Exploring Ventura County: A Haven of Activities on California's Central Coast

Things to do in Ventura County - Ventura County, nestled between the vibrant cities of Santa Barbara and Los Angeles, is a gem waiting to be discovered. With its close proximity to the ocean and picturesque beaches, this region offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, cultural experiences, and outdoor adventures. Whether you're a local resident or a visitor passing through, Ventura County boasts an array of activities to suit every taste and interest. From scenic hikes to cultural hotspots, here are the top 20 things to do in Ventura County, curated based on user ratings and reviews.

 

Things to do in Ventura County

 

Ventura County, situated along the stunning coast of Southern California, offers a plethora of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. Whether you're seeking outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or simply some relaxation by the beach, Ventura County has something for everyone.

Things to do in Ventura County - For outdoor enthusiasts, exploring the rugged beauty of Channel Islands National Park is a must. Accessible by boat or plane, the park boasts pristine beaches, hiking trails, and opportunities for snorkeling, kayaking, and wildlife spotting. Back on the mainland, hiking in the Los Padres National Forest provides a chance to immerse yourself in lush forests, cascading waterfalls, and panoramic vistas.

Ventura County is also renowned for its charming coastal towns, such as Ventura and Oxnard. Stroll along Ventura's historic Main Street lined with boutique shops, art galleries, and eateries, or take a leisurely bike ride along the scenic Ventura Beach Promenade. In Oxnard, explore the picturesque Channel Islands Harbor, where you can rent kayaks or paddleboards, dine at waterfront restaurants, or embark on a whale-watching excursion.

Cultural enthusiasts will find plenty to admire in Ventura County as well. Visit the acclaimed Ventura County Museum of Art and History to delve into the region's rich heritage through art exhibitions, historical artifacts, and interactive displays. For a taste of local culture, attend one of the many festivals and events that take place throughout the year, celebrating everything from food and wine to music and film.

Of course, no visit to Ventura County would be complete without indulging in its culinary offerings. Sample fresh seafood at waterfront eateries, savor farm-to-table cuisine at upscale restaurants, or embark on a tasting tour of the region's wineries and breweries. With its diverse culinary scene, Ventura County promises to delight even the most discerning palates.

Whether you're seeking outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or simply some relaxation by the beach, Ventura County offers a diverse array of activities and attractions that are sure to leave a lasting impression.


Top 20 Things to do in Ventura County

 

Channel Islands National Park

Immerse yourself in the untouched beauty of nature with a visit to Channel Islands National Park. Comprising five rugged islands off the coast of Ventura County, this national park offers opportunities for hiking, wildlife viewing, snorkeling, and camping. Each island has its own unique charm, providing a glimpse into California's pristine coastal ecosystem. This is a must see and #1 in our list of things to do in Ventura County.

Website:  https://www.nps.gov/chis/index.htm

Address: Ventura, CA 93001

Phone: 805-658-5730

Cost: Ferry fees vary; camping fees apply

 

Ventura Pier and Promenade

Take a leisurely stroll along the historic Ventura Pier and Promenade, where you can soak in panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and the Ventura coastline. Enjoy fishing, people-watching, or simply relax as the waves crash against the shore. The nearby promenade offers a variety of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options.

Website:  https://www.cityofventura.ca.gov/838/Ventura-Pier-and-Promenade

Address: 750 Harbor Blvd, Ventura, CA 93001

Phone: 805-654-7749

Cost: Free admission

 

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum

Delve into the life and legacy of the 40th President of the United States at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum. Explore interactive exhibits, including a full-scale replica of the Oval Office, and stroll through beautiful gardens overlooking the Conejo Valley. This educational experience offers insights into one of the most influential figures in modern American history.

Website:  https://www.reaganlibrary.gov/

Address: 40 Presidential Drive, Simi Valley, CA 93065

Phone: 805-522-2977

Cost: Adults $29.00, Seniors  62+  $26.00, Youth  11-17  $22.00, Children  3-10  $19.00

 

Things to do in Ventura County - Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum

 

Ventura Botanical Gardens

Escape into a world of natural beauty at the Ventura Botanical Gardens, spanning over 100 acres of stunning hillside terrain. Discover a diverse collection of native and exotic plants as you wander along scenic trails overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The gardens offer a peaceful retreat for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

Website:  https://www.venturabotanicalgardens.com/

Address: 567 South Poli St, Ventura, CA 93001

Phone: 805-232-3113

Cost: Free admission; donations appreciated

 

Ojai Valley Trail

Embark on a cycling or hiking adventure along the Ojai Valley Trail, a picturesque pathway stretching approximately 9 miles from Ojai to Ventura. Surrounded by stunning mountain views and lush landscapes, this trail offers a scenic escape for outdoor enthusiasts of all skill levels. Don't forget to bring your camera to capture the beauty of the Ojai Valley.

