Historic Dudley House Museum in Ventura

San Buenaventura Heritage, Inc. (SBH) is a non-profit educational and charitable organization founded in 1978 with a primary focus of preserving the Dudley House, an 1892 Victorian farm house, located at 197 N. Ashwood, Ventura. The Dudley House is one of 35 Ventura County properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

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The house is a living history museum reflecting the life of the Dudley family. The terraces and pergola for outdoor events have been installed on the north side side of the house, and the lavender garden with some 100 plants featuring over 20 varieties is on the south side of the house. The basement is used as a community room and visitor center with cooking facilities and is available for small events and receptions. Larger events can be held outside on the grounds.

The Dudley House is open for tours the first Sunday of the month from 1pm to 4pm from January to November. Visit dudleyhouse.webs.com or call 805.644.3286 for more information.  Admission is free but donations are accepted and appreciated.

Victorian Holiday Boutique 2019

The 25th Dudley House Victorian Holiday Boutique will be open from 10am to 6pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday starting the Friday after Thanksgiving. The 2019 dates are November 22-24, November 29 to December 1 and December 6-8. The House is beautifully decorated by dozens of crafters who will be selling their items.

Historic Recording Series

During open houses, pre-1930 recordings transferred to CDs are played. A new recording is played each month on the Victrola console in the parlor.

Old Time Radio Series

CDs of radio shows are performed in the radio console on the 2nd floor hallway.

Ventura Pier

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The Ventura Pier was originally constructed in 1872 and is a favorite spot for local fishermen. The Pier is 1,600 feet long and underwent a $2.2 million renovation in 2000 that added an 80 foot octagon shaped extension, benches and more. The Pier can be accessed off of East Harbor Boulevard, close to the Crowne Plaza hotel off of California Street. Beach House Fish restaurant and a MadeWest Brewing Company taproom (2nd floor of Beach House) is located on the pier.

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On the west side of the pier is a playground area with some unique play equipment. My kids always enjoy it here because of the great combination of the beach, pier, playground, quick access to bike rentals and food.

The Ventura Wharf (Pier) was designated City of Ventura Historic Landmark #20 on March 29, 1976.

The former Eric Ericsson's (now Beach House Fish) next to the playground on the pier.

The former Eric Ericsson's (now Beach House Fish) next to the playground on the pier.

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Ventura Flea Market - Ventura County Fairgrounds

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The Ventura Flea Market features antiques, used and new merchandise sold by over 500 vendors and thousands of visitors. It is held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. six Sundays a year at the Ventura County Fairgrounds. A special Early Bird admission is available from 6am to 9am at $10.00 per person. Regular admission starts at 9 a.m. at $5.00 per person. Children under 12 are admitted free when accompanied by an adult.  (Prices current as of September 2019.) Pets are not allowed. Event is held rain or shine! Parking is $5.

Upcoming Dates as of 9/27/19:

  • September 29, 2019

  • November 17, 2019

  • February 23, 2020

  • April 19, 2020

  • May 31, 2020

  • September 27, 2020

  • November 22, 2020

Visit www.rgcshows.com/ventura or call 323.560.SHOW (7469) for more information.

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San Buenaventura State Beach in Ventura

San Buenaventura State Beach is a two-mile stretch of beach from the Ventura Pier on the north down south past the homes of the Ventura Keys to just north of Marina Park on the south.

This beach features swimming, surfing and picnicking. There are two miles of sandy beach, sand dunes, picnic sites, a parking lot, restrooms and the Jolly Oyster. San Buenaventura features the largest day-use picnic area at a state beach in Southern California.

Looking to ride a bike but didn’t bring one? Rent one near the pier at Wheel Fun Rentals.

There’s a nice mile-long hike and bike trail along the beach stretching from the park entrance at San Pedro Street and Pierpoint Blvd to the Ventura Pier. This trail continues northward up the boardwalk past Surfers’ Point and beyond. CLICK HERE for more details on the Omer Rains Trail.

The 1,700-foot pier has a snack bar, Beach House Fish restaurant and bait shop. Wheel Fun Rentals is right near the pier if you need a bike. Visit www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=600 or call 805.585.1850. Campfires not allowed at this beach.

Wheel Fun Rentals - Bike Rentals - Ventura

With a number of locations in Ventura and Santa Barbara, Wheel Fun Rentals provides an assortment of bicycles, quads, coupes, surreys, tag-alongs and other 2 to 4 wheel human powered vehicles for rides along the beach. They also offer a wide assortment of water vehicles...boats, surfboards, boogie boards, etc.

