Posted: Saturday, Feb 22nd, 2020
What to do in Ventura on a Rainy Day
by Visit Ventura
featured image by Steve Cattanach
Yes, in a land of roughly 300 days of sunshine a year rain in Ventura is only slightly more common than agreement in politics. But it does rain in Ventura. When it does, see it as the locals do — the rare chance to do something a little bit different before the next bout of eternal sunshine…
- Learn about Ventura’s fascinating history at the San Buenaventura Mission and the Museum of Ventura County.
- Make it a shopping day. Our downtown stores are conveniently scrunched together (many with awnings), so you can hop, skip, and dash between them. Leisurely browse for unique gifts at locally owned boutiques like Passport Habits, Kariella and Betty Belts, and — we’re a thrift store bonanza — sort through amazing bargains at consignment stores like the Coalition Thrift Store and Jacqueline Jarrot Treasure Chest Thrift Store. Linger at Buffalo Exchange, a buy and sell paradise.
- Read a good book. Stacks and stacks (and stacks) of great books — at ridiculously low prices — at Bank of Books.
- Make it an art day. Enjoy the downtown arts scene at Latitudes Fine Art Gallery, Vita Arts, Fox Fine Jewelry, and others.
- Make it a movie day. Catch a movie at Century 10 Downtown Theater. Comfortable recliner seats and they serve beer and wine.
- Hole up at a Happy Hour(s). Yes, Ventura has great drink specials all week long — and great Happy Hour food specials (Garlic fries! Pork belly tacos! Peruvian ceviche!). Ventura has become something of a craft beer mecca, with globally recognized brewers right here in our small town. Rain ensures you won’t be remiss in ignoring this facet of Ventura culture.
- See a play at the Rubicon Theatre. Housed in a former church, you’re never more than ten rows away from the likes of Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., Jack Lemmon and Davis Gaines (the longest-running Phantom), all of whom have graced the storied wooden stage. Professional theater at its most intimate.
Ventura Harbor Village
- Learn about the Channel Islands at the Channel Islands National Park Museum and Visitor Center (a particularly good stop if you’ve got antsy kids). Along with exhibits, they screen a fun 25-minute movie narrated by Ventura local Kevin Costner about the Channel Islands. After the movie, walk up to the top of the viewing tower for a rare panoramic rainy day view.
- Ventura Harbor Village has all kinds of stores, conveniently grouped rainy day close.
- Lots of great restaurants to warm your bones too — from Cuban to Greek, to Italian. Or maybe a piping hot bowl of clam chowder at Brophy Brothers Seafood or Andria’s Seafood.
- Escape (maybe) from The Ultimate Escape Rooms. What happens if you’re locked in a room and have to use your wits to escape? For some of us, it could be a long stay. But at least it’s dry.
- Relive your childhood (or let your own kids expend some more of that pent up energy) at the Ventura Village Carousel and Arcade.
Anywhere with a romantic view (but here’s a good one)
Pick up picnic items (the market at Paradise Pantry is a fine go-to for romantic picnic items; beginning with their extensive wine and cheese selection), or take out (pretty much anywhere) and head for the hills. No better view than from atop Grant Park. The panorama of the Pacific Ocean and Anacapa and Santa Cruz Islands is, well, cozily romantic through a rain-streaked windshield.
Or just ignore the rain entirely…
Walk in the rain? Why the heck not?
Life is short, and maybe it’s been too long since you’ve walked in the rain. No finer rainy day walk than the Ventura Pier, high above the rain-spattered sea. Warm-up post-walk with hot seafood at Beach House Fish, conveniently located at the foot of the Pier.