Top 10 Things to do in Ventura

“Nestled between the rugged Los Padres National Forest and the sparkling Pacific Ocean and located at the southern tip of California’s Central Coast, Ventura is a classic beach town with much more to it than sand and surf.” –Ventura Premier Visitor Guide 2008-2009.

Top 10 Things to do:

1.  Head for the harbor!  Poke around the shops and galleries in Ventura Harbor Village, rent a pedal craft and watch the boats head out to sea.  Stop by the Channel Islands National Park Visitor Center to learn about the pristine wonderland that lies just offshore.

2.  Hop aboard Island Packers and cruise out to the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.  Spot whales, dolphins and sea lions, hike or kayak at Channel Islands National Park, and discover one of the nation’s most spectacular land-and-sea preserves.

3.  Spend time at the beach!  Walk, boogie board, surf, suntan and dig your toes into the sand!  Grab lunch, snacks or coffee at a cozy Seaward Avenue neighborhood cafe. 

4.  Ride a surrey cycle or bike along the waterfront promenade and head out to the end of the Ventura Pier for spectacular ocean and city views.  Click here for a live web cam shot of the pier.

5.  Follow the Adobe Trail from historic sites in downtown Ventura (Mission San Buenaventura, Albinger Archeological Museum, Ortega Adobe) to the harbor area (Olivas Adobe) and then on to Heritage Valley (Rancho Camulos).

6.  Try the regional cuisine – from the fresh local seafood to nouvelle California to fusion Indian-Thai.  Wine trail maps are available at the Visitor Center.

7.  Discover the art of Ventura.  Pick up guides to galleries and public art at the Visitors Center and see as many venues as time allows.

8.  Take a Tour using self-guided tour leaflets at the Ventura Visitor Center and stroll through the historic downtown area.  Or sign up for a city-sponsored  Discover Ventura tour led by experts (limited dates).

9.  Walk the Historic Pier.  Located near downtown just off California Street, this historic structure was once the longest wooden pier on the  west coast.  Today it provides a lovely place for family strolls and some of the best views of the city.

10.  Visit the Museum of Ventura Countyto view fascinating exhibits on Ventura art, history and culture.