A place so beautiful that it forests views of oceans, hills, and even forests- Ventura is indeed a sight that needs to be cherished. Attention all nature lovers for we are about to take you to a location that might seem like a fallen piece of paradise to you! Sunsets and seafood are the best combos here along with a ton of recreational activities. Ventura is truly one of the best Californian holiday destinations. Let us have a look at all the top 15 things to do in Ventura.
Catch the sunset at Ventura Pier
Let us start the trip with the top attraction of Ventura, shall we? Ventura Pier is something that tourists crowd at every day. After all, it is what reminds us of the importance of Ventura in the past. Let us have a look now.
Ventura Pier was constructed in 1872. It is of the time when Ventura was quite important industrially. Industries like agriculture and oil were at their peak. Now, it stands there proudly having witnessed the success of Ventura.
It ranks in the top 10 of the longest Californian piers, entirely made of wood. It was originally even higher, but due to wearing down- it has been renovated a lot of times. These renovations lead to its now shorter height of 1700 feet. You can sit there and fish. Or, you could just catch the heavenly sunset. Below the pier is the beach where a lot of children come to play. Ventura is naturally gorgeous. It has a god-gifted beauty and Ventura Pier is one of the many examples that just prove this fact correct!
Take a stroll around the gardens of Mission San Buenaventura
Let us come back from the sunset of the Pier, and have a look at our next destination- Mission San Buenaventura. The place might look like a peaceful haven now, but you cannot say how much of a troubled past it has gone through.
Being constructed in 1749, Junipero Serra who was a Franciscan priest only had a good motive in mind- conversion of Chumash people into Catholics. But, then it faced a whole lot of troubles- a fire almost burnt down the church, and it had to be reconstructed again in 1809. It saw a lot of earthquakes too. Then, pirates took over and threatened the church every day. However, things are quite calm now, and you can check out the location peacefully.
The Church is now open to the public and anyone can go inside and pray. Even if you don’t wanna do that, you are still welcome to walk around the lovely gardens that surround it and take a look at the gorgeous architecture.
Cruise at Channel Islands National Park
Channel Islands National Park is a great away to escape from the Californian life that can be quite chaotic sometimes. However, it is not a part of the mainland as they are islands!
You can get to this exotic location by taking a ferry from Ventura Harbor Village. We encourage you to spend a day here as this is an excellent opportunity to see some truly gorgeous beauties of nature and water combined! The islands have a vast range of things to do. You can go hiking on the islands, or simply just camp! Photographers and artists can be found in plenty in these islands.
See the real Ventura at Ventura Harbor Village
If you are already done with the Channel Islands National Park trip, then Ventura Harbor Village would be your next stop. Even if you aren’t done with that yet, you could always choose Ventura Harbor Village first.
Ventura Harbor Village is one of the most gorgeous places in Ventura to spend an evening with your family. If you missed the sunset on the Pier, you can always catch that here. The place is filled with cute aesthetic cafes that face the oceans, boutiques, and several shops. Also, there are a lot of seafood restaurants in the Ventura Harbor Village area, so if you feel like some calamari would be so good, go for it!
Surf at San Buenaventura State Beach
San Buenaventura State Beach is a staple of Ventura. If you wanna have some beach fun and don’t wanna go out of Ventura, then San Buenaventura State Beach is the place to go. You will find a beach that is almost 2 miles long. You can go surfing here as this place is filled with surfers. Some hiking trails go along the beach. You can try those out too. You will always find life-guards so safety is ensured at all times!
Get amazed by the collection of the Museum of Ventura County
Are you done with parks and beaches over a bit? It is time to go peep at a museum for us! Let us head over to the infamous Museum of Ventura County.
Everything you see inside the museum and trust us, there are a lot of things to see, were made by the efforts of a doctor from Pennsylvania. Dr. Cephas Bard moved to the county of Ventura to treat the aftershock of the horrible Civil war. The most interesting part is that he did not charge a penny for some. He had quite an interesting payment method- those who had heirlooms from their old generations could hand over those if they wanted.
As a result, he came in possession of certain Mexican and Chumash objects of history which are now priceless. He stored all of these in this collection of his which is now known as the Museum of Ventura County. This was given to the government in 1913, and later a huge museum was opened up containing all these.
Get a piece of knowledge about the flora and fauna of Ventura Botanical Garden
Everyone knows how blessed Ventura is when it comes to natural stuff. A few of the locals thought, ‘Why not preserve the beautiful nature and make something better out of it?’ It was this mindset that led to the creation of the Ventura Botanical Garden.
The best part of the garden is its surroundings. It has some of the most panoramic views of the ocean all around. The lush greenery set in the backdrop of the blue ocean is indeed a beauty that should not be missed at all. There are over 170 species of plants here. Some of them are native, and some of them are even flown from the Mediterranean region. The space is huge indeed and has an area of 107 acres.
