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Close your eyes and imagine this: The cool ocean breeze on your face as you paddle through the harbor. The aroma of fresh pumpkin spice coffee as you stroll with a cup downtown or the taste of sweet pumpkin pie you picked up from the local farmers market.
Welcome to fall in Ventura County Coast! The days here are warm enough for a paddle boarding or surf sesh at any of the region’s many beautiful beaches, and the evenings are cool and clear—perfect for roasting s’mores and stargazing. Plus, our countless local restaurants, breweries, wineries are all bursting with unbelievable fall flavors.
Hop in, buckle up, and get ready for an unforgettable road trip in Camarillo, Oxnard, Ventura and Port Hueneme with this five-day itinerary!
5 Days, 50 Miles
Ventura County Coast is accessible from both Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Coming from the north? Flip the itinerary!
Don’t forget to tag your photos with #VCCVIBES and #VCCGOODVIBES
Day 1: Camarillo
Stop 1: Pacific Coast Highway
Renowned for it’s scenic beauty, iconic PCH is the perfect place to start your fall road trip. From Santa Monica head north on PCH until you reach iconic Neptunes Net which lies on the Ventura/Los Angeles county line. Just over three miles ahead stop at Sycamore Cove Beach for a state parks day pass (good for entry into all state parks). This beach is brimming in natural beauty, rocky outcroppings and great photo opportunities. Go under the highway crossing into Sycamore Canyon for some of the best hikes along highway 1. Just past Sycamore Cove lies a massive sand dune that you can slide down on boogie boards, sleds, and other objects. Just past the sand dune you’ll find picturesque beaches like Thornhill Broome and La Jolla. Continue on until you reach iconic Mugu Rock to soak in the majestic views of this coastal gem. Continue on Pacific Coast highway then exit at Las Posas Road towards Camarillo.
Stop 2: Underwood Family Farms
5696 Los Angeles Ave., Somis
Pull on a pair of boots and grab a basket—it’s time to go picking on the farm! Whether you’re hunting for pumpkins (Look for the giant 450-pound pumpkins and every other type of pumpkin or gourd you can imagine!), fall fruit, veggies, or flowers, Underwood Family Farms is the place to go for an authentic ag experience. Once your basket is full, head over to say “hello” to pygmy goats, chickens, alpaca, and sheep. At this time of year, the farm prepares for its annual Fall Harvest on the Farm with live music, Halloween decor, tractor-drawn wagon rides, pig races and more. For vacation memories, be sure to snap a few pics of the kids at the hay pyramid and corn stalk tunnel!
Stop 3: Take a Wine Tasting Tour
Dust yourself off and get dressed. It’s time to take a tour of Camarillo’s best wineries, bottle shops, and eclectic eateries. Start out at Public Domain Wines then make your way south to tour the many wineries, tasting rooms, and bottle shops along the path. Take in the friendly vibes and the relaxing atmosphere that embodies the soul of Camarillo. Looking for a place to stay? See the best hotels to stay at in Camarillo.
Annual Fall Events
In early November 20 local farms open their doors to the public for a fun day of agricultural activities and tours in the Ventura County Region. Ventura County Farm Day attendees will get to enjoy food tastings from locally grown produce, engage in exciting family activities, and meet local farmers.
Day 2: Port Hueneme (why-knee-me)
Stop 1: Port Hueneme Beach Park
Here’s how to spend the ideal fall day in Port Hueneme: Start things off with a pastry and a foamy pumpkin spice latte from Anacappuccino, a popular coffee spot for locals. Then head to Port Hueneme Beach Park for a day full of biking, beach combing and surfing. Thanks to the Santa Ana winds, this time of year offers some of the best surfing conditions and swell. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, throw some burgers on one of the park’s barbecue pits and kick back at a picnic table to watch the sunset. Fun tip: the barbecue pits are also great for roasting s’mores!
📷 : @anacappuccino
Stop 2: Banana Festival
When: Late September
Where: Port of Hueneme
Port Hueneme is an important ocean link to the global trade market specializing in the import and export of cars, produce, and you guessed it, bananas! The Port of Hueneme Banana Festival celebrates this vital working port with fun activities, banana themed confections, live music, port tours, and a pie eating contest. This is a great all ages event and a must do on your fall road trip bucket-list!
Day 3: Oxnard
Stop 1: Morning on the Beach
Oxnard Beaches are well known for their idyllic beauty, long sandy stretches, and surprisingly fun water activities. The main beaches in Oxnard are Silver Strand Beach located on the south side of Channel Islands Harbor, and both Hollywood Beach and Oxnard Shores to the north. The beaches here are well known for their amazing surf, beachside activities, and recreational fishing. Looking for fun dockside activities? Channel Islands Harbor is a great place for ocean activities like kayaking, whale watching tours, and parasailing! You can even rent your own electric boat, take a harbor cruise, visit a maritime museum, or take a scenic gondola ride at this seaside gem. If your here on a Sunday be sure to check out the Certified Farmer’s Market for fresh local produce, local cuisine, and locally caught fish.
