Posted: Thursday, Apr 21st, 2022

By Visit Ventura

Where Is the Best Place to Watch the Sunrise in Ventura?

It is a silent time time. A peaceful time. A contemplative time. A deep breath time. A time before (sometimes) everything runs away from you.

Maybe the one time of day that truly matters.

Where is the best place to watch a sunrise in Ventura?

Well, it’s a highly subjective matter.

But here are a few Ventura sunrise options 

Are the best things in life free?

Could very well be.

Watch the sunrise (and moonset) from the Ventura Pier.

The Ventura Pier is a lovely place to stand any time of day, but sunrise may be the pier’s best time to shine. As the sun lifts above the Santa Monica Mountains, the light throws itself across the misty land and the lightening sea. In the morning quiet you can hear the sighs (or thunder) of the passing waves.

Built in 1872, the Ventura Pier, has a colorful history. Once the epicenter of Ventura commerce and formerly the longest wooden pier in California (until it was gnawed away by storms), the pier now serves as the loveliest bridge between past and present. Close your eyes to the sunrise (just for a moment) and imagine a different world. The heavy tread — and grunts — of sailors loading everything from lumber to oranges. The lively conversation of parasol toting ladies going for  “a dulcet tête-à-tête high above the murmuring breakers” (from a long ago newspaper article). Not every town’s citizens and visitors are fortunate to be able to draw a direct line from past to present. And feel history beneath their feet.

Open your eyes and look out to the Pacific Ocean horizon, where Anacapa Island and Santa Cruz Island – two-fifths of glorious Channel Islands National Park – accept the morning’s first light.

Lovely added plus, the moon is often setting on the opposite side of the pier. Nature’s lullaby two ‘fer.

Watch the sunrise from Grant Park.

You might not be able to drive up (park personnel keep barricades down until the park opens at dawn, but you can walk up in the half light. Grant Park is only two blocks from Ventura’s downtown. Park in any of the free downtown lots, or, closer still, along Poli Drive and walk up to the summit of Grant Park along either Brakey Road or Ferro Drive. It’s a steep walk, but great morning exercise. You’ll see local walkers and runners doing exactly that.

Before the sun even clears the Santa Monica Mountains to the east, Ventura is already revealing itself, a tiny toy town tucked beside a vast sea. In spring you will be surrounded by quiet bright flowers. And, in every season, the added jackpot of a high-in-the-hills view of the Anacapa and Santa Cruz islands.

Because in every season, from the heights of Grant Park you can see a long, long way. 

It is happily humbling.

Watch the sunrise from, well, any Ventura beach.   

Any Ventura beach is a great place for the sunrise. 

If the tide is low, watch how the morning light plays off the wet sand, the softest gold laid upon dark sand ripples that look like waves in themselves. Pelicans vector in low, gliding inches in front of the breaking waves – your own personal avian ballet. 

Be sure to stand right at the water’s edge. In the silence, the sound of the waves running up over sand and cobbles is like the sound of lovers turning beneath the sheets  

Sunrises are about nuances.

Harbor Cove Beach – at the very end of Spinnaker Drive – is a great place to watch the sunrise. Added plus, you can walk across the street and have breakfast at the funky Harbor Cove Cafe that sits right at the edge of Ventura Harbor. Just to the north of Ventura, Emma Wood State Beach is a fun place to camp — ensuring you just have to roll out of bed to catch the sunrise.

Watch the sunrise from a surfboard.

Probably the most magical vantage point of all. At certain times of year, when the sunrise is positioned just right, the light from the rising sun skitters right across the face of the wave you are riding – directly at you. 

As if Ventura’s sunrise is, well, just for you.

Maybe it is.

Watch the sunrise from a balcony, a firepit, or a spread of soft green grass.

You’ll find those choices – and more – at a host of places to stay in Ventura.  

Celebrate your special sunrise moments at any Ventura breakfast establishment. 

If you’re watching the sunrise from the pier – or the beach near the beer – it’s only a two block walk to Ventura’s small downtown, and a wealth of delicious breakfast eats, from Immigrant Son Caffe, to the Busy Bee Cafe, to the Cajun Kitchen Cafe. Or take a five minute drive to a local breakfast favorite. Pete’s Breakfast House serves biscuits with gravy and Huevos Rancheros (Eggs, Tortilla, Ranchero Salsa, Cheese, Sour Cream, with Beans & Potatoes) like you’ve never had, and Cafe Nouveau, well, all sorts of delicious options – but don’t miss the maple bacon beignets.  

As you eat, maybe one more quiet pleasurable moment.

Much of the world is now only just stirring and you have already seized the day.      

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