photo by Jack Burleigh
Set up your chair and settle in for a day at the beach.
Not a surfer? No problem. Ventura beaches are perfect for jumping the waves, building sand castles, relaxing on a towel, flying a kite … shall we keep going? Area beaches are consistently named some of Southern California’s cleanest. And did we mention there’s plenty of free beachfront parking? See you on the sand.
San Buenaventura State Beach Park.
Two miles of sandy shores, plus Ventura Pier. Pack a picnic (this beach is BYOB) or head to The Jolly Oyster for shuck-your-own clams and oysters.
Surfers’ Point/C Street.
This downtown beach is a surfers’ favorite, but it’s also one of the area’s best places to kitesurf, thanks to wind direction and wave quality. Dogs are welcome on leashes, too.
Bring the kids here — there’s a huge pirate ship-themed playground (complete with a zipline!), plus a large grassy area, grills, and picnic tables. Pet friendly (on leash).
Harbor Cove Beach.
Across from Channel Islands National Park Visitor Center, this spot is protected by jetties and a breakwater. The result? Small, calm waves that are perfect for younger kids. Nearby restrooms and an ice-cream shop are more reasons why locals call this “Mothers’ Beach.”
Pierpont Beach/South Seaward.
Pierpont Beach is a powdery beach at the end of Seaward Avenue. This is true California beach town vibe. Low-key restaurants and bars provide plenty of chance for a post-beach drink, and it’s a short stroll to Marina Park or San Buenaventura State Beach.