Ventura Travel Guide

  • Ventura
    by kop-queen
  • Olivas Adobe
    Olivas Adobe
    by Jim_Eliason
  • Figueroa Plaza
    Figueroa Plaza
    by Jim_Eliason

Ventura Highlights

  • Pro
    Yaqui profile photo

    Yaqui says…

     Beautiful beach, great weather, & lots to see! 

  • Con
    Yaqui profile photo

    Yaqui says…

     Parking is not great! 

  • In a nutshell
    LINDstu profile photo

    LINDstu says…

     Bargain designer clothes and colorful people 

Ventura Things to Do

  • Mission San Buenaventura

    At the Ventura mission on E. Main st, you can take in the elaborate beauty and serenity of the mission's gardens. in dead center sits a lovely little circular fountain. It is a quiet area to hang out if you just want an area to be able to unwind from the day and maybe do a little reading or studying. If you like a little bit more open-ness and...

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  • Olivas Adobe Historical Park

    One of the original California Rancheros, this 1847 ranch house was built by Raymundo Olivas as the center of Rancho San Miguel. It was later bought and preserved by Max Fleishmann of Fleishmann yeast fame.

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  • Harbor Village

    Every August the Ventura County Fair at the Fairgrounds in Ventura is California’s Coolest Fair and the only Fair on the West Coast located directly on the beach, where ocean breezes keep it cool. There are carnival rides to take your breath away and the midway where you can try your luck and win a oversized stuffed animal. Eat your way through...

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  • Downtown

    The downtown area is walking distance from the beach. There are shops and restaurants and clubs abound. Like I said in the opening, this town has a more edgy feel so there are a couple thrift shops and a decent amount of homeless people as well, but quite harmless. The shops are more of the medium income type, no fancy galleries here. There is a...

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  • San Buenaventura State Park

    I love to bring my boys here. We always have a wonderful time. This beach allows swimming, surfing and picnicking. The beach has two miles of sandy beach, sand dunes, picnic sites, a parking lot, a snack bar and a beach-equipment rental shop, restrooms, showers, and a wonderful biking, jogging, or skating path. Oh lots of wonderful shade trees too!

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  • Albinger Archaelogical Museum

    This is a small but interesting museum, right on Ventura's Main Street. See all sorts of historical artifacts from Ventura's past, some well preserved, some not so, & learn a bit about Ventura's history. While there, think about the people who were here before us too. Admission's free, but a small donation is appreciated.

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Ventura Hotels

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Ventura Restaurants

  • The Place on the Pier for Special...

    Above the beach with an ocean view of C Street, a destination surf spot. Great food, great service, great location, great vibe, great time! Fish Tacos (paired w/ a Bloody Mary)

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  • Fantastic steak right on the beach!

    I always make it a point to stop here everytime I am in Ventura. Not only does the steak melt in your mouth, but what a great location. The beach and boardwalk are steps away. Locals come here and belly up to the bar. They are always friendly and love to chat with tourists. The vibe is laidback but classy. Great service, great food, very friendly...

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  • unique coffeehouse surroundings

    What makes this coffeehouse rather unique is the surroundings. This does not have the typical sterile Starbucks surrounding. In here, comfortable couches are surrounded by antiques and unique art. Very laidback vibe, where you can sit inside or out. A nice variety of people here, not your typical wannabe writer with a bitter look and a labtop.

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Ventura Nightlife

  • The In Crowd

    Gimme some action, please. Well, the Bombay Bar & Grill has it for you. One very long bar and a stage make up the entrance room. Stand in line and get I.D.ed and then go inside to the magic of the night. Great Burgers, cold beer and a lot of the in crowd. I was there on a Thursday night and the floor was jammed. Live music and loud patrons cram the...

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  • SSSSSSSSSshhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

    Hush has been my favorite weekend party spot in Ventura. A simple, delicious menu and awesome bartenders make Hush very inviting to the night crowds. Bottle service is available at either an inside booth or an outdoor VIP section. While there are some very upscale clientale in Hush, the past few eeks it has become a bit more ghetto with a negative...

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  • The best dive bar in Ventura

    This is a great classic dive bar in Ventura. No pretentions here, everybody is totally themselves in a friendly vibe. Surfers talking with yuppies, hipsters chatting with frat boys, barbie gals yucking with grizzeled locals. Everybody is welcome here, and with opening smiles and a cold beer. Ah, the smell of sour beer and your sandals sticking to...

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Ventura Transportation

  • The Ventura County Airporter

    WIth two locations for pick up this is a very convenient way to get to and from Los Angeles International Airport.First shuttle stop: Sheraton Four Points Ventura HarborSecond shuttle stop: Oxnard AirportWhen traveling from LAX: Go outside the baggage terminal to the center island. look for the Green overhanging Bus Stop sign and look for a white...

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  • Public Parking

    This parking facility has ample parking for the public. Although they say they have plenty of parking it is nice to know where there are more.Located on Santa Clara Street and Chestnut Street. If you exit from the 101 Ventura Freeway onto California Street go west and make a right onto Santa Clara. It is on the left side. I thought this structure...

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  • Once on the island, kayaks are...

    Once on the island, kayaks are one of the best ways to reach secluded spots. Here's a picture of the beach at Cavern Point.

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Ventura Shopping

  • Best Breakfast and Lunch in Ventura

    What a treat to eat at Tutti's Off Main. Tutti's used to be in Monecito, outside of Santa Barbara. Luckily for Ventura, it's relocated there. It's an oasis of delicious foods with an amazing brick patio covered by a huge pergola arbor. The menu is full of wonderous choices, some familiar and some unusual. You can't go wrong. My friend and I split a...

