Things To Do In Ventura CA, Ventura is a Central California coastal city nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Los Padres National Forest foothills. These outdoor environments, combined with a generally sunny forecast, provide numerous opportunities to enjoy the city’s many attractions. Surfing, along with shopping, sailing, and watching the sunset on the beach, is always a popular activity in Ventura.
Museums, marina park, serra cross park and harbor villages are among the other attractions in Ventura County Coast. San Buenaventura State Beach, with two miles of downtown shoreline and the 1,600-foot Ventura Pier, is also a must-see. Tourists and locals alike flock to these postcard locations, especially at sunset in Ventura county wine trail.
Ventura has a long history that is visible on the streets. It’s officially the city of Buenaventura, and it’s home to the 1782 Mission San Buenaventura. The mission’s church and garden still stand today, anchoring a fashionable downtown district with several shops and restaurants here at Ventura County Coast.
With our list of the top attractions and things to do in Ventura, you can plan your visit to this laid-back coastal town.
List of 10 Things To Do In Ventura CA Today
1. State Beach of San Buenaventura
San Buenaventura State Beach stretches for two miles along the Ventura city coastline, from Marina Park to the Ventura Pier. This sprawling area provides the quintessential beach experience, with swimming, surfing, and exploring the sand dunes among the most popular activities. It’s also popular for simply laying out a towel and relaxing in the afternoon sun.
Certified lifeguards patrol the sand and surf, and picnic tables and shade trees define a large grassy picnic area near the serra cross park entrance gate. The pier, which stretches over 1,600 feet into the ocean, is a fun attraction to explore. This historic pier is popular with anglers and offers one of the best views of the nearby Channel Island.
And the Omar Rains Trail runs the length of the beach and connects to other Ventura beach attractions. The bike trail broadens into a promenade near the scenic Surfers Point at Seaside Park, where you’re likely to see someone catching some waves. The Coastal Trail extends further north, all the way to Emma Woods State Beach Channel Islands Harbor.
Ventura, California, 901 San Pedro Street
2. Ventura Harbor Village is number two.
South of downtown, Ventura Harbor Village provides seaside attractions and numerous opportunities to enjoy the ocean. It’s a place where you can find ocean-inspired retail shops and family-friendly activities like boat rentals, beach volleyball courts, and whale watching excursions. It’s also a great place to get fresh seafood, with options ranging from fried lunch baskets to upscale dinner entrees.
Harbor Village also serves as a jumping off point for exploring the nearby Channel Islands National Park just like emma wood state beach. Passengers typically board an Island Packers ferry to reach the Channel Islands. Visit the Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center at the north end of the village for more information and detailed exhibits about the Channel island.
Walking around Harbor Village and taking in the coastal atmosphere, including the array of boats moored in the harbor, is part of the experience. Ventura Harbor Village is also pet-friendly, as evidenced by the annual pet costume contest held every October in Los Angeles.
Ventura, California, 1583 Spinnaker Drive
3. Seaside Park’s Surfers Point
This well-known surfing spot is located just north of the Ventura Pier and San Buenaventura State Beach. It’s a south-facing point that’s popular for surfing because of the long right-handed waves that carry surfers to Ventura Pier. At this popular surfing and sightseeing destination, two large parking lots accessible from Figueroa Street are frequently full.
A lovely palm-tree-lined promenade runs alongside the ocean in Seaside Park. This beautiful walk is popular with all ocean lovers, not just surfers. It’s a nice place to relax and enjoy the weather, and it’s close to San Buenaventura Beach to the south.
Birding is also popular at Seaside Park, owing to the lagoon formed by the nearby Ventura River, which empties into the sea. Seaside Wilderness Park, located on the opposite riverbanks of Surfers Point at Ventura County Fairgrounds, has less developed coastal bluffs and hiking trails to explore.
Shoreline Drive in Ventura, San Francisco, California
4. The Ventura Pier
The Ventura Pier, which was built in 1872 and restored in 1993, is a city landmark. It’s a popular destination for anglers, photographers, and sunset strollers, who crowd the 1,600-foot wooden boardwalk. Restrooms, water fountains, benches, and food concessionaires are also available on-site at Ventura County Fair.
The Ventura Promenade, which extends north from the Ventura Pier, is a popular pedestrian route along the ocean. The wide shoreline of San Buenaventura State Beach, south of the Ventura Pier, invites afternoons spent playing in the sand.
5. San Buenaventura Mission
The Mission San Buenaventura, which dates back to 1782, is the focal point of Ventura’s downtown historical park. During self-guided tours of the mission, which include access to other architectural relics that remain in the area, the long history of this Mission Church is on full display at lake casitas.
The Garden and Grotto, Michelangelo’s Pieta, and the Padre’s Burial are all prominent stops on the self-guided tour. Even without going inside, the attractive exterior draws attention also because of ventura food tour. This outdoor plaza is adorned with decorative fountains and running water, inviting visitors to take a moment to appreciate this historical symbol of simi valley.
the Objective San Buenaventura is also close to the charming and historic Downtown District, which is lined with locally owned shops and restaurants. A free trolley system and free public parking lots make it simple to get around downtown Ventura. Downtown restaurants offer everything from quick bites to romantic fine-dining experiences, and local retail windows display everything from locally made homewares to the latest in fashion and design at surfers point beach.
