Nature enthusiasts, we get you. You want a heart-pounding, wildly thrilling adventure, coupled with a jaw-dropping backdrop of natural beauty. You want the option to race across a beach on your bicycle, and the choice to meditate in a peaceful garden as melodic birds sing your worries away.
Lucky for you, there's a county in California between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara brimming with parks, valleys and pristine coastlines that provide the ideal environment for wild and tame outdoor adventuring. The Ventura County Coast is made up of four cities, all as charming as they are scenic: Oxnard, Ventura, Camarillo and Port Hueneme. Whether you’re drawn to explore blue ocean waters or prefer to discover natural wonders on land, there are countless exciting activities waiting for you.
Channel Islands National Park
Brent Durand, Visit Ventura
Ventura County Coast is your starting point for a trip to the Channel Islands: there are five extraordinary islands with plenty of outdoor activities for the whole family. The Channel Islands National Park boasts rich and diverse wildlife perfect for bird lovers, divers and those looking to get lost in nature.
The Ventura County Coast's temperate climate makes it a potential destination for your next camping adventure and allows you to enjoy the benefits of the outdoors day and night. Camping is available year-round on the Channel Islands and at many parks and beaches in the Ventura County.
The Channel Islands have some of the best kayaking opportunities in all of California. You can book an informative guided tour, rent a kayak for the day or bring your own vessel and explore at your leisure. Kayak adventures allow you to get a closer look at the sea caves, hidden coves and wildlife of the islands and coasts.
Admire over 100 different species of plants and flowers on beautifully blossoming trails at the Ventura Botanical Gardens. Benches throughout invite you to relax, unwind and appreciate nature's bright, colourful diversity. Learn about native and exotic plants while you enjoy spectacular views of the Ventura coast.
Whether it be grey whales in the winter or blue whales and humpbacks in the summer, a whale watching excursion is sure to create a memorable day. Island Packers offers a wide range of boat tours, on which visitors may spot dolphins, sea lions and schools of flying fish.
© Ventura Visitors & Convention Bureau
With several beach trails, the Ventura County Coast makes it hard to decide which path to take first. For more leisurely and scenic routes, follow the coast along Ventura’s beachfront or head to the Rincon Bike Trail. If you’ve arrived without a bike but are eager to hit the trails, rent one from a local business.
One of the easiest ways to take in the splendid views and landscapes of the Ventura County Coast is on foot. Whether you choose to trek up to the top of Rhombus Rock in Camarillo or prefer the serenity of the Channel Islands, there are plenty of opportunities to park your car and hit the trails.
Learn to Surf
You just might want to get on a board once you've experienced the combination of sunshine, sand and SoCal beach vibes at the Ventura County Coast. Adventurists can take lessons at the Silver Strand Surf School or through Mary Osborne Surf. If you're experienced and looking for the best surf around, bring your board to one of the most famous surf spots in California: Rincon Point.
Nature can be romantic, too. Ventura meets Venice at the Channel Islands Harbor. Tour the beautiful canals of Coral Island with Gondola Paradiso, a romantic Venetian cruise, with your special someone. Request a message in a bottle and bring some bubbly for that extra special occasion.
Pedal and Paddle at the Harbor
The Channel Islands Harbor is the largest in the Ventura County, packed with tons of boats and a whole lot of family fun. Here you’ll find a wide range of water sports including pedal boats, paddle boards and electric boats available for rent by the hour through Hopper Boat Rentals.
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