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Ventura County Coast blooms with the natural wonders of the season: brightly colored flowers, ripe fruit and crisp vegetables. Delectable produce is being harvested at local farms—from sweet, juicy berries and tender greens to artichokes, asparagus and spring peas. Local bars and restaurants serve up creative and super fresh farm-to-table seasonal cocktails, brews and dishes that celebrate this spectacular bounty. Beyond what’s growing and cooking, outdoor activities are in full swing. It’s the ideal time to get on the golf greens, explore the Channel Islands, sink your toes in the sand, visit area gardens and hike through serene nature preserves. Whether you’re a solo traveler or embarking upon a trip with the whole family, it’s time to pack your bags (including flip-flops and swimsuits!) and head our way for a few days of fresh air, adventure and lots of sunshine!
4 Days, 40 Miles
Ventura County Coast is accessible from both Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Coming from the north? Flip the itinerary!
When planning your trip, remember to check for the latest on COVID-19 in Ventura County.
Don’t forget to tag your photos with #VCCVIBES and #VCCGOODVIBES
Day 1: Get Your Greens in Camarillo
Stop 1: Tee Off at Camarillo Springs Golf Course
Known as “the gem of Ventura County,” Camarillo Springs Golf Course is nestled in the foothills of the Conejo Mountains. Open daily from sunrise to sunset, this public 18-hole, par-72 course is a budget-friendly option appealing to all levels, from novice to expert. If you have aspiring golfers in your crew, they offer private 1-hour lessons that can be tailored for youth or adults. In addition to Camarillo Springs, Camarillo is home to three equally challenging private golf courses: Las Posas Country Club, Spanish Hills Country Club and Sterling Hills Golf Club. Learn more about the Camarillo golf line-up here.
Stop 2: Hit the Camarillo Farm Trail
A trip to Camarillo isn’t complete without exploring the family-run, premium organic farms that supply Southern California’s top chefs, markets and home cooks. Top stops include Gerry Ranch’s One Acre Farms for u-pick experiences, the Las Posas Berries farm stand renowned for fresh-from-the-field strawberries and the Store at McGrath Family Farms for flowers, produce and artisan dry goods. Check out this Camarillo Farm Trail guide for more must-stops, including farm tours and petting zoos.
Stop 3: Savor Old Town Camarillo
When night falls, make your way to Old Town Camarillo for a farm-to-fork dining experience. Wander around browsing the independent retailers before you drop into Twenty88 for a seasonally infused craft cocktail and appetizer. Cap your night off with dinner at Freda’s Pizza & Woodfired Kitchen at The Mark, a buzzy cooperative space where you can also tap into Topa Topa brewery and Rori’s Ice Cream.
Day 2: Beach, Brews & Bowl in Port Hueneme & Oxnard
Stop 1: Chill Out at Port Hueneme Beach Park and Pier
Experience the best of surf and turf at Port Hueneme Beach Park. Between the beach itself, the broad grassy park, barbecue pits, sand volleyball courts and a 24-hour fishing pier (no fishing license required), hours of entertainment await. And the scenery can’t be beat! Soak up a healthy dose of Vitamin D as you relish in the spring sun, strolling along the sun-kissed beach or taking a spin on rental bikes available at the Holiday Inn Express. When hunger strikes, dig into fresh catch at Surfside Seafood, located right on Port Hueneme Beach, west of the pier.
Stop 2: Casa Agria Specialty Ales
Cruise on over to your next stop, Casa Agria Specialty Ales, a family-friendly and pet-friendly boutique brewery. Nestled in the heart of Ventura County farmland and proudly brewed in Oxnard, Casa Agria focuses on mixed fermentation farmhouse style ales, barrel-aged wild ales and yeast-driven India pale ales. On any given day of the week, sip your beers in the barrel room or on the outdoor patio and pair them with delicious eats from local food trucks. The folks are so chill here that you can BYOF(ood)…and the family dog too! If your thirst for local brews hasn’t been fully quenched, you can check out more breweries along Ventura County Coast.
