The place is Ventura County? And what are the most effective issues to do in Ventura County California?
We knew nothing about Ventura County earlier than our Southern California highway journey final month, not even the place it was situated.
I had solely ever heard of Ventura Boulevard in just a few track lyrics and that thoroughfare is in LA.
Ventura County, California is about an hour north of LA and 30 minutes south of Santa Barbara. You should definitely go away your pretense and busyness on the freeway out of LA, as a result of it doesn’t belong in Ventura County.
It’s slower paced and fewer crowded.
I’m glad we find out about Ventura County Ca now and might share with you the various wonderful issues to do in Ventura with children. It’s filled with sudden surprises and adventures.
We stopped right here for 3 days to benefit from the coastal dwelling, and one of many major vacationer sights in Ventura, the Channel Islands National Park.
We visited on a paid partnership with Go to California and Ventura County Coast on the Kidifornia Adventures marketing campaign.
17 Issues to do in Ventura County California
Ventura Harbor Village
Ventura Harbor Village is situated on a small strip of land in the course of the seaside and the harbor.
The seaside, Surfers knoll, has a preferred surf break on the Santa Clara River Mouth, and the harbor is among the largest harbors in North America for offloading squid.
It’s a working harbor and fishing marina which additionally has retailers, galleries, eating places and waterfront actions.
Simply wandering round this harbor will elevate your happiness with the bougainvillea laden paths, the good blue water stuffed with crusing ships, and the beautiful Topatopa mountains within the background.
Their magnetic energy saved pulling my eyes again to gaze in surprise.
Within the moments between gazing, there are these enjoyable issues to do in Ventura Village Harbor.
2. Absorb Harbor life on a Pedal Boat Journey
We have been slightly cautious to take out the pedal boats.
Not as a result of we didn’t assume it could be a enjoyable option to discover the harbor, however as a result of the final couple of occasions we’ve taken out pedal boats they’ve been an excruciating exercise.
We swore we’d by no means take out one other pedal boat once more.
However, we couldn’t resist the lure of sea lions resting on the wharves and swimming within the waters.
Fortunately, these pedal boats have been very easy to hawk! We had a enjoyable half hour journey peddling between the younger kids crusing and the ocean lions resting on the wharves.
One sea lion had taken over the again of somebody’s parked boat for slightly sunning, the opposite was resting out on a jetty.
You possibly can hire the pedal boats from Ventura Boat Rentals. In addition they provide harbor excursions, kayaks, arise paddle boards, electrical boats and jet skis!
3. Get pleasure from a Seafood Lunch with a View at Brophy Bros Restaurant
You possibly can’t beat the views from this second story restaurant on Ventura Harbor. Intention for a desk on the enclosed patio.
At Brophy Bros you’ll discover any sort of seafood dish that you simply like. We went for some native pan blackened Cajun sea bass and Mahi Mahi with a mango and papaya relish.
A steamed mussels in broth starter was the right accompaniment to the beautiful views. These mountains!!
Friday nights are the favored time for locals to return sit on the full size bar dealing with the marina to eat oysters and revel in pleased hour drink costs.
4. Deal with your self with fish cone at Coastal Cone Ice Cream
Have you ever ever had Taiyaki ice cream cone earlier than? Have you ever ever heard of it?
Taiyaki is a well-liked avenue meals present in Korea, Japan, San Francisco, LA an New York. Coastal Cone is the one place between LA and San Fran to supply Taiyaki Fish Cones.
It’s a fish formed cake turned waffle, which is crunchy on the surface and tender on the within like a dessert pancake, making ice lotions additional scrumptious.
Now to select from the 46 ice cream flavors for a terrific pairing.
We ate quite a lot of ice cream on our Southern California Highway journey. No surprise the ladies beloved the Kidifornia adventure a lot.
5. Sea Cave Kayak Journey at Channel Islands Nationwide Park
A particular spotlight of our household highway journey to Ventura California was our day trip to the Channel Islands National Park, which is about an 80 minute ferry experience from Ventura Harbor.
It’s America’s least visited Nationwide Park and is stuffed with pure magnificence, wildlife and loads of journey.
The Channel Islands Nationwide Park is made up of 5 separate islands: San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, Anacapa, and Santa Barbara.
You possibly can go to any of the islands by boat with Island Packers, by aircraft with Channel Islands Aviation, or your individual personal boat.
The boat journey over is simply as spectacular because the Channel Islands. The chances are excessive that you simply’ll see sea lions, dolphins and even whales.
