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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 Ventura County Coast serves up endless summer vibes all year long, but there’s something particularly spectacular about this time of year. Think long sunny days filled with laid-back adventures, lazy beach hangs and refreshing seaside strolls. After the sun goes down, sip and savor local fare under starry skies and tap into epic entertainment. There are no bad days (or nights!) here thanks to the eclectic diversity of things to do, friendly locals and fun event line-up. We’ve put together this ultimate summer road trip to help you cruise through each of our super-chill beach towns—and one unbelievable national park—like a local. From summer events, taco trails and wine tasting to farm tours, beachside bike rides and shopping extravaganzas, it’s time to plot your perfect getaway. So, grab your sunglasses, pack the sunscreen and come ride the waves of 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: Stop in at farms and farm stands
Connect with Mother Nature and savor the bounty of the season visiting the farms and farm stands along the Camarillo Farm Trail Tour. Learn about regenerative agriculture with a tour of Baby Root Farm. Pick luscious, sun-ripened strawberries and blueberries at One Acre Farm on Gerry Ranch. Bring the kids to Underwood Family Farms for more hands-on educational fun. And shop for seasonal produce at The Store at McGrath Family Farms—or beeline for a flat of berries at Los Posas Berries.
Stop 2: Sip quality wine in a welcoming atmosphere at Pantess Cellars
537 Constitution Ave., Unit D, Camarillo
Continue sampling the fruits of local vines at Pantess Cellars, where the winemakers believe “great wine starts with great fruit.” This small, boutique winery sources grapes from all over the Central Coast to create crisp whites and juicy reds that will no doubt tempt you to purchase a bottle or two to take home—or enjoy later on your road trip. If you’d like to explore wine in greater depth, book a private wine tour with Explore Wines Tours. Spend a day tasting your way through wine country with a knowledgeable sommelier as your guide and designated driver. They’ll even pick you up and drop you off at your hotel.
SIGNATURE SUMMER EVENTS: Summer Concert Series (June-August), 4th of July Fireworks, Heritage Days (July), A Taste of Camarillo (July) and Wings Over Camarillo (August).
Day 2: Oxnard
Stop 1: Relax beachside or sail the skies in Oxnard
Channel Islands Parasail, 3600 Harbor Blvd., Oxnard
Get a big fill of sunshine and white sands at Oxnard’s uncrowded beaches, where you’ll find a variety of beachfront lodging options. Rent electric bikes at Wheel Fun bike rentals and ride around feeling the sea breeze on your skin. Lounge by the hotel pool or find a perfect stretch of sand to relax on the beach. Feeling more adventurous? Head to Channel Islands Harbor for a flight with Channel Islands Parasail. This safe, family-friendly* activity will have you soaring up, up, up to get a birds’ eye view of the harbor and coastline below (*children as young as two can go up with a parent or guardian).
Stop 2: Oxnard’s Taco Trail
After all that activity, it’s time to fill your bellies and get your taco on! Next to strawberries, tacos are arguably Oxnard’s signature dish—so much so, the town is often referred to as “Tacs-nard!” Whether you’re a foodie looking to broaden your taco connoisseurship or a family looking for something everyone can agree on, you can choose from dozens of Mexican restaurants, taquerias and taco trucks along the Oxnard Taco Trail—yes, there’s a taco map for that! Local favorites include Taqueria Cuernavaca, Taqueria El Tapatio, Tacos Jerez and Yolanda’s Mexican Café.
SIGNATURE SUMMER EVENTS: Oxnard Salsa Festival (July), Dallas Cowboys’ Training Camp (July/August), Heritage Square Summer Concert Series (June-August) and Oxnard Jazz Festival (September).
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 enjoy the thrill of a lifetime exploring Channel Islands National Park in the summer. Hiking, snorkeling and kayaking adventures will bring you up close and personal with incredible sea life and adorable critters like Island foxes. Want to go super off grid? In mid-August, Santa Rosa island opens for backcountry beach camping. Imagine waking up 25 miles offshore of the mainland on a pristine stretch of coastline and rolling out for an outdoor adventure unlike any other in Southern California.
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. If you take a sea-faring route, on the way out to the islands you will likely spot blue and humpback whales breaching. Summer also marks the start of pupping season for California sea lions and northern fur seals who make their home in our waters.
LOCAL TIP: This is generally the busiest time of the year for island visitors, so plan and book in advance.
Day 4: Port Hueneme
Stop 1: Hueneme Beach Park
Port Hueneme Beach Park is one of the most relaxing stretched of sand. The waves are big enough for a good ride, but gentle enough for grommets, so bring your boards for surfing or bodyboarding—or take a lesson with Ventura Surf School. 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.
Stop 2: Panaderia Conchita Bakery
Satisfy your sweet tooth with delectable Mexican-style treats at Panaderia Conchita Bakery, best known for their churros, colorful cookies and twists and savory cinnamon coffee—a traditional recipe brewed to perfection. Anacappuccino is another sweet local spot for an afternoon pick-me-up, with specialty ice-blended coffee drinks like banana split, peppermint patty and pink panther.
SIGNATURE SUMMER EVENTS: Hueneme Beach Festival (August) and Banana Festival (September).
Day 4: Ventura
Stop 1: Ventura Harbor Village
1583 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura
Live the laid-back harbor life at Ventura Harbor Village, a waterfront hub of family-friendly activities, souvenir shops, eateries and entertainment. During summer weekends, catch live music in the afternoons on the Oceanfront Promenade Stage. Many restaurants like Water’s Edge Restaurant & Bar and Copa Cubana feature local musicians in the evenings. Looking to get out on the water? Rent a boat, kayak or paddleboard from Ventura Boat Rentals and explore the Ventura Keys. Don’t miss the magic on weekend evenings when pedal boats light up and sparkle on the water. And you can’t leave the harbor without trying one of the special summer themed Taiyaki Fish Cones at Coastal Cone.
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, with local landmarks like the San Buenaventura Mission and Ventura Botanical Gardens also nearby. Spend the afternoon checking out unique shops ranging from vintage clothing and thrift stores to indie-spirited jewelry and surf shops. Grab a pint at a local brewery or plot a DIY craft brew tasting tour with stops at Anacapa Brewing Company, Topa Topa Brewing Company and Barrelhouse 101. After the sun sets, settle in for a memorable dinner at one of many chef-driven restaurants and bars in the neighborhood.
SIGNATURE SUMMER EVENTS: Tequila & Taco Music Festival (July), Surf Rodeo (July), Ventura County Fair (August), Boots & Brews (August) and Aloha Music Festival (September).
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