Website:  https://visitventuraca.com/activities/hiking/ojai-valley-trail/

Address: Ojai, CA 93023  Trailhead locations vary

Phone: N/A

Cost: Free admission

 

Ventura Harbor Village

Indulge in a day of shopping, dining, and waterfront entertainment at Ventura Harbor Village. Browse unique boutiques, sample fresh seafood, or embark on a harbor cruise to explore the coastal beauty of Ventura County. With live music and events year-round, the village offers a vibrant atmosphere for visitors of all ages.

Website:  https://www.venturaharborvillage.com/

Address: 1583 Spinnaker Dr, Ventura, CA 93001

Phone: 805-477-0470

Cost: Free admission; varies for activities and dining

 

Camarillo Premium Outlets

Shop till you drop at the Camarillo Premium Outlets, home to over 160 designer and brand-name stores offering discounts of up to 65% off retail prices. Whether you're hunting for fashion, accessories, or home goods, you'll find plenty of bargains to satisfy your shopping cravings. With a beautiful outdoor setting and ample dining options, this shopping destination promises a delightful experience for bargain hunters.

Website:  https://www.premiumoutlets.com/outlet/camarillo

Address: 740 E Ventura Blvd, Camarillo, CA 93010

Phone: 805-445-8520

Cost: Free admission; varies for shopping

 

Things to do in Ventura County - Camarillo Outlets

 

Zuma Beach

Escape to the sun-kissed shores of Zuma Beach, one of Malibu's most iconic stretches of coastline. With its golden sands, clear blue waters, and excellent surfing conditions, Zuma Beach is a paradise for beach lovers and water sports enthusiasts. Whether you're sunbathing, swimming, or picnicking with loved ones, this pristine beach offers a quintessential California experience.

Website:  https://www.malibucity.org/319/Zuma-Beach

Address: 30000 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265

Phone:  310-317-1364

Cost: Parking fees may apply

 

Zuma Beach

 

Santa Paula Murals

Embark on a self-guided walking tour of the colorful Santa Paula Murals, which adorn the walls of buildings throughout the historic downtown area. These vibrant artworks depict the rich cultural heritage and diverse history of Santa Paula, from its agricultural roots to its contributions to the arts and entertainment industry. Take your time to admire these captivating murals and learn more about the stories they tell.

Website:  https://www.santapaulamurals.org/

Address: Various locations in Santa Paula, CA 93060

Phone: 805-525-1890

Cost: Free admission

 

Ventura County Wine Trail

Embark on a wine-tasting adventure along the Ventura County Wine Trail, where you can explore boutique wineries nestled amidst picturesque vineyards and rolling hills. Sample a diverse selection of award-winning wines, from crisp Chardonnays to robust Cabernet Sauvignons, and meet the passionate winemakers behind each bottle. With stunning views and welcoming hospitality, the Ventura County Wine Trail promises an unforgettable oenophile experience.

Website:  https://www.venturacountywinetrail.com/

Address: Various locations throughout Ventura County

Phone: Individual winery contacts available on the website

Cost: Tasting fees vary by winery

 

Camarillo Ranch House

Step back in time with a visit to the Camarillo Ranch House, a beautifully preserved Victorian mansion that offers a glimpse into the area's rich agricultural history. Take a guided tour of the historic house, stroll through lush gardens, and learn about the legacy of Adolfo Camarillo, one of the region's most prominent ranchers. With its elegant architecture and scenic surroundings, the Camarillo Ranch House is a must-visit destination for history buffs and architecture enthusiasts alike.

Website:  https://www.camarilloranch.org/

Address: 201 Camarillo Ranch Rd, Camarillo, CA 93012

Phone: 805-389-8182

Cost: Tours vary; check website for details

 

Camarillo Ranch House

 

Surfers Point Park

Catch some waves or simply soak up the sun at Surfers Point Park, a popular beachfront destination known for its excellent surfing conditions and scenic beauty. Located along the Ventura Promenade, this picturesque park offers panoramic views of the coastline and the Channel Islands, making it a favorite spot for outdoor recreation and relaxation. Whether you're a seasoned surfer or a beachcomber, Surfers Point Park has something for everyone to enjoy.

Website:  https://www.cityofventura.ca.gov/1543/Surfers-Point-Park

Address: 901 San Pedro St, Ventura, CA 93001

Phone: 805-654-7749

Cost: Free admission

 

Stagecoach Inn Museum

Journey back in time at the Stagecoach Inn Museum, where you can explore a collection of historic buildings dating back to the 19th century. From pioneer cabins to Victorian parlors, this living history museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the early days of settlement in the Conejo Valley. Take a guided tour, attend special events, or simply wander through beautifully landscaped gardens as you immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of yesteryear.

