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VenturaUnited States of America

Visit this quaint beach town to enjoy its lively cultural scene and its famous surfing conditions. The site was founded by the Franciscan friar, Junipero Serra.

Quaint surfing towns are a West Coast trademark. Ventura, a small city in southern California, is one of the most beloved.

Although universally known as Ventura, the city is officially San Buenaventura. It was founded in 1782 when the Franciscan friar Junipero Serra established his mission. Notice the iron bells that sit along Route 101 marking Fray Serra's famous route along El Camino Real.

Main Street is Ventura's center. Enjoy a delicious meal at one of its many restaurants or sip coffee at an outdoor café. From funky thrift stores to upscale boutiques, this area is crammed with shopping opportunities for every budget.

In the heart of Ventura's old town, visit San Buenaventura Mission. Built in 1782 by Junipero Serra, this was only the ninth Spanish mission established in California. Tour the nearby Olivas Adobe, a 160-year-old historical home that is rumored to be haunted.

Watch a professional performance at the Rubicon Theatre, which hosts several plays throughout the year. Continue cultural immersion at E.P. Foster Library, a cozy establishment that displays rotating exhibits by local artists.

Ventura's downtown beach area is dominated by a pier stretching along Ventura Beach. At one end, surfers gather at Surfer's Point to enjoy the waves every day of the year. At the other, the pier meets the scenic San Buenaventura State Beach. When you're not in the water surfing, the pier is a great place to take a bike ride or just enjoy California’s gorgeous weather.

If Ventura isn't interesting enough with its perfect beaches and fascinating history, it is also home to a famous, albeit fictional, literary character. Author Erle Stanley Gardner, who lived in the city, set the beloved Perry Mason series in Ventura.

Whether you visit Ventura to surf or shop or something else entirely, enjoy this enchanting small city. Remember to bring sunglasses and apply sunscreen, as the weather is warm and sunny year-round.

Where to stay in Ventura

You will  never get tired watching the sunset and the ocean wave in this park.

Pierpont Bay

4/5Very Good!(158 area reviews)

If you're spending some time in Pierpont Bay, Ventura City Beach and San Buenaventura State Beach are top sights worth seeing.

Pierpont Bay
Ventura showing a sunset

Downtown Ventura

4/5Very Good!(59 area reviews)

If you're spending some time in Downtown Ventura, Mission San Buenaventura and San Buenaventura Mission are top sights worth seeing.

Downtown Ventura

Top Hotels in Ventura

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
The Pierpont Inn
The Pierpont Inn
3 out of 5
550 San Jon Rd, Ventura, CA
The price is $149 per night

Situated by the ocean, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Ventura City Beach and Ventura Pier. Ventura County Fairgrounds and Ventura Harbor are also within ...

3.9/5Very Good! (951 reviews)

"Perfect place for my stay"…"

Reviewed on Aug 4, 2020

The Pierpont Inn
Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach
Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach
3.5 out of 5
450 E Harbor Blvd, Ventura, CA
The price is $154 per night

Located in Ventura, this beachfront hotel is in the city center and within a 5-minute walk of Ventura City Beach and Ventura Pier. Ventura County Fairgrounds ...

4.2/5Very Good! (951 reviews)

"Everything was perfect! We loved all the safety procedures!"…"

Reviewed on Aug 7, 2020

Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach
Cliff House Inn On The Ocean
Cliff House Inn On The Ocean
3 out of 5
6602 Old Pacific Coast Hwy, Ventura, CA
The price is $195 per night

Nestled on the beach, this Ventura hotel is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from La Conchita Beach and 2.8 mi (4.5 km) from Rincon Beach Park. Oil Piers Beach and Rincon Beach ...