Stop 2. Take The Taco Trail Challenge
Calling all taco aficionados and foodie roadtrippers. You’ll be treated to 15 of the best taco food trucks, taquerias and restaurants in Oxnard. Signup for the Taco Trail Challenge and you’ll receive amazing discounts and free food items with purchase. In the end you’ll earn a prize. App not required to play.
Annual Fall Events
Oxnard Jazz Festival
Get your groove on beachside at the annual Oxnard Jazz Festival held at Oxnard Beach Park around mid September. This multi day festival is an all ages event that brings together top jazz artists, guest DJ’s, and food vendors with a laid back vibe on the beach.
Parade of Frights
Halloween is a great time for a road trip to Ventura County Coast. On the Saturday before or on Halloween, Channel Islands Harbor puts on a boat parade like no other. A play on words based on the beloved Christmas themed parade of lights, the parade of frights boat parade is sure to get you into Halloween spirit.
Oxnard Tamale Festival
Savor the start tamale season in early December with a road trip to the Oxnard Tamale Festival. Delight in one of the most prized Mexican delicacies that’s known for it’s rich taste and unique flavor.
Day 4: Channel Islands National Park
Stop 1: Hop on the Island Ferry
The Channel Islands Ferry departs from Channel Islands Harbor, 3550 Harbor Blvd., Oxnard and Ventura Harbor, 1691 Spinnaker Dr #105B
Make sure you wear plenty of layers for this seafaring adventure! You’re going to want to spend the entire day (or more) exploring Channel Islands National Park in the fall. The autumn breeze at the islands is warm during the day, but temperatures drop a bit once the sun goes down. The park is known for its breathtaking landscape and thriving wildlife, which can be experienced by boat, kayak, or on foot for an unforgettable hike. The sky and water are clearest this time of year, so diving is at its best. Keep your eyes peeled for northern elephant seals as they begin to gather at their rookery site in late fall, migrating birds and blue and humpback whales. If you’re lucky, you might come across the illusive Island Fox too. Like to camp? Each of the five islands has a campground that requires advanced reservations. Make sure to bring a telescope or simply look up for some out-of-this-world stargazing!
Day 5: Ventura
Stop 1: Ventura Harbor Village
1583 Spinnaker Dr, Ventura, CA 93001
Ventura Harbor Village is one the coast’s most picturesque harbors and best seaside playgrounds on the coast. The beaches at this seaside gem are some of the best kept secrets on the coast with amazing surf and a protected beach. Looking for an ocean adventure? You can scuba dive the Channel Islands, rent kayaks, and paddleboards. Are you more of a captain of your own ship kind of person? Rent your own electric boat and cruise the beautiful harbor and Ventura Keys. On land you’ll find the harbor village area filled with unique restaurants, cafe’s, confectioneries, fashion boutiques, unique gifts, along with high end arts and crafts shops.
Stop 2: Downtown Ventura/Ventura Pier
Downtown Ventura’s Historic Landmarks, beautiful architecture, and vibrant scene are what make that make this a great roadtrip destination on the west coast. Discover a wide selection of breweries, restaurants, shops, boutiques, and more all within walking distance. Walk a few blocks south on California Street towards the beach to arrive at the Ventura boardwalk where beautiful downtown meets sand and sun. A local favorite for surfers and beach goers, the pier features a brewery, a popular fish taco spot, and beachside dining with ocean views of the Channel Islands.
Annual Fall Events
Ventura is host to some great annual fall events starting with Artwalk Ventura. Marvel at the creative spirit of this coastal town with popup displays, live performances, workshops, and more at this special event. The Seaside Oddities Expo celebrates the bizarre and obscure while dabbling in the dark arts. Featuring vintage Halloween decor, rare oddities, and freakishly good live entertainment. The Pier Under the Stars event features some of the best cuisine, brews, and craft wines from this coastal region. On a Thanksgiving road trip? Burn off some calories before your big meal at the annual Ventura Turkey Trot 5k run/walk.
Things to Pack
With year-round sunshine, you can bet you will need your sunglasses at the X Games Finals.
You will need your bathing suit or board shorts for our 22 miles of beaches and surf. Get ready to soak in the sun.
Capture all the action at the X Games 2023 Finals! Be sure to bring your camera.
Ventura Coast Coast has miles of trails to explore. From coastal walks to mountain treks, there’s something for everyone.
The Ventura County Fairgrounds can get breezy and cool in the evenings. Be sure to bring a light jacket to throw on at night and in the mornings.
Spending all day in the sun? Protect your skin! It’s what the dermatologist ordered.
Your Favorite Hat
Being outside all day can take it’s toll. Make yourself more comfortable and keep the sun out of your face with your favorite hat.
Outfit for a Night Out
Don’t forget an outfit for a nice dinner and a night out on the town.
No matter what city you are in, there are views everywhere. Maybe you will spot dolphins or even a whale!
Pack Like a Local
Check out what our Local Vibe spotlight participants recommend you bring on your next road trip to California’s Ventura County Coast Read More
Tag your Ventura County Coast photos with #VCCVibes for a chance to be featured!