Posted: Thursday, Nov 18th, 2021

By Visit Ventura

Ventura Local Gift Guide 2021

Gift-giving is a highly subjective matter. And, frankly, some of us need help. In fact, the thought of finding the perfect gift might cause some of us to seize up.

Relax. We’re going to help you find the perfect Ventura gift. Note the word “Ventura.” Never has it been more important to Support Local. So, over the next few weeks, we’ll be publishing a series of Gift Guides, with inside tips from resident Ventura experts. Gifts that are unique and affordable. Gifts that show you really care — about the gift’s recipient and your Ventura community

For starters, inside Gift Giving tips from our very own Visit Ventura staff… 

Marlyss Munguia Auster

Marlyss Munguia Auster

President & CEO

With the best team in Ventura. Marlyss came back to Ventura in 2012, having left her heart behind when she moved away in 1994. She originally moved to Ventura based on a postcard her mother received while living in Houston. Now she focuses on inspiring others to discover the Ventura that stole her heart. She leads all aspects of strategic planning, brand development and stewardship, marketing, public relations, and visitor center operations. 

Ventura Surf Shop

My boys love the fun socks and they also love Ventura Surf Shop… so it is a win-win

Handlebar drink holder for your bike at Ventura Bike Depot

Nothing is better than cruisin’ on the promenade, sunshine on your face, and stopping for a break to enjoy your view

Driftwood wreath by Kelly Bell at Ventura Visitor Center

Made with local love found on our coastline… Reminds me of things I love about our Ventura

Cool Locally made Hats at Cielo y Mar

I love my hats…. and love to support locals and gift a unique find. Hampton has been shaping hats for over 30 years … worked for some greats (Stetson ..) and we have him right here in Ventura on the Avenue

Dusk Custom Candles

I love that you can craft and create your own scent and come back with your vessel for refills- better for the environment and personalized!

Cheryl Shallanberger

Cheryl Shallanberger

Vice President of Sales & Marketing

Cheryl moved to Ventura to work for Visit Ventura in 2014  and has never looked back. With a degree in international marketing, she loves her role in marketing and sales and thrives on managing multiple projects at once. She has a passion for travel and adventure and attending Ventura events.

Anything at Fiddle and Fern

They have the cutest and most unique plants and pots. And because plants brighten up any room.

Gift Card to the Skin Genie

Sandie uses the best facials, uses the most amazing products that truly make a difference in the appearance of my skin.

Limoncello from Ventura Spirits

1. Ventura spirits pride themselves on locally sourced ingredients. 2. A liquor not everyone already has but is versatile. (I pour it over vanilla ice cream). 3. It comes in the cutest bottle made with so much detail, you’ll want it out on a countertop to show off.

Patagonia Ventura Vest at Ventura Visitor Center

It literally goes with everything, is compactable, and keeps you at just the right temperature.

Gift Card at Coastal Cone

Because a day at Ventura Harbor Village should always include some Coastal Cone ice cream

Mike Laan

Mike Laan

Digital Marketing Manager

Mike has been on the team since 2014. Mike came from a strong video background and has been editing for 20 years. He also is a huge contributor to the laughs in the office and is dubbed the “drone pilot.” Big into technology, he keeps everything tech-related up to date and is always behind a camera.

Fresh Roasted Coffee from Prospect Roasters

I’ve never had a bad batch of beans. Every morning I’m so stoked about how delicious the cup of coffee is with these beans. The best part is when you get a pound of beans they give you a fresh cup of coffee, how could you go wrong?

A trip to Channel Islands National Park with Island Packers

If you’re a photographer or you’re just looking to get out in nature this is just a short 60-minute boat ride out to our closest national park. Even the ride out is often filled with hundreds of dolphins, making the trip alone worth it. Santa Cruz Island is for sure something you need to see.

Spencer Makenzies Gift Card

If you haven’t tried this place, you need to stop what you’re doing right now and go there just to try their fish tacos There are so many awesome places to get tacos and a couple of places to get a great fish taco, but this place is our office’s go-to. You need to go a couple of times to try all of their sauces and find out which one is your favorite. It’s definitely a place to try next time you’re in town.

Chief Peak Tee at Topa Topa Brewery

There are so many breweries in Ventura and they’re all great, it’s hard to just pick one. You can find Topa Topa Chief Peak beer just about everywhere in Ventura. Grab a pint at their headquarters on Colt Street and then represent them everywhere with this awesome tee.


We are also stoked to have Ventura Spirits here in town and everyone who works there is awesome. All of their spirits are delicious, but these kits make an awesome gift. I recently got one for my birthday and the Limon Collins kit I can confirm it makes an awesome drink.

Michele Gilmour

Michele Gilmour

Director of Consumer and Leisure Trade

Michele joined the Visit Ventura team in 2011 and is happy to be responsible for all aspects of visitor services and the daily operation of the retail store with an emphasis on ensuring a positive and efficient visitor experience. Representing Ventura at leisure trade shows also falls within her realm; she feels fortunate to be able to educate prospective visitors about the place she loves best, Ventura! Travel is also at the top of her list of interests.

