Fun things to do in Ventura

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    Olivas Adobe
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    Figueroa Plaza
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    The Mission Courtyard
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Most Viewed Things to Do in Ventura

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    Mission San Buenaventura

    by Dabs Updated May 12, 2007

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    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.

    Mission courtyard Mission from Main Street Mission from Main Street Mission courtyard

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    China Alley

    by Dabs Updated May 12, 2007

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    Right near the Peirano Grocery building is a Chinese gate marking the entrance to China Alley. There's really nothing to see down the alley, I suppose the gate serves as a historical reminder about the Chinese in Ventura.

    The Chinese settled in Ventura in the 1860s working mostly as farmers, laborers and domestic help. Around 200 Chinese lived there until the 1920s in their own community, nothing of "Chinatown" exists there today. I'm not sure if the gate is original or a reproduction.

    For an in depth look at the Chinese in California, take a look at this section of the National Park Service website.

    China Alley

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    Round and round and round we go

    by spgood301 Updated Aug 22, 2005

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    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.

    Carousel in Ventura-I'm too big to ride it!
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    • Theme Park Trips

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    Walkin' down Main Street

    by spgood301 Written Aug 23, 2005

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    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.

    A beautiful fountain on Main Street, Ventura

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    History is made by people

    by spgood301 Written Aug 23, 2005

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    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.

    Monument on Main Street, Ventura

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    A bit more Albinger info

    by spgood301 Written Aug 29, 2005

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    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.

    From the Albinger Museum
    Related to:
    • Archeology
    • Architecture

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    Ventura Pier, Ventura, CA

    by monte_carlo93003 Written Mar 6, 2007

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    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.

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    City Hall - the Old Courthouse

    by WulfstanTraveller Updated Jun 30, 2009

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    The current Ventura City Hall is in the old Ventura County Courthouse. It is up the hill from the rest of downtown and looks over the town with a nice view towards the Pacific Ocean. It is a fairly impressive building, and because it was the old courthouse for the entire county, it is far larger and more ornate than anything the city itself would have had from the same time. It has an impressive, dominant position over the town.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel

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  • Unique bikes from Wheel Fun Rentals

    by Al.S Written Jul 24, 2009

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    Rent one of the many unique cycles offered at Wheel Fun Rentals. They have traditional beach cruisers and mountain bikes, as well as fun trikes and four wheelers. They even offer three to eight passenger surreys- great for the whole family.
    The location at the Ventura pier has bike tours to Ojai that come with multi speed bikes, helmets, locks, maps, and more to enhance your enjoyment.

    Family on Surrey Deuce Coupe Bike Tours
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    • Cycling

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    Island Packers

    by Tom_Fields Written Oct 18, 2005

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    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.

    The Island Packer boat Dolphins on the way out to the island More dolphins on the way back to Ventura Dolphins love boats!
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    • Sailing and Boating
    • National/State Park

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    Hiking the Channel Islands

    by Tom_Fields Written Oct 18, 2005

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    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.

    Cove on Santa Cruz, with Santa Rosa Island behind Potato Cove on Santa Cruz Island Towering cliffs along the shore The old Christy ranch--no longer inhabited A lizard
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    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Beaches

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  • Great Surfing Spots

    by shacksimple Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Some of the best beaches and surfing in Ventura County are not right off the freeway. Sometimes you have to travel through town a bit to get there. And sometimes the locals aren't as friendly as they should be. But weekdays at Silver Strand in Oxnard can be a delight. Those kinds of days make me wonder why I work.

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    Main Street

    by HotSpotJ Written Nov 3, 2007

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    The center of Ventura is the intersection of Main Street and California. Here you'll find the amazing shops, pubs, and boutiques of Ventura. The 1782 Mission is also on Main Street. Parking is very hassle free here, so come down and spend a day in Ventura!

    Ventura Main Street
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    Catch a flick at Century Theatre

    by tvdandy Written May 26, 2011

    You don't want to look old before your time do you? Spend some time indoors to avoid sunburned wrinkles. Century movie house is a great place to catch movies in Downtown Ventura. This movie theatre has an almost indie vibe. The true Ventura spirit. They have all the latest releases and some independent movies as wel.

    Century Movie Theater - Ventura, CA
    Related to:
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    • Theater Travel

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    Serra Cross at Grant Park

    by HotSpotJ Written Apr 8, 2008

    On Easter Sunday, March 31, 1782, Spanish missionary, Father Junipero Serra, founded Mission San Buenaventura. Shortly after the Mission’s founding, a large wooden cross was planted on top of a hill overlooking the Mission church. This highly visible cross served as a road sign for travelers in search of the Mission. This cross has been twice removed, though the current cross was erected in 1912. The now privately funded Grant Park is home to the Serra Cross and provides for a relaxing setting with one of the most spectacular views in Southern California. During my time in Ventura I'd jog up to the cross and take some fabulous photos... I'd recommend this to anyone visiting or living in the area.

    Serra Cross Serra Cross The Cross from a distance The view from the Cross View from the Cross
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Road Trip

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