting and challenging at the same time. Thankfully, planning a trip to Camarillo has never been easier! 

Simply click over to the Visit Camarillo website to plan your trip. You can check out their suggested itineraries or build your own as you explore all that Camarillo has to offer!

With so many things to do and see in this beautiful city, it is essential to have a well-planned itinerary that caters to different interests and preferences of everyone in your family. Our recent trip to Camarillo was planned around the Naval Base Ventura County Point Mugu Air Show, so be sure to check out the events page on Visit Camarillo as you are planning your trip. 

Looking for a family-friendly place to stay in Camarillo, CA?

When you’re planning a visit to this charming town, one of the first things you’ll want to decide is where to stay. Fortunately, Camarillo offers a range of accommodation options that cater to different budgets and preferences. 

We are a family of 5 which can sometimes be a challenge when it comes to staying in hotels, especially when looking at hotels that are budget-friendly. If your needs in accommodations are similar to ours, then we highly recommend the Residence Inn by Marriott Camarillo

This hotel offers free breakfast and Wi-Fi access along with comfortable rooms that are perfect for families! Additionally the Residence Inn by Marriott Camarillo has some amenities your family will love, like a game room, basketball/sports court, outdoor pool, and even various board games and outside games you can borrow from the front desk! 

If your furbaby is joining you on your family trip to Camarillo, it’s great to know that the Residence Inn by Marriott Camarillo also is pet friendly! 

Enjoying local fare: The best places to eat in Camarillo

Camarillo, California is a hidden gem for foodies. With the abundance of fresh produce and local ingredients, it’s no wonder why it has become a hotspot for great food! If you’re looking for something different than your typical chain restaurants, then this town has got you covered. 

We love to explore local restaurants, but as a family it is also important to keep it kid-friendly! From classic delis to modern burger joints and ice cream shops, Camarillo’s local fare scene has everything you need to satisfy your cravings. Here are some of our family’s favorite dining spots from our weekend in Camarillo. 

Finney’s Crafthouse

We started our weekend dining in Camarillo at the newly opened Finney’s Crafthouse. This restaurant boasts an impressive selection of craft beers and delicious tavern fare. The menu features classic dishes with a modern twist like their Buffalo Cauliflower starter and the Kalua Pork Carnitas Tacos. 

If you’re having a tough time deciding what you’d like to eat as you look over the menu at Finney’s Crafthouse, we highly recommend the Bavarian Pretzel (the caramel dip with it was a surprising twist!), the Yuzu Buffalo wings, Peggy’s Crispy Chicken Sandwich and the sausage & garlic pizza. 

The kids menu at Finney’s Crafthouse was full of great food options that our children loved. As a mom of a fruit loving preschooler, we were delighted to have berries as a side-dish option on the kids menu!  

Dining with kids on the outdoor patio was perfect! The kids loved being able to play cornhole on the patio next to the table while cheering on favorite sports teams on the patio televisions. 

Old New York Deli 

A visit to Old New York Deli will transport you across the country with its classic decor and authentic New York-style sandwiches and bagels, making it a favorite spot among locals and visitors alike. 

We stopped by Old New York Deli for breakfast and were excited for all the great options. The kids were immediately delighted by the cookies and cupcakes in the glass display cases. We decided to take our breakfast on the go so we could get to all of our planned events for the day. The kids each found their favorite bagel flavors readily available. My husband was super excited to discover they serve an authentic New York Egg Cream, so we couldn’t leave without one of those! We ordered a variety of bagels with a schmear and a few pastries to try. (If you are a fan of croissants, make sure you order one here! They were absolutely wonderful!) 

If you are looking for a fast-casual restaurant to add to your itinerary in Camarillo, we definitely recommend Old New York Deli. While we enjoyed breakfast on the go, they are open for lunch and dinner as well and in addition to authentic NY food, the Old New York Deli offers a cozy atmosphere that’s perfect for enjoying your meal. 

Blvd Brgr Co

If you’re a fan of burgers, one spot in Camarillo stands out above the rest: Blvd Brgr Co. This cozy and welcoming eatery located in the heart of Camarillo’s Old Town serves up juicy burgers piled high with fresh toppings like avocado and bacon, served alongside crispy fries or some of the best onion rings we’ve ever had! 

Whether you’re in the mood for a classic cheeseburger or something more adventurous like their “Hangover” burger topped with bacon, egg, and avocado, Blvd Brgr has got you covered. Not only are the burgers at Blvd Brgr top-notch, but they also offer plenty of other mouth-watering options on their menu. (One of our boys was raving about their chicken fingers!)

