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.

Channel Islands Maritime Museum

The Channel Islands Maritime Museum (formerly known as Ventura County Maritime Museum) is a cultural and scenic haven in the Channel Islands Harbor complete with world class maritime art, ship models and ocean breezes. It opened in 1991 as an independent, not-for-profit public benefit corporation funded by members, friends, charitable foundations and businesses.

In Summer 2012, the museum moved across the harbor to 3900 Bluefin Circle, Oxnard (off of 3900 Harbor Boulevard).

The museum is open Thursday to Monday from 10 AM to 4 PM (noon to 4pm on Sunday) except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors (62+) and $3 for children ages 6 to 17 (free ages 5 and under) as of August 2019. Admission is free the 3rd Thursday of each month.

The Channel Islands Maritime Museum is home to a permanent collection of extensive marine art, featuring works by the Dutch and Flemish painters, 17th century artists Willem van de Velde and Bonaventura Peeters. Noted modern artists in the collection include John Stobart, Montague Dawson, David Thimgan, Roy Cross and Christopher Blossom.

The museum also houses one of the two largest collections of antique Napoleonic prisoner of war sailing ship models in the US. Three thousand years of maritime history are illustrated by historic ship models, including the life's work of renowned builder Edward Marple. Exhibits on whaling, sailors' arts, the history of the Channel Islands Harbor and Port of Hueneme round out the collection.

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In my many visits to the museum, I have been very impressed by how knowledgeable the docents were about the contents of the museum! I learned a lot and was amazed at the collection of nearly 100 intricate ship models on display going back hundreds of years. I was also pleased to see docents take the time to engage my kids in some of the exhibits.

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The Museum welcomes about 25,000 visitors annually. The Elementary Education Program, staffed entirely by volunteers, conducts in-house tours for thousands of elementary school students each year. The At Sea Education program supports three day youth sailing expeditions on board working tall ships.

For more information, including current exhibits and upcoming museum events, visit www.channelislandsmaritimemuseum.org or call 805.984.6260.

Ventura Flea Market - Ventura County Fairgrounds

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The Ventura Flea Market is held near the ocean in Ventura and is a great place to shop. The event features antiques, used and new merchandise sold by over 500 vendors, more than 5,000 buyers visit the Market each time it is held. 

The Ventura Flea Market is held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 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 July 2019.) Pets are not allowed. Event is held rain or shine! Parking is $5.

Upcoming Dates as of 7/18/19:

  • September 29, 2019

  • November 17, 2019

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

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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).

Conejo Valley Botanic Garden - Thousand Oaks

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The Conejo Valley Botanic Garden is a 33 acre retreat of hiking trails and natural habitat adjacent to Conejo Community Park off of Lynn Road and Gainsborough. 

CVBG now offers plant sales (weather permitting) every Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. featuring California native and drought tolerant plants. Reasonable prices! Enter at the Kids' Adventure Garden entrance (400 W. Gainsborough Road).

This is really a special place to bring the kids for low key hike.  There are numerous trails and a short walk/hike to the top of the mountain rewards you with sweeping views of the entire Conejo Valley, from Westlake Village to Thousand Oaks to Newbury Park.

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Here is what you'll find at the CVBG:

  • The Nature Trail is 3/4 of a mile long and meanders above the creek through oaks and willows. This is a moderate trail.

  • The Little Loop Trail leads you above the creek, through chaparral and around a meadow.

  • The Native Plant Section and Lower Meadow feature southern and northern California plants.

  • Lillian's Meadow showcases perennials, shrubs and trees that thrive with minimal water.

  • The Salvia Garden delights hummingbirds and butterflies.

  • The Butterfly Garden is a safe haven that provides nectar and food sources for butterflies and caterpillars.

  • The Nursery houses workspace for the plant propagation team and hosts plant sales.

  • The Herb Garden exhibits an extensive and unusual collection of medicinal, kitchen and aromatic herbs.

  • The Bird Habitat has a fresh water source and is planted with native plants that provide year-round food source for birds.

  • The Australian Section features collection of plants from down under.

  • The Desert Garden hilltop landscape features cacti, succulents and desert trees and provides a panoramic view of the Conejo Valley.

  • The Rare Fruit Orchard holds an extensive collection of trees.

  • The Tranquility Garden is planted in the Japanese style featuring California native plants.

  • The Oak Tree Grove has many species of North American and other oak trees.

  • The Trail of Trees exhibits 50 trees with a variety of genera.

If you have small kids, they will love the Kids' Adventure Garden and treehouse, open on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  They'll enjoy hiking through the trails and exploring the streams and bridges.

Conejo Valley Botanic Garden is located at 400 West Gainsborough Road, Thousand Oaks.  For more information visit www.conejogarden.org.

Desert Garden at the top of the hill, featuring cacti, succulents, etc.

Desert Garden at the top of the hill, featuring cacti, succulents, etc.

Japanese style Tranquility Garden featuring native California plants

Japanese style Tranquility Garden featuring native California plants

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101 Escape Rooms in Westlake Village

101 Escape Rooms is located at 31139 Via Colinas #210, Westlake Village, across the street from the Four Seasons Westlake Village. Open 7 days a week. Offering interactive fun trying to escape from a room, using puzzles and clues. Current rooms (as of June 2019) include Starship Libra, Old Sparky and Altamira. Learn more at www.101escaperooms.com.

The Ultimate Escape Rooms at Ventura Harbor Village

The Ultimate Escape Rooms are a recent addition to Ventura Harbor Village. There are four different themed rooms that a group of up to eight people are have to escape within a 60 minute time frame.

