Life's a Beach! Public Beaches Spanning From Carpinteria to the Ventura Harbor

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The beaches of Ventura County have something for everyone, be it the sand, the ocean breezes, surfing, volleyball, sunning, picnicking or just chilling out to the sound of the waves. Here we have compiled a listing of beaches just north of Ventura County in Carpinteria down the coast to the Ventura Harbor. Separately we highlight beaches stretching further down the coast through Oxnard, Channel Islands Harbor, Point Mugu and Malibu as well as up the coast in and around Santa Barbara.

The Santa Claus Lane Beach Area in Carpinteria is a south facing beach area popular with surfers, boogie boarders and sunbathers. Get there from the 101 by taking the Padaro Lane exit towards Santa Claus Lane, then taking a left on Santa Claus Lane. You can park in a small dirt area (there's room for maybe 10 cars there) on the ocean side or find street parking, which is plentiful. This is not an "official" beach to my knowledge, as in city or county-run. Just a private beach. No restrooms to my knowledge. Oh yes, you'll have to cross the railroad tracks...so be careful! Down the street is Padaro Beach Village, where you can grab a bite to each and do a little shopping.

On a separate note, you may be wondering why it is called Santa Claus Lane. Well the old-timers among you (including me) know that a gigantic roadside Santa used to reside here that now greets us off the 101 freeway in the Nyeland Acres section of Oxnard. Learn more about the history at this link.

Surfers, boogie boarders, body surfers and frolickers at the Santa Claus Lane area beach.

Surfers, boogie boarders, body surfers and frolickers at the Santa Claus Lane area beach.

Just down the street is the quaint Padaro Beach Village, where you can grab a coffee, breakfast, lunch, do a little shopping, etc. Very relaxing little area.

Just down the street is the quaint Padaro Beach Village, where you can grab a coffee, breakfast, lunch, do a little shopping, etc. Very relaxing little area.

Carpinteria State Beach is a mile long beach for swimming, surf fishing, tidepool exploring and camping. Dogs are allowed only at the picnic area. The park originally opened in February 1932. There are four campground areas with 216 family campsites and seven group campsites available. Seals and sea lions can be seen in the area December through May, as well as an occasional gray whale. Tidepools contain starfish, sea anemones, crabs, snails, octopi and sea urchins. Exit the 101 at Casitas Pass Road, go west to Carpinteria Avenue, make a right at the signal; then turn left on Palm.  The beach is at the end of Palm Avenue near 4th Street. Call 805.968.1033 or visit www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=599.

Note: Campfires are only allowed in the campground in fire rings provided. No fires are allowed on the beach.

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Tar Pits Park in Carpinteria provides hiking and biking trails and a few benches, but no other park amenities.  Access to the park is very remote and it is suggested that you enter from the Carpinteria State Beach campgrounds or beach area.  Here you will see tar oozing out of the hills...so watch where you step! The Carpinteria Tar Pits is one of the five natural asphalt lake areas in the world! Visit www.carpinteria.ca.us/parks_rec/park_system.shtml for more information. The Carpinteria Harbor Seal Rookery can be reached by following trails east of the park.

Beach view from Tar Pits Park in Carpinteria.

Beach view from Tar Pits Park in Carpinteria.

Carpinteria Bluffs Nature Preserve is 53 acres of open space situated overlooking the Pacific Ocean is a series of walkways, trails and open space for ocean views, whale watching and fresh air. There are restrooms and I believe parking is free. This is not a beach for hanging out on the sand. Visit www.carpinteria.ca.us/parks_rec/park_system.shtml for more information. Take the 101 Freeway to Ballard Avenue and turn towards the ocean.

Rincon Beach Park is near the Ventura/Santa Barbara County line just a few miles east of Carpinteria. Just take the Bates Avenue offramp off the 101 Freeway to the ocean and on the right you'll find plenty of free parking and easy beach access, with picnic tables and restrooms. Just steps to the south of Rincon Beach Park is Rincon Point, known as one of the best surfing spots in the world. There is separate parking  and restrooms there. Campfires are not allowed on the beach here or at any Santa Barbara County day-use park.

Great photo opps here at Rincon Beach Park :)

Great photo opps here at Rincon Beach Park :)

South of Rincon Beach Park is a brand new (premiered September 2014) Class I bike path that takes you through the La Conchita Beach area to Mussel Shoals. La Conchita Beach is low key, with several access points from the La Conchita Bike Path area. You can park at Rincon Point and bike or walk to one of several access points from the path or perhaps even better, drive into La Conchita and take the new undercrossing that'll get you to the beach by walking under Highway 101.  When I last looked, there were no restrooms or other facilities at the beach.

La Conchita Beach

La Conchita Beach

Mussel Shoals is a small beach community in Ventura with around 50 homes. There are about a dozen public parking spots along Old Pacific Coast Highway, paralleling the 101 near the Cliff House Inn. No restrooms. If you go there, perhaps have lunch at the Cliff House Inn and take in the peaceful views, while also checking out man-made Rincon Island.

Mussel Shoals

Mussel Shoals

The beach between Mussel Shoals on the northwest and Seacliff on the southeast is referred to Oil Piers Beach. There used to be piers here until they were taken down in 1998. You get here either via the La Conchita Bike Path or by taking the Seacliff Exit (#78) from Highway 101, then take Pacific Coast Highway northbound to Mobil Pier Road, where you will drive under the 101 to find parking (and if there's no spots available, go back to PCH and you'll find some). No facilities