Website:  https://www.stagecoachinnmuseum.org/

Address: 51 S Ventu Park Rd, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320

Phone: 805-498-9441

Cost: Adults $5.00, Seniors  62+  $4.00, Youth  5-17  $3.00, Children  under 5  Free

 

Oxnard Beach Park

Savor the beauty of the California coast at Oxnard Beach Park, a scenic waterfront oasis offering miles of sandy shores and sparkling ocean views. Whether you're picnicking with family, flying kites with friends, or simply taking a leisurely stroll along the shoreline, this expansive beach park provides the perfect setting for outdoor fun and relaxation. With its gentle waves and pristine sands, Oxnard Beach Park is a beloved destination for beachgoers of all ages.

Website:  https://www.oxnard.org/oxnard-beach-park/

Address: 1601 Harbor Blvd, Oxnard, CA 93035

Phone:  805-385-7946

Cost: Free admission

 

Conejo Valley Botanic Garden

Discover a tranquil oasis of natural beauty at the Conejo Valley Botanic Garden, nestled within the scenic landscapes of Thousand Oaks. Meander along peaceful pathways lined with a diverse array of native and exotic plants, including colorful wildflowers, aromatic herbs, and majestic trees. With stunning views of the Conejo Valley and opportunities for birdwatching and photography, this hidden gem offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Website:  https://www.conejogarden.org/

Address: 400 W Gainsborough Rd, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360

Phone: 805-494-7630

Cost: Free admission; donations appreciated

 

Ventura County Fairgrounds

Experience the excitement of live entertainment, thrilling rides, and mouthwatering fair food at the Ventura County Fairgrounds, home to the annual Ventura County Fair and a variety of year-round events. From concerts and festivals to trade shows and rodeos, there's always something happening at this vibrant venue. Join in the fun and create lasting memories with family and friends at the Ventura County Fairgrounds.

Website:  https://www.venturacountyfair.org/

Address: 10 W Harbor Blvd, Ventura, CA 93001

Phone: 805-648-3376

Cost: Admission prices vary by event

 

Ventura County Fairgrounds

Photo courtesy of Ventura County Fairgrounds

 

Mullin Automotive Museum

Marvel at a stunning collection of classic cars and vintage automobiles at the Mullin Automotive Museum, a must-visit destination for automotive enthusiasts and history buffs alike. Located in Oxnard, this world-class museum showcases rare and exquisite vehicles from the Art Deco era, including Bugattis, Delahayes, and Hispano-Suizas. With its meticulously curated exhibits and immersive storytelling, the Mullin Automotive Museum offers a fascinating journey through the golden age of motoring.

Website:  https://www.mullinautomotivemuseum.com/

Address: 1421 Emerson Ave, Oxnard, CA 93033

Phone: 805-385-5400

Cost: Adults $16.00, Seniors  65+  $14.00, Children  3-11  $10.00, Children  under 3  Free

 

California Oil Museum

Discover the rich history of California's oil industry at the California Oil Museum, located in the heart of downtown Santa Paula. Explore interactive exhibits, artifacts, and multimedia displays that chronicle the fascinating story of oil exploration, extraction, and production in the region. From vintage drilling equipment to informative documentaries, this museum offers a captivating glimpse into the impact of "black gold" on the state's economy and culture.

Website:  https://www.caoilmuseum.org/

Address: 1001 E Main St, Santa Paula, CA 93060

Phone: 805-933-0076

Cost: Adults $4.00, Seniors  62+  $3.00, Youth  6-17  $1.00, Children  under 6  Free

 

Ventura County Maritime Museum

Embark on a maritime adventure at the Ventura County Maritime Museum, where you can explore a treasure trove of nautical artifacts, ship models, and maritime memorabilia. From historic tall ships to modern naval vessels, the museum's exhibits celebrate the rich seafaring heritage of Ventura County and beyond. Whether you're fascinated by naval history, maritime art, or ocean exploration, this museum offers a fascinating journey through the world of ships and sailors.

Website:  https://www.venturamaritime.org/

Address: 2731 S Victoria Ave, Oxnard, CA 93035

Phone: 805-984-6260

Cost: Adults $7.00, Seniors  62+  $5.00, Youth  13-17  $5.00, Children  6-12  $3.00, Children  under 6  Free

 

The Oaks Mall

Shop, dine, and unwind at The Oaks Mall, Ventura County's premier shopping destination featuring a diverse selection of retailers, restaurants, and entertainment options. Whether you're searching for the latest fashion trends, indulging in gourmet cuisine, or catching a movie with friends, The Oaks Mall offers a convenient and stylish setting for all your shopping and leisure needs. With its upscale amenities and lively atmosphere, this indoor shopping center promises a memorable experience for visitors of all ages.

Website:  https://www.shoptheoaksmall.com/

Address: 350 W Hillcrest Dr, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360

Phone: 805-495-2032

Cost: Free admission; varies for shopping and dining

 

Ventura County, with its diverse array of attractions and activities, offers something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you're exploring the great outdoors, delving into local history, or simply relaxing by the beach, this vibrant region invites you to create unforgettable memories and discover the beauty of California's Central Coast. Plan your visit today and experience the best that Ventura County has to offer!

 

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** Ventura County Fairgrounds photos provided by Ventura County Fairgrounds.

 

 

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