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10 Most Exciting Things To Do In Ventura CA | Best Ventura Things to Do

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Ventura is a small coastal California town bordered by the Pacific Ocean. It has a population of over one hundred thousand and a growing downtown that wouldn’t look out of place in a larger city. 

It is an enchanting coastal city sitting on the shores of the North Pacific Ocean. It’s famous for its beaches, which means you have an unending list of this to do and a great selection of places to visit here. You can even spend an afternoon at a beach and then enjoy a picnic with your friends or relatives.

You can also get hold of tasty cuisine, souvenir shops, and experience the remarkable marine life. It is the perfect vacation spot for your family and friends.

Things To Do In Ventura CA: Ventura California

But small does not mean lacking. On the contrary, Ventura has a lot going on – much more than you would expect from a small town, thanks to its incredible setting. 

It’s walkable, affordable, offers plenty of memories, and a friendly smile always greets you. So get a glimpse of its past and enjoy its present. 

Things to do in Ventura CA. There are a lot of them. Whether you’re a local or an outdoor enthusiast, there are plenty of possible things that will please even the pickiest person.

Visiting other destinations in California? Check out our other delicious guides:

The Ten Most Exciting Things To Do In Ventura CA

Admire The Sunset At Ventura Pier and Promenade

Ventura Pier, Ventura, CA 93001

The Ventura Pier and Promenade represent Ventura’s past’s thriving agriculture, construction, and oil industries. Ventura Pier is a popular tourist attraction today. However, the 1,700-foot dock has been remodeled several times and is about half its original length due to its aging condition.

The Ventura Pier is my favorite place to go on a vacation in California because of its excellent fishing, peaceful surroundings, and inexpensive entertainment. In engineering terms, it’s quite an achievement;  it’s the longest wooden pier on the West Coast. 

Things To Do In Ventura CA: Ventura Pier

The walkway extends out over the ocean for almost half a mile, and there are many benches along with snack stands scattered all along the way if you want to meet up with friends or family. In addition, there are concession stands where you can purchase snacks or bring your own food, drink, and fishing equipment.

Ventura Pier is a great place for people who enjoy a nice walk at the beach. You’ll feel like you have it all to yourself even though there are thousands of people there. There are also good restaurants and coffee shops nearby so you can enjoy a lovely evening out. 

Perhaps I might go back and revisit it one day, except this time, I would go early in the morning and photograph the amazing sunrise.

Visit The Museum Of Ventura County

100 E Main St, Ventura // +18056530323

The Museum of Ventura County is located in downtown Ventura and is accessible from the Amtrak train station. The building was designed to hold the collection that Dr. Bard created over forty years ago. It houses an eclectic mix of local history ranging from tribal artifacts to historical pieces like John Steinbeck’s typewriter used to write East Of Eden.

The museum is an award-winning cultural institution located in Ventura, California. It is housed on the site of the original adobe of Mission San Buenaventura. 

Things To Do In Ventura CA: Museum of Ventura County

The museum offers a full calendar of changing exhibitions and events throughout the year, reflecting a broad range of interests from art to history; information sessions, lectures, tours, and special programs are available to children and adults.

The museum showcases a collection of Californiana, including paintings by Thomas Kincaid, maritime art from the period of exploration by Europeans into North America’s uncharted Pacific frontier. So, If you want to learn about the region’s history, this is the right place to visit.

Take A Walk At Ventura Botanical Gardens

567 Poli St, Ventura // +18052323113

Initially established by residents, the gardens are still in use today. Grant Park is the centerpiece of the gardens, spanning 107 acres of greenery and offering views of Ventura and the ocean at a distance. 

The gardens have 160 species of plants, as well as pine trees, oak trees, fir trees, coast live oaks, and Madrone trees. 

Things To Do In Ventura CA: Botanical Garden

With its self-guided nature trail, the park offers plenty of opportunities for walking.

The time to visit Ventura Botanical Gardens is during the summer months when it’s at its best. However, for the best views, visit in July and August, and you will experience beautiful blue skies, warm sunshine, and brilliant colorful flowers. You can walk along the beautiful winding paths among acres of green lawns and palm trees before coming across a small lake where many other visitors will be enjoying a picnic.

Tour The Mission San Buenaventura

211 E Main St, Ventura // +18056434318

Founded in 1749 by a priest trying to convert the Chumash tribe to Catholicism, the San Buenaventura Mission was intended to convert the indigenous population to the Catholic faith. 

Unfortunately, the mission has experienced fires, earthquakes, and even threats from marauding pirates. However, it still stands proud to this day and is one of the things to look out for on a visit here, including the 1809 altar and the collection of period artwork. 

You can tour the mission whenever you like, but try to avoid the busy weekend days if you want your own peaceful experience.

Things To Do In Ventura CA: Mission San Buenaventura

If you’re looking for some of the best things to do in Ventura with family or friends, then look no further than San Buenaventura Mission. This historical landmark dates back to the 18th century, making it a true jewel in the city’s heart.

Enjoy Surfer’s Point Beach

Shoreline Dr, Ventura // +18056584726

In Ventura County, the most popular beach for surfing is located just north of Ventura. Surfer’s Point is located next to the adjacent Seaside Park. If you are interested in bird watching, then this is the place to come since the river forms a lagoon around the beach, and this means the area is alive with wildlife, including a great number of indigenous birds.

With so much space, you’ll easily be able to find a spot for your family where everyone will enjoy their time.

Things To Do In Ventura CA: Surfer’s Beach

 Surfer’s Point Beach is lined with palm trees that offer a little shade if you need it — although it’s not necessary. This beach has many natural features that help protect people from the sun, like sand dunes, which also protect from strong winds.

