There are tons of places to visit in California. Los Angeles is often on the list of many but if you go Northwest of LA then you will go to Ventura County which is a coastal city in California known for its beaches, parks, islands, and fun water activity.
The city is historically rich and there are many spots in and around the county that still hold the vestiges of the past. Well, if you are wondering what to do in Ventura then you have come to the right place. We have compiled a list of things to do in Ventura so that you can have a list of things to guide you on your next trip.
Best Things to Do in Ventura, California.
Ventura Pier and Promenade (Ventura Beach)
Visiting the Ventura Pier and Promenade is a must-do when you visit Ventura. The pier was built in 1872 and is sort of a symbol of the past when the county was thriving with oil industries, agriculture, and construction. One of the best things about this pier is that it makes you feel calm inside.
It is the best way to enjoy the sunset in Ventura and enjoy watching the ocean. Many people even take fishing trips here. If you are looking for things to do then you should definitely visit this Pier. There are restaurants and restrooms close by. So, if you need to relieve yourself or just have a nice meal you can do that as well.
Mission Basilica San Buenaventura was founded on March 31, 1782. If you are looking for things to do in this County this weekend why not attend a Sunday service in one of the many churches. Mission Basilica San Buenaventura has quite a historical significance to Ventura County.
It is a beautiful church that features an altar that was built in 1809. The place also has a museum that has various artifacts of religious significance. There’s a beautiful garden as well. Just sit there in silence while you have a quiet moment of introspection. If you are interested in the mission and want to learn more then just join a tour.
Ventura Harbor Village is one of the spots in Ventura County that you should definitely check out. It is a waterfront retail complex with a lot to offer. You can enjoy the beautiful view of the waters while having a nice sip or enjoying a delicious meal with your family or friends.
This is also a great place to shop for decent items like clothing and accessories, chocolates, trinkets, pieces of jewelry, etc. You can also enjoy a nice boat tour and enjoy the waters or do some sport fishing, play some beach volleyball, etc.
If you are a history buff then one of the fun things to do in Ventura would be to visit the Museum of Ventura County. This is a great place to visit for anyone who just wants to know more about Ventura County and the Channel Islands. You can check out the various exhibits that the museum has on display.
These are connected to the history of the county. The museum also has an education program where you can get more info about the history of the place. You can also check out the Agriculture Museum and the Albinger Archaeological Museum.
Sometimes all you need is to look at some beautiful plants and flowers to brighten up your day. The Ventura County Botanical Gardens can offer that. So, if you are looking for some fun time and are into plants and stuff, this is one of the things to do in Ventura County.
Just bring a nice camera with you because you would want to take some nice shots of the beautiful flora at the place. There is a hiking trail in this place as well. Take the trail to reach the summit of the place and have a wonderful view of the ocean.
If you are in the Botanical Gardens you can take a walk to the Serra Cross Park next. It is another good place to visit while you are in Ventura County. This place offers a great view of Ventura County as well as the ocean. There is a path above the city hall that can lead you to the famous cross at the park.
This cross commemorates the Franciscan Order. They were the ones who first erected a cross, here, in 1793. If you don’t know what to do in Ventura you can always walk to this park and just enjoy the view and the beauty of the surroundings.
Food has to be one of the main things to enjoy on any vacation or a trip. So, if you are taking a trip to Ventura and are looking for some fun things to do then trying out some quality restaurants can be a good idea. We have added a couple of options to this list starting with Lure Fish House.
This is a restaurant that serves delicious meals made out of the freshest catches of the day. So, if you like to eat some quality seafood head on to the Lure Fish House.
If you like art and culture then you should definitely visit the Rubicon Theatre Company the next time you are in Ventura. It is a world-class theater with talented actors that deliver powerful performances to the audience. This place has been operational for two decades now and you can’t go on for that long without being actually good.
So, if you are into the theater and want to watch some quality musicals and broadway shows, hit this joint and have a nice time.
Another good way to enjoy the food scene in Ventura is to take a food tour of the county. Luckily, there’s a company that can help you with this. Allison Costa is the owner of Ventura Food Tours. She is an expert when it comes to food and has been running food and tasting tours in and around Ventura for the past six years.
You can visit the website and check out all the various tours that are available. Private tours are available as well. So, if you have the dough for it, go for it.
A good highlight to any vacation or a trip to a destination near a water body is a cruise or a boating tour. Island Packers is a company that offers that to people visiting Ventura. You can get year-round transportation to any nearby islands on the boats of Island Packers.
There are various species of dolphins and whales in the waters near Ventura. Taking a boat tour on the waters to do some dolphin and whale watching sounds like a fun activity.
Four Brix Winery is one of the best places for any wine lover. It is famous for its wine blends. It produces over 2000 cases of wine per year to satisfy the needs of all the wine lovers in the area. If you are in Ventura and are looking for some things to do you can visit this Winery by taking one of the tasting tours and taste some of their finest wines.
There are regular concerts and events at this place as well. You can visit one of these events and enjoy some nice food and tasty wine.
Do you know what can brighten up your mood on your trip to Ventura? Good breakfast and one of the best places to have a delicious and filling breakfast in Ventura is to eat at Pete’s Breakfast House Restaurant. It is a chill spot where people come to eat a nice meal amidst some quirky decor.
Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology Museum is a great spot to visit for people who want to know more about the history of the fauna in Ventura. This museum was founded in 1956. It was founded by Ed Harrison who had a love for animals.
This place is filled with items related to birds. From the largest eggs to bird fossils to bird specimens you will find a ton of cool stuff to look at.
If you just want to relax while having a nice drink and a snack or you just want to have a delicious meal to top off the day, Cafe Fiore is one of the best eateries out here in Ventura. You can find exquisite Italian dishes at this cafe which you can dine on while enjoying the live music played there.