Nearby locations as of September 2019 are:

Oxnard- Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach Resort, 2101 Mandalay Beach Road (805.984.1994)

Oxnard - Channel Islands Marine Emporium Landing, 3600 S. Harbor Blvd (805.910.7257)

Oxnard - Residence Inn Oxnard River Ridge, 2101 W. Vineyard Avenue (805.278.2200)

Port Hueneme - Holiday Inn Express, 350 E. Port Hueneme Road (805.986.5353)

Ventura - Crowne Plaza, 450 E. Harbor Blvd (805.648.2100)

Ventura - Four Points by Sheraton, 1050 Schooner Drive (805.658.1212)

Ventura Pier 850 Harbor Blvd., Ventura (805.765.5795)

Ventura State Beach Picnic Area, 901 San Pedro, Ventura (805.650.7770)

Ventura Beach Marriott 2055 Harbor Blvd., Ventura (805.643.6000)

Santa Barbara - Hilton Beachfront Resort 633 East Cabrillo Blvd., Santa Barbara (805.966.2282)

Santa Barbara - Near Stearns Wharf 24 E. Mason Street (805.966.2282)

For more information visit www.wheelfunrentals.com or call 805.650.7770.

Beaches Spanning From Carpinteria Through Ventura County to Malibu

My kids and I love going to the beach but for many years we seemed to go to the same ones all the time. So I stopped by the Automobile Club and asked them if they had a brochure on all the local area beaches open to the public. They shrugged their shoulders and said no such guidebook existed. They handed me a fold out map, which was of no use to me as I wanted to know exactly how to get to these beaches, if they have restrooms, parking, etc.

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Then I started searching around for information and found bits and pieces in various locations that were marginally useful. So I decided to consolidate this information into one place where I could find out about where to go to the beach around Ventura County on up the coast to Carpinteria and Santa Barbara and down to Malibu. So I hope you find the following links helpful in finding local area beaches in Ventura County and surrounding areas!

Carpinteria to Ventura

Oxnard to Malibu

Santa Barbara Area Beaches

This took a lot of time to compile over 60 local area beach areas, so I truly hope you benefit from these lists! So enjoy and provide feedback if you have comments and/or additional information.

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At Leo Carrillo State Beach in Malibu.

At Leo Carrillo State Beach in Malibu.

Windsurfers at Surfers' Point in Ventura.

Windsurfers at Surfers' Point in Ventura.

Channel Cities Jazz Club Sunday Afternoon Events in Ventura

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The Channel Cities Jazz Club (CCJC) meets on the 3rd Sunday of each month at a new venue - the Golden China Restaurant, 760 South Seaward Avenue, Ventura.

The club hosts a Sunday afternoon dance every third Sunday from 1:00PM to 4:00PM with jammers leading off the dance at 1:00, followed by a professional featured band at 3:00PM.

During normal school sessions the club invites local middle, and high school jazz bands to perform between the jammers and featured bands.

The club also sponsors school music students to Summer Jazz Music Camp in Northern California at the Teagarden Summer Camp for Youth.

An entrance fee of $10.00 for members and $15.00 for non-members is collected to cover operating costs and to support the jazz summer camp.

Club events are open to the public. Visit www.channelcitiesjazzclub.com or call 805.985.7292 for more information.

Ventura Harbor Village

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Ventura Harbor Village at 1583 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura is home to 33 acres of harborside activities, shopping and restaurants.  The weather is always so cool over there it makes for a nice retreat.

There is a 36 horse carousel and arcade for the kids and plenty of outdoor activities available like kayaking, sailing, pedal boats, sport-fishing and cruises. Ventura Harbor Village hosts events and activities year-round, including music performances, kids' activities, themed events, festivals and more.

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Eateries at Ventura Harbor Village include 805 Bar & Grilled Cheese, Alexander's, Andria's Seafood Restaurant, Baja Bay Surf N' Taco, Boatyard Pub, Brophy Bros. Restaurant and Clam Bar, Coastal Cone (ice cream shop), Coffee Dock & Post, Copa Cubana, Fratellis Pizza & Brew, Harbor Cove Cafe, Le Petit Cafe, Bakery & Restaurant, Margarita Villa Mexican, Water’s Edge Restaurant & Bar, The Greek Mediterranean Steak & Seafood and The Parlor. You won't go hungry here.

