VENTURA COUNTY COAST, CALIFORNIA
A wild and beautiful adventure just a few miles outside Tinseltown.
An easy road trip up the iconic Highway 101 from Los Angeles, the Ventura County Coast feels like a world away from the big city. The farm-to-table restaurants, charming waterfront communities, and a lesser-known National Park make this a great Southern California escape minus the sticker shock. You’ll want to visit the cities of Camarillo, Oxnard, Hueneme, and Ventura, where you’ll enjoy super-fresh seafood at Brophy Bros. Restaurant & Clam Bar or The Greek Mediterranean Steak & Seafood at Ventura Harbor, and you can even get out on the water in a rented kayak. Channel Islands National Park is perhaps the Ventura County coast’s “marquee” attraction, but you can start your exploration of the islands without leaving the mainland, at the park’s visitors center in Ventura. Channel Islands National Park is just 11 miles offshore, but its five distinct islands (Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Miguel, and Santa Barbara) have been isolated from the mainland for so many thousands of years (even today the islands are accessible only by ferry, small plane, or a forbiddingly challenging kayak paddle) that they are host to unique species of animals and plants, and even the source of archeological discoveries like nowhere else in the world. Each island offers the opportunity to literally “get away from it all,” with hiking, camping, snorkeling, kayaking, and incredible birdwatching. Two things you can’t do here, though, are ride public transportation (there isn’t any) or ride your bike (they are not allowed on any of the five islands). Book a trip from Oxnard’s Channel Islands Harbor with Island Packers or Channel Islands Outfitters.