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Top 10 Most Beautiful and Best Places to Visit in Ventura

Best Places to Visit in Ventura

Ventura is a coastal city in central California tucked between the Pacific Ocean and the foothills of the Los Padres National Forest. These outdoor conditions and often sunny forecasts offer many ways to enjoy the city’s many activities. Along with shopping, sailing and watching the sunset from the beach, surfing has always been a popular choice in Ventura.

Other places in Ventura include the museums, Pier Park and Port Village. San Buenaventura State Beach is a must-see, with three miles of city shoreline and a 1,600-foot Ventura Pier. Tourists and residents alike tend to flock to these postcard destinations, especially at sunset.

Ventura also has a rich history that you can see all over the street. Its official name is the City of Buenaventura and is home to the San Buenaventura Mission, which dates back to 1782. The mission’s church and gardens still exist today and are a popular town center with shops and restaurants.

Plan your visit to this laid-back beach town with our list of the best places to visit in Ventura.

10 Best Places to Visit in Ventura

Let’s explore the top 10 Most Beautiful and Best Places to Visit in Ventura:

1. Seaside Park

This iconic surf spot is just north of Ventura Pier and San Buenaventura State Beach. It’s a south-facing spot and a hot spot for surfing, thanks to the long, right-handed waves that bring surfers to Ventura Pier. Two large car parks, accessible from Figueroa Street, often fill this popular surfing and sightseeing destination.

A beautiful palm-lined promenade runs through the seaside park on the beach. This walkable spot is popular not only among surfers but also among all ocean lovers. It’s a lovely place to enjoy the nice weather and offers easy access to the beaches of San Buenaventura in the south.

Bird watching is also popular in the beachfront park, due to the nearby lagoon where the Ventura River empties into the sea. Located on the shore opposite Surfers Point, Seaside Wilderness Park offers underdeveloped coastal cliffs and hiking trails for you to explore.

Address: Shoreline Avenue, Ventura, California

2. Mission San Buenaventura

Dating back to 1782, San Buenaventura Church is located in the center of the historic park in downtown Ventura. The church’s rich history is fully showcased on Mission’s self-guided tours, which also include access to other architectural remains in the area.

The main attractions of the self-guided tour include the Gardens and Caves, Michelangelo’s Pieta, and the Priest’s Cemetery. Even if you don’t go inside, its beautiful view catches the eye. Decorated with decorative fountains and running water, this open-air square invites people to stop and admire the symbols of the city’s history.

Mission San Buenaventura also provides access to the charming and historic city center filled with local shops and restaurants. Easily navigate downtown Ventura with a free car system and free public parking. Downtown restaurants range from casual tapas to romantic fine dining, and local retail showcases feature everything from locally made homeware to the latest fashion and design.

Address: 211 East Avenue, Ventura, California

Official website:

3. San Buenaventura State Beach

San Buenaventura State Beach stretches for two miles along the coastline of Ventura City and spans the distance between Esplanade Park and Ventura Pier. This expansive area offers the perfect beach experience, with swimming, surfing and dunes exploring just some of the favorite things to do. It’s also popular because just drop the towel and enjoy the afternoon sun.

Certified lifeguards patrol and surf the sand, and near the park entrance, picnic tables and shady trees make up a large grassy picnic area. The pier itself is a fun promenade stretching more than 1,600 feet into the ocean. A popular spot for anglers, this historic pier is one of the best sights in the Channel Islands, not far away.

The Omar Rains Trail covers the entire coast and extends to other Ventura beach attractions. North of Ventura Pier, the bike path widens to a promenade near Seaside Park’s scenic Surfers Point, where people can be seen catching waves. Running north, the Coastal Trail takes bikers to Emma Woods State Beach.

Address: 901 San Pedro Street, Ventura, California

Official website:

4. Ventura Harbor Village

Ventura Harbor Village offers waterfront attractions south of the city center and many ways to enjoy the ocean. Find ocean-inspired retail and family-friendly activities here, including boat rentals, beach volleyball courts, and whale watching trips. It’s also a great place to sample fresh seafood, from fried lunch baskets to fancy dinner entrees.

Harbor Village is also a starting point for exploring the nearby Channel Islands National Park. Passengers usually travel to the Channel Islands by ferry from Island Packers. For more information about the island and detailed exhibits, head to the Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center at the north end of the village.

Part of the Harbor Village experience is walking around and enjoying the coastal atmosphere, including the boats moored in the harbour. Ventura Seaport Village is also pet-friendly, and the Pet Costume Contest, held every October, is an example of this.

