Family by the beach © Photo by Visit Ventura
Your perfect Highway 1 road trip stop does exist. Ventura California, has wide-open beaches, cold craft beers, year-round sunny ease, and the small things that really matter. Almost everything in Ventura is small, except the bright blue skies and the warm welcome.
Canadians and Venturans share so much in common. You’re polite; we’re polite. You’re friendly; we’re friendly. You’re respectful; we’re respectful. You value plain-spoken honesty, and we do too. This is why we will tell you right now that we will have our differences—daytime temperatures in Ventura average 21 degrees year-round.
Ventura is an off-the-beaten-road treasure. Why? Let’s start with the most important thing on a road trip and in life—fun! Ventura is, plain and simple, a playground. We have world-class surf along miles of sunny beaches. Hiking and mountain biking trails beneath that same sun. Heaps of family fun, including, oh yes, one of our country’s emptiest National Parks. The five islands of Channel Islands National Park have some of the world’s best adventures—sea cave kayaking, scuba diving, hiking, camping—surrounded by nothing but sea, sun, and stars. Some of these islands are only a little over an hour away by boat, often with schools of dolphins and whales along the way.
So many ways to feel the happy pounding of your heart—you might feel it already.
When we’re done playing in Ventura, we love celebrating that play with good food, good drinks, and good friends. Affordable restaurants of every flavour, from real-deal Mexican food to kid-clamouring pizza, a booming craft beer and wine scene, and the new local friends we know you’ll make.
Bringing your RV? We’ve got you covered with RV parks and plenty of beachfront RV parking. Just north of Ventura, along the Rincon Parkway, there’s a long string of RV spots right up against the Pacific. Pull your RV into a spot steps from the beach. Play all day in the sun. Spend the night, your campfire and s’mores hung with the sighing of surf and the pop of bright stars.
Car or RV, once you’re in Ventura, you won’t have to do much (or any) driving. We’re not Los Angeles—you can walk the length of Ventura’s downtown in maybe ten minutes. And there’s a whole lot crammed into that dawdling walk. Park for free and wander, inhaling the happy din of art galleries, boutique shops, wineries, antique stores, and restaurants of every ethnicity and taste. The beach is two blocks from our downtown. From empty beaches where you can hear yourself think to surf beaches where you can watch your child catch their first wave, beaches are what we do.
Taking a summer road trip down California’s magical coast? Ventura offers you the rare and glorious chance to be inspired by the world’s largest road trippers. Happy coincidence, from roughly June through mid-September, Blue Whales (the largest creature on the planet) and Humpback Whales appear off the coast of Ventura. Planning a winter road trip? Just as good. Beginning in mid-December, Pacific Gray Whales appear by the scores, migrating to Baja California, Mexico. And, in any season, there’s the chance of Orca Whale sightings and the high likelihood of dolphins; sometimes, goose-pimpling pods numbering in the thousands.
But it’s not really about the big things.
In Ventura, we’re big-time into small-time. Small town pleasures. A small-town welcome. A small hand in yours.
The finest memories are made on the road less travelled.
Ventura is just an hour’s drive from Los Angeles, located along the scenic southernmost part of half-hidden California’s Central Coast. Year-round daytime temperatures average 70F. Day or night, Ventura has a casual soul, with a pulse that quickens and slows with its unique offerings: art, music, rich food trends, and rare combination of ecological wonder, colorful diversity, and storied history.