The cafe also offers patio dining. While you are there, order yourself a nice martini or choose from a list of some of the finest wines on their menu.
If you have often found yourself wondering, how did people in the 1900s live, what did they wear, how did they eat, etc. then on your next trip to Ventura you can visit the Dudley House Museum. This is one of the last pioneer farmhouses in Ventura city.
Mr. Dudley was a farmer who experimented with various crops and figured out that the climate of Ventura is best suited for Lima beans. Thus began the farming of Lima beans in Ventura and it became one of the largest producers of Lima beans. So, if you want to know how the Dudleys lived then you can take a tour of the house. There is a virtual tour available on the website as well.
Channel Islands National Park
Channel Islands National Park is one of the most popular spots to visit if you are in Ventura. The national park consists of 5 islands viz. Anacapa Island, Santa Cruz’s Island, Santa Rosa Island, San Miguel Island and Santa Barbara island. Each of these islands has its own unique features. You can visit them for a nice tour the next time you are in Ventura.
Lake Casitas Recreation Area
Lake Casitas is a place where people can go camping. Here, you are spoilt for options as there are over 400 camping sites. You can choose the one that best suits you. There are camping sites close to the lake. So, if you just want to hear the calm waters of the lake while camping with your family then go for it.
Sometimes you just want to chill and relax while taking in the beauty of the natural surroundings. Marina Park is a beachfront park in Ventura that offers just that. This is a place which is adorned with palm trees and offers a nice view of the ocean.
If you want you can partake in beach volleyball or other beach sports. Kayaking, surfing, sailing, fishing, and all other fun activities can be done here as well. The beach does allow pets as well. You can easily drive to the park.
Pilot a Duffy Boat
One of the fun things in Ventura CA to rent a boat and drive it in the waters. One of the reasons to go for a Duffy boat is because it is easy to drive. These boats are battery-operated and you can easily maneuver them.
Thus, you will have loads of fun sailing on the ocean without all the hassle. There are a few places where you can rent a Duffy boat and one of the decent options is Ventura Boat Rentals.
Shop for Antiques
Shopping for antiques at a place with a rich history is a fun thing to do. So, if you don’t know what to do in Ventura you can check out a couple of nice antique shops. There are many antique shops in the locality. One of the popular ones is Antique Adventures LLC where you can shop for some nice furniture. You can also check out some smaller shops and thrift stores like Jacqueline Jarrot Treasure Chest and Coalition Thrift Store.
Visit Surfers Point Beach
Surfers Point Beach is a popular beach in Ventura. Any beach lover looking for things to do in Ventura CA will have a great time at this beach. It starts west of the Ventura Pier and goes up to the Ventura River estuary. This place is a good location for birdwatchers.
A lagoon is formed here as the Ventura River backs up behind the beach which is a fun place for birds to hang out. So, remember to take some spectacular shots of our flying friends. Also, as the name suggests this is a great spot for surfing as well.
Emma Wood State Beach
Continuing on the spots for our beach lovers, one of the beaches that many like to hang out on is, Emma Wood State Beach which is located just off Highway 101. It is open year-round for campers. Just drive into the beach and have a nice time enjoying the sun and watching the ocean.
This is also a good place to brush off your surfing skills or just go for a swim. There are many hiking trails near the place. Just pick one and hike to the surrounding attractions.
Ventura to Ojai Paved Bike Path
One of the fun things to do in Ventura County is to take a bike ride to some of the attractions in and around the county. The Ventura to Ojai Bike Path is a tour that you can take. It is not a difficult road to bike on. You will be going from Ventura to the Ojai Valley.
It is not a long tour as well. You can go to Ojai Valley, do some fun things and come back on the same day. The biking path is amazing. You will get to enjoy a bunch of cool scenery while biking to Ojai. You will also experience the change in weather from cool in Ventura to warm in Ojai Valley.
The path is located at Highway 33, Ventura, CA 93003.
Check Out the Art Culture in the City
One of the things that you can enjoy in Ventura is the city’s art culture. There are several art galleries in the county that you can visit. You can visit the First Fridays Ventura which is a place where music and art combine. Mattress factory turned art studio, Bell Arts Factory is a nice place to check out some paintings, quality pottery, etc.
If you are in Harbor Village then you can visit Harbor Village Gallery & Gifts. It is a nice place to come with your family. But you don’t necessarily have to go to an art gallery to find the art in the city. Just take a walk. You will find murals and paintings at various places like the Santa Clara Street Post Office.
First Fridays Ventura – 432 N Ventura Ave, Ventura, CA 93001, United States.
Bell Arts Factory – 432 N Ventura Ave UNIT 101, Ventura, CA 93001, United States.
Harbor Village Gallery & Gifts – 1559 Spinnaker Dr #106, Ventura, CA 93001, United States.
Surf Brewery is a popular brewery in Ventura. If you want to take a tasting tour at a nice brewery then you can do it here. This is the perfect place for people who enjoy beer. The company is proud of what they brew here and claims to be one of the best beer brewers in the world.
Well, we don’t know if that’s true or not, the only way to find out is to take a tasting tour at the brewery. If you are looking for things to do in Ventura County this weekend, this is it.
Surf Brewery is located at 4561 Market St. Suite A Ventura, CA 93003, United States. Check out the website.
Vacations are all about fun. So, when you are in Ventura, don’t hold yourself back. Find all the fun things to do. You can use our list as a sort of signpost to get an idea of what things you can do to have a great time in Ventura. There is a mixture of choices so that you don’t miss out on anything.
We hope our list was able to provide you with some quality options for things to do, the next time you visit the place. So, don’t wonder what to do in Ventura. Just take a trip and enjoy all these fabulous places. Happy vacation!