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Overview

Named after Chatsworth House, in Derbyshire, England, this town of about 40,000 inhabitants was birthed in the mid-1800s, when the early settlement lay on the Old Stagecoach Trail – you can still hike it over the Santa Susana Pass. Later it became a way-stop on the Union Pacific Railroad. A medley of environments, the modern suburban settlement combines industrial zones with wide open parks, farms, and ranchland at the base of the Santa Susana Mountains and Simi Hills, at the west end of the San Fernando Valley. Long known as horse country, it's still one place you can find horses tied up outside the Cowboy Palace Saloon. Its boulder-strewn ...

Named after Chatsworth House, in Derbyshire, England, this town of about 40,000 inhabitants was birthed in the mid-1800s, when the early settlement lay on the Old Stagecoach Trail – you can still hike it over the Santa Susana Pass. Later it became a way-stop on the Union Pacific Railroad. A medley of environments, the modern suburban settlement combines industrial zones with wide open parks, farms, and ranchland at the base of the Santa Susana Mountains and Simi Hills, at the west end of the San Fernando Valley. Long known as horse country, it's still one place you can find horses tied up outside the Cowboy Palace Saloon. Its boulder-strewn mountain backdrop was favored by Hollywood as a setting for Westerns, including the "Lone Ranger" and "Bonanza," filmed at Iverson Movie Ranch (today developed with housing), and many Hollywood idols built homes here. The Chatsworth Historical Society headquarters doubles as a regional history museum. More recently high-tech firms have established themselves here, as have California State University, Northridge, Northridge Medical Center, and Northridge Fashion Center.

Christopher Baker
About the Expert

Christopher P. Baker has authored guidebooks to Costa Rica, California, and various Caribbean islands for Frommer's, Lonely Planet, and National Geographic, among others.

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Anytime, but spring and autumn are best