Fun things to do in Ventura

  • Olivas Adobe
    Olivas Adobe
    by Jim_Eliason
  • Figueroa Plaza
    Figueroa Plaza
    by Jim_Eliason
  • The Mission Courtyard
    The Mission Courtyard
    by LoriPori

Most Viewed Things to Do in Ventura

  • Dabs's Profile Photo
    3 more images

    Mission San Buenaventura

    by Dabs Updated May 12, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    For the small admission price of $1, the Mission San Buenaventura is worth a visit if you are strolling around the Main Street area of Ventura which is open every day from 10am-5pm (Sunday 10am-4pm). Mass is also still held here, check the website for times.

    Founded in 1782, it was the 9th of 21 missions in California and the last to be established by Father Junipero Serra, a Franciscan priest from Mallorca, Spain. He also established the mission we saw in San Juan Capistrano.

    The Mission was destroyed by fire in the 1790s, but rebuilt and rededicated in 1809.

    Was this review helpful?

  • monte_carlo93003's Profile Photo

    Ventura Pier, Ventura, CA

    by monte_carlo93003 Written Mar 6, 2007

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Ventura Pier (est. 1872) Originally built in 1872 by R.G Salisbury, the pier once served steamships and was a vital mode of transportation in and out of Ventura until 1936. With the advent of the pier and the visiting steamships, the areas rich and abundant produce could make it off to market. New settlers and their supplies also found it easier to boat in than to go over the mountains. The large warehouse used for holding goods was so large that it started being used for exhibits, which became the County Fair.

    The Sespe Oil Company commissioned the World’s first oil tanker, the "W.L. Hardison in 1898 which started its service at this pier. This pier also unfortunately saw the 160 foot oil tanker become the first to catch fire and burn in a spectacular series of explosions on June 25, 1899. Tragedies such as the W.L. Hardison along with storm and fire damage to the Ventura Wharf/Pier have been familiar to the pier.
    In 1874 the schooner Lucy Ann went aground in swells near the pier. In 1876 two steamships the Kalorama and the Crimea were driven ashore during a spring storm. In 1914 large storm swells caused the S.S. Coos Bay to sever the pier in half and then forced the S.S. Coos Bay onto the beach and pounded it to pieces. When an oil barge cast off the last line from the wharf in 1936, an area of 64 years of the structure's service to the community came to an end and it took on its new role as a RECREATIONAL PIER that we enjoy today.

    The Pier upgrades happened in 1993 when the pier underwent an ambitious $3.5 million restoration effort. It went through another $2.2 million upgrade - steel reinforced pilings and the square deck at the end in 1998. Individuals and businesses can obtain a plank "Grant Deed" for donations to the pier (starting at $1,000.00). These donations go to keep the $1 million endowment fund to maintain, enhance and preserve the pier via the Ventura County "Pier Into The Future" organization.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Tom_Fields's Profile Photo
    4 more images

    Hiking the Channel Islands

    by Tom_Fields Written Oct 18, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Well, you could just go out to the islands and return. But it's far better to take a hike. The day trips allow several hours on the island--enough time for a pretty good hike.

    On Santa Cruz Island, the passengers debark at one of the coves. I took a hike goes inland from the cove, up the canyon to the cliffs overlooking the sea, then on back down to the cove.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park
    • Beaches

    Was this review helpful?

  • Tom_Fields's Profile Photo
    3 more images

    Island Packers

    by Tom_Fields Written Oct 18, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Here is the most popular service to get people out to the Channel Islands and back. It's a fun way to go.

    If you're lucky, you'll get to see some marine mammals, such as the dolphins that greeted us on the way out to Santa Cruz Island, and again on the way back. They were fishing. These intelligent mammals corral the fish into a very tight ball (much as a border collie corrals livestock). When the fish are trapped, they have a feast. And they love boats; they swam in front of and alongside us for a while.

    So keep your fingers crossed. No telling what may turn up.

