Within Pleasant Valley, Camarillo is a southern California city just inland from Oxnard and the Pacific Ocean; and approximately 60 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. The city, which retains California’s original Spanish flavor, gives its name to a rare breed of horse known for a pinkish-white coloration, which was bred in the city for many decades (and is—by the way—the official horse of the city). Agriculture remains a major part of its economy, as some Camarillo event venues reflect. The town is also the site of a campus of California State University.
Camarillo Airport, the former Oxnard Army Air Field, is now only for private aircraft and maintenance, so Los Angeles International (LAX), approximately 55 miles northwest of Camarillo, is the closest hub. There is an Amtrak station here, too.
There are no stand-alone convention venues in Camarillo, but Oxnard Performing Arts & Convention Center, in adjacent Oxnard, has space for up to 4,000 persons, as well as a 1,604-seat auditorium, two banquet rooms and five meeting rooms.
Hotel venues in Camarillo, mostly resort in style, include the 170-room Hilton Garden Inn Oxnard/Camarillo, which has the ability to host events of up to 250 persons; the 130-room Courtyard Camarillo, which has 1,500 square feet of meeting space, its largest room able to host up to 60 persons; the 128-room Residence Inn Camarillo, which has one meeting room for up to 45 persons; the 116-room Hampton Inn & Suites Camarillo, which has 1,400 square feet of meeting space for up to 80 persons; and the 25-room, independent Bella Capri Inn & Suites, which has an events room, terrace and courtyard for up to 150 persons.
Places in Camarillo where special events can be held include the Camarillo Ranch House, the family home of the Camarillo horse breeders, which was built in 1892, is on the National Register of Historic Places, preserves its Hispanic heritage and contains 4.5 acres of landscaped grounds, a huge events barn and a lawn for up to 600 persons. Another ranch house, the McCormick Home Ranch, which is a few years younger. Built in 1918, it has wonderful gardens and room for events of up to 250 persons amid lush vegetation; equally ebullient, hacienda-style Spanish Hills Country Club, which has a circular, white main building, an 18-hole golf course and a suite of conference rooms that can be made into one large room for banquets of up to 312 persons; Freedom Park BMX Raceway, where the sport might not be everyone but which can be rented out by groups and with coached lessons so one does not scrape their shins too much, and Maravilla Gardens, a venue particularly in demand for weddings, which has verdant grounds and large lawns for events.
Camarillo restaurants able to host groups include Lure Fish House, one of a small chain of three restaurants in the area, which also has an oyster bar; Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill, which does what the last part of its name suggests, also is part of a chain, a larger one, and has a patio that can host up to 70 persons; Sawadee, a small but charming Thai spot that also serves a good number of vegetarian dishes; Verona Trattoria for Italian fine dining, and, for Southern California-Mexican cuisine, Olas de Carlos Surf Grill, which is as informal as its surfing, surf-dude vibe.