Surfer’s Point is an excellent spot for surfing, and there are top facilities, including beach camping, restrooms, and showers. There are lifeguards on duty during the summer months, and wave runners are not permitted in this area. 

The adjacent Seaside Park has a baseball field and grassy hill that sits opposite the lagoon. There are also picnic tables and shelters, restrooms, and a snack bar.

Relax At Serra Cross Park

Father Serra Cross, Ventura // +18056483008

As one of Ventura’s most popular parks, Serra Cross Park is easily accessible by vehicle. Located within the city limits, it is home to a magnificent cross built to show Mission San Buenaventura’s location. Within this 100 acre park, visitors can enjoy nature walks, picnics, and ocean views. 

The park leads down to a beach which is also popular with surfers, kayakers, and other water sports enthusiasts.

Besides the cross, Serra Cross Park is a great place to go for other reasons, such as its beautiful hiking trails. It is part of the Ventura River Regional Park, which is a forty-three-mile trail that spans two counties (Ventura and Santa Barbara). 

Things To Do In Ventura CA: Serra Cross Park
Photo Credit: pvh photo

The trail surrounds Lake Casitas and meanders through foothills, past creeks, and coastal sage scrub. Part of this trail goes through Serra Cross Park.

There are a variety of activities that are available in Serra Cross Park. There is an off-leash dog park, soccer fields, equestrian facilities, and a 24-hour fitness center right on the property. 

People are allowed to ride their bikes throughout the park, and there is a play area specifically designed for younger children. This park also has fifteen picnic shelters available for rent at the cost of three hundred dollars per day during the summer months.

Camp At Lake Casitas Recreation Area

11311 Santa Ana Rd // +18056491122

Lake Casitas is a man-made reservoir that was created by the construction of the Casitas Dam in the early 1940s. This famous lake offers some of the most spectacular scenery in the region and is great for hikers, mountain bikers, off-road drivers, and anglers.

 Of all the things to do in Ventura that are on offer here, one is the most popular with visitors to this area – swimming. The lake is more than deep enough and offers a great deal of space for swimmers to frolic around and enjoy themselves.

Things To Do In Ventura CA: Lake Casitas

The Lake Casitas Recreation Area features many campsites and an extensive network of trails for hiking and walking. There’s a small beach on one side of the lake where it’s lovely to go for walks on warm afternoons. You can also launch kayaks and boats to explore the lake itself.

So whether you want to escape the city hustle and bustle for a few hours or a weekend, come to this picturesque lake and enjoy a fantastic setting while you’re here.

Experience The Ventura Bike Path

135 Dubbers St, Ventura

If you love biking, don’t miss Ventura’s Paved Bike Path, which is the jewel in the city’s crown.

In Ventura, a paved bike path connects the city with Ojai, which is next door to Ventura. Despite the path’s length, it is paved and smooth, making it easy for non-experienced bikers. 

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Things To Do In Ventura CA: Ventura Bike Path
Photo Credit: Tim Hanson

The bike path runs through some charming landscapes, including Kensington Marsh, located within the city limits of Ventura County. There are several species of wildlife found in the marsh area, including shorebirds, waterfowl, and songbirds.

The Ventura Paved Bike Path is a fantastic way to spend a sunny day – not just because it takes you around some of the most beautiful scenery in the area, but because it is so easy. 

However, you need to be confident enough to jump on your bike and ride it, assuming that you have one, of course. If you haven’t rented one before, you will only enjoy this trip so much more if you do.

Visit The Ventura Harbor Village

1583 Spinnaker Dr, Ventura // +18054770470

Ventura Harbor Village is a must-visit area of the city for tourists and locals alike. The harbor was established in 1941 as a deep water port to relieve the congestion at the existing Port of Hueneme. 

When the harbor opened, it triggered an industrial boom in Ventura that saw large oil refineries, shipbuilding companies, and other industry forms moving into the area.

Things To Do In Ventura CA: Ventura Harbor Village

One of the first things you will notice about Ventura Harbor Village is how beautifully attractive it is. Stretching along the harbor and looking out over the water, this shopping village has various attractions that include boutique shops, galleries, plenty of tasty cafes and restaurants, and even a post office. 

There are more than forty distinctive stores within the village itself. When you consider all of the smaller kiosks, vendors, restaurants, and the vast range of accommodation options in the area, you can easily see why this is one of the most popular locations in Ventura.

Wine Tasting At Four Brix Winery

2290 Eastman Ave UNIT 109 // +18052566006

Four Brix Winery is located in the middle of Ventura downtown, but that’s what gives it its charm. The winery has a garage-style door and is surrounded by other small businesses. The inside of the winery is all wood and modern decor, but they make their wines the old-fashioned way.

One of the great things about Four Brix is their tasting room. It’s known for having big open windows that allow plenty of sunshine in during the day, so you get a beautiful feeling when you walk into the gracious tasting room. It’s one of the many reasons why it has such a lovely ambiance.

Things To Do In Ventura CA: Wine Tasting

The bar area features dark wood tables and chairs and allows four to five people to sit and taste wine comfortably at one time. 

There is a small patio area where you can stand or sit as well while sipping your favorite glass of wine. The experience is what you make it out to be, so choose from their delicious wines while sitting on top of wooden barrels or pick a table in an enclosed seating section. I highly recommend visiting this winery. It is one of my top favorites!

Wrapping Up Things To Do In Ventura CA

The city of Ventura, California, is an interesting one. There are two things I can summarize in two sentences. One, the weather is generally nice; and two, there’s a lot to do here. The city has a population of just under 100,000, but it is one of the best places to vacation in the country.

The place is beautiful, especially in March through July where the weather is awesome. You have everything you could need there, like all sorts of food and entertainment. All of this has led me to take some time and write this article about Ventura.

 So, if you plan a trip to California, make sure Ventura is on the list!

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