But how? The room is full of puzzles, riddles and props that the group must decipher to come up with the ultimate "code" to escape the room. Using the combined efforts of your group, you must review the clues and solve a series of puzzles to make your way out of there.

Yes, I have tried it with a group of 11 to 14 year old kids and we had a fun time trying to get out of there. Although we were unable to figure out the final piece to our puzzle, we enjoyed it. And don't worry...if the group needs clues, you can all raise your hands and you will be given a bit of help.

They do not allow you to bring personal belongings like cell phones into the rooms, but lockers are provided. 

The current room themes as of June 2019 are: The Wizard’s Lair, We Are All Mad Here, Mermaid’s Curse and The Attic. Pricing is $39 per person.

We tried "We Are All Mad Here." Quite an interesting assortment of items on display in the room. This was an experience that none of us have ever had and the kids and I worked together to ultimately fail to get out of the room...but succeed in having fun!

Learn more at www.theultimateescaperooms.com.

Stagecoach Inn Museum - Newbury Park

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The Stagecoach Inn Museum is a replica of a Monterey style inn, the 1876 Grand Union Hotel. The complex also includes a Chumash Indian village, an early California adobe, a pioneer house and a few other buildings. There is a nice park adjoining the property along with nature trails and a stream that make this a nice place to bring the entire family.

Spanish Adobe structure at Stagecoach Inn is a replica of housing that would be seen in the Conejo Valley in the early 1800s.

Spanish Adobe structure at Stagecoach Inn is a replica of housing that would be seen in the Conejo Valley in the early 1800s.

The Stagecoach Inn Museum is State Historical Landmark No. 659.  The original structure was destroyed by fire in April 1970 but has been rebuilt and relocated.  It was originally located at the corner of what is now Ventu Park Road and the Highway 101, where a historical marker has been placed.

The Stagecoach Inn is located at 51 South Ventu Park Road, Newbury Park.  Call 805.498.9441 or visit www.stagecoachinnmuseum.com for more information. As of May 2019, it is open from 1 pm to 4 pm Wednesday to Sunday. Adults $5, 62+ and ages 13-21 $4, kids 5-12 $2.

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Ojai Trolley Service

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The City of Ojai has run the Ojai Trolley Service since 1989.

There are two routes - routes A and B, each with 10 stops, most overlapping. Route A services out to Gridley Road, including Whispering Oaks. Route B services the Ojai Valley Inn. All other nine stops on the two routes are the same, starting from Ojai Avenue at the Arcade.

It costs $1.50 to ride the trolley (as of April 2019) or $4 for a day pass. Reduced ($.75/$2) and free fares available for children under 45”, seniors 75+ and disabled with proper ID.

The trolley runs 7 days a week,  every day of the year except Easter, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day.

Hours vary. Route A service starts at 6:36 am on weekdays and 7:06 am on weekends. Route B service starts at 7:06 am on weekdays and 8:06 am on weekends.

For more information and detailed route schedules, visit www.ojaitrolley.com.

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Ventura Raceway

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Ventura Raceway is a world-famous dirt track located at the Ventura County Fairgrounds.  Ventura Raceway became world famous in the early 1990s when it hosted several years of the ESPN Thunder Series on television. 

With weekly racing events held on most Saturday nights from March through October, Ventura Raceway has a worldwide following of short track racing fans.  Most Saturday nights you can find the powerful VRA 360 Sprint Cars racing at the 1/5 mile oval.  These 600+ horsepower, open wheel racers hit speeds in excess of 80 mph on the track that is smaller than a high school oval track. 

Beyond the sprint cars, there are classes for seniors (age 45 and up) down to kids as young as 5 years old in a family friendly environment. 

Located at 10 West Harbor Blvd, Ventura. Admission (as of January 2019) is $15 for adults, $11 for 60+, military and students with ID and free to 12 and under (with adult). Visit www.venturaraceway.com or call 805.648.RACE for more information.

California Oil Museum in Santa Paula

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The California Oil Museum at 1001 E. Main Street, Santa Paula (corner of Main and 10th) is the birthplace of Union Oil Company (aka Unocal and more recently acquired by Chevron in 2005). The building was completed on October 17, 1890. The museum was established in 1950, and the building was restored to its original appearance for its centennial celebration in 1990. Click here for an early picture of the building. The building is also a California Historical Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The museum has one of the largest displays of vintage gas pumps in California. There is a turn of the century (20th century, that is) drilling rig, various displays, videos, working models and gas station memorabilia as well as rotating exhibits about science, technology and transportation as well as other more local exhibits on hand.

As of December 2018, admission is a suggested donation of $4. Open Wednesday to Sunday, 10 am to 4 pm.

More information at www.oilmuseum.net or 805.933.0076.

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Left side of California Oil Museum on 10th Street

Left side of California Oil Museum on 10th Street

Display in the rig building

Display in the rig building

Treasured Memories Scrapbook Store in Westlake Village

Treasured Memories Scrapbook Store opened in June 1997 and has grown and evolved with the scrapbook industry to provide customers with the best memory preservation solutions on the market. They offer supplies, classes, parties, events and more.

Previously located in Oak Park, the store moved to 31368 Via Colinas Unit #107, Westlake Villlage in August 2018. Call 818.889.6639 or visit www.treasuredmemoriesca.com for more information.

Open Thursday through Sunday.

Painting with a Twist in Camarillo

Painting with a Twist is located at 2298 E. Ventura Boulevard in Old Town Camarillo (at the intersection of Arneill), next to the El Rey Cantina.

Painting with a Twist provides customers with paint, a canvas and brushes that lead to a fun evening with friends and a finished piece of art.  And yes, you receive professional instruction to create your work of art as well as access to wine.

For updates, visit paintingwithatwist.com/camarillo.