It’s Summer. But let’s be honest, it’s not our typical summer. COVID-19 has altered the landscape on so many fronts. In summers past, we didn’t know what day it was simply because it was summer. Now we may not know what day it is because schedules as we once knew them have been thrown to the wind.
But there is wisdom in knowing what day it is. Because if you’re ready to visit (and if you’re not, we understand completely), a midweek Venture stay is, well, a very wise thing. And, speaking of wise, please bring your mask. Masks are now required throughout California (they must be worn in all public indoor spaces and outdoors when social distancing of six feet isn’t possible), and we are, happily, very much a part of California. Thank you for your respect and compassion.
You’ll pay less for your hotel.
It’s a simple fact that’s been with us since man first decided to sleep beneath roof — midweek rates are less expensive. Sometimes a lot less expensive. Add to that the fact that Ventura’s hotel rates — weekdays or weekends — are far more affordable than those of our neighbors to the south and you have more happy math.
There’s plenty of parking at the beach.
Ventura will (thankfully) never be Huntington Beach. But on a hot summer Saturday, when folks in places like Bakersfield and, well, pretty much any inland clime, are cooking like a breakfast special on a griddle, they pack up the car and head to Ventura’s beaches for the day, putting parking at a premium. On a Tuesday afternoon, it’s quite a different story — but it’s the same sunny beach and cooling ocean.
Social distancing is made easy mid-week.
Everywhere. From the beach where you just parked — wisely, on a Tuesday morning — to the high-above-the-sea trails in the lovely Ventura Botanical Gardens. Inside tip; extend your mid-week visit right up to the weekend, because on Fridays admission to the Botanical Gardens is free (though also note that the Gardens are currently temporarily closed on Mondays and Tuesdays). Ventura is a sleepy beach town every day of the week; dozier still in the middle of the week. Making it even easier for you to do your social distancing part.
Feet were made for walking. Not standing.
Four blocks of Ventura’s downtown Main Street were recently closed around the clock to motor traffic for 30 days (and possibly more). Restaurants have moved some of their seating out into the street. Retail stores have done the same with their wares. On a soft Ventura summer evening, there is a European feel in the air. It’s lovely, and on weekends, quite popular. Even with street-side tables, restaurants still have limited seating. On a weekend, you might wait for a table. On a Tuesday, you might have your table pick. Take a seat at that perfect table, and salute your canniness with a glass of local wine or beer.
It’s easier to really get off the beaten track.
Ventura has its share of great local spots that are maybe 15 minutes (our town isn’t that big) off the more trodden downtown tourist track. Time it right on a weekday, and sometimes even the locals aren’t there. Places like Made West Brewery (on Donlon Street), Singing Sun Coffee (their baked goods border on art) and Taqueria Cuernavaca on Ventura Avenue (some claim Taqueria Cuernavaca has the best tacos anywhere, a claim certainly worth investigating). Maybe a healthy breakfast — try the vegan breakfast burger — at Sea Ranger Seafood Station on Johnson Avenue.
There’s time to visit and get to know people.
Every town is filled with interesting folk, including those who might be harriedly waiting on you on a weekend. But on a midafternoon Wednesday, between lunch and dinner, well the guy baking the pizza might leave the quiet oven and sit down at the table to talk with you. Venturans are happy, friendly folk — and there’s joy — and often education — in these sorts of easy conversations. They hearken back to a quieter past. Or easy summer days.
Because it is summer, and the living should be easy.
Come mid-week and make it so.