18 Best Places and Things To Do in Ventura, California

San Buenaventura, commonly known as Ventura, is a beautiful coastal city in Southern California, located between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. The city is known for its laid-back vibe, beautiful beaches, stunning natural scenery, and rich cultural history. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Ventura

1. Ventura Pier and Promenade

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The Ventura Pier is one of the most iconic landmarks in the city, offering stunning views of the ocean and the Channel Islands. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll along the pier, go fishing, or enjoy a picnic on the beach. The promenade, located adjacent to the pier, is a lively area filled with restaurants, cafes, and shops.

2. Mission San Buenaventura

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Founded in 1782, the Mission San Buenaventura is one of the oldest and most historic buildings in Ventura. Visitors can take a tour of the mission to learn about the rich cultural and religious history of the city.

3. Ventura Botanical Gardens

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Located on the east end of Ventura, the Botanical Gardens offer stunning views of the city and the ocean. Visitors can explore the various trails and gardens, which are filled with native California plants and flowers.

4. San Buenaventura State Beach

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Ventura has several beautiful beaches, but the most popular is Ventura Beach. The beach offers miles of soft sand, rolling waves, and plenty of space to relax and soak up the sun.

5. Olivas Adobe

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The Olivas Adobe is a historic adobe home dating back to the 1800s. The house is beautifully preserved and offers visitors a glimpse into what life was like in early Ventura.

6. Channel Islands National Park


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The Channel Islands are a chain of eight islands located off the coast of Ventura. The islands are a protected national park and offer some of the most stunning natural scenery in California. Visitors can take a boat tour or hike on the islands to explore the unique flora and fauna.

7. Ventura River Preserve


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The Ventura River Preserve is a nature preserve located in Ventura. The preserve offers hiking trails, bird watching, and beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

8. Ventura County Museum of History & Art

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The Museum of Ventura County is a great place to learn about the history and culture of Ventura. The museum offers exhibits on local art, agriculture, and history, as well as rotating exhibits featuring works by local artists.

9. Ventura River Estuary

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The Ventura River Estuary is a protected wildlife area located at the mouth of the Ventura River. The estuary offers a variety of recreational opportunities, including kayaking, fishing, and bird watching.

10. Surfers Point Park

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Surfers Point Park is a popular beach park that’s great for surfing, swimming, and relaxing. The park offers stunning views of the ocean, and it’s a great place to catch a sunset.

11. Serra Cross Park

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Serra Cross Park is another great attraction in Ventura. The park is located on a hilltop overlooking the city, and it features a large cross that’s visible from many parts of Ventura. The cross was originally erected in 1941 as a symbol of the city’s heritage, and it has become a popular landmark and tourist attraction. The park is also home to several hiking trails that offer a more challenging way to explore the area. The trails wind through the hills and offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

12. Ventura City Hall

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Ventura City Hall is a historic building located in the heart of downtown Ventura. The building was constructed in 1912 and features beautiful Beaux-Arts architecture. Visitors to City Hall can take a self-guided tour of the building, which includes the council chambers, the mayor’s office, and the City Clerk’s office. The building is also home to several historical exhibits that showcase the city’s rich history.

13. Marina Park

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Marina Park is a beautiful waterfront park located in Ventura. The park offers stunning views of the ocean, the Ventura Pier, and the surrounding hills. One of the highlights of Marina Park is its large playground, which features a variety of equipment for kids of all ages. The park also has several picnic areas with tables and barbecue grills, making it a great spot for a family picnic.

14. Arroyo Verde Park

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Arroyo Verde Park is a beautiful park located in the foothills of Ventura. The park is known for its stunning natural beauty, including its oak groves, meadows, and panoramic views of the city and ocean. One of the highlights of Arroyo Verde Park is its extensive trail system, which offers a variety of hiking and mountain biking opportunities. The park’s trails wind through the hills and offer breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

15. Emma Wood State Beach

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Emma Wood State Beach is a popular beach located in Ventura that’s known for its beautiful views and excellent surfing conditions. The beach is named after Emma Catherine Wood, a local landowner who donated the land to the state in the 1940s. The beach is a great spot for surfing, swimming, and sunbathing. The waves can be quite large, so it’s important to exercise caution while swimming or surfing. There are also several volleyball courts available for visitors to use.

16. Dudley House Historical Museum

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The Dudley House Historical Museum is a historic Victorian-era house located in Ventura that’s open to the public for tours. The house was built in 1892 by a local businessman named George Dudley and has been preserved as a museum since 1974. One of the highlights of the Dudley House is its beautiful gardens, which feature a variety of plants and flowers that were popular during the Victorian era. Visitors can stroll through the gardens and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

17. Harbor Cove Beach

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Harbor Cove Beach is a beautiful beach located in the Ventura Harbor area. The beach is known for its calm waters, making it a popular spot for swimming and stand-up paddleboarding. The beach is situated next to a large marina, so visitors can watch boats come and go as they enjoy the sun and sand. There are also several picnic areas with tables and barbecue grills, making it a great spot for a family outing or a group gathering.

18. Cemetery Memorial Park

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The Cemetery Memorial Park is a historic cemetery located in the heart of Ventura. The cemetery was established in 1888 and features a variety of interesting grave markers and monuments that offer a glimpse into the city’s past. One of the highlights of the Cemetery Memorial Park is its collection of historic gravesites. Many notable figures from Ventura’s past are buried here, including veterans of various wars, early settlers, and prominent local residents.