What to Pack for a Ventura Vacation

By Michelle Madsen


You saved your vacation days, the kids are on break, and you have chosen to see what makes Ventura such a gorgeous getaway. You’ve made the right choice! Whether on a solo trip or a family vacation, you are on your way to a charming beach town ready to welcome you with open arms. To get the most out of your stay, this packing list will prepare you for all that Ventura has to offer.


Camera: Digital, instant film, GoPro, or waterproof

Along with the handy camera in your phone, use an instant film camera (like Polaroid) to create memories with a vintage touch. Grab your GoPro or waterproof camera for activities such as stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, and surfing. Check out our blog on the Top 10 Photo Ops in Ventura.

What to pack for Ventura



Beach essentials: Sunglasses, hat, sunscreen, flip flops, swimsuit, towel, umbrella, surfboard, boogie board, wetsuit, sand toys

There’s nothing like a day at Ventura’s beach. Stroll along the promenade, go fishing on the pier, and dig into some of the best seafood around. Beach House Fish is a great option. Don’t forget to stay until sunset for a spectacular view at Surfer’s Point. Find out more about the beach and surfing here.


Sports and play equipment: Basketball, soccer ball, volleyball, golf clubs, badminton, bike, running shoes

Play your favorite sport in Ventura! With basketball courts, golf courses, bike paths, and hiking trails galore, you will experience the active side of Ventura. Take the kids to Marina Park and get a game of badminton going. Hot tip: You can find an eye-popping Frisbee at the Ventura Visitors Center to double as a souvenir!


Hiking gear: Clothes, sneakers, reusable water bottle

Three words: Santa. Cruz. Island. Visit any of the Channel Islands, really. I’ve heard Santa Cruz is one of the most strikingly beautiful hikes in the area. Channel Island beach hikes are second to none. If you’re craving a second trip to the trails, try Arroyo Verde Park near Ventura College.

Camp on Santa Cruz

Camping equipment: Tent, sleeping bag, water (except Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa), animal- and bird-proof food containers, campstove, first aid kit, binoculars, snorkel

If a hike isn’t enough time on the islands, why not set up camp there? You can stay the night at any of the five Channel Islands. Enjoy the peace of a quiet paradise that seems many more than 14 miles from the shore. Learn about camping on the Channel Islands here and get ready for an excursion that will astonish!


Ventura beach photo

Photos by Kamilo Bustamante, Brooks Institute.