We loved a sea cave kayak journey tour with Santa Barbara Adventure Company on Santa Cruz Island.
We spent shut to a few hours paddling by way of the varied sea caves reminiscent of Elephant Stomach, In and Out, and the Painted Cave.
We realized lots concerning the islands, noticed loads of nesting birds and even had a sea lion pop up subsequent to us out of the kelp forest.
Talking of which, we snorkeled by way of the kelp forest as soon as we completed our kayaking tour. It was a particular expertise which warranted a whole publish on our web site by itself.
You possibly can click here to learn extra about our wonderful go to to the Channel Islands Nationwide Park with children.
It’s positively among the best issues to do in Ventura California with children.
6. Go Classic at Village Carousel and Arcade
One among my earliest journey recollections was again once I was about eight on a household trip by the seaside. Within the lodge there was a small video games room that had Pac Man.
My brother and sister and I spent hours every day enjoying and competing in opposition to our new Indian associates.
It was unbelievable how a lot we bonded over that recreation. We have been so unhappy after we needed to go away one another on the finish of our trip.
Now that I journey with my children, I do my finest to steer them to adventures within the Nice Open air, frowning over staying inside to play video games.
Nevertheless, every time they strain me to play arcade video games, I keep in mind that trip and the way a lot pleasure it gave me to do the identical.
So I relent, with a while restrictions. We all the time find yourself having a enjoyable time.
We popped into the Carousel and Arcade Games in Ventura Harbor Village for just a few video games of basketball toss and automobile races, amassing just a few tickets to commerce in for prizes as we went.
It’s classic enjoyable in Ventura!
Do you’ve gotten candy childhood recollections of arcade recreation enjoyable as properly?
7. Discover Downtown Ventura
Downtown Ventura is ideal for a relaxed afternoon of purchasing (window or not) and absorbing the Ventura vibe.
Primary avenue is a number of blocks lengthy and stuffed with boutique shops, vintage retailers, cafes, eating places, artwork galleries, leisure areas, and a big assortment of second-hand shops.
Downtown Ventura is beautiful and funky! We immediately favored it after we drove into city.
Amongst the purchasing and consuming, make sure to cease and marvel on the lovely Ventura City Hall and the mission (see level 7).
For all you journey addicts, don’t stroll previous Passport Habits.
It’s a retailer created for vacationers by a traveler. The proprietor has lived and traveled everywhere in the world and continues at hand pack objects from her adventures for her retailer.
I beloved it and will have purchased considered one of all the things.
I settled for a bunch of crystals for myself, Craig and the ladies. I might really feel the power off them and knew they have been the actual deal.
You’ll additionally discover jewellery from Bali, colourful Moroccan and Turkey carpets, baggage and all kinds of journey associated knick knacks. Get misplaced in there for some time.
For the boys, Iron & Resin was a retailer with swagger. They’ve a small, hand constructed assortment of products that attracts closely upon the founder’s personal life and experiences.
They’re targeted on native sustainability: crafting garments within the US, lowering their footprint on the planet, and making garments that final! I like them.
We additionally handed by a few cool trying breweries and wine tasting rooms.
You could have loads of selections for locations to eat and play in Downtown Ventura.
The excellent news is they’re all located on the principle avenue and in simple strolling distance from one another (and the Ventura Pier and Crowne Plaza Resort).
8. San Buenaventura Mission
San Buenaventura Mission was created in 1749 with the intention of changing the native Chumash individuals into the Spanish way of life and Catholic faith.
It’s had a turbulent previous of earthquakes, fires and pirates, but remains to be a working church at this time for Catholics and non-Catholics.
The Mission is opened to the general public to discover. It’s solely small so that you received’t want quite a lot of time.
We arrived proper close to closing so had a couple of minutes to stroll around the serene mission gardens. It’s an exquisite spot to get away and ponder what ever you wish to replicate on.
Visiting San Buenaventura Mission prices $Four for adults, $1 for teenagers, and $10 for a household of 4.
9. Play at Ventura Pier and Promenade
We didn’t get to spend a lot time exploring Ventura Seashore and Ventura Pier. The pier is on the backside of Downton Ventura and is the eighth longest in California and a favourite for fisherman.
On each side of the pier is the favored San Buenaventura State Seashore.
There’s a sand playground at its base with children’ swings and the boardwalk alongside the seaside is nice for walkers, skaters, bikers, you identify it.