Stop 3: Fun & Games at The Collection at RiverPark
After a day on the go, make your way to The Collection at RiverPark, Oxnard’s all-in-one hub for shopping, dining and entertainment. Fun and games can be had at Bowlero, a bowling alley with arcade games and a sports bar. Get crafty at The Painted Cabernet or challenge your party to the Red Door Escape Room. See a show and grab a bite at Copper Blues Rock Pub & Kitchen. Or if you’re feeling more like chilling out, take in a movie at the Century RiverPark 16 cinema.
Day 3: Island Adventures & Cocktails in Ventura
Stop 1: Channel Islands National Park
For a unique and out-of-this-world adventure, hitch a boat ride with Island Packers to Channel Islands National Park from either Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard or Ventura Harbor. Known as the Galapagos of North America, the Channel Islands have some of the world’s most breathtaking sea caves which can be explored on kayaking tours. If going underwater calls to you, see astounding underwater views of the rich marine life on guided snorkeling and SCUBA diving excursions. You’re sure to encounter a sea lion or two and bright orange Garibaldis, California’s official state marine fish.
If you’re more interested in the islands themselves, take in the rugged landscape and thriving wildlife on a hike unlike any other. At this time of year, the islands are at their lushest emerald green and the wildflowers are in peak bloom. You might even see an island fox, and you’ll definitely spot whales and dolphins! A bird watcher’s dream come true, keep your eyes peeled for breeding California Brown Pelicans, majestic Sauces Bald Eagles and hundreds of other landbirds, shorebirds and seabirds that call the Channel Islands home. Tip: Trips to the islands are a day-long affair and there are limited services on the remote islands, so be sure to pack food and drinks.
Stop 2: Belly up to the Bar at Bank of Italy Cocktail Trust
After a day immersed in nature and the elements, treat yourselves to Italian-inspired craft cocktails and locally-sourced comfort food at Bank of Italy Cocktail Trust. This Downtown Ventura spot created by cocktail connoisseurs Good Lion Hospitality is located in a converted bank building, and instantly became one of the coolest watering holes in town when it opened recently. Park yourself at the bar, find a seat at one of the high tables or in a cozy section near the wizard mural the owners lovingly call “House Slytherin.”
Tip: Ask your bartender to create something bespoke for you using seasonal produce and your go-to spirit.
Day 4: Get Grounded in Ventura
Stop 1: Harmon Canyon Preserve
Harmon Canyon Preserve opened to the public in 2020 and is one of the most enticing spots to get outdoors in Ventura County Coast. With 2,100 acres, the park offers miles of trails for hiking, biking (sorry, no electric bikes allowed), running and exploring. Traveling with your furry friends? Leashed dogs are welcome, just be sure to stay on the trails. Not only is there much to explore within the park, you’ll want to take a break for photo ops of the majestic oak groves, stream crossings and breathtaking views of towering mountain ranges, the coastline and Channel Islands National Park in the distance.
Stop 2: Ventura Botanical Garden
Keep the nature vibes flowing and take a trip around the globe at the Ventura Botanical Gardens. This 109-acre garden is home to plants from the five Mediterranean climate zones of the world, including parts of Chile, South Africa, Australia, the Mediterranean and California. It also offers spectacular views of the coastline, Channel Islands and Ojai’s Topa Topa peak. Close your eyes and breathe in the scent of old-growth eucalyptus trees, native coastal sage and a whole meadow of California wildflowers. It’s the best kind of aromatherapy.
Stop 3: Get Your Om On
Wrap up your active day with a grounding yoga or meditation experience. Check out Ventura Pop-Up Yoga’s schedule for the day’s “Yoga in the Wild” classes held in local parks or one of their sound bath sessions. Yoga Jones and Grassroots Yoga are two local brick-and-mortar studios offering a range of classes, from restorative and yin to infra-red heated vinyasa and candlelit power flow. Check out our 10 Ways to Wellness guide for more grounding and mind-body nourishing experiences on Ventura County Coast.
Things to Pack
With year-round sunshine, you can bet you will need your sunglasses on this road trip.
You will need your bathing suit for our 22 miles of beaches. Get ready to soak in the sun.
With so many amazing views, you won’t want to be without your camera on this road trip!
Ventura Coast Coast has miles of trails to explore. From coastal walks to mountain treks, there’s something for everyone.
Since we are on the coast, the ocean breeze cools us off in the evenings. 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
Whether you are spending your day at the beach, exploring the Channel Islands National Park or simply cruising around town, 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