Stops on the Way

Stop at Ventura Harbor Village

Base out of Ventura Harbor Village for easy access to Channel Islands National Park, a gorgeous beach and a lively seaside experience.

Ventura Harbor Village
Stroll along the marina to shoppes and restaurantsPhoto by Dan Harding courtesy of Ventura Harbor

There’s only two places to catch a ferry to the Channel Islands National Park, and Ventura Harbor Village offers you a hassle-free, fun seaside California experience.

Located several miles from Ventura, the Ventura Harbor Village offers a harborside promenade lined by restaurants, locally-owned boutiques filled with artisan wares, two hotels and the Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center at Channel Islands National Park. A huge perk not easily found in California? Parking is free at Harbor Cove Beach, one of Ventura’s calmest, across the street.

At the visitor center, you can learn about the national park, watch a free movie called A Treasure in the Sea and peruse the gift shop before boarding an Island Packers ferry to one of the stunning islands. When you return, relax at Harbor Cove Beach, a gorgeous sheltered beach right across from the national park visitor center.

Beaches across from Ventura Harbor Village
Sheltered from waves, Harbor Cove Beach is to the left of the road, top center.Photo by Rick Wilborn courtesy of Ventura Harbor

Or if you’re feeling active, rent a kayak, stand-up paddleboard, an electric boat or go on a harbor cruise. Or discover the scuba diver in you at Ventura Dive & Sport that offers classes for individuals and families in their on-site heated pool, plus rentals and dive outings at Channel Islands National Park.

And just for laughs, stop by the Ventura Harbor Comedy Club, which overlooks the water and attracts LA-area entertainers, or head to the Ultimate Escape Rooms that offer something unique: a Mermaid Curse Room. There’s also a small stage and fire pit at the end of Kelp Corridor, where you can listen to live music while taking in views of the harbor. But don’t forget to stop by Coastal Cone & Parlor for delicious ice cream served in a taiyaki fish waffle cone, a handmade cone in the shape of a fish.

Coastal Cone fish-shaped ice cream cone
Fresh catch at Coastal Cone & ParlorPhoto by Alex Hong courtesy of Ventura Harbor

Two hotels are a short walk away from the harbor village, Holiday Inn Express & Suites Ventura Harbor and Four Points by Sheraton Ventura Harbor Resort. You’ll spot seals, sea lions and birds along with sailboats, as you walk the promenade connecting the village with the two hotels.

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