We heard the tacos on the pier are yummy and low-cost!
There’s a nice browsing break simply to the north of the pier as properly at Surfers Level Seashore. It’s situated subsequent to the Seaside Park on the mouth of Ventura River.
I loved watching the surfers of a morning from our balcony on the Crowne Plaza Resort. The waves have been persistently good day by day.
I additionally beloved the views sitting across the fireplace pit out the entrance of the Crowne Plaza and searching in direction of the Channel Islands.
It was very serene and felt lots like I used to be in Hawaii.
Spencer Makenzie’s Fish additionally got here extremely really useful to us by the locals as among the best locations in California for fish tacos. Let me know!
10. Get pleasure from a Seafood Dinner at Lure Fish Home
Locals’ favourite, the Lure Fish House, is a chic (and fairly priced) seafood restaurant in Downtown Ventura.
It has a relaxed and pleasant ambiance and feels just like the sort of place the place everybody will know your identify.
You possibly can sit on the cubicles inside, the patio deck exterior, or should you don’t wish to await a desk, seize an empty seat on the bar or excessive tops.
Lure is among the hottest locations to eat in Ventura and might get very busy so that you would possibly wish to reserve a desk.
Don’t fear about dressing up although, you’re in Ventura, come as you might be!
The menu at Lure Fish Home options recent and sustainable seafood domestically caught, organically grown native produce, and wines from native vineyards at any time when doable.
We each ordered the native wild Pacific Rockfish with native brussel sprouts and almond pesto cauliflower #delish
11. Be Waffle Wowed at Harvest Café
We found Harvest Cafe as we have been leaving Ventura and have been in search of a fast breakfast spot. It was the right finish to our time in Ventura.
Harvest Café guarantees to be a real farm-to-table restaurant, serving solely the freshest produce, arriving every day from farms within the Ventura space.
All of their elements are natural, and grown as near our location as doable. How will you not help such a socially accountable native firm who cares about your well being and scrumptious meals?
Waffles are hardly ever on my agenda so I couldn’t resist ordering a serve of the gluten free vegan buckwheat waffles topped with berries and cashew nut cream and maple syrup.
The mixture of flavors have been very good.
I don’t have a candy tooth so don’t order pancakes a lot, however this had simply sufficient sweetness to be scrumptious with out making me really feel sick, and mixed with the berries, and the cashew nut cream, it was complete heaven.
I might eat them day by day.
The espresso was fairly good too and I used to be delighted with the wholesome breakfast choices for teenagers.
Critically. Don’t miss Harvest Café when you’re in California! They even have video games the children can play even when you eat your breakfast.
12. Sundown Dinner – La Cosecha Trendy Cochina
After our Channel Islands journey, we determined to return to our lodge in Ventura and eat dinner on the restaurant so we might loosen up across the fireplace pit with views of the islands we had simply sailed again from.
I’m all the time slightly cautious consuming at lodge eating places as they are often so hit or miss.
However we have been simply able to loosen up. I overlook that we have been in California so after all the meals was going to be good.
We didn’t have one dangerous meals expertise in Southern California.
The truth is, considered one of our favourite meals experiences on our Southern California highway journey was the Pacific Hideaway restaurant inside the Kimpton Shorebreak Hotel.
La Cosecha proved to be a successful selection for our closing meal in California and possibly our final nice Mexican meal we’ll have for awhile.
You simply can’t discover nice Mexican in Raleigh such as you do in SoCal.
La Coscha has award successful innovate Mexican dishes created from elements that honor the native agriculture in addition to sustainably sources seafood.
We ordered Chile Relleno for me and extra shrimp tacos for Craig.
It was an exquisite area to observe the sundown and loosen up across the fireplace chatting with different individuals staying within the lodge.
And the ladies have been pleased as they may run round safely on the seaside promenade in entrance of us.
Oxnard Ca is about 10 minutes south of Ventura Ca.
It’s very comparable in that it gives the identical energetic seaside life-style and its personal harbor, the Channel Islands Harbor, the place you’ll discover eating places, water experiences, and the Sunday Farmers Market.
13. Get pleasure from breakfast at Contemporary & Fabulous Café
On the lookout for a scrumptious native breakfast to provide the power on your day exploring Oxnard?
Fresh & Fabulous is a household owned café since 2006. They make their meals from scratch utilizing tremendous elements and conventional strategies – identical to grandma used to make them!
The service was simply as recent and fabulous because the meals.