Go swimming at Emma Wood State Beach
If you are a beach person, then we have the best resort for you- Emma Wood State Beach. You’d have to walk two miles out of the county of Ventura. You can ride there too. But, the beach serves as one of the best spots in Ventura where you can feel the fun of being in the ocean. No other place is as good for swimming as this one. The waves are gentle and yet commendable.
Did you know if you wait long enough, you can even catch a view of dolphins splashing in the water? Wanna go fishing for some bass? This is the accurate spot for that too.
Click pictures at Serra Cross Park
Remember how we visited Mission San Buenaventura a couple of minutes ago? It is time to gaze at another object of affection from the same creator- Father Junipero Serra. It is said that Serra Cross Park is a blessed piece of land by the Father himself. It is also quite close to the Mission, and you can trek the way up to the hill. It was built in 1782 as well. You can still see the wooden cross that has been planted there. Of course, this is not the cross that the Father himself planted, as that was something which was uprooted many times.
Also, the park is quite huge and offers some splendid city views from above. Do not miss this gem out when you visit the Mission and do click a few pictures.
Watch some birds at Surfers Point Beach
Let’s be all jolly and head over to our next destination now! Surfers Point Beach is the ideal destination as it is beautiful. Also, it’s location is quite user-friendly as it is located close to some of the best tourist attractions. You can check out Surfers Point Beach after you are done with the Ventura Pier and the Emma Wood State Beach.
It is River Ventura’s mouth, and a lot of activities take place here. Resting ground for all migratory birds- Surfers Point Beach is a must-visit for all ornithologists and bird lovers. Even if you wanna have some adventure, go windsurfing as the wind feels strong and nice at this point. We would not recommend swimming at this location, but if you are coming back after watching the Pier, do sit down, and have a picnic in the sand.
Enjoy Lake Casitas Recreation Area
If you have not heard of it yet, let us inform you how beautiful the area of Los Padres National Forest is. And, the presence of Lake Casitas makes it even more appealing to the eyes.
Locals of Ventura and tourists feel like Lake Casitas is the best place to set a camp. And, it indeed is one of the most gorgeous campsites you can see in Ventura.
The sights are amazing with some majestic views all along. Also, if you don’t have enough time to camp, you can always sit down for a bit and have a picnic there.
Beware for you might even get to see some wild animals here at Lake Casitas.
Bike to Ojai
Are you into biking? Cannot find the perfect road to go cycling for a while? Why not cycle to Ojai? Ventura has the ideal route for you. Oh, did we mention how gorgeous this route is? Ventura is one of the few places in the States that are too much fun for bikers so the trails are clear and beautiful here. However, if you are looking to bike a bit far, you can always opt to go to Ojai and come back! It is not that far away, and the path is so exotic that you’d wanna ride on!
The path is paved, and the surroundings are calm and green. You will find your way across the Foster forest which is the epitome of green beauty. Do not miss out on this wonderful trail.
Catch a show at Rubicon Theatre Company
You shall not believe us if we told you how long the Rubicon Theatre Company has been there to provide entertainment for the people of Ventura and its tourists! Well, this is the 17th generation of their family and they continue to serve with great joy!
Musicals, dramas, plays, and various shows are performed here every day. Their way of presenting is incredible, and the production processes are unique too. They also host several events and festivals all year round. They have a lot of students practicing under them too. More than 42,000 people have learned from this old theater company and have progressed in their lives.
Dine at Spencer Makenzie’s Fish
How would you feel if we told you that we are about to guide you to one of the best foods in Ventura? And, it is quite literally the best food for it was even won an award for seven years consecutively! Yes, we are talking about the famous fish tacos of Spencer Makenzie’s Fish in Ventura. These fish tacos are supposedly some of the best that you would ever put in your mouth.
This restaurant is always jam-packed so don’t expect to get a seat. Apart from fish tacos, their clam chowder is quite good. Also, the dips and salsas they serve are awesome as well.
Go on a food tour
When you first visit Ventura, you’d get lazy vibes from this town. Though it is a part of California, it is not as dazzling as the other Californian cities. No doubt, it is one of the most beautiful scenes you will ever get to see somewhere, but it might seem too quiet for some of you.
But, worry not, because the food scenes here are extremely good for your taste buds. We have already talked about the best fish tacos that you get to taste here, but don’t think that is the end of all the food scenes. Ventura is known for some of the best restaurants and chains that whip up some amazing dishes. You can find every cuisine here. What’s better is that several companies are willing to take you on a tour- more specifically a food tour. These are some of the best programs you can get your hands on. They show you all the local delicacies and the best places to eat. Apart from that, they also let you know if there is any history behind that particular cuisine or restaurant in Ventura!
Unfortunately, this is the end of our list. But, it is not the end of Ventura for the place needs your attention and deserves to be explored. Spend a couple of days here, and let nature refresh you!