211 East Main Street, Ventura, California
6. Main Street, Downtown Ventura
Downtown Ventura is a lively area with a variety of local shopping and dining options. The district is located on the other side of the 101, a few blocks from the beach. Main Street, which runs through the heart of the community, is the main thoroughfare, with storefronts extending for more than five city blocks.
The city recently implemented the popular Main Street Move program, which closed down a large portion of Main Street to vehicle traffic. This allowed a pedestrian-friendly promenade to take over the street and restaurants to add patio seating.
7. Ventura County Museum
This non-profit museum, located near the Mission San Buenaventura, details the people and events that shaped Ventura County into what it is today. It has rotating exhibits and over 30,000 pieces of artwork and artifacts on display on a regular basis.
The Chumash Gallery at the museum is dedicated to the region’s original inhabitants. The Music of the Masters collection, which celebrates the rich heritage of the Ojai and Ventura Music Festivals, is another exhibit.
The museum is currently free to enter and only open on weekends. Expect to spend 30 minutes to an hour, if not longer, wandering the exhibits. The museum’s on-site gift shop allows visitors to take a piece of history home with them.
The Albinger Archaeological Museum, located across the street from the Museum of Ventura County, unearths additional cultural artifacts.
100 East Main Street, Ventura, California
8. Ventura Botanical Gardens (VBG)
The Ventura Botanical Gardens encompass an entire canyon of natural beauty behind the tourist-friendly and architecturally pleasing Ventura City Hall Main st. It’s a lovely place for a stroll or an afternoon spent photographing the flora.
The devastating Thomas Fire, which spanned over 105 acres in 2017, wreaked havoc on this community space. But, like many of the botanical gardens’ native plant species, this city-owned institution has recovered from the fire and grown back into its former glory.
Today, there’s a lot to see and do at the botanical gardens, including a lovely hiking trail that leads to a landscaped summit with a view of the ocean. The botanical gardens extend into Grant Park, which also contains the historic Serra Cross, which overlooks the ocean.
Ventura, California 567 South Poli Street
9. Marina Park
Marina Park is a sprawling oceanfront park located directly across from Ventura Harbor Village. It’s a great place to let the kids run around and have fun. The park’s water access is limited due to the rock barrier that protects Ventura Harbor, but the abundant green space with harbor views, fishing docks, and playgrounds keep the afternoon busy.
Sotter’s Point is located within the park and is accessible via a trail that leads out onto the jetty. It’s a great spot to watch boats leave Ventura Harbor and into the ocean. A fishing dock, a large playable pirate ship, and several picnic areas are also popular attractions at the grant park.
Pierpont Boulevard in Ventura, California
10. Channel Islands National Park is number ten.
Channel Islands National Park includes five wild islands off the coast of Central California, as well as miles of ocean waters. These remote landscapes provide a true escape from the mainland’s hustle and bustle.
Visiting Channel Islands National Park is unlike visiting other California national parks. Because they are an island, different logistics apply for a day or weekend trip. The most common and scenic way to get there from Ventura is to take an Island Packers ferry from Ventura Harbor Village.
The most frequent ferry rides go to Santa Cruz Island and Anacapa Island, which are popular for hiking, camping, and photography. Anacapa Island’s Inspiration Point is widely regarded as having one of the best views in the park.
Santa Rosa, San Miguel, and Santa Barbara Islands, on the other hand, see fewer ferry passengers and offer an even more wild experience. There are no services on any of the five islands, so visitors must be self-sufficient and bring their own drinking water and trash.
The Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center, located at the north end of Ventura Harbor Village, has more information about the Channel Islands. Sea kayaking through sea caves, snorkeling and diving through kelp forests, and spotting common wildlife such as dolphins, whales, and sea lions are other ways to enjoy the Channel Islands.
FAQs about Things To Do In Ventura CA
Is it worthwhile to visit Ventura, California?
Introduce yourself to Ventura. This hidden gem of a city, nestled along 16 miles of coastline near Santa Barbara, has everything a city dweller needs to get away from it all. For years, it’s been the go-to place for Angelenos to get away, and it’s remained one of Southern California’s best-kept secrets.
What is the reputation of Ventura, California?
Ventura is known for its vibrant cultural scene, award-winning National Blue Ribbon and California Distinguished Schools, and engaged citizens who actively participate in community improvement.
Is Ventura a pleasant place to live?
Ventura is a California coastal town that is underappreciated. It’s ideal because it’s not overly touristy and was designed for locals. The historic downtown area is about five or six blocks long, with nice restaurants, thrift shops, and boutique stores, as well as a beautiful city hall and historic mission.
Is Ventura a pleasant place to live?
There isn’t much not to like about Ventura, California, with its near-perfect weather, ocean and mountain views, thriving arts community, and endless recreation, dining, and entertainment options.