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Winter Road Trip
Ventura County is a great destination on your Winter Road Trip to California. The winter months in Ventura County Coast are an awesome winter wonderland—without the snow, of course. Picture palm trees, blue skies and dashing through the sand. It’s the perfect place to explore uncrowded beaches and hiking trails, chow down on fresh seafood, shop for gifts or pamper yourself with a little “me time.” Plus, there are plenty of festive events and nightlife options to get you into the holiday spirit whether traveling solo or with friends and family. Set course for a Central Coast adventure with this winter road trip to California’s Ventura County Coast. This itinerary is chock full of good vibes!
4 Days, 40 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: Camarillo Premium Outlets
740 E Ventura Blvd., Camarillo, CA 93010
Get gifts for everyone on your holiday list (and something new for you!) while shopping at the Camarillo Premium Outlets, a must-stop spot in Ventura County Coast. Experience a shopper’s paradise with stores offering major steals and deals. You might even want to add on an extra day to shop! The outlets are home to more than 150 luxury brands, including Coach, Kate Spade New York, Michael Kors, Nike, Salvatore Ferragamo, Marc Jacobs, O’Neil, Volcom, Ulta Beauty, and H&M. Then celebrate a successful day of deal finding with lunch or snacks from one of the outlet’s on-site restaurants. Need gift ideas? Check out the outlets’ Holiday Gift Guide!
Stop 2: Camarillo Airport
555 Airport Way, Camarillo, CA 93010
Ready for the ultimate winter time mood booster? Head to the Camarillo Airport for adventure and a surge of adrenaline. Here you’ll find two airborne activities that are sure to thrill: tandem jumps with Skydive Coastal California or “low and slow” cruises over the local landscape with Skyrider Ultralights. Skyrider Ultralights specializes in light sports aircraft flights over either the ocean or gorgeous Camarillo hills. If you prefer to find adventure on the ground, go for a hike or bike ride in one of Camarillo’s wide open trails or parks. Whichever you choose, you’re sure to have a good time!
Day 2: Oxnard
Stop 1: Whale Watching with Island Packers
Channel Islands Harbor, 3550 Harbor Blvd., Oxnard, CA 93035
Ventura Harbor, 1691 Spinnaker Dr #105B, Ventura, CA 93001
There’s no winter road trip to California without experiencing one of the most breathtaking sights of the season whale-watching season, that is. Hitch a ride with Island Packers out of Oxnard’s Channel Islands Harbor to view the annual gray whale migration and other wildlife native to the Channel Islands. The five islands — Santa Cruz, San Miguel, Anacapa, Santa Barbara and Santa Rosa — provide a peaceful escape from day-to-day grind anytime of year, but winter (low season) is especially spectacular because of the brilliant sunsets, green hills and blooming wildflowers.
Stop 2: Channel Islands Harbor
Channel Islands Harbor, 3550 Harbor Blvd., Oxnard, CA 93035
After whale watching, take a stroll around the area and get into the holiday spirit at Channel Islands Harbor, decorated with festive lights and displays. Check out the local shops and restaurants. Grab a bite to eat as you gaze out over the ocean at The Waterside Restaurant or try a unique winter activity, like jet-skiing or paddle boarding. Just be sure to wear a wetsuit if you fall in the water!
Stop 3: Hollywood Beach
Oxnard, CA 93035
Get the full Southern California beach experience without the crowds at Hollywood Beach! Located on the south end of the peninsula that separates Channel Islands Harbor from the Pacific Ocean, Hollywood Beach gets its name from the days when stars such as Clark Gable, Charlie Chaplin, and John Wayne spent time fishing and exploring Oxnard. This relaxing stretch of sand and gentle waves is the perfect place to end the day with a magical winter sunset and maybe even dolphins! Ventura County Coast’s beaches are a must on your winter road trip to California.
Day 3: Port Hueneme
Stop 1: Port Hueneme Beach Park and Pier
East Surfside Drive, Port Hueneme, CA 93041
Continue your epic Ventura County Coast adventure at Port Hueneme Beach Park. Experience a sunny and warm winter wonderland as you stroll along the beach or boardwalk. If you’re looking for a little more excitement, try casting a line at the Port Hueneme Pier. Fishing is considered one of the area’s most popular year-round activities. Those who have had their fill of the beach can take advantage of Port Hueneme’s 12 miles of walking and biking trails or head over to Moranda Park for a game of tennis, pickleball, basketball or softball.
Stop 2: Surfside Seafood
550 East Surfside Drive, Port Hueneme
End your day with a generous serving of locally caught fish and chips at Surfside Seafood located right on Port Hueneme Beach. The menu also includes homemade clam chowder and a long list of other seafood options, so the world is your oyster! If you’re visiting mid-week and feeling festive, stop in for live music and a few cocktails.
Day 4: Ventura
Stop 1: Rincon Parkway
Pacific Coast Highway, Ventura, CA 93001
Trade in your snow gear for a wetsuit and surfboard! Located between Faria Beach Park and Hobson Beach Park, this iconic stretch of highway offers outstanding views of the Pacific coastline and the Channel Islands. Surfers come from all over the world to ride the famous Rincon Classic, also called “The Queen of the California Coast,” which is known for its year-round steady sets. Rent a surfboard in town and head to the beach to catch some waves or go for a relaxing stroll.
Stop 2: Main Street Moves
Safely shop, sip, dine and stroll in the streets during Main Street Moves (and beyond, with more food and shopping options on side streets and the emerging Front Street area):
- Taste your way through 30+ restaurants
- Sip signature cocktails
- Shop one of a kind boutiques
- Support local businesses
- Just enjoy being outside
Stop 3: Ventura Harbor
E. Harbor Blvd, Ventura, CA 93001
Find festive cheer at the Ventura Harbor and peruse the light displays all around. Sip, snack and explore the seaside. With plenty of shopping options, exciting water activities and yummy treats for the whole family (hello, Coastal Cone!), spend the day full of joy in this fun spot. Visiting in December? Don’t miss the Ventura Harbor Parade of Lights, a floating display of magically decorated boats!
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!