But Blvd Brgr isn’t just about great food – it’s also a fun and welcoming spot for family dining. The restaurant has a relaxed atmosphere with plenty of seating inside or out on their patio.

Of all the great restaurants we visited and enjoyed throughout the weekend, Blvd Brgr Co was the favorite of all five in our family. Don’t hesitate to put this restaurant on your Camarillo itinerary.

Mister Softee

One popular Camarillo food staple is Mister Softee, which has been serving up delicious soft-serve ice cream treats for generations. For those who haven’t heard of this iconic ice cream truck brand, Mister Softee is a family-owned business that operates dozens of ice cream trucks throughout Camarillo and beyond.

When you are visiting Camarillo you can find Mister Softee around town in food trucks or you can visit the Mister Softee ice cream shop in Camarillo’s Old Town. (It’s actually right across the street from Blvd Brgr!)

With its signature soft-serve cones dipped in sprinkles or crunchy waffle cones filled with creamy goodness, Mister Softee provides a unique experience for a sweet treat that your whole family will love. 

If you are looking for a cone to try at Mister Softee, I highly recommend the SoCal Dip! It is a soft-serve vanilla cone dipped in a chocolate shell and topped with delectable, gooey caramel. The SoCal Dip was absolutely delicious! 

Waypoint Cafe

Located at Camarillo Airport, Waypoint Cafe offers a unique dining experience with its aviation-themed decor. You can also enjoy watching planes take off and land while indulging in your meal as the restaurant’s patio overlooks the airport runway.

The Waypoint Cafe is known locally for their fantastic breakfast dishes. We were excited to try Waypoint Cafe for breakfast, but everyone else was having the same idea that morning, so we shifted our plans to have lunch at Waypoint Cafe. 

Their lunch menu features classic American favorites like burgers and sandwiches as well as healthier options such as salads and wraps. On the Wednesdays and weekends their menu includes tender Santa Maria Tri-Tip grilled in the courtyard on site. Knowing the tri-tip was a special item on the day we visited, I made sure to order the Tri-Tip Caesar for lunch and it did not disappoint!

We also watched beautiful, chocolate rimmed milkshakes be delivered to a table near us and knew instantly that we would need to try one…or three! We ordered a strawberry milkshake, a cookies and cream milkshake, and a peanut butter chocolate banana milkshake to share at our table. Our family loved them all (everyone had their own flavor ranking), but we all agreed they were amazing! 

What truly made the Waypoint Cafe stand out from other restaurants is its welcoming atmosphere. The staff are friendly, attentive, and the service was exceptionally fast. You will not be disappointed if you add Waypoint Cafe to your Camarillo itinerary. 

Camarillo Activities: What to Do with kids in Camarillo

With its scenic views and endless opportunities for adventure, Camarillo is a great destination for families with kids of all ages. This small city has plenty of fun-filled activities that will keep your family entertained all day long. With plenty of shopping, museums, agritourism, and recreation activities to enjoy, Camarillo, California is a hidden gem for families with kids. 


During our recent trip to Camarillo we had a rare experience of rain in southern Southern California. Luckily our trip itinerary included some indoor recreation – a trip to Harley’s Camarillo Bowl! Since our kids range in ages from 2 to 9, bowling is a great option as it’s something fun that we can all participate in together. Our big kids have learned to lose graciously in bowling as their toddler sister (using the bowling ramp) casually beats us all! After bowling the kids asked to visit the arcade at Harley’s Bowl. They enjoyed checking out all the video games and the boys played a round of air hockey. If you’re looking for an indoor activity for your family’s itinerary in Camarillo, definitely consider Harley’s Bowl. 


Shopping is a personal favorite activity of mine, but as a mom, it isn’t usually high on the list of things we eagerly want to do with three kids. That said, the weather was beautiful and the Camarillo Premium Outlets were so inviting while we were waiting for dinner one evening that we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to stroll in and out of stores. What we learned – our crew loves to shop for shoes together! The kids had a blast checking out the newest fashions in athletic shoes and we made a game of searching for elusive size 16 shoes for dad! 

Point Mugu Air Show 

The Point Mugu Air Show was the big event that drew our family to a weekend in Camarillo. This year was the first year that both premiere demonstration teams, the Blue Angels, and the Thunderbirds performed in the same air show at Point Mugu and only the third time in military aviation history! 

Our kids loved the opportunity to be up close to some of the most advanced fighter jets on the planet and to learn about new technology, weapon systems and aircraft from active duty test pilots. There were so many kid friendly exhibits at the air show, including special STEM exhibits where kids and adults could be hands-on with flight science tools like robotics and drones. 

