Disabled Travel: Ventura, California

by Landon Biehl

With year round average daytime temperatures ranging between 60 to 70 degrees, sandy coastlines, and plenty of sunshine, Ventura is a “must see” destination for millions of tourists each year. At first glance, Ventura may not seem accessible for individuals with disabilities, but Ventura offers many opportunities that everyone can enjoy.

Whether you are planning a vacation with your child with special needs or want a cozy adults only getaway, check out some of these activities in Ventura:

Rolling Along the Beach

Wherever you travel in California, it’s impossible to miss a view of the ocean. Ventura has some of the sandiest beaches in the coastline state. As a result, beachcombers, surfers, and sunbathers flock to Southern California. If you use a wheelchair, you may have always dreamed of hitting the beach, but it felt like an impossible dream.

When you visit Ventura, visiting the beach in the early morning or to catch a sunset is possible for anyone who uses a wheelchair. While some beaches are more accessible than others, we will share the most accessible ones.

San Buenaventura State Park

This park has more than two miles of sandy beach for visitors to explore. Rent a beach wheelchair to get close to the ebb and flow of the tide or fish from a pier. San Buenaventura State Beach Park is great place for picnicking and watching the surfers. With accessible bathrooms, parking, and miles of pavement paths parallel to the beach, you could spend the whole day at the beach.


Oxnard Beach

This beach was made more accessible thanks to the efforts of a Veteran who used a wheelchair and wanted to be able to get closer to the ocean. With many of the same amenities as San Buenaventura Beach, Oxnard is a great place to enjoy the surf and sun.

Whale Watching

Whale watching is an experience you will never forget and is a popular activity to do when visiting Ventura. While there are some whale watching tours that are more accessible than others, due to the size of the boat, it’s always a good idea to call ahead and see if they can accommodate your special needs.

Bicycle Rentals

Cycling is a popular activity along the boardwalks of Ventura. While the traditional two-wheeled bicycle may be a challenge, other types of transportation make it fun and easy to get around Ventura. Check out if a surrey or a deuce coupe is for you or your loved one.

Taking a Break

After you’ve spent a day in the salty air and sun, you probably need a little food and downtime. Check out the numerous restaurants that serve fresh California seafood, grab an authentic Ben and Jerry’s ice cream cone, or browse the Ventura Farmer’s Market for some homegrown produce. Hit up one of the many art galleries located throughout Ventura or enjoy the lively nightlife once the sun goes down.

If you’re planning a vacation for someplace where the weather is warm, the sun shines most of the time, and there are plenty of accessible places to visit, put Ventura on your list.

Photography by Mike Laan, Steve Cattanach, West Cooke

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