The Channel Islands National Park Visitor Center is located adjacent to Ventura Harbor Village. Free admission and an awesome resource for learning more about the Channel Islands and its protected habitat.

Island Packers at the Harbor has numerous boat rides and is the only authorized concessionaire to transport folks to Channel Islands National Park. 

Ventura Boat Rentals rents out electric boats, paddle boats, kayaks, power boats and charters cruises in the Ventura Harbor.  So much fun to be had!

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Across the street from Ventura Harbor Village is beach access at Harbor Cove Beach (a safe beach protected by jetties) and Surfer's Knoll Beach. Local area beaches at THIS LINK.

More information at www.venturaharborvillage.com or call 805.642.8538 (or 877.89.HARBOR).

Ventura County Fairgrounds Swap Meet and Farmers Market on Wednesdays

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There is a weekly Swap Meet and Farmers Market at Ventura County Fairgrounds, 10 W. Harbor Boulevard, every Wednesday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Free parking. Admission is $1 (as of August 2017). For more information visit www.facebook.com/Ventura-County-Fairgrounds-Swap-Meet-Farmers-Market-279401113415.

Grant Park / Serra Cross Park in Ventura

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For some of the most spectacular views of Ventura you can ask for, stop by Grant Park / Serra Cross Park off of Ferro Drive in Ventura. Grant Park is a 107 acre park of mostly open space. Serra Cross Park is located at Grant Park. It is a one acre parcel that contains the wooden cross shown below.

The land and cross were sold to San Buenaventura Heritage, Inc. in 2003 in order to maintain the historic cross, which was placed on this spot in 1941 to replace the previous cross that was erected in 1912.

Visit www.serracrosspark.org to learn more about Serra Cross Park.

Get there via Brakey Road to the left side of Ventura City Hall or Ferro Drive off of Cedar Street. There are no restrooms, playground, drinking fountains, etc. at this park.

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Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center at Channel Islands National Park

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The Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center at Channel Islands National Park features a bookstore, a display of marine aquatic life, including a tidepool, and exhibits featuring the unique character of each park island. Visitors also can enjoy the 25-minute park movie, “A Treasure in the Sea,” shown throughout the day in the auditorium.

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The visitor center is located at 1901 Spinnaker Drive in Ventura at the end of Spinnaker Drive, past Ventura Harbor Village and across the street from the kid-friendly Harbor Cove Beach. It is open 8:30 am until 5 pm daily. The visitor center is closed on Thanksgiving and December 25th.

On weekends and holidays at 11 am and 3 pm rangers offer a variety of free public programs about the resources of the park. Learn more on the National Park Service website at www.nps.gov/chis/planyourvisit/visitorcenters.htm or call 805.658.5730.

Who is Robert J. Lagomarsino, you ask. He was born in September 1926 in Ventura County. He served in the California Senate from 1961 to 1974 and served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1974 until 1992. He is also a former mayor of Ojai. from 1958 to 1961. As a State Senator, he introduced the first legislation authorizing a public university for Ventura County.

Disc Golf in Ventura County

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Looking for disc golf options in Ventura County? You’ve come to the right place. These are all available to the public, free of charge.

The newest disc golf option is at Sapwi Trails Community Park in Thousand Oaks. The course has 19 holes. Hole #1 is located off the parking lot on Avenida de los Arboles at Kensington Drive. The park and course opened in March 2019. and is managed by the Conejo Recreation and Park District (CRPD).

Rabbit Flats Disc Golf Course is located on the west end of Thousand Oaks Community Park, 2525 N. Moorpark Road (next to Thousand Oaks High School). This course opened to the public in May 2010. Park managed by CRPD.

Coyote Point Disc Golf Course is an 18 hole course located at Lake Casitas, 11311 Santa Ana Road, Ventura.

Chaparral Park, located at 217 N. Medea Creek Lane in Oak Park, has a newer 10 hole course. Course map at THIS LINK (that link also provides detailed instructions on how to play!). Park is managed by the Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District (RSRPD).

Also managed by RSRPD is a 12 hole disc Sycamore Park Disc Golf Course at Sycamore Park, 855 N. Planetree Avenue, Simi Valley. Detailed map and instructions at THIS LINK.

There is yet another disc golf course located at Sequoia Park, 2150 Tracy Avenue, Simi Valley. Also managed by RSRPD, this is a 9-hole course. Course map and instructions at THIS LINK.

Finally, there is a 9-hole disc golf course located at Lake Piru Recreation Area, 4780 Piru Canyon Road, Piru.