10 Must-Do Activities in Ventura, CA

10 Must-Do Activities in Ventura, CA

  • Ann Howarth
  • 09/15/22

Shopping for houses for sale in Oxnard, CA, is always exciting. However, it's important to explore the area if you've never lived here before. With its temperate climate and gorgeous terrain, Ventura County is the perfect locale for nature lovers, adrenaline junkies, and anyone with a penchant for adventure. It's just a short jaunt away from Channel Islands Park and home to four truly great cities. In addition to Oxnard, these include Port Hueneme, Camarillo, and Ventura itself. Best of all, there are plenty of engaging activities and must-see attractions. The following are ten things that you should do as you check out this top-rated Southern California region.

Take a walk along the Ventura Pier and Promenade

If you're new to Ventura, the Ventura Pier and Promenade is a must-see attraction. Take a walk along the beach and enjoy a lively, bustling atmosphere. This is the perfect place to watch the sunrise or sunset or get a few amazing photos of the shoreline. You can buy handmade jewelry from street vendors, indulge in various street foods, and walk to the busy downtown area to get some shopping in. There's also a fun, space-age-style playground for kids, benches for relaxing, and several restaurants. You can eat fresh-caught seafood al fresco, watch surfers battle the waves, or bring your board and ride a wave or two of your own. If you begin your journey from downtown Ventura, start on California street and head toward the water.

Built in 1872, the Ventura Pier is an important symbol of the region's history. It lies at the heart of the area's oil trade, agricultural industry, and construction. Today, it's the ideal spot for catching breathtaking views of the Channel Islands and Ventura's coastline. Pack a picnic, grab a blanket or a book, and bring a sweater. Even when it's relatively warm everywhere else, the Ventura Pier and Promenade can get windy.

Visit the Museum of Ventura County

The Museum of Ventura County has an outstanding range of collections, temporary exhibitions, and educational opportunities. It places a strong focus on the Prohibition Era and its impact on Ventura's culture, business, and lifestyle. This museum also has an expansive research library that can be accessed online and in person. If you want to know more about the area, its beginnings, and its goals for the future, this is an excellent place to start.

Stay at Emma Wood State Beach's beachfront campsites

Emma Wood State Beach is a popular attraction for both Ventura locals and those traveling through the area. It's the perfect destination for anyone who loves sleeping in the great outdoors and wants the experience of unobstructed beachfront camping. Although tents aren't allowed, those in trailers and self-contained RVs can post up here to enjoy easy access to the sand and water both day and night. Located just off Highway 101, this campsite is open year-round. People come to surf, hike the local trails, swim, and picnic. When you're ready for an overnight venture here, you can reserve a campsite online.

Check out the eclectic range of local dining options on a Ventura Food Tour

There are lots of good eats in Ventura, CA. If you buy one of the Silver Strand Beach homes for sale, you can explore all of the available options one by one. However, if you're ready to sample the local fare immediately, you can also sign up for a Ventura Food Tour. This is an intimate dining experience that lasts three and a half hours. It is a coordinated trip to top-rated local restaurants and wineries and includes samplings of locally sourced, artisanal food products and a delightful array of historical Ventura foods.

Ventura Food Tours offers multiple experiences, including the Savor Ojai Wine Tour, the Santa Barbara Funk Zone Tour, the Downtown Ventura Tasting Tour, and the Eating Ojai Tour. You can even schedule a private tour that features all of your favorite cuisines.

Head over to Ventura Harbor Village for shopping, dinner, entertainment, and more

Ventura Harbor is a lively, bustling seaside village filled with shops, entertainment, and top-rated restaurants. Here, you can kayak, paddleboard, or travel to one of the five remote islands off the coast of Ventura. There are boat docking services for locals, live music, and even an outdoor gallery of inflatables. There's also a pirate ship tour for kids! If you're visiting Ventura, you can enjoy waterfront accommodations at amazing harbor hotels. There are also many eye-catching waterfront properties for people who want to settle down. You can dine on fish and chips or famous clam chowder at Andria's Seafood Restaurant and Market, or you can stop by the 805 Bar and Grilled Cheese for cocktails and a gourmet sandwich. Local establishments have amazing surf and turf combinations, fish tacos, and homemade ice cream. There are also several boutiques, gift shops, jewelry stores, hair salons, nail salons, and souvenir stores.

Go fishing, boating, or camping at the Lake Casitas Recreation Area

Lake Casitas is a "no body-contact" lake; thus, it isn't where you go when you want a weekend of swimming. That's because Lake Casitas is a potable water supply for the region. Instead, this is the perfect spot for catching a few rainbow trout, lounging around on your water vessel, or doing some old-fashioned tent camping. While Emma Wood State Beach is ideal for RVs and campers, Lake Casitas can accommodate everyone. You and your significant other can pitch a tent, hike the gorgeous trails, and tour its many winding coves. This 2,500-acre lake is just a quick, 10-mile jaunt from Ventura, and it has 400 campsites available.

Catch a wave at Surfer's Point in Seaside Park

Whether you're a seasoned surfer or you're still learning to stand up on your board, Surfer's Point in Seaside Park is a must-see Ventura attraction. It's currently one of the top windsurfing and surfing spots in California. You can join in on the fun or watch. When you're done, you can head over to the Aloha Steakhouse for cocktails and calamari, or you can visit Surfer's Point Live for tequila, tacos, and live music.

Check out the Mission San Buenaventura in Ventura's downtown historical park

Accepting visitors from sunrise to sunset, the Mission San Buenaventura is the last mission consecrated by Saint Junipero Serra. Guided tours are offered all throughout the school year, and self-guided tours are possible year-round. You'll find an extensive collection of sacred relics, a gift shop, and a captivating museum. Founded in 1782, this site also holds many creations and historical treasures from the Chumash tribes that assisted with the mission's construction. These include ornate wooden bells, hand-woven baskets, and a seven-mile aqueduct that once brought water to the building.

Head over to Pacific View for retail therapy

Pacific View offers retail shopping, good eats, and entertainment for the entire family. This large, regional mall is a popular weekend hangout for teens. It also hosts a farmer's market every Wednesday in the main parking lot from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Here, you can pick up fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs from local growers, grab artisanal crafts, and indulge in sweet and savory street foods of all kinds.

Cycle from Ventura to Ojai on a paved, nine-mile path

The Ventura to Ojai Bike Trail is a dedicated bike path that spans nine miles. It attracts both avid cyclists and those who ride purely for fun. This trail runs parallel to Highway 33 from Foster Park and stretches from Ventura to Ojai. It's a protected trail. It's also paved from end to end. Hikers, joggers, and dog owners can often make their way from one end to the other. There's even a separate, dirt bridle path for horses and their riders. This path runs adjacent to the cycling trail and has a wood post-and-rail fence.

Find your dream Ventura home with Ann Howarth

There's always something interesting to see and do in Ventura. Best of all, when you've explored all that the City and County of Ventura have to offer, you also have access to the remarkable islands that sit just off the coast of Ventura to explore. Often referred to as the "American Galapagos" or the Channel Islands, these islands include Santa Barbara, Santa Rosa, Anacapa, San Miguel, and Santa Cruz. A quick trip to these destinations will reveal that it's virtually impossible to grow bored in this truly fantastic location.

Ann Howarth can help you find the perfect Ventura, CA home for your budget, lifestyle, and goals. We always have an outstanding selection of featured properties. Whether you're looking for Hollywood Beach real estate or Silver Strand Beach luxury homes, we've got you covered. Contact us today to start your home search.

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