Ventura, California, offers a distinctive mix of sun-soaked lifestyle and cultural depth that enthralls locals and beckons newcomers. If you’re considering a move, you’ll discover a variety of apartments for rent and homes for sale in Ventura that cater to diverse preferences, from beachfront properties to downtown living.
But living in Ventura is more than finding the right home–it’s about immersing yourself in a community rich with unique experiences and vibrant local culture. Whether you’re a long-time resident or weighing a move, this Redfin article will help you discover the best and most unique things to do in Ventura.
1. Foster Park
Ventura, California, boasts an array of outdoor sights–from beaches to parks to mountainous hikes, there’s something for everyone. Daniele Rose of Daniele Rose Photography recommends checking out Forster Park. “The park is tucked back in a peaceful canyon and feels like a serene getaway from the city,” says Rose. “It has beautiful walking trails, a winding bike path, large grassy areas with picnic tables, and a creek with a swimming hole that only locals know about.” As the weather begins to cool and the big, leafy trees turn yellowish-orange in the fall, Rose suggests an East Coast vibe is established in the West.
2. Ventura Botanical Gardens
If flowers, plants, and other vegetation excite you, check out the Ventura Botanical Gardens. “The gardens are colored with clarkia, lupine, poppies, cistanthe grandiflora, and many other flowers and fragrances,” says Barbara Brown, with media and marketing for the Ventura Botanical Gardens. After a rainy few months in Southern California, Brow invites you to experience the spectacular super blooms while the sun beams down, offering 360° views of the Channel Islands, the patchwork of verdant agricultural fields, the Topa Topa mountain range, and of course, the historic downtown Ventura.
3. Murphy Auto Museum
Another unique thing to do in Ventura and a must-visit for motor enthusiasts is the Murphy Auto Museum. David, Docent at the Murphy Auto Museum, shares that their collection features “over 40 vintage and antique automobiles, a huge working model railroad with detailed buildings and landscaping, a collection of Americana and automotive memorabilia, and art.” After endlessly exploring the exhibits, unwind at the attached Tiki Lounge.
4. Pizza Chef
Of course, a list of hidden gems would only be complete with a recommendation for foodies. Lauren Howe with Rincon Property Management suggests Pizza Chief. “This small, family-owned pizzeria has been serving up delicious pizza and pasta for over 40 years,” says Howe “They use fresh and locally sourced ingredients in a cozy and inviting atmosphere.”
5. Edenic Smoothies
Should you find yourself in the mood for something a little lighter, Alexandra Lilly of Alexandra Lilly Interiors suggests Edenic Smoothies. “They have the best smoothies in town as well as amazing sandwiches,” says Lilly. Should you find yourself lost in their menu, Lilly recommends the Dawn Patrol Smoothie, which combines vanilla protein, peanut butter, banana, dates, hemp, flax, and almond milk.
6. Ventura Pottery Gallery
In the market for one-of-a-kind ceramics? Look no further than Ventura Pottery Gallery. “The artists themselves run the gallery, offering customers the unique opportunity to purchase handmade pieces directly from the creators,” says studio owner Ellen Wohlstadter. At Ventura Pottery Gallery you can discover anything from souvenirs to kitchen items and memorable wedding gifts. The gallery is a true haven for art lovers seeking exquisite, handcrafted treasures.