Ventura County Coast Local Guide

Global Yodel recently had the pleasure of visiting quintessential California’s Ventura County Coast (Ventura, Oxnard, Camarillo & Port Hueneme) for a few days.

This collection of four cities rests an hour north of Los Angeles. Here you will find year-round sunny skies that meet seaside charm and inland adventure. Since it’s Southern California, the weather is lovely and climate is mild regardless of the time of year. Visitors can spend time outdoors at the beaches and harbors – and even camp outside in the fall and winter months – which is really notable. 

Flaunting an incredible coastal/mountainous natural landscape, thriving arts and cultural scene, plentiful shopping, historic sites, golf courses, and ingredient-driven dining fueled by its 125,000 acres of farms, orchards, and vineyards, the region is an incredible and undiscovered travel destination.

The Ventura County Coast experience is one you’ll never forget. Be warned! You won’t want to leave.

We compiled some of our favorite must-do activities in the Local Lens section on the right sidebar. We also sat down with a long-time Ventura local to learn a little more about the local secrets of Ventura County. Check out her interview below. 

Name? Shelley Sund

Place you live? Ventura, CA.

How long have you lived there?  I’ve lived here 32 years.

Occupation? Owner of Retail and E-tail bicycle business: Ventura Bike Depot

Can you sum up Ventura County? Ventura County is one of the few Southern California coastal areas that are not yet overpopulated. Although this is changing, Ventura County remains a funky, relaxed place with strong cultural institutions, an entrepreneurial spirit, and great recreational opportunities.

What is the best thing about Ventura County? The best thing about Ventura County is its many outdoor activities. The hiking and biking trails are plentiful and provide easy access to both the beautiful Pacific Ocean, and the mountains.

What does your perfect day entail in Ventura County? A perfect day starts with a swim in the ocean, then a bike ride along the ocean, followed by a visit to one of the county’s 10 micro-breweries.

What are the people like in Ventura County? People in Ventura County are a friendly mix of white collar, blue collar, hippies, and greenies. They tend to be upwardly mobile, eco-conscientious, urban, organically-minded people.

If Ventura County was a person who would it be? It would be Johnny Depp, one-of-a-kind, talented, quirky and always engaged in an interesting project.

What are some outdoor activities in Ventura County that you can suggest? Just about every outdoor activity is available here: A person visiting Ventura County can surf or kite surf; they can kayak, canoe or engage in other paddle sports; they can road and mountain bike or motorcycle; they can play tennis, hike, and shop at farms and farmer markets. The possibilities are endless.

What are some indoor activities in Ventura County that you can suggest? There are just as many indoor activities. Ventura has a vibrant arts community with many exhibits, concerts, and museums. There is also lots of shopping, wonderful restaurants, a large number of outstanding thrift stores, as well as great micro-breweries and wine tasting opportunities.

Be sure to check out the Maritime Museum, Channel Island Harbor Oxnard and Ventura Pop-Up Yoga at various locations including the historic Camarillo Ranch House.

If a friend was visiting Ventura County for a day what would you suggest they do? I would recommend start their day by going for coffee and breakfast at Beacon Coffee or Polermo’s in downtown Ventura.  Then I suggest they go over to Ventura Bike Depot and take an epic bike ride, first to Grant Park and the Serra Cross, which provides a panoramic view of the city and ocean. When they ready to move on, they should ride over to Spencer Makenzie’s Fish Company on Thompson Blvd. It has a great local feel and provides access to the Ventura Pier via a pedestrian overpass. Then I’d suggest a visit to Patagonia’s corporate headquarters and flagship store. When they are done shopping stop in at one of Ventura’s numerous breweries or wine tasting rooms. Then finish the day with dinner in the harbor at Brophy Brothers Restaurant and Clam Bar, overlooking all the boats. Or they could check out the tasting wagon at the Jolly Oyster, located just inside San Buenaventura State Beach.  There are picnic tables and educational billboards about the lifecycle of the oyster, and you are allowed to BYOB (champagne anyone?).





Ventura County Coast (Ventura, Oxnard, Camarillo & Port Hueneme)

Best Place to Eat:

Rumfish y Vino, Waypoint CafeLure Fish House, Andrea’s SeafoodThe Waterside Restaurant & Bar

Best place to drink:

Palermo Coffee HouseTwenty 88, VenTikiInstitution Ale CompanyVentura Spirits Distillery

Best place to shop:

Iron & Resin GarageSpice-TopiaThe Refill ShoppeTiki GirlVom FassWe Olive, Ventura Antique Market, Ventura Harbor VillageReal Cheap Sports (Patagonia’s secret outlet store)

Best outdoor activity:

Channel Islands Excursion with Island Packers (be sure to order a picnic lunch from Channel Island Provisions prepared by the incredible Chef Neil and book a kayak tour with Channel Islands Adventure Co.), Serra Cross lookout at Grant ParkVentura Pier and BoardwalkArroyo Verde Park and Jet Ski Channel Islands Harbor. This is a must do!

Local tip:

Head over to Marina Park and check out the Mermaid Statue at the mouth of the harbor. You need to walk out toward the jetty to find it!

Best place to stay: