Cast a line or set up your tent at this sprawling Ojai-area reservoir.
Just outside of Ojai in the hills of Ventura County, Lake Casitas is a massive reservoir that provides drinking water to residents of the region while offering excellent opportunities for boating, fishing, and shorefront camping. Run by the municipal water board, the Lake Casitas Recreation Area has 13 campgrounds with a mix of simple tent sites, electric sites, and full hook-up sites, plus two group camps, a bike rental shop, a bait shop, a cafe, and two boat ramps. While visitors aren't allowed to swim in the lake, there is a water park right by the lake with a lazy river and splash playgrounds for kids.
Lake Casitas is a year-round destination, but the best months for camping are from April through October, when there's little chance of rain and temperatures are pleasant. Note that the campgrounds are often at capacity during the summer, so visit before Memorial Day Weekend or after Labor Day to avoid crowds. Anglers should note that the lake is stocked with Rainbow Trout at various points throughout the year. Night fishing is allowed on select evenings every month, weather permitting.