DREAMSCAPES Fall /2018
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ADVENTURES ALONG THE VENTURA COUNTY COAST
 
(2018 - Spring Issue)

Writer: JILL K. ROBINSON



The laid-back California lifestyle is no mythical unicorn. And it’s not only for residents of the Golden State.

Californians are always willing to share the goodwill of wide-open spaces that invite you to spend more time in the great outdoors. Even if you’re not a resident of Ventura County, you too can surf the swells, enjoy fish tacos for lunch, spend the afternoon hiking to the perfect sunset spot and finish the day sampling some local refreshments.

A string of four main cities—Camarillo, Oxnard, Port Hueneme and Ventura—between Santa Barbara and Los Angeles offer a variety of experiences in Ventura County. Whether you’re a light or hardcore adventurer, a fan of vast outdoor spaces or historic indoor museums, a lover of food or drink, there’s something spectacular here for you.

OUTDOOR EXCURSIONS

If your preferences lean toward sailing, kayaking, diving, hiking or camping, venture beyond the mainland with a tour of Channel Islands National Park. The five islands (Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Miguel and Santa Barbara) feature a rich ocean environment with a wealth of natural and cultural resources. Their isolation over thousands of years has resulted in incredible animals, plants and archaeological resources found nowhere else.

Closer to the mainland, Ventura County’s harbours also offer recreational activities such as jet skiing and skydiving, which speak to the avid adventurer. San Buenaventura State Beach, which runs for three kilometres along the Ventura Coast, has sand dunes, bike trails, swimming and surfing options, and is ideal for leisurely picnics and barbecues. Tucked at the base of the Conejo Grade, Camarillo Grove Park is a great place to stretch your legs and take in the large rock formations and magnificent views.

EDUCATIONAL AND CULINARY EXPERIENCES

Founded by Franciscan Father Junípero Serra in 1782, San Buenaventura Mission was the ninth Spanish mission established in California, and the last by Father Serra. This site has an interesting history, including pirate attacks, earthquakes, a tidal wave and fire.

The Ventura Pier, built in 1872, is the best place for land lovers to get a sense of the sea and the surrounding area. Port Hueneme’s history-rich Naval Construction Battalion Center provides insight into the beach community’s relationship with the Pacific Ocean.

Nearby, the Murphy Auto Museum is a repository of classic, rare and vintage vehicles that date back to 1903. Other family-focused stops include the U.S. Navy Seabee Museum in Port Hueneme, Camarillo’s Old Town, Ventura Harbor Village, Oxnard Beach Park, Marina Park and Camarillo Grove Park.

Camarillo, Oxnard and Ventura have a handful of free farm tours and U-pick experiences for those who are interested in food and local flavour. Seafood fans enjoy wandering through the harbour to find the fresh catch of the day. Culinary-minded visitors balance their time with artisanal shopping by day and frequenting restaurants, local wineries and microbreweries by night. The Annex, Oxnard’s new 1,486-square-metre public market space, brings together an eclectic mix of 12 micro-shops, artisan boutiques, and craft food and beverage purveyors. The public space also hosts a range of intimate community events ranging from a farmers’ market to live music and craft workshops.

EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES

Seasonal festivities in the Ventura area allow everyone to feel like they’re having a unique experience, regardless what time of year they visit. If you plan your trip around one of the signature food events—like the annual California Strawberry Festival (May 19–20), the Ventura County Fair (August 1–12), the California Beer Festival (September 15–16) and Ventura County Farm Day (November 3)— it’s a perfect excuse to dive in and experience the flavour and culture of the region.

Events and festivals in Ventura County Coast aren’t only about food and drink. Mid-April through September brings blue and humpback whale-watching season, August welcomes the Wings Over Camarillo Air Show, and the December holiday season holds more than one parade of lights to add a festive spirit to California winter nights.

There’s never a shortage of things to do here for beach lovers, wildlife fans, art appreciators, history buffs, shoppers, wine and beer enthusiasts or foodies. And while the Ventura County Coast boasts many opportunities, they’re best experienced the California way—all in your own time.

Travel Planner

For information on all there is to see and do in Ventura County Coast, visit venturacountycoast.com.

 
 
 
 
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