Travel Guide to California


A carefree beach town sixty miles north of Los Angeles, Ventura feels worlds away—a throwback to family fun, outdoor adventure and wild islands

by lenore greiner

Family Fun

In Ventura’s small-town downtown, two blocks from the beach, park for free and walk everywhere. Here, you’ll find a lively array of locally owned stores, unpretentious art galleries, restaurants, craft breweries, and thrift stores brimming with antiques and bargains.

Ten minutes from downtown at pretty Ventura Harbor Village, enjoy fresh-off-the-boat seafood, shop for beachwear, sip California wine, or treat the family to ice cream. Perfect for kids, nearby Harbor Cove Beach protects small swimmers from big swells.

Need more beachy ease? Play or surf in world-class waves surging from the horizon on Ventura’s two-mile-long San Buenaventura State Beach.  

Natural Adventures

Go hiking and biking in Harmon Canyon, a 2,100-acre nature preserve minutes from downtown. Time travel to an earlier California of majestic oaks, coastal sage hillsides, tree-lined creeks, and expansive views. In the quiet, watch for native wildlife: coyotes, raccoons, deer, and bobcats.

Bikers will love peddling the flat Rincon Bike Trail alongside a sparkling Pacific Ocean. Starting at the Ventura Bike Depot, you’ll find chances for dolphin sightings or to stop for a swim.

Cruise to the Galápagos of North America 

One of America’s least-visited national parks, the Channel Islands National Park and Marine Sanctuary, lies only an hour boat trip from Ventura’s shoreline. Over 2,000 species of plants and animals thrive here with 150 species found nowhere else in the world.

After landing on the closest of the park’s five untamed islands, Santa Cruz or Anacapa, expect to confront a wild silence. In this empty yet wondrous place, settle on a beach where you can hear yourself think. Offshore, you’ll spy whale spouts hanging in the air like phantom sails. Or observe island foxes, the size of house cats, scamper through Seuss-like flower fields.

At day’s end, a Ventura sunset’s colors spill from the horizon to daub the sky with brilliance. Create moments to treasure forever while indulging in beach days, hiking or exploring. When visiting Ventura, life is uncomplicated.

Surf, Shop, Cruise, and Explore

Visit Ventura Information VisitVenturaCA.com



Scroll to Top
Seraphinite AcceleratorOptimized by Seraphinite Accelerator
Turns on site high speed to be attractive for people and search engines.