    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Sailing and Boating
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • spgood301's Profile Photo

    A bit more Albinger info

    by spgood301 Written Aug 29, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This plaque is part of the archaeological dig next to the Albinger Museum. It has much more information, especially about the church who's foudation you'll see here. You probably can't get too much info from this picture, but when you stop by the museum, you'll get a real good idea of what this dig is all about, and a history of the Forgotten Church.

    Related to:
    • Archeology
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • spgood301's Profile Photo

    More history, beneath our feet

    by spgood301 Written Aug 29, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    It's so easy to forget that human history can be found beneath our feet, if we just dig for it a little. This archaeological site is right next to the Albinger Museum. Human history going back 3500 years has been unearthed and put on display for you, including the foundations to two buildings and the first church, going back to the late 18th century.

    A informative site, right in downtown Ventura. Enter through the Albinger Archaeological Museum.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Archeology

    Was this review helpful?

  • spgood301's Profile Photo

    The Pier in Ventura

    by spgood301 Updated Aug 29, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Like most coastal California towns, Ventura has it's own pier. It's not just a place to park your boat.

    Originally built in 1872, the pier once served steamships and was a vital mode
    of transportation in and out of Ventura. In the early days, getting in and out
    of this harbor town was a challenge. With the advent of the pier and the
    visiting steamships, the areas rich and abundant produce could make it off to
    market. New settlers and their supplies also found it easier to boat in than to
    go over the mountains.

    The current wooden structure is 1958 feet long and is reputed to be the longest
    in California. You will find rows of eager fishermen and women lined up with
    their lines dropped over the rail. There are cleaning stations for those lucky
    in the hunt.

    The pier also sports a high end restaurant, a snack bar and a bait shop.

    The weather along the California coast isn't always great, especially the first part of the day. Still, strolling along the pier in Ventura is quite fun and relaxing, no matter the weather.

    BTW, many thanks to Keida84 for all the historical info on this tip.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • spgood301's Profile Photo

    History is made by people

    by spgood301 Written Aug 23, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This monument on Main Street honors important people, influential in Ventura's history. Kat found a few of her people; in fact, I saw a few of my family names too, even though I'm not from there. Do you think they may be a distant relative? You never know.

    Was this review helpful?

  • spgood301's Profile Photo

    Walkin' down Main Street

    by spgood301 Written Aug 23, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Main Street is Ventura's, well, Main Street. If you're into antiquing, you're in luck. Main Street has a wealth of antique stores. Also buy clothes, grab a bite to eat or a cup of joe. It's also got a store specializing in Swiss Army knives.

    Do some window shopping, meet your friends or just go for a stroll...all on Main Street.

    Was this review helpful?

  • spgood301's Profile Photo

    Round and round and round we go

    by spgood301 Updated Aug 22, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Did you know that there's an arcade, in Ventura Harbor Village? Not one of those newfangled ones, with all the computer generated games. This one is "old school", with the carousel pictured here, lots of older (and by older, I mean 1980's) video games, & one of those doohickeys that tells what a great kisser you are (and, no, I didn't try it). One warning though: the machine where you shake the guys hand and it tells your personality...it doesn't work. I was out 50 cents heeeheeeeee

    Stop by for some old fashioned family entertainment.

    Related to:
    • Theme Park Trips

    Was this review helpful?

  • keida84's Profile Photo

    Thrift Shop and Antique Shop Row

    by keida84 Written May 20, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    One of our favorite things to do in Ventura is to walk the main drag, appropriately named, "Main Street." The area has numerous thrift stores and antique stores with delightful treasures in side.

    I enjoy going through the thrift stores, sometimes one man's junk is another man's great buy.

    Bring comfortable shoes as it is a long walk up and down Main Street.

    Recently I found a neon "Guinness Stout" sign for a friend of mine, Jeff you know who you are. I took a picture and sent it to him. He was over-the-moon happy. My mission is to get that sign for him.

