by Kacie Goff
Ventura never stops showing off. Whether you’ve lived here for decades or are visiting for a weekend, you’re going to find something new and exciting. You could wander around and stumble across something awesome (highly encouraged). If, however, you’re looking to set an agenda for a fun few days in this coastal gem of a city, I can help. Here are a few things I think everyone should experience when they visit Ventura.
New to the city? This is the perfect place to start. This little taco shop on the Ventura Pier serves up delicious fresh fish tacos, healthy vegetarian bowls, and hearty burritos. The only thing you’ll be drooling over more than the food is the view. Grab your beer and grub and post up to watch the surfers, the sunset, or both. When you’re done eating, walking a few blocks up California Street will put you right in the heart of Downtown Ventura.
4. Brewery Tour
If you like beer, you’ll like Ventura. The brewery scene has absolutely exploded in the last few years. My personal favorite is Topa Topa, plus it’s walking distance from Beach House Tacos. If you do walk, I recommend taking the Promenade so you can enjoy ocean views the whole way. IPA fans shouldn’t miss a pint of their Chief Peak. MadeWest has an incredible tasting room and flavorful brews. The vibe there is very family friendly, too. (I know, surprising for a beer joint!) If you’re a fan of Belgians and/or gluten-conscious, Leashless Brewery has an array of Belgian-inspired, gluten-reduced pours. Ventura Coast Brewing Company’s got an amazing spot downtown and usually has a food truck parked out front. And this is just to get you started!
Ventura has a bunch of great beaches. Mondos stands out from the rest as the ultimate place to post up all day. If you wanted to take a stab at surfing while in Ventura, this is the spot. It’s got a gentle, slow-rolling wave that’s ideal for beginnings. (Even I can paddle out there!) The beach is sheltered in a small cove and edged by houses on either side. The little bit of natural and man-made protection helps keep the weather perfect all day long.
If you’re a biker, runner, walker, rollerblader, or have another man-powered mode of transportation, this path is worth a visit. Park at Rincon or Mussel Shoals to hop onto the path, which edges the Pacific for four miles. It’s almost never busy, which means you get uninterrupted time along the coast for as long as it takes you to cover the distance.
1. Midtown Main Street Eateries
Downtown Ventura has a huge array of fantastic restaurants (Rumfish y Vino is worth checking out and a little off the beaten path). But Midtown Ventura is working on giving it a run for its money. The locals already know about Fresh Grill, a walk- or drive-up counter that’s been dishing up fresh burgers and burritos for over two decades. They may not be as familiar with the relatively new Cork, but they should be. Visit for the wine (they have a fantastic selection), but stay for the garlic fries. If you really want to deep dive Midtown Main’s food offerings, head into Santa Cruz Market. Nestled in the back corner, you’ll find Sports Bar. While it is – you guess it! – a sports bar, it’s a whole lot more. The draft beer list is one of my favorites in town and you can’t beat the Mediterranean food!
These are just five things I’d recommend checking out in Ventura, but I could list about a hundred more. Visit Ventura has a list of other fun things to do on their website. Whatever you choose to check out while you’re in Ventura, I hope you love your time in our coastal community!
This blog post originally appeared on KacieGoff.com.