It sits on the Pacific Ocean, between Santa Barbara and Malibu, and has the nickname “City of Good Fortune.”
How could I pass that up? This weekend I took a day trip to Ventura, a beach city about an hour north of Los Angeles. I haven’t spent any time here so I was excited to check out the beaches, downtown area, and possible locations to camp in the future. Ventura is mostly known for its superb surfing conditions and laid back and slightly quirky vibe. When I first arrived at the beach, a few stand-up paddle-boarders were surfing the easy rolling waves while a handful more were paddling in the marina across the park. Marina Park, which houses a walking path and sits directly on the beach, was full of people walking their dogs; everyone I passed said, “hello.” It made for a beautiful morning. (Also, hot tip: there’s a zip line there! Possibly for children, yes, but tall enough for us big kids, too).
I soon made my way up the beach to Seaward Avenue where I noticed locals hanging out drinking coffee on the beach. Further down Seaward, I found some surf shops, restaurants and cafes that exuded the local lifestyle. One cafe was hosting outdoor music: a guy played acoustic guitar in the patio while patrons sipped their morning drinks and read the paper. I love this community of easygoing, beach-loving, friendly people!
I jumped in my car and headed downtown to local fave, Cafe Nouveau, for brunch. The neighborhoods I drove through were lined with spanish style homes, all different and unique. Palm trees bordered the quiet streets. As I was waiting for my table and drinking self-serve coffee that was on the house, I read more about this hidden gem of a city. Besides the ideal surf conditions, I learned that Ventura is also home to the legendary Downtown Majestic Theatre, a music venue that has had bands such as The Doors, Tom Petty, Pearl Jam, Ray Charles, and more grace their stage. Whoa. See, that’s the thing about Ventura: it flies under the radar and then with a little bit of exploring, becomes one of the coolest beach cities in California. I ended my day back at the beach, watching the surf and reflecting on the week ahead. If anyone has a few extra hours and wants to experience a true California beach town, head to Ventura. You won’t be disappointed.
+ Did anyone else go for a day trip this weekend? We’d love to know where you went!
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