BY LAND AND BY SEA

Plan your Cal­i­for­nia es­cape to Ven­tura County Coast.

Dreamscapes Travel & Lifestyle Magazine - - Table Of Contents - BY JILL K. ROBIN­SON

Given the wealth of open spa­ces in Ven­tura County Coast that ex­tend from the main­land to the Pa­cific Ocean, it’s lit­tle won­der. But you don’t have to be a lo­cal to ap­pre­ci­ate the best of what Mother Na­ture of­fers—you just need to know your op­tions.

PA­CIFIC OCEAN AD­VEN­TURES

Ad­ven­tur­ous fam­i­lies should take a boat from Ven­tura or Ox­nard to the Chan­nel Is­lands Na­tional Park for a peace­ful break from ur­ban life. Take ad­van­tage of un­in­ter­rupted qual­ity time to try kayak­ing, snorkelling, scuba div­ing, bird­watch­ing, whale watch­ing and hik­ing. If you en­joy camp­ing, stay even longer.

Ven­tura County Coast har­bours en­tice you to get out on the wa­ter with serene gon­dola or kayak­ing ad­ven­tures. Or en­gage in a lit­tle more ac­tion on sail­ing, jet-ski­ing or sport-fish­ing ex­cur­sions. The city of Ven­tura’s south-fac­ing wa­ter­front and breaks along the beaches lure surfers from around the globe, so why not try it out your­self along the miles of beaches that stretch from Surfer’s Point to Ven­tura Har­bor? Emma Wood State Beach, west of Ven­tura, is a lo­cal favourite.

If you’re look­ing to re­lax, sim­ply chill on the Port Huen­eme pier where you can en­joy the salt­wa­ter air, wave ac­tion and over­all Pa­cific Coast vibe.

OUT­DOOR FUN ON LAND

Hit the hik­ing trails in Ven­tura County Coast to stretch your legs and get a good lay of the land in this re­gion. Ar­royo Verde Park Loop has beau­ti­ful wild­flow­ers in spring, Smug­glers Cove Trail is ideal for bird­watch­ing and ocean views, and Ocean’s Edge and River’s Edge trails in Emma Wood State Beach bor­der the ocean and the Ven­tura River.

Cy­clists love the Ojai Val­ley Trail, a 15kilo­me­tre trail of­ten com­bined with the Ven­tura River Trail for those look­ing for more mileage. The Ojai Val­ley Trail fol­lows the path of the for­mer Ven­tura and Ojai Val­ley Rail­road and runs along Ven­tura River into the val­ley. Speed up or slow down at your leisure.

Don’t for­get the beach is one of the best rea­sons to get out­doors, and with spec­tac­u­lar beaches along the coast, you’ll never hurt for choices. Port Huen­eme Beach Park at­tracts fam­i­lies and friends, Man­dalay State Beach fea­tures sweep­ing dunes, and Ox­nard Beach Park has a lit­tle bit of some­thing for ev­ery­one—from bar­be­cue ar­eas to vol­ley­ball courts.

ABOVE: Tak­ing in the sights. LEFT: Gon­dola tour. Dan Hard­ing

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