Local Vibe: Jill Leafstedt

We love Ventura County Coast, but we’re not the only ones! Find out what makes this area so special from people who live in the “Local Vibe” spotlight. They’ll share their favorite places to eat, shop, and play as well as tips on what to bring when you visit.

Meet: Jill Leafstedt

Jill Leafstedt Dean at CSUCI

Did you grow up here or end up here? Work drew us to this region in 2004 as I joined the CSU Channel Islands community as a faculty member in Education. Camarillo swiftly evolved beyond a mere location, embracing us with a sense of home. Nestled between beaches and majestic mountains, it not only provided a backdrop for our family’s growth as we fostered deep connections within its welcoming community. The charm of Ventura County extends beyond its landscapes, resonating in the genuine warmth of its residents. Neighbors transformed into friends, forming an extended family that proved invaluable during the early years of parenting and the demands of work. From local events and vibrant farmers’ markets to numerous recreational activities. As the years passed, our roots in Camarillo deepened, and the bonds with the community strengthened. While our move in 2004 was initially pragmatic, it’s the shared experiences, smiles, and challenges that have truly made Camarillo not just a place we reside but a cherished home.

Do you work or go to school in Ventura County Coast?
I serve as the Dean of Extended University & Digital Learning at CSU Channel Islands, the sole 4-year public university in Ventura County. Since the inception of the campus in 2004, I’ve been a part of the community, initially joining as a professor in Education. The experience of being involved from the very beginning of the campus’s establishment has been a rewarding journey, and I’m grateful for the support of the wonderful community in Ventura County in facing and overcoming the challenges that come with such a significant undertaking.

What is your favorite thing about Ventura County Coast?
Residing in the coastal region of Ventura County is truly remarkable. Start the day with a cappuccino and English muffin at Café Ficelle followed by a long walk on the beach or a walk around CSU Channel Islands campus observing the transformation of the state hospital into a robust learning institution.

What 5 things would you recommend someone do when visiting Ventura County Coast?

  1. Take a day trip to the Channel Islands
  2. Long walk at Hollywood Beach
  3. Kayak or paddleboard around the Channel Island Harbor and visit the CSUCI boating center
  4. Grab a beer at Institution Ale Co.
  5. Meander through downtown Ventura exploring thrift shops, restaurants, and bars

“Start the day with a cappuccino and English muffin at Café Ficelle followed by a long walk on the beach or a walk around CSU Channel Islands campus observing the transformation of the state hospital into a robust learning institution.”
-Jill Leafstedt

Jill Leafstedt Approved

If someone is planning a visit to Ventura County Coast, what are five things you recommend they pack for the trip?

  1. Bathing suit
  2. Hiking shoes
  3. Water bottle
  4. Appetite
  5. Sunscreen

What is your favorite restaurant in Ventura County Coast?
The experience of the Jolly Oyster can’t be beat

What’s the best thing on the menu? Oysters of course.

Please explain your perfect day in Ventura County Coast. Start the day with a cappuccino and English muffin at Café Ficelle followed by a long walk on the beach or a walk around CSU Channel Islands campus observing the transformation of the state hospital into a robust learning institution.

PLAN YOUR VISIT

Get Outside in Ventura County Coast

Book Your Stay

Visit these regions of Ventura County Coast

Camarillo
Oxnard
Ventura
Port Hueneme
Channel Islands National Park

Regions

Ventura County Coast

Ventura County Coast is a string of four communities that radiate warmth from welcoming people and California sunshine. The region embodies the casual and active spirit of classic, where the seafood is fresh, the beer is handcrafted and the weather is the kind you dream about. Spend the day exploring miles of beaches, incredible harbors or lush green golf courses. Hop on a boat for a day trip to the Channel Islands National Park, where you can see breathtaking views of the Southern California coastline. With a bustling culture, high end and vintage shopping, a lively culinary spirit and beautiful outdoor experiences, Ventura County Coast calls on every visitor to find their vibe. From hiking and biking to sailing and snorkeling, from shopping and dining to just plain relaxing, Ventura County Coast will fill your days with a lifetime of memories.

Camarillo

Camarillo

An hour north of Los Angeles, Camarillo is nestled at the base of the Conejo foothills surrounded by verdant green fields and cool ocean breezes. With more than 300 days of sunshine a year, enjoy Camarillo alfresco. From outdoor shopping and concerts, to delicious dining and fun events, Camarillo has it all. With small town charm and a rich history, it is the place for romantic weddings and corporate venues. Visit the historical sites and museums during the day, and walk along Old Town for dinner and drinks at night. A great getaway for everyone, Camarillo is the ideal place to Come for the Sun, Stay for the Fun.

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Oxnard

Oxnard

Rally your tribe and head for the Central Coast. California cool, panorama-perfect, culturally authentic and vibrant beyond measure. Oxnard is home to miles of pristine white sand beaches, electric nightlife, some of the best taquerias in the state, historic Victorian era architecture, the California Strawberry Festival, and an expansively picturesque harbor that serves as the closest access point to the Channel Islands National Park. Just sixty miles northwest of LAX and in close proximity to Santa Barbara and other major destinations, Oxnard is one of California’s best kept secrets.

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Ventura

Ventura

A place that embodies a casual soul and unexpected allure, Ventura is a vibrant town that checks stress and pretense at the door.  Its artistic culture, enduring history and privileged locale is crazy-inviting, very much alive, and refreshingly human.

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Port Hueneme

Port Hueneme

Just sixty miles northwest of Los Angeles, in the heart of the Central Coast, you’ll find Port Hueneme, the friendly city by the sea. Port Hueneme is the place for travelers looking to dig their toes in the sand, take a long walk, drop a fishing line off the pier or just kick back and relax. With walking and biking trails winding throughout the city and a perfect climate almost year round, you can revive your soul in Hueneme.

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Channel Islands National Park

Channel Islands National Park

Channel Islands National Park is an American national park that consists of five of the eight Channel Islands off the coast of the U.S. state of California, in the Pacific Ocean.

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