BY LAND AND BY SEA
Plan your California escape to Ventura County Coast.
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