It was inspiring to listen in as many women pilots took time to encourage our little girl that even the sky is not the limit! Seeing these same pilots take to the sky and watch these women in action who shatter ceilings was a great way to celebrate Women’s History Month with our kids. 

The day at the Point Mugu Air Show was so educational and continues to inspire great conversation with our children. We are so glad we had the opportunity to attend this year before we PCS! 

The Point Mugu Air Show, Ventura County’s largest public event so if you are looking to come to Camarillo next year for the Air Show, definitely make plans early.  Parking, admission, and blanket seating are all free. Upgraded preferred seating options are available.  Tip: be sure to bring sunscreen and reapply often! 


During our weekend trip, we planned a visit to Underwood Family Farm in nearby Moorpark, CA (less than a 20 minute drive from Camarillo). While it would be delightful to visit Underwood Family Farm any time of the year to pick their tasty fruits and vegetables or beautiful florals, our visit featured one of their three special events: the Springtime Easter Festival.

The Springtime Easter Festival at Underwood Family Farm was full of family fun! If you are looking for a place to take a family Easter photo, look no further! You can snap your own photo with the Easter Bunny daily and there are numerous photo opportunities throughout the farm. On the weekends there is even a live bunny to take photos with!

Our kids loved the tractor-drawn wagon rides, hay pyramid, harvester slide, combine slide, barrel horses, and animal shows that were all included with admission.

There are also activities within the Springtime Easter Festival that you can purchase separate tickets on the farm in addition to your admission. We purchased 48 tickets for $40 and our three kids were able to pick a variety of activities.

We started off with activities that all three of our kids wanted to participate in together. They all wanted to visit with the farm animals in the petting area. We had the opportunity to pet sheep, brush goats, and pet guinea pigs and a bunny. 

Next they wanted to feed baby ducklings, and who could blame them! The little ducks were so cute as they waddled around their enclosure. The kids were given a handful of soft, grainy feed. You can’t help but cherish the smile on the kids’ faces when the small ducks came up to eat the food from their hands. 

Our preschool-aged daughter loved the Egg Hunt where she could collect as many eggs as she wanted over and over and then deposit them into the Easter Bunny’s house. At the end of her Egg Hunt she was so excited to select six prize eggs to bring home.

The older elementary school aged boys wanted to race on the pedal carts and it was so fun watching them. They had a blast working hard to pedal the carts through the race course! For the younger kids who we saw on the pedal carts, parents could easily push the carts through the course to assist their child who may struggle with the pedals. One mom even had a playlist going on her phone with fun race music!

Our time spent at the Underwood Family Farm was fun for the whole family! If you are looking to add some fun to your itinerary that meets a wide variety of interests across age levels, definitely consider a visit to Underwood Family Farm. 

Note: If you are planning a trip to Underwood Family Farm on the weekend during one of their special events (Springtime Easter Festival, Fall Festival, or Christmas on the Farm), you must purchase a ticket online in advance. 

Commemorative Air Force Museum

One of the top things to do in Camarillo with kids is to visit the Commemorative Air Force Museum. This museum showcases vintage aircraft from World War II, including bombers, fighters, and transport planes. This museum is a popular attraction for locals and tourists alike, as it offers visitors an up-close look at some of the most iconic aircraft in history. 

The Commemorative Air Force Museum showcased planes from WWII at the Point Mugu Air Show while we were visiting Camarillo. While we did not get to visit this WWII aviation museum in person this trip, our kids loved talking with the museum volunteers at the air show about the planes on display and each decided to use their money to purchase a small toy plane. 

If you have aviation interested kids and are visiting Camarillo when the Point Mugu air show isn’t taking place, I would think the Commemorative Air Force Museum would be a must-see on your itinerary. 

Making Memories in Camarillo

Our trip to Camarillo, California was an experience that our family will cherish for years to come. With a variety of activities, great food, and friendly locals throughout the weekend, our family found Camarillo to be somewhere each of us truly enjoyed visiting.

Camarillo is a great place for military families stationed across California to visit. It is a lovely city that offers a unique blend of small-town charm and modern amenities. Camarillo definitely has something for everyone. With plenty of shopping, dining and activities to enjoy, there’s no shortage of things to do or places to explore in Camarillo. 

This trip created memories that will last forever and it is one that can definitely be recommended for others who are looking for a fun and memorable family getaway.

So make sure to add Camarillo, California to your military family’s Southern California bucket list and make some unforgettable memories in today!

photo collage of why visiting camarillo should be on your family's SoCal bucket list

Sharing is caring!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *