What do fine wine, a perfect surf break, more than 250 days of sunshine and Perry Mason all have in common? You can find each of them in laid-back, yet quietly sophisticated seaside hamlet of Ventura, California. Nestled between the Ventura and Santa Clara rivers this formerly isolated enclave is a refreshing and dynamic coastal California vacation destination.
Ventura’s several miles of pristine, uncrowded beaches are some of the State’s finest, and surfing spots from Rincon Beach to Surfer’s Point are legendary among surfers. Off the coast lies the Channel Islands often seemingly close enough to touch. These rugged outposts provide breathtaking hiking opportunities above the waves and world class diving below.
Ventura’s dining scene thrives thanks to Artisan chefs setting up eateries that celebrate California’s abundance of fresh local seafood, produce and eclectic fare. With wine country in their backyard, acres and acres of fresh crops grown locally, and multi-cultural influences, it’s no wonder Ventura and its restaurants have been popping up in publications like Gourmet, Sunset and Westways.
In the walkable Downtown Ventura you’ll also find the original San Buenaventura Mission founded in 1782 by Father Junipero Serra.
Suzanne Baird with the Ventura Visitors & Convention Bureau is out guide.