In coast-hugging Ventura, just 20 minutes’ north, the intriguing Botanical Gardens are worth a look. The final gardens are unfinished, with ambitious plans for a Chilean garden, South African garden and native Californian areas in progress.
In the meantime, trails are open that lead to views over Ventura and the Pacific coastline, including Surfers’ Point, the Rincon surfer paradise to the west, and the Channel Islands. Check the schedule and you can head off with a botanist for an educational hike.
Ventura’s harbour area and beach walk are worth an afternoon’s exploration, too, popping into shops and cafes as you wander. Hit San Buenaventura State Beach and the old wooden pier’s Beach House Fish restaurant for a casual meal looking out to sea.
This whole area is known for its beaches. Take in the ultimate Californian view in at nearby Surfers’ Point to watch the experts riding the Pacific waves.