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  • MISSION HISTORICAL MUSEUM & GIFT/SHOP

    Access to the Mission is through the MISSION SAN BUENAVENTURA Museum/ Gift Shop. The Gift Shop has an abundance of religious articles and some very lovely garden statuary, like angels. You can also find crucifixes, bibles and rosaries.The Mission Museum which was created in 1929, contains old priest vestments, an old confessional and one of the...

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  • Main Street

    Main Street in Ventura is full of antique stores, unique boutiques and at least one thrift store, corporate America has thankfully not invaded this stretch of Ventura! The three of us girls spent a couple of hours after lunch poking into antique stores, a couple of jewelry shops, one of which featured beads and supplies to make your own jewelry as...

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Ventura Local Customs

  • Live Carefree!

    Most Californians are known to live life on their own terms. So if you are ever in the southern coastal areas of California such as the streets of downtown Ventura, the beaches, or surrounding areas, dont be surprised to see an old man singing and dancing in the street somewhere. This just reminds us that life is way too precious to sit idle during...

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  • Ventura - Small town feel

    I love coming back "home" to Ventura County for a quick getaway. Ventura is so less touristy and less expensive that Santa Barbara. There's no pretension in Ventura. It's a laid-back, beachy, diverse community.I would recommend Ventura/Oxnard/Ojai/Camarillo as a good weekend or vacation getaway. The beaches are clean and safe, the sunsets gorgeous....

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  • Holiday Street Fairs July and December

    If you happen to be In the City of Ventura on the 4th of July,or on the first Sunday in December, there is a Street Fair that closes down Main Street and creates a festive pedestrian walk around. The Ventura Street Fair stretches from the far end of Main Street near Ventura Avenue up past California Street to just about Fir Street. There are booths...

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Ventura Warnings and Dangers

  • Photo-Enforced Lights

    These are ridiculous (and illegal in my state), but here they're all over the place. I didn't see any in the center of town, but as you move southward or eastward, you start seeing them a lot more frequently. Careful about running the lights, even if there's no one there.

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  • Changeable weather: Wind & Fog

    When you visit Ventura, especially if you are going to visit the beach areas and downtown make sure you bring a sweater or jacket. California's main form of weather is wind. Usually in the afternoons the ocean breezes pick up and sometimes can be quite 'stiff." You can start out in the morning with a gentle breeze and by 4 PM you are shivering due...

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  • Don't get too close to the...

    Don't get too close to the edge of the cliffs because the ground is unstable and it's also windy. Both factors could cause one to fall over.

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Ventura Tourist Traps

  • Yubert's Profile Photo

    by Yubert Written Aug 25, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Here's a picture of Smugglers Cove. The brochure touted this place as having a 'White Sandy' beach. So I made the 7 mile round-trip hike to go for a swim, but all I found was a gray rocky beach. And the water was too cold!

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Ventura Off The Beaten Path

  • Cycle the coast!

    Bring your bike or rent a bike and go to the end of Main Street. Turn in Emma Wood Group Camp Grounds and you'll see a bike path that rides along the Pacific Ocean. On clear days, the Islands look crystal clear and you can see the dolphins dancing in the distance. Awesome and easy ride! You can also cycle the boardwalk along Seaside park! Fun times...

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  • Archaeological site

    I have lived in this County for almost 15 years and never went to the Albinger Archaeological Museum. This is a preserved archaeological exploration site and visitor center in downtown area. There on display is evidence of Native American culture 3,500 years old; Chumash village site, which was settled in approximately AD 1500; the archaeologists...

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  • Experience Moments of Peace and Serenity

    While on vacation or holiday in Ventura you will probably visit the historic downtown area. After a day of shopping and walking you just might need to relax. One of the best places to do so is "A Secret Place Salon and Day Spa".Located in the historic Bank of Italy Building owner Trisha Cozzens has done a spectacular job designing a unique spa in...

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Ventura Sports & Outdoors

  • Camping in Ventura

    Here is a list of Campgrounds:Emma Wood State Beach800 444 7275Faria Beach County Campgrounds805 654 3951Hobson Beach County Campgrounds805 654 3951Lake Casitas Recreation Area805 649 2233Lake Piru Recreation Area805 521 1500McGrath State Beach800 444 7275Rincon RV Parkway (Beachfront)805 654 3951Ventura RV Beach Resort805 643 9137 Many of these...

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  • Surfer's Point

    Right across from the Ventura Seaside Park is an area known as "Surfer's Point." or what the locals call "C Street" .A 13 mile bike path which begins at San Buenaventura State Beach and heads north up to Emma Wood State Beach and the Ventura Promenade runs along this area.It is a perfect spot for surfing, matter of fact there is a long board...

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  • Ventura Hotels

    24 Hotels in Ventura

    336 Reviews and Opinions

Ventura Favorites

  • Art and Handicraft go hand in hand

    The neat thing about Ventura is that it is a small enough town to draw the outsider in to see local artists and craft people that make a difference in a community. Many of these shows are put on throughout the city, but I attended the RAW natural born artists show at a local Bar & Grill. There were some outstanding displays of talent and even I had...

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  • FIGUEROA PLAZA MURAL

    As we strolled along Figueroa Plaza, we came upon this amazing MURAL. It was so wonderfully painted with vivid colors. The Mural depicted the era when Chinese immigrants, who came to the Ventura area to work in the fields and they lived together in wooden shacks. The Mural shows the Chinese going about their daily business

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  • GRANT PARK CONSERVANCY

    Kat brought us way up on a hill as she wanted to show us GRANT PARK CONSERVANCY. Simply incredible views of the area could be seen up there.The goal of the Conservancy is to preserve and maintain Serra Cross Park.Also located up there is a huge cross which can be seen for miles. The first cross was erected in the late 1780's by Padre Junipero Serra...

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