by Mary Noe
Father’s Day is right around the corner, and Ventura is the place to spend a fun day with Dad! Whether he likes to golf, sail, kayak, hike, or bike—or would prefer relaxing at the beach—Dad can spend a perfect day unwinding in this quintessential California beach town.
If Dad’s a golfer, he’ll feel right at home in Ventura, which offers gorgeous courses for players of all ability-levels. Choosing between the challenging Olivas Links, named one of the “Best Municipal Courses in the Nation” for 2009, 2010 and 2013 by Golfweek Magazine, Buenaventura Golf Course, and Saticoy Regional Golf Course will be the toughest decision he’ll make all day!
If fishing or whale watching is more his style, treat Dad to a day on the water, traversing the seas between Ventura Harbor and the Channel Islands. June is a prime time to spot blue and humpback whales, as well as dolphins, seabirds, seals, and sea lions. Check out Island Packers and Ventura Sportfishing, both located in Ventura Harbor, to plan your seafaring excursion.
Channel Islands National Park, known as “the Galapagos of North America,” is also an excellent sea cave kayaking, snorkeling, camping, and hiking destination. Back on the mainland, Ventura boasts spectacular trails for both hiking and biking. Cruise along San Buenaventura State Beach on the Omer Rains Coastal Trail, visit the Ventura River Parkway (a network of parks, opens spaces, and trails along the Ventura River), or tackle the miles of trails at Arroyo Verde Park.
Would Dad rather chill on his special day? Ventura Harbor Village offers the perfect locale to hang beach-side. Cool-casual shops and restaurants frame the harbor, home to five marinas with 1500 boat slips. Dad can check out the commercial fishing and pleasure boats docked in the harbor, and even captain his own power boat, kayak, SUP board or pedal boat from Ventura Boat Rentals. Be sure he visits the Channel Islands Visitor Center for its fascinating exhibits on our local National Park—and for awesome coastal and island views from its tower.
Surfer’s Knoll Beach, located across the street from the Village, is a prime location to surf—or watch other riders carve the waves. Just steps away, Harbor Cove Beach, locally nicknamed “Mother’s Beach,” is a protected cove perfect for swimming and beach volleyball.
When Dad’s Ventura adventures work up an appetite, he’ll have plenty of culinary options, many featuring fresh local seafood and produce. The Boatyard Café, Le Petit Café, and Harbor Cove Café in Ventura Harbor Village serve hearty breakfasts that will fuel Dad all day. Brophy Brothers and Andria’s Seafood specialize in fresh, locally-caught seafood, and Greek, Mexican, and Italian are among other Harbor Village choices.
The Rhumb Line restaurant serves up spectacular ocean and sunset views, as does Beach House Fish on the Ventura Pier. Just steps from the sand, South Seaward Avenue offers Social Tap (for “elevated pub grub”), Duke’s Griddle n’ Grill for awesome burgers, Seaward Fish & Chips, Spasso Cucina Italiana, and more. Near Main Street, historic downtown Ventura hosts a variety of eclectic restaurants, including the old-fashioned Busy Bee Café diner, Café Fiore, Cajun Kitchen Café, and Lure Fish House.
No matter what his style, Ventura offers all Dad needs for a great day!