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Ventura is a unique city: Standing an hour and a half west of Los Angeles, it’s home to beaches and historical sites, and is a short drive from numerous state and national parks. Wondering what to do during your visit? Check out our blog for team favorites and recommendations. We love our hometown; we hope you will as well.

Explore Stearns Wharf

Explore Stearns Wharf

Looking to explore the area a bit beyond Ventura? We highly suggest a day trip to Santa Barbara with a stop at Stearns Wharf—home to shops, a museum, and more. From taking a ride on the water taxi to indulging in fresh seafood and exploring specialty shops, it’s easy to fall in love with this beautiful area. 

Planning on spending the day? Make sure to check out the amazing marine life at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center! This highly interactive marine education facility offers close encounters with marine life from the Santa Barbara channel—they even offer a Live Dive series. Think sharks, stingrays, sea stars, sea urchins and more—all on display to interact with on their wet deck.

Foodie? We’ve got you covered. For casual dining, check out Char West, where you can sit back and indulge in fish and chips, cheeseburgers, and more. If you’re looking for more of an upscale dining experience, we highly suggest The Harbor Restaurant. Offering a stunning view and an exquisite menu of fresh fish and steaks, prime rib, cocktails, and select fine wines, this restaurant is all part of the Santa Barbara experience. Plan your visit today! 

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Sip Your Way Through the Ventura Brew Fest

Sip Your Way Through the Ventura Brew Fest

Kick back, relax, and enjoy some tasty craft beers at the inaugural Ventura Brew Fest! Located alongside the Ventura Marathon 5K and Downtown Mile at Ventura’s Mission Park, this lively event includes live music, delicious food, vendors, games, races, and more.

Participating breweries include the Lagunitas Brewing Company, Institution Ale Company, Leashless Brewing, Poseidon Brewery, Red Tandem Brewery, Rincon Brewery, Seaward Brewing, Ventura Coast Brew Co., and Topa Topa—and festival participants can purchase up to 20 tasting tickets.

Not a fan of craft beer? Not to worry, local food trucks will be at the festival selling breakfast and lunch. After you’ve found the grub, make sure to check out the demos and deals from local and national vendors.

On October 19th from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm, get ready to drink some beer and jam out to blues and funk. The purchase of tickets will also include a limited edition Ventura Brew Fest glass stein—learn more today.

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Explore the Beautiful Ventura Botanical Gardens

Explore the Beautiful Ventura Botanical Gardens

Calling all nature enthusiasts! Ventura Botanical Gardens is brimming with gorgeous nature trails, gardens, and blooming flowers. For those who love exploring the great outdoors, this wondrous spot is more than worth the visit.

Join their passionate tour guides for free tours that cover botany, wildlife, geology, and photography. Whether you’re visiting with the family, you’re here on business, or on a romantic getaway, they offer programs for everyone.

Seeking a day of rejuvenation? On September 12th, beginning at 9:30 am, refresh your mind, body, and spirit with yoga in the Gardens. Surrounded by wildflowers and coastal views, all you need to bring is a positive mind and your yoga mat!

On Tuesday, September 17th, you can also head to their Library in the Gardens program for a relaxing day of reading under the sun—the Ventura Mobile Library visits with books on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month.

Plan your visit today to discover the beauty of Ventura Botanical Gardens.

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Take in Divine Views at Serra Cross

Take in Divine Views at Serra Cross

Legend has it that the Serra Cross predates Ventura; some say it was built by Junípero Serra himself, not long after the founding of Mission San Buenaventura in 1782.

Whatever its true origins, the Cross quickly became one of the area’s defining features. And today, it retains that distinction, offering the best vantage point of the city that grew beneath it.

From its place in a special section of Grant Park, visitors can marvel at bustling Downtown Ventura, the hulking Anacapa and Santa Cruz Islands, and more. The Cross is an attraction in and of itself, too: Designated as a city and state landmark, the current edition is the fourth to be built since the original was erected nearly 250 years ago.

Getting there is easy. Set atop La Loma de la Cruz, the Cross is a brisk one-mile hike from our front door. So, lace up your walking shoes and head for the hills; you’re in for a rewarding workout.

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