Wrapping paper by Rossi and Cavallini

Copperfield’s has the best selection of stationery and unique wrapping paper for every occasion. One of my favorites is the individual sheets of wrapping paper by Rossi and Cavallini, they are high quality and always receive huge compliments from my friends and family.

Home & Gift items at Tiki Girl

Tiki Girl has the perfect gift for everyone on your list! From keychains, candles, beach towels, coastal artwork by local artists to one of my personal favorites, a Blood Orange Margarita Cocktail Kit.

Ocean Tides and Beach Candles at Ventura Visitor Center

This collection of coastal scented candles captures the ultimate seaside fragrance to remind you of where you’d like to be most any day. The all-natural, 100% soy wax candle is hand-poured in decorative glass and packaged in a beautiful keepsake gift box. Ocean Tide and Beach fragrances are divine!

Hand Painted & Hand Rolled Chocolates at Ex-Voto Chocolates

The bonbons are hand-painted and each bonbon is molded in single-origin fair-trade chocolate. Bonbons are filled with ganache made with fresh ingredients. Boxes are a mix of mostly hand-painted chocolates with a few hand-rolled bonbons. This will never disappoint!

Board Shorts at Revolution Surf and Skate shop

For any guy on your gift list, the board short selections are the best! Quality brands, materials and designs will please the most discriminating. They offer patch pockets with hook and loop closures that are perfect for surfing or really any water sport!

Ken McAlpine 

Ken and Kathy McAlpine 

Communications Coordinator

Ken has lived in, and loved, Ventura for 30-plus years, raising two sons here with his sweet wife Kathy (who sometimes felt like she had three boys). Before coming to Visit Ventura, Ken wrote for magazines ranging from Sunset to Sports Illustrated. He has also written several books, including Islands Apart: A Year on the Edge of Civilization, which features our very own Channel Islands. Every day he wakes up and can’t believe where he lives. Ken is also shopping-impaired — so he asked his lovely wife for her recommendations.

Ex-Voto Chocolates

These unique and delicious chocolate truffles are hand decorated & they are a classy gift for birthdays, holidays & hostess gifts!

Gift Certificates at Rumfish y Vino

Who doesn’t love a prepaid date night with delicious food and a great atmosphere!

Gift sets at Olive Ventura

I cook with olive oil daily and love the unique fresh flavors fresh olive oils add to my foods.

Beach House Fish Gift Card

This restaurant has the best Ahi tacos! The glass-enclosed indoor restaurant has a lovely deck outside if you wish to gaze over the ocean. It’s a lovely place to show off our town by the sea!

Wilder Gin at Ventura Spirits

Our sons love the Wilder Gin and our family enjoys sharing cocktails and laughs together!

Michele Foster

Michele Foster

Office Administrator

Michele joined the Visit Ventura team in 2015, after beginning as a volunteer. She loves managing the Visitor Center during the weekend, working with guests, and supporting the team on special projects. Michele has traveled to and lived in a variety of different, wonderful places, but she has been totally charmed by Ventura and is happy to call it home.

Because eating your cereal from a work of art is a joyful way to start the day.

A beautiful, unique item of jewelry from Ormachea Jewelers

Because each piece is a treasure, crafted entirely in Ventura and inspired by a rich family tradition of artistry.

A staff-pick read from Timbre Books

Because in gifting a book you are given a chance to travel to new worlds and meet new friends, all while sitting comfortably in a favorite chair.

Sausage Rolls and Christmas Crackers from Rosie Lee Imports

Who doesn’t like some tasty treats and fun n’ games for their Christmas brunch?

A crowler and branded pint glass from Poseidon Brewing

Because some afternoons just call for the companionship of a well-made ale with depth

Briana Diamond

Briana Diamond

Digital Marketing Assistant

Briana graduated from Brooks Institute of Photography and Film with a bachelor’s in Visual Journalism in 2014. Which, not coincidentally, is the perfect pairing for a life of trail running, surfing, rock climbing, swimming, horseback riding, and, yes, photography. 

Beach blanket at Barefoot Boutique

A beach blanket is always a great gift for friends or family because it’s basic and everyone loves a beach blanket.

2 Pack of Cozy Socks at Tiki Girl

Every Christmas, my friends and I give each other cozy fuzzy socks.

Craft Cocktail kit at Kariella

I think it’s a fun gift to give a friend or partner that enjoys creating cocktails at their home or even camping since it’s so compact!

Paint and Pint at Poseidon Brewing Company

Every year my mom and I sip on a delicious local beer while painting together. We love it!

Ventura Boat Rental gift card

I think this would be a fun activity to do with your friends family or partner during the day or to see the Christmas lights on the boats!

Discover More

Get to know Ventura, and discover the best things to do around the city.

Get Inspired 2022 cover inspo guide

Request an
Inspiration Guide

View the current Ventura Inspiration Guide online. And prepare to be INSPIRED.

Be in the know

Visit Ventura
Monthly Newsletter

Sign up for everything you need to know; from new hikes, to new restaurants, to upcoming festivals, music, and entertainment.

Ventura Partners With