Ventura County is a wonderful place to live, work, and play. Even in the age of COVID-19, there are still plenty of amazing things to do and see for locals and visitors alike. While we all need to adjust to health safety measures when out in public, it’s still possible to enjoy many places that make the County unique. So go ahead, get out of the house, and when you do an online search for “a cannabis dispensary near me” to enhance your real-life experiences, HPC has you covered with the best cannabis products.
As a community effort, government officials and local business owners have creative ways to provide fun, in-person activities. City parks are open with certain restrictions as playgrounds, skate parks, basketball courts, and other facilities are temporarily closed. Golfing is back at the city-owned Buenaventura Golf Course and Olivas Links Golf Course. For the time being, “Safe play” rules are in effect to help protect players. Tennis and Pickleball Courts at Camino Real and Juanamaria Parks are open as long as players abide by USTA Tennis Guidelines and USAPA Pickleball Guidelines.
Beaches, Water, and Wildlife in Ventura
Ventura’s beaches are open! Going to the beach is a time-honored tradition, and thankfully, you can enjoy the warm sand under your toes as long as you follow social-distancing rules. Large groups and other team games such as football, soccer, and volleyball are not currently permitted. Here are a few suggestions for our water-loving HPC customers:
- Surfers Point Beach at Seaside Park offers surfing, windsurfing, kiteboarding, windsurfing, and fishing. On land, your options include hiking/walking/running, birdwatching, and picnicking.
- Kayaking in the Channel Islands National Park provides some of the best ocean kayaking in the country, and it’s in our back yard, so to speak. Tours are running again from 4Points Guides and Island Kayaking. Limited ferry service from Island Packers provides round trips from Ventura Harbor to the Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, and Anacapa Islands, as well as three-hour island wildlife trips and six-hour whale watching trips.
- Southern California Jet Skis is ready to rent you jet skis and electric boats for fun on the water for people who want a faster pace.
- Some folks enjoy being near the ocean without actually going into it. The Ventura Pier and Promenade offers fishing, picnics, sunset strolls, and gorgeous views of the coast and the Channel Islands. County regulations require masks or social distancing at the pier, but you can enjoy the ocean’s serenity and the coastline without getting your feet wet.
- The motto for Ventura Harbor Village is “Summer’s Open!” Harbor restaurants offer patio dining or takeout and curbside options. In-store retail shopping is available, as are activities on the water.
- The Lake Casitas Recreational Area is open for boating, fishing, and limited camping. However, their group picnic shelters, shower houses, the waterpark, and playgrounds are closed.
Things to Do on Land in Ventura
- If biking or walking is your thing, the nearly 15 mile Ventura to Ojai bike path makes for a perfect morning, afternoon, or evening outing. The path parallels the Ventura river, and some sections have a fenced horse riding trail.
- The Ventura Botanical Gardens is an expansive, 109-acre site with spectacular views of the California coastline, farms, the Channel Islands, and Ojai’s Topa Topa peak. Unlimited access requires purchasing a membership, but on Fridays, the Gardens are free for everyone. While the 2017 Thomas fire devastated the Gardens, many plants are already showing signs of regrowth. The Pepper Trees at Summit Plateau, a Garden favorite, survived mostly unscathed.
- A brief drive up the fun, winding Ferro Drive near city hall leads to magnificent, unobstructed views of Ventura Harbor at Serra Cross Park at Grant Park.
- Eating and drinking at bars, brewpubs, wineries, and restaurants are returning to life in Ventura, all of which are subject to certain conditions. In July 2020, the Ventura County Health Department issued an order permitting outdoor operations if establishments offer sit-down, outdoor, dine-in meals. Alcohol can only be served with a meal at these locations. Wineries and wine tasting rooms may open outdoor operations even if they do not offer outdoor dine-in meals. Working with local business owners, Ventura city officials closed five blocks on Main Street to traffic. Restaurants are now providing improvised outdoor seating, and store owners are creating an ongoing “sidewalk sale” by moving their goods from the store to the sidewalks.
Ventura is a special place, and even amid COVID-19, there is an abundance of things to experience in Ventura County. Before you head out, it may be worth checking city guidelines regarding what’s open, closed, and permitted. And if cannabis is part of your day in the real world, stop by the best dispensary in Ventura County, the Hueneme Patient Collective.