Address: 1583 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura, California

Official website:

5. Downtown Ventura

Downtown Ventura is a lively place with a variety of local shopping and dining options. The area is just a few blocks from the ocean on the other side of 101. Main Street is the main street that runs through the center of the community, with storefronts stretching across five city blocks.

The city recently adopted the popular Main Street Action plan, which closed large sections of Main Street to vehicular traffic. This enables a pedestrian-friendly promenade that extends beyond the street, allowing restaurants to expand patio seating.

6. Ventura County Museum

Located near Mission San Buenaventura, this nonprofit museum details the people and events that made Ventura County what it is today. It has rotating exhibits and more than 30,000 artworks and artifacts on display regularly.

The museum’s permanent Chumash gallery is dedicated to the original inhabitants of the area. Other exhibits include Masters Series Music, which celebrates the rich heritage behind the Olympian and Ventura Music Festivals.

The museum currently offers free admission and is open on weekends. If not longer, expect to spend 30 minutes to 1 hour wandering the exhibits. A gift shop inside the museum allows visitors to take home some history. Across the street from the Ventura County Museum, the Albinger Archaeological Museum has found other cultural artifacts.

Address: 100 East Avenue, Ventura, California

Official website:

7. Ventura Botanical Gardens

Behind the tourist-friendly and beautifully built Ventura Town Hall, the Ventura Botanical Gardens surround the canyon’s natural beauty. It is a great place to take an afternoon stroll or photograph the flora.

There is so much to see and explore in today’s botanical gardens, including a beautiful hiking trail that leads to a landscaped peak overlooking the ocean. The Botanical Gardens also run through Grant Park, and the historic Sierra Cross overlooks the ocean.

Address: 567 South Polly Avenue, Ventura, California

Official website:

8. Channels Islands National Park

Channel Islands National Park is five wild islands off the central coast of California and miles of surrounding waters. These distant landscapes offer a true escape from the hustle and bustle of the mainland.

Visiting Channel Islands National Park is significantly different from visiting other national parks in California. And due to its island status, different logistics are available for day trips or weekend trips. The most common and scenic way to reach Ventura involves taking the Island Packers ferry from Ventura Harbor Village.

The most frequent ferry trips are to the islands of Santa Cruz and Anacapa, with popular activities such as hiking, camping and photography. Inspiration Point on Anacapa Island is considered one of the park’s best sights.

On the other hand, the islands of Santa Rosa, San Miguel, and Santa Barbara receive fewer ferry passengers and offer a wilder experience. None of the five islands have services, which means tourists have to fend for themselves, refill drinking water and pick up trash.

For more information on the Channel Islands, visit the Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center at the north end of Ventura Harbor Village. Other ways to enjoy the Channel Islands include kayaking in sea caves, snorkeling and diving in kelp forests and spotting common wildlife such as dolphins, whales and sea lions.

Official website:

9. Casitas Lake Recreation Area

Lake Casitas Recreation Area is located at the foot of the Los Padres National Forest, 20 minutes’ drive from downtown Ventura. It is operated by the Casitas Municipal Water District and is a vital source of drinking water, so swimming or physical contact with the water is not permitted.

The large playground is dotted with different campsites, with more than 400 campsites in total. These hostels range from pristine tent spots to fully connected RV sites. All night long, guests have access to coin-operated showers, flush toilets and a camp store with essentials.

An entire weekend can easily be spent at Lake Casitas without leaving the recreation area. A challenging disc golf course cuts through the lofty view of Lake Casitas, and numerous picnic areas invite you to enjoy a fun al fresco meal. The network of bike paths also extends throughout the recreation area and the main site path becomes a safe bike path.

Casitas Water Adventure at the playground has a lazy river, multi-level water park, and special water aerobics lesson hours. This water park is a great place to cool off on summer weekends in Ventura.

Address: 11311 Santa Ana Road, Ventura, California

10. Oxnard Beach Park

The neighboring city of Oxnard has a beautiful coastline, including several beaches. Worth a visit is Oxnard Beach Park, located about halfway down the adjacent coastline. Along the wide and plentiful beach, palm trees line lush green spaces with picnic tables.

Less than a 10-mile drive from Ventura is Oxnard Beach Park, with ample parking. Other park features include free barbecue areas, jogging tracks, playgrounds, and picnic facilities for large groups. And look forward to hearing the jingle of an idle ice cream truck over the weekend.

There is a big dune between the beach and the park. These are popular places to climb and fall. There’s plenty of room on the beach for group and solo activities, or for those looking for individual space. A row of windswept concrete benches lines the back end of the sandy beach, providing the perfect seating for the sunset.


Hope you like our choice of the best places to visit in Ventura. If you think there are some more beautiful places to visit in Ventura, we should cover them. Write us below in the comment box.

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