    Related to:
    • Women's Travel
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • keida84's Profile Photo

    Beach Umbrella Rental

    by keida84 Written Mar 14, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The first time I saw the yellow umbrellas lining the beach I thought, 'has some local artist gone mad?" They seemed out of place on our hometown beach in Ventura, it is something I would expect to see in Santa Barbara, which is the Riviera West. Nevertheless, they were on our beach and despite my misgivings they have been around for a couple of summer seasons.

    Located just south of the Ventura Pier, The Yellow Umbrella Company rents full size beach umbrellas by the hour. They offer food delivery and towel rental services as well.

    I would recommend if you are here during the months in which they offer rentals--usually June through September--then rent in the morning hours when the wind is calm because by afternoon you might have a mouthful of blowing sand with your burger.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Beaches

    Was this review helpful?

  • keida84's Profile Photo

    Ventura Harbor Village 34°14.3'N - 119°16.9'W

    by keida84 Updated Mar 6, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A beautiful day can be spent at the Ventura Harbor.

    Aside from being an active marina with island tours, fishing charters and day sailing, there are shops, restaurants and an arcade with a carousel.

    There is the Sheraton Four Points Hotel which also has a "boatel" so for those of you who come up on your boat the Sheraton has a place for you to dock.

    There are a wide variety of restaurants: Andrea's Seafood, Frulatti's, The Greek, Alexander's, and a new mexican restaurant called Margarita Villa.

    The arcade is a lot of fun with skee ball, photo booths, and even a carousel. Buy homemade fudge or go to Coastal Cone for a waffle cone filled with ice cream.

    Check the website as events happen throughout the year. The Tall Ships arrive In February, there is a fisherman's market, summer concert series and a boat parade at Christmastime.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo

    Promenade

    by Yaqui Updated Sep 4, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This walk way extends from the pier all the way to surfer's point beach. It has some wonderful areas to sit and watch the ocean and they are some restaurants and shops along the way to enjoy. You'll find many locals strolling with their children and pets. While others bike, skate, walk or jog. There is access from here to the beach and down by the pier is a playground for children. Really neat place.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    4 more images

    Ortega Adobe Historic Residence

    by Yaqui Updated Sep 4, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Built as a mostest home of Emigdio Ortega and his family in 1857 for over forty years. These modest homes once lined the streets, but this one endured time. The Ortega family is famed for being the one of pioneer families and for discovering the San Francisco Bay. Also receiving one of the first Spanish land grants. Although, not a rich man by far this simple Vaquero built a simple 20 x 40 foot adobe home. Enduring a flood which did destroy one room, he added two others. Ortegas raised eight of thirteen children until he died in 1896. His son Emilio used the home to start a business "Pioneer Ortega Chili". Not soon it was sold to various owners which was used as a home, restaurant, police headquarters, the Ventura boys club and even a speakeasy. In 1921 the City of Ventura bought the property and it remains as a reminder of our past.

    Open 9am - 4pm.

    You can view the inside from the doorway of the building. They don't allow you to go inside except for the small entrances that are barred off to protect the property. They are two door ways on the right side and one in the very back.

    Open Daily
    Admission is free

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

Ventura Hotels

See all 24 Hotels in Ventura

Latest Ventura Hotel Reviews

The Cliff House Inn and Shoals Restaurant
137 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 8, 2014
Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach
587 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 18, 2014
Motel 6 Ventura Beach
64 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 17, 2014
Inn on the Beach
132 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 15, 2014
Four Points Hotel Ventura Harbortown
234 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 16, 2014
The Pierpont Inn & Racquet Club
50 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 18, 2014
Bella Maggiore Inn
136 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Mar 21, 2014
Vagabond Inn Ventura
105 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 5, 2014
Country Inn & Suites By Carlson, Ventura
174 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 10, 2014
GBB&R Guity's Bed, Breakfast & Ride
3 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Oct 7, 2008
Ventura Beach Marriott
346 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 16, 2014
Best Western Inn Ventura
336 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 18, 2014
Motel 6 Ventura South
24 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jan 21, 2014

Instant Answers: Ventura

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

106 travelers online now

Comments

Ventura Things to Do

Travel tips and advice posted by real travelers and Ventura locals.
Map of Ventura