The market veggie omelet with a aspect of hash browns was enormous and really tasty!
14. Sluggish Down on a Gondola Journey
Time for slightly Venetian taste in your Ventura County trip. And why not?
The Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard is the right place for a gondola experience. Not like Venice, Italy, you’ll largely have the canals to your self, which makes this gondola experience expertise much more particular.
As our information, and proprietor of Gondola Paradiso, Mark Education defined to us,
“we dwell quick paced lives, one thing our our bodies (and spirit) are usually not truly wired to do. It’s very important for our well being that we take the time to decelerate and don’t a lot else however sit in a gondola and transfer on the tempo of a human paddle stroke. “
I felt that return to myself solely only a few strokes in.
Aside from our conversations, all I might hear was the mild lapping of the paddle, and the one different motion we have been witness to was the group of children paddling by on their arise paddle boards.
Their music broke the serenity slightly, however their laughter solely added to the enjoyment of experiencing native dwelling.
The gondola experience is a loop across the canals of Coral Island the place you get to see the attractive mansions on the water. In Oxnard, California they run low-cost at a mean of about 2 million.
Mark has all the things arrange for a cushty gondola experience; heat blankets to offset any cool breeze. And that’s all you want on your gondola experience.
There was additionally loads of area for us to sit down and loosen up. You might be greater than welcome to carry your individual meals and drinks as properly.
We’ve got penciled in a sundown gondola experience with wine and cheese for our subsequent go to to Ventura County. Don’t overlook yours!
And bear in mind the gondola rule for passing underneath bridges – it’s important to kiss your accomplice. Pucker up, you’ve two of them forward.
This was considered one of our favourite issues to do in Oxnard California.
15. Bond Over a Household Recreation of Foot Golf
I had by no means heard of Foot Golf till it landed on our Ventura itinerary.
Off we went on our first afternoon to the native River Ridge Golf Club to excellent our soccer golf expertise.
What a enjoyable household journey it was!
I extremely advocate foot golf as among the best issues to do in Ventura with children. Truly, exit this weekend in your hometown and play it.
It’s a good way to get the children exterior in nature training expertise, shifting their our bodies and making recollections.
We performed 9 holes which was sufficient. I believe 18 holes with younger children is an excessive amount of.
Savannah was fairly exhausted after it as a result of she ran nearly your complete time. Some holes took her 22 kicks to get it in!! We beloved her fashion and perseverance to simply run and dribble.
So what’s foot golf?
It’s the place you kick a soccer ball into a huge golf gap on the golf course. The fairways are a lot smaller than your typical golf ones.
Aside from that the sport idea is just about the identical.
You do share the course with golfers so make sure to watch for his or her flying balls and don’t get in the way in which of their shot.
16. The Annex at The Assortment at Riverpark, Oxnard
The Annex is a culinary targeted, neighborhood minded market.
It’s the primary Meals Corridor in Ventura County and has a group of eateries and retailers round a central frequent consuming space.
The Annex is a group of worldwide delicacies starting from burgers, Mexican, Italian, crepes, Vietnamese, Hawaiian Poke and Latin American Ceviche bowls, and even wholesome smoothies.
And maybe slightly of the unhealthy: ice cream that had a line wrapped across the annex, and a small bar (Bottle & Pint) showcasing craft beer from around the globe.
My pineapple cider with my bowl of steaming Vietnamese pho (from Love Pho) was a winner!
When you’ve gotten completed you possibly can wander round The Assortment, which is an out of doors mall with loads of main retailers and smaller boutique shops.
The place to Keep in Ventura California
17. Crowne Plaza Resort
We stayed on the Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach Hotel. As one of many Ventura Seashore resorts, it has prime beachfront location and a number of the rooms have ocean views.
As talked about I beloved sitting on my balcony of a morning watching the surfers.
The rooms, though slightly small, have been trendy, clear and comfy. The health middle was properly stocked with all the things you should keep your exercise.
For individuals who wish to loosen up across the lodge, the Crowne Plaza has a pool dealing with the seaside. And we beloved the firepit to sit down round at night time.
It was stress-free, heat and fairly social. And you can simply stroll into downtown from the Crowne Plaza.
On the lookout for extra hotels in Ventura Ca? Our affiliate accomplice Booking.com has over 50 properties to select from.
When you want automobile rental, take a look at our different affiliate accomplice, RentalCars.com – they’re our go to useful resource for automobile rent since 2007!