By Nathanael Rodriguez, Signal Contributor
Those heading down Highway 126 toward Ventura are often in search of sandy beaches and blue ocean waves.
But this well-traveled two-lane road has a lot more to offer than just a sunny weekend destination or an eye-catching drive.
Along the well-known route lies a number of lesser-known tourists sites offering attractions whether you’d like to enjoy learning a little bit of history or looking for a more outdoorsy type of weekend adventure.
Just off the side of Highway 126 in Santa Paula for example, stand several historical sites, including a pair of interactive transportation museums.
‘Chain of Hanars’
A nonprofit organization located on the Santa Paula Airport, the Aviation Museum of Santa Paula contains what the group calls the “Chain of Hangars.”
Each hangar exhibits a unique collection of the owner’s personal aircrafts. These include antique, classic and experimental aircrafts. Along with this display, the museum exhibits automobiles, such as race cars and motorcycles, a giant antique radio, a jukebox and phonograph collection, paintings and photographs, model aircrafts and aviation artifacts.
The Chain of Hangars, museum gift shop, and aircraft display are open to the public on the first Sunday of each month between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., weather permitting. The airport is also open all day, weather permitting. Special ground tours are available by appointment.
For more information, visit aviationmuseumofsantapaula.org or contact them at 805-525-1109.
The Agricultural Museum
Dedicated to the region’s farming and ranching history, the Museum of Ventura County Agricultural Museum is located in the historic Mill building, built in 1888 in downtown Santa Paula at 926 Railroad Ave.
The museum contains a variety of agriculture themed exhibits, including “Good Earth: Tilling the Soil,” a look into the soil preparation techniques from the late 1800s to the mid-1900s. The exhibit also explores the collection of antique local plows, harrows, subsoilers, and other agricultural tools. The museum also has a new exhibit set to open in March of 2019. It explores the local agricultural highlights in the community spanning over thirty years.
The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and students, and $1 for children. Children five and younger are free.
For more information visit www.venturamuseum.org or contact them at 805-525-3100.
Santa Paula Murals
While in downtown Santa Paula, don’t forget to visit the famous Santa Paula Murals, a beautiful merging of art and history in the form of nine murals painted on the walls of various downtown buildings.
The murals depict important chapters in the city’s history such as the city’s first inhabitants the Chumash Indians on 119 North 8th Street, and the discovery of oil on 123 N. 10th Street.
For walking tour maps, contact the Santa Paula Chamber of Commerce at 805-525-5561.
While making the trip to view the history and art of Santa Paula, be sure to visit a number of other tourists sites nestled along Highway 126.
Just inside the Los Padres National Forest, lies Lake Piru. located next to the Sespe Condor Sanctuary and less than an hour away from Santa Clarita, Lake Piru provides the perfect destination for those seeking to escape the city life for a day or even multi-day adventure.
The site offers well-shaded camping sites, clean restrooms, coin-operated hot showers and a store for all of your camping and boating needs.
Day users and overnight campers can enjoy playgrounds, picnic tables, a horseshoe pit and a 9-hole disc golf course. The area is friendly for RVs campers, trailers, and tents and even offers boat rentals.
For more information, contact 805-521-1500.
A sweet treat
For a sweet treat during your highway drive, make a stop at Bennett’s Honey Farm on 3176 Honey Lane just off of Highway 126. The farm boasts high quality 100% pure raw gourmet honey that is both kosher and organic.
The honey is produced in Ventura, home of some of the best sage and wildflower fields in California. The farm produces, packs and distributes its honey from a solar-powered facility and unlike other facilities who filter their honey, Bennett’s Honey Farm uses a process called gravity straining. This process allows the honey to retain its naturally perfect components.
The tasting room and store is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. through 5 p.m.
For more information, visit www.bennetthoney.com or call them at 805-521-1357.
The Fillmore and Western Railway Company
For movie fanatics and train lovers, Fillmore and Western Railway Company is a must see. The “Home of the Movie Trains” is located on a stretch of railway owned by the Ventura County Transportation Commission on 351 Santa Clara St. in Fillmore.
The majority of the trains on the railway were acquired from three major film studios: 20th Century Fox, Paramount, and MGM. The railway provides the public with weekend train tours that will take you through the Heritage Valley on historic train cars that were used in well known movies and TV shows.
There are also a number of holiday train events, as well as special events, such as the recent Beer, Wine and Blues Train.
In June for example, the railway is offering a trip to a local bee farm for the freshest honey imaginable for the Honey Harvest Festival.For more information on tours and events visit www.fwry.com or call at 805-524-2546.