4.2/5Very Good! (977 reviews)
Relax by the ocean

"We loved how close we were to the ocean and we could listen to the waves all night long. The Shoals Restaurant had wonderfully delicious entrees and we enjoyed dining outside next to the ocean. The staff were very friendly."…"

Reviewed on Aug 9, 2020

Cliff House Inn On The Ocean

Popular places to visit in Ventura

Ventura Harbor
Image for Ventura Harbor

Ventura Harbor

4.5/5(803 reviews)

Appreciate delicious seafood, sandy beaches, whale watching and charming friendliness in this waterfront area with access to Channel Islands National Park.

Ventura Pier
Image for Ventura Pier

Ventura Pier

4.5/5(757 reviews)

Enjoy seafood or tacos at the foot of this pier and wander along its old wooden planks for panoramic views of the Channel Islands.

Emma Wood State Beach
Image for Emma Wood State Beach

Emma Wood State Beach

4.5/5(30 reviews)

Why not spend a carefree afternoon at Emma Wood State Beach during your travels in Ventura? Stroll along the area's waterfront or experience its lively festivals.

San Buenaventura Mission
Image for San Buenaventura Mission

San Buenaventura Mission

4.5/5(58 reviews)

Find out about the history of Ventura with a stop at San Buenaventura Mission. Stroll along the area's seaside, or simply savor its top-notch restaurants.

Mission San Buenaventura
Image for Mission San Buenaventura

Mission San Buenaventura

4.5/5(162 reviews)

You can learn about the history of Ventura when you stop by Mission San Buenaventura. Stroll along the area's seaside, or simply savor its top-notch restaurants.

Ventura City Beach
Image for Ventura City Beach

Ventura City Beach

Why not spend a lazy afternoon at Ventura City Beach during your trip to Ventura? Wander the beautiful beaches and seaside in the area.

Top things to do in Ventura

City Scavenger hunts by Operation City Quest of California
Image for City Scavenger hunts by Operation City Quest of California

City Scavenger hunts by Operation City Quest of California

$10
Per adult
80% of travellers recommend
Surfing Lesson
Image for Surfing Lesson

Surfing Lesson

$89
Per adult
Survival Challenge by Zombie Scavengers of California
Image for Survival Challenge by Zombie Scavengers of California

Survival Challenge by Zombie Scavengers of California

$20
Per adult
Ventura Scavenger Hunt: Ace Ventura
Image for Ventura Scavenger Hunt: Ace Ventura

Ventura Scavenger Hunt: Ace Ventura

$20
Per adult
Tastings at 400+ West Coast Wineries (Priority Wine Pass)
Image for Tastings at 400+ West Coast Wineries (Priority Wine Pass)

Tastings at 400+ West Coast Wineries (Priority Wine Pass)

$40
Per adult
Rock Climbing Experience
Image for Rock Climbing Experience

Rock Climbing Experience

$91
Per adult

Reviews of Ventura

4.3

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
458
5 - Excellent 45.52683896620278%
4 - Good
423
4 - Good 42.04771371769384%
3 - Okay
105
3 - Okay 10.43737574552684%
2 - Disappointing
11
2 - Disappointing 1.0934393638170974%
1 - Terrible
9
1 - Terrible 0.8946322067594433%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

May 26, 2020

Visit Ventura, stay at the Holiday Inn Express and enjoy! Even if your just walking around the marina you wont want to leave! Love this city!

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

May 14, 2020

My wife and I truly enjoy Ventura. It has an excellent climate for us and we can always find something to do there.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

May 11, 2020

Excellent place to get engaged and live.

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveler

Apr 7, 2020

This trip was during the Corona virus so it was pretty depressing

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Mar 13, 2020

I thought the beach area was a step above other coastal areas I’ve seen on the central coast of California .

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Mar 11, 2020

I have always loved Ventura. Thank you.

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Ventura

Image for Getting artsy in America’s most creative places, year 2

Getting artsy in America’s most creative places, year 2

Getting artsy in America’s most creative places, year 2

Cities near Ventura

Ventura - Oxnard showing signage and outdoor art

Oxnard