Simi Valley is my home. I love it here. It’s a fairly large city, with a lot to offer. Thinking of moving here? Today, I’m here to talk to you about the top 10 things you should know before moving to Simi Valley.
1. It’s Close to Los Angeles
Simi Valley is located right outside of Los Angeles. Which means, you’re close to all the entertainment, and culture that Los Angeles has to offer, but far enough away that you don’t feel overcrowded.
In the mornings and evenings there is some commuter traffic around Simi Valley, but it’s nothing compared to what you experience in Los Angeles. We’re also out of the Los Angeles basin, so we get far less air pollution over here as well.
2. Homes are Affordable
Homes are much more affordable in Simi Valley than in most surrounding areas. At the time of this video, the median home value in Simi Valley is just under $600,000. Good luck finding anything that affordable in Los Angeles, where the median home value is over $750,000.
3. It Was the Safest City in the USA
Back in 1999, Simi Valley was ranked the safest large city in the US. That’s including all cities with populations over 100,000 people. Based on statistics from 2018, our ranking has slid a bit since then. But we still hold the number 40 spot. Remember, that’s nationwide out of over 300 cities. Not as great as we once were, but still pretty good, and very safe. I’ve lived here for almost twenty years, and I have never felt unsafe anywhere in the city.
4. Plenty of Hiking Trails
People in Simi Valley are crazy for their hiking trails. In total, there are 12 hiking and biking trails that are maintained by the Rancho Simi park district. Some of the more popular trails include Rocky Peak Trail, Corriganville Park and Trails, and Las Llajas Canyon Trail. A 9 ½ mile loop trail that starts out on the Chumash Trail and terminates on Evening Sky Drive. It provides amazing views of Simi Valley and the surrounding Hills.
5. Loads of Great Parks
We also have really great parks here in Simi Valley. Thirty eight great parks to be exact. One of the most popular parks is Rancho Tapo Community Park, otherwise known as Lemon Park, it features a pond, Bocce court, Tennis courts, basketball courts, a softball field, fitness equipment, and of course, a splash pad, perfect for those hot summer days.
Another park that is near and dear to my heart is Rancho Madera Community Park, located in the Woodranch area of West Simi. There are basketball courts, baseball fields, barbeques, picnic areas, gazebos, a tot playground, teen playground, tennis courts, soccer field, and a sand volleyball court. My daughter absolutely loves it.
At Rancho Madera Park, they also hold the annual Snowfest. Organizers bring in tons of man-made snow early in the morning, and it typically lasts well into the evening. Events include sledding, snow lots, tons of kid’s attractions, including many different bouncy houses, and lots of various stage performances. There is also a wide variety of food trucks available. Be sure to get there early, because parking can be difficult.
6. You Can’t Beat the Weather
The weather throughout California is great, and Simi Valley is no exception. The average temperature in the dead of winter is around 52 degrees Fahrenheit, and in the middle of summer, it averages around 79 degrees.
It never gets cold enough to snow in Simi Valley. But that’s okay, because the mountains are less than two hours away, so you can always head up there after a good snowfall.
7. There’s a Giant Happy Face
As you enter Simi Valley heading west on the 118 Freeway, you will drive by the most famous hillside in Ventura County. Happy Face Hill was originally created in 1998 by Northridge gardener Sonny Clamerous and has since been maintained by various community groups throughout the years, including the Rotary Club.
The actual happy face is 150 feet wide. And is a welcome site to all those weary traveler’s finally making their way back home to Simi Valley.
8. Plenty of Shows and Movies Were Shot Here
Simi Valley has been the home to many television shows and movies throughout the years. The long running series Gunsmoke and M*A*S*H were both filmed in the hills of Simi Valley. And the popular 1970s show Little House on the Prairie had many sets constructed in and around the Big Sky Ranch located North of Simi Valley, including, the entire town of Walnut Grove. Fun fact, the little house was actually left intact after the show stopped shooting, but later burned down in July 2004, during a wildfire.
The movies The Big Lebowski, The Three Amigos, and GI Joe, the Rise of Cobra, just to name a few. All featured scenes that were shot in Simi Valley. And in the Mike Myers feature, The Cat in the Hat, both neighborhood and town center scenes were filmed here. For the movie Twenty-four prop houses were constructed here, each twenty six feet square, and fifty two feet tall.
9. We’ve Got the Poltergeist House
Speaking of movies. The house from the original 1982 movie Poltergeist was filmed on Roxbury Street in Simi Valley. At the time of shooting, the homes on the street were newly constructed and there was open space to the rear, which gave the studio plenty of access for all its trucks.
The home suffered from substantial damage during the 1994 Northridge earthquake. But it has been repaired, and these days, it looks pretty similar to how it did in the original movie. With a few modern upgrades, and the trees are a bit larger.
10. The Reagan Library is Here
Of course, you can’t talk about Simi Valley without mentioning the Ronald Reagan presidential library. Construction for the library began back in 1988, but it wasn’t until November of 1991 that the library was officially completed. At that time, it was the largest of all the presidential libraries.
Following the death of Ronald Reagan, he was buried at the library on June 12th, 2004. His wife, Nancy Reagan was laid to rest next to her husband, following her death 12 years later.
The Reagan library is the most famous attraction in Simi Valley, and is one of the most popular attractions in all of Ventura County. Currently, the library contains a permanent exhibit covering President Reagan’s life, a full-scale replica of the Oval office, a large piece of the Berlin Wall, and most notably, the Air Force One Pavillion which was constructed in October 2005. A ninety thousand square foot hangar that serves as the permanent display of the Boeing 707 aircraft utilized as Air Force One during Reagan’s administration.