Ventura is the Southern California vacation you’ve been dreaming of, at half the cost. It’s a family playground nestled between the hills and the water welcoming visitors to average highs of 70 degrees year-round and ocean sunsets, each more beautiful than the last, providing perfect endings to days filled with lasting memories.

While our popular neighbors have the luxury travel experience down to an art, Ventura offers a more affordable alternative where visitors can fit in almost anywhere wearing shorts and sandals. Million dollar views are in fact free and open to the public. Surftastic waves are complimentary as are the beautiful sunsets over the Pacific. Even parking can be found for free in Ventura’s historic downtown.

Perhaps your first stop is the beach. Explore miles of coastline fit to surf, boogie board, sunbathe, fish, or stroll. Then head to one of the longest wooden piers in California, home to a local favorite taco shack and a fresh seafood market. Kids in tow? Might be easier to get around on two wheels. Ventura Beach Promenade is the starting point for two amazing bike paths fit for all ages and fitness levels; a coastal path that leads to Santa Barbara, and a hillside path that leads to small, art-filled Ojai.

Just a couple of blocks away from the water, there is something for all the senses in Ventura’s historic downtown. Listen to live music whether at bars or family-friendly restaurants almost any night of the week. Taste an array of ethnic cuisines or indulge the kid in you with a milkshake and fries at a 60’s diner. Discover unique creations by local artists at one of the many galleries or head to a more interactive experience at Ventura County Museum. Transport yourself with a tour of historic sites or visit antique stores to look for hidden gems or remnants of your childhood.

Another stop along Ventura’s coast is Ventura Harbor Village where visitors find an array of restaurants, boutique shops and galleries to explore along a flower-lined promenade with views of the marina. Kayaks, canoes, pedal- boats or stand-up paddleboards are available to rent for a slightly different perspective and the opportunity to get up close with the sea lions and seals that live nearby. This is also your gateway to Channel Islands National Park and Marine Sanctuary, often referred to as North America’s Galapagos. Snorkel, dive, kayak, whale watch, and camp in a place that invites everyone to feel, touch, and explore the original California.

Welcome to Ventura.