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Summertime and life is good… especially in Ventura County Coast! There are no bad days here, thanks to the endless rays of sunshine and fun things to do. This ultimate summer road trip cruises through each of our super-chill beach towns and an unbelievable national park. From summer events to wine tasting, berry picking, sunbathing, surfing, scarfing down tacos and exploring shops and restaurants—there’s something for everyone. Grab your sunglasses and pack the sunscreen because we’re ready for summer in Ventura County Coast!
5 Days, 50 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: Camarillo
Stop 1: Pick ripe berries at Gerry Ranch
9015 Rosita Road, Santa Rosa Valley
Start your summer extravaganza by stocking up on the flavors of the season! Gerry Ranch is a family-owned and operated farm that has been running in Ventura County for more than a century. Grab a bucket when you arrive and head to the fields to pick some of the sweetest blueberries around. There’s also a kid-friendly picnic area with killer views of the valley where you can enjoy the fruits of your labor. Check out the ranch website or social media for daily hours of operation. Load up on avocados, strawberries, lemons and more.
Stop 2: Sip quality wine in a welcoming atmosphere at Pantess Cellars
537 Constitution Ave., Unit D, Camarillo
Continue your fruit tasting at Pantess Cellars, where the winemakers believe “great wine starts with great fruit.” This small, artisanal winery sources grapes from all over the Central Coast to create crisp whites and juicy reds your taste buds won’t forget. Make sure to get a bottle or two to take home with you. Pantess offers outdoor tastings on Saturday and Sunday afternoon. If you’re visiting during the week, sign up for a private wine tour with Explore Wines Tours and spend the day with a sommelier tasting your way through wine country. They’ll even pick you up at your hotel!
Make a pitstop at the Camarillo Airport in August. Add an extra day to your road trip for Wings Over Camarillo, think old-timey barnstorming airshow crossed with a big party!
Photo credit: Courtesy of Explore Wine Tours
Day 2: Oxnard
Stop 1: Relax beachside or sail the skies in Oxnard
Channel Islands Parasail, 3600 Harbor Blvd., Oxnard
Summer just wouldn’t be the same without the beach. Get your fill of sunshine and white sand at Oxnard’s uncrowded beaches and choose from a variety of beachfront lodging options with different price points and amenities. Rent electric bikes at Wheel Fun bike rentals to get a lay of the land, lounge by the hotel pool or relax on the beach. Take a break from sunbathing to get a whole new view of town, literally, by taking to the skies with Channel Islands Parasail, a five-minute drive away in the heart of Channel Islands Harbor. Thrill seekers can launch right from the boat into the clear, blue sky and glide like a pelican above the waves. Kids can do it too! (Just check weight requirements.).
Stop 2: Oxnard’s Taco Trail
It’s time to get your taco on! Next to strawberries, tacos are basically the official food of Oxnard, or should we say “Tacs”-nard. Whether you’re a foodie on a mission or a family looking for something everyone can agree on, tacos are the answer. Choose from dozens of Mexican restaurants, taquerias, and taco trucks along the Taco Trail (there’s even a taco map!). Some local favorites include Taqueria Cuernavaca, Taqueria El Tapatio, Tacos Jerez, and Yolanda’s Mexican Cafe (wash down your tasty tacos with their Star Wars themed margarita).
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Visit Oxnard
Day 3: Channel Islands National Park
Channel Islands Harbor, 3550 Harbor Blvd., Oxnard
Ventura Harbor, 1691 Spinnaker Dr #105B, Ventura
Families and nature lovers will get the thrill of a lifetime exploring Channel Islands National Park in the summer. Sea caves, snorkeling, hiking, kayaking, sea life and adorable Island foxes—find them all here. Feeling real outdoorsy? Pack your gear. In mid-August, Santa Rosa island opens for backcountry beach camping. Imagine just waking up and rolling out for an outdoor adventure unlike any other in Southern California. On the way out to the islands, look for blue and humpback whales. It’s also the season that California sea lions and northern fur seals begin pupping. The islands and surrounding marine sanctuary are protected habitats that can only be accessed by private boat, the park boats run by Island Packers, or planes through Channel Islands Aviation. Take a virtual visit with this live underwater webcam of the kelp forests at Anacapa Island. Locals Tip: This can be the busiest time of the year for tourists, so plan in advance.
Day 4: Port Hueneme
Stop 1: Hueneme Beach Park
Next stop on your epic Ventura County Coast summer adventure: Port Hueneme Beach Park, where it’s almost like relaxing on your own private stretch of sand! The waves here are big enough for a good ride, but gentle enough for grommets, so bring your boards for surfing or bodyboarding. The nearby grassy park has plenty of picnic tables and barbecues for an oceanfront grill and chill with the fam, or order some crispy, golden fish and chips (with an ice cold one) at Surfside Seafood right on the beach. Visiting in August? The family-friendly Hueneme Beach Festival is a free event that takes place towards the end of the month with carnival rides, arts and crafts, a sand castle competition, live music and more.
Stop 2: Panaderia Conchita Bakery
Satisfy your sweet tooth with delectable Mexican-style treats at Panaderia Conchita Bakery. Here you’ll find fluffy breads, colorful cookies and twists, and savory cinnamon coffee (a traditional recipe brewed to perfection). People of all ages will feel like kids in a candy store ready to kick off summer vacation with some sugary treats.
Day 4: Ventura
Stop 1: Ventura Harbor Village
1583 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura
Live the laid-back harbor life at Ventura Harbor Village. This is the perfect place to view local art, shop for a fun souvenir or gift, or even embark on a sailing excursion. In the mood for some live music? Spots like the Water’s Edge Restaurant & Bar and Harbor Cove Cafe often have local musicians playing in the evenings. Looking for something a little more active or kid-friendly? The harbor is also homebase for kayaking or bike riding with your crew!
Stop 2: Downtown Ventura – Main Street
Downtown Ventura Visitors Center
101 S. California St., Ventura
A visit to Main Street in historic Downtown Ventura will be the cherry on top of your Ventura County Coast summer road trip! Close to hotels and only a few blocks from the beach, Ventura’s walkable downtown is both pedestrian and bike-friendly. Spend the afternoon checking out unique shops ranging from clothing stores and thrift shops to jewelry stores and surf shops. Grab a pint at a local brewery or sit down for a bite at one of many eclectic and chef-driven restaurants and bars in the neighborhood. History lovers will appreciate local landmarks like the San Buenaventura Mission and nearby Ventura Botanical Gardens.
Visiting in July? Take a detour to the Ventura County Fairgrounds for California’s largest traveling Tequila & Taco Music Festival. Enjoy two-days of top-shelf tequila sampling, gourmet street tacos, craft beer, arts & crafts and live music.
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!
Mask + Hand Sanitizer
Travel responsibly and help keep Ventura County Coast safe.