Ventura
Ventura

Ventura


Located along the California coast and iconic Pacific Coast Highway, Ventura has been a stop-off for road trips and adventurers of every kind for generations. The historic El Camino Real made the area a destination by 1782, when Junipero Serra founded the last of his nine missions and named it San Buenaventura. The restored Mission lies at the base of the scenic Topatopa Mountains and now forms the keystone of downtown Ventura.

When you #VisitVentura, leave your car behind. We have tons of accommodations, restaurants, and thrift shops right in downtown, all within walking distance of the Pier where the Amgen Tour of California’s Stage 2 will be starting. We even have a free trolley to take you to Ventura Harbor, where you can rent boats and paddle boards, or just stop in to enjoy our world-class seafood. For a longer excursion, catch a ferry out to the Channel Islands National Park for whale watching, hiking, and an unforgettable day trip. Located some eighteen miles offshore, this group of five islands and surrounding marine sanctuary offer untouched ecosystems that have garnered comparisons as North America’s Galapagos. If you would like a taste of our history, visit the San Buenaventura Mission and Museum of Ventura County in downtown, or the Channel Islands Maritime Museum close by.

With 300 days of sunshine annually, there are so many natural ways to explore Ventura. With abundant hiking in the mountains to the north and plenty of fishing off the city’s quarter mile long historic pier, there are easy ways to catch the Ventura vibe. But to experience the epitome of the Ventura lifestyle, you need to grab a board and hit the waves. Surfer Magazine named Ventura the 8th best surf town in America in 2017. Characterizing it as “a surf all day, grab a burrito or burger kinda joint,” Ventura beat out other iconic surf spots like Huntington Beach. If that’s not convincing enough, there’s a reason why outdoor apparel giant Patagonia is headquartered in Ventura.

With year-round mild weather and sunshine, it’s only natural for this region to attract cyclists and we are thrilled to finally be hosting the Amgen Tour of California. Over the past few years, we have been hard at work making our home perfect for cyclists, either visiting us on a multiday ride or staying local for day trips along the coast or mountains. In the words of our Mayor, Erik Nasarenko, “We are excited to host the tour and share our favorite sights in this beautiful city we call home.”

We can’t wait to welcome the Amgen Tour of California, its cyclists and fans. We’ve worked hard to make this year’s Stage 2 start happen, so you can bet we are going to pull out all the stops to make it awesome. Visit Ventura’s President & CEO, Marlyss Auster, recalled, “We only had 20 seconds to make an impact as Amgen Tour of California cyclists passed through Ventura in 2016. With the help of hundreds of students to spell the largest rendition of Ventura’s brandmark ever made, we made it count. Stay tuned to see what we have planned for 2018!” We look forward to sharing our paradise with you so be sure to check out our website for more info, recommendations, and custom itineraries and stay connected with @VisitVentura on your favorite social channels to be part of the story.

See you on the Pier!

Three Things To-Do in Ventura

Nicknamed North America’s Galapagos for its 150 endemic species found nowhere else on the planet, this national park is only 14 miles off of Ventura’s coast. There are different islands to visit each with unique vistas and activities that range from wildlife viewing, hiking, and picnics, to sea cave kayaking or snorkeling. Reservations are a must. To plan your trip visit www.islandpackers.com. Time needed: 8 Hours | Fitness Level: Average (activities vary)


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Wrapped around the harbor between the marina and the beach, Ventura Harbor Village features shops, restaurants, art galleries, cruises, kayak rentals, and more. It is also the home of the Channel Islands National Park Visitor Center, a great place to learn about the national park off Ventura’s coast through live exhibits, a short film narrated by Kevin Costner, and an observatory. Time needed: 1-4 Hours | Fitness Level: All levels


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Winding through the hills atop downtown, the Ventura Botanical Gardens boast unobstructed coastal views at various landings that are local favorite spots for watching the sunset. Choose to stroll to the first or second landing, or make it all the way to the top. The views only get better as you go up. Time needed: 1-2 Hours | Fitness Level: Average


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