Posted: Monday, May 2nd, 2016

By Visit Ventura

Celebrating Mom, Ventura Style!

by Debbie Cvijanovich

Mother’s Day is fast approaching. Stay local and give mom (and yourself) the best experience Ventura has to give: sand, sun, surf, food, and quality family time! Start with a delicious breakfast or picnic lunch. Spend time outdoors enjoying our summery weather. Take a stroll on our historic pier. Drink in the views from Grant Park. These Ventura offerings are fit for a queen!


Paradise Pantry

Top of the Harbor at Crowne Plaza Hotel

Brunch with the best panoramic ocean view in town only happens once a year: Mother’s Day. It’s named the Grand Buffet for good reasons: salad bar, omelet bar, carving station, seafood station, entrees galore, assorted desserts, and a chocolate fountain! Beverages and bottomless champagne included. Served 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM Adults: $48 | Seniors (65+): $38 | Children 3-12: $27 | Children 3 & under: Free ***NOTE: additional 20% for service charge and tax. Reservations required.

Paradise Pantry

Tucked in our charming downtown is Paradise Pantry, a boutique wine and craft beer emporium with an artisan cheese counter. The attached brick-exposed and art-walled eatery specializes in small dishes featuring locally sourced ingredients. Co-owner Tina says, “The Brunch menu includes an array of delicious gourmet dishes such as Kel’s killer breakfast mac, french toast with the fix in’s, bountiful omelets and more ranging between $10-$18. Sparkling wine flights and other drink specials will be offered in honor of Mom.” Brunch served 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM Reservations suggested.

Casual Breakfast & Lunch

Celebrating Mom, Ventura Style!

Cafe Nouveau

A local favorite breakfast spot with a lush garden-like outdoor patio. They welcome your entire family, including those with four paws, to enjoy an extensive brunch menu. All are wonderful choices offered at reasonable prices. No reservations. Expect a wait. 805-648-1422 1497 E. Thompson Blvd.

Harbor Cove Beach Café

A super casual spot where you can order at the counter and then sit at picnic tables on the lawn or patio. Fido is welcome (pet-friendly). This gem is on the waterfront near the mouth of Ventura Harbor and features a simple and reasonably priced menu. Beer on tap/bottle. Hours: 7:30 AM – 2:30 PM. Breakfast served until 11:30 AM. No reservations. 805-658-1639 1867 Spinnaker Dr.


18210455375_57c3b1f363_o These 2 local wineries are “pulling out all the corks” for Mother’s Day!

Four Brix Winery

Owner Karen Stewart invites you to Four Brix Winery: “Our bubbly will be flowing as well as mimosas and Bauble-tinis with a dash of Porteau (Port), all for $11 a glass. Wine tasting flights are $12/5 and wines by the glass cost $8-$12, or buy a bottle to share. Snack on made-to-order Pizzas (regular $10; gluten-free $13) topped with a variety of cheeses.” Hours: 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Plan B Winery

Plan B has a full day planned. Poured in honor of Mother’s Day is their newly released Grenache Rose. “Because it’s pink for mom”, says enthusiastic co-owner, Janis Barger. The barrel lined tasting room opens at noon. 4:30 PM – 7:00 PM, the band Jodi Farrell and the TreCoustics will perform, and local food trucks “Mom & Pop’s tacos” and “Desserts to Die For” will come by. Wines by the glass, bottles, and food all available for purchase. 12:00 – 7:00 PM 805-233-1453 3520 Arundell Circle #107


19677075281_70e586359a_k Grab your picnic basket, blanket, and hit a favorite park or beach. Food always tastes better al fresco. Popular local areas: Marina Park, Arroyo Verde Park. Off-the-radar: San Buenaventura State Beach. Provisions: Homemade is the best! Ideas: Chicken salad sandwiches on croissants, Fruit and veggie platters, charcuterie: meats/cheeses paired with dried fruits and jams, artisan bread/crackers, deli style salads (pasta, roasted veggie, spinach with strawberries, etc.), gourmet olives, dips. Don’t forget dessert! (Note: Trader Joe’s is a great go-to-market for picnic fare.) Drinks: Serve bubbly (try Prosecco) or a pretty in pink French Rose which pairs beautifully with picnics. Non-Alcoholic: flavored sparkling water. Take out: Paradise Pantry (best cheese shop in town), Corrales Burritos (extra hot sauce, please!), Spencer Makenzie’s tacos to go.


19484736890_5f890b4bd0_k Gather up the beach gear/toys and make a day of it! Pack a lunch. Fly a kite! Beach days are a family pleaser especially with young kiddos in tow. Don’t forget the sunscreen and umbrella/chair to make Mom comfy. Popular choices: Pierpont (Schoolhouse Beach, State Beach, Marina Park), Solimar/Faria beach on the old Pacific Coast Highway. Emma Wood State Beach. Off-the-radar: Beaches at the Harbor. Mother’s Cove (aptly named).


Best places for a leisurely stroll:
  1. The newly re-opened Ventura Pier!
  2. Marina Park. Take the paved walking path along the jetty to Soter Point. Sculptures, water, and beach views. Let the kids burn off energy at the pirate ship playground.
  3. Promenade. Our most popular coastal path.
  4. Ventura Harbor. Stop at Coastal Cone for a Dole Whip. Visit the Channel Islands National Park Visitor Center.


19677030171_cad6f2dd96_k Hop on a bike and cruise the promenade to Emma Wood State Beach, Ventura River Trail towards Ojai, or the Rincon Bikeway along California’s iconic Highway 1. Take your own bike or rent bikes at Wheel Fun Rentals or Ventura Bike Depot.


Top of the list is the scenic and easy Ventura Botanical Gardens above City Hall. It’s popular so expect crowds. The breathtaking views are well worth the climb. There are numerous trail options. Pick one that is just right for mom. Arroyo Verde park is another wonderful option. Wish for a clear day with the Channel Islands in view.


Schedule a massage or a pedi/mani for mom at a local day spa. Michael Kelley, A Secret Place, Twin Palms, and Massage Envy are great choices.

Gift Giving

Handcrafted gifts from the heart are best. Handwritten notes, pictures drawn and sweet sentiments will thrill mom. Pick a handful of wildflowers and tie them with ribbon. If shopping, look no further than the local gift shop, Plum Boutique. This downtown gem specializes in unique and artisan gifts. Housed inside Plum is MidiQueen handbags, a popular local designer known for her high-quality goods in gorgeous prints and vibrant colored leathers. Plum Boutique & MidiQueen Handbags 805-641-0113 420 E. Main St Buying flowers? Shop at our wonderful local florists. The Growing Company 805-644-7950 6100 Telephone Rd #D Passion Flowers 805-641-1076 920 E. Main St Instead of just one special day, make it a weekend celebration. Have a wonderful Mother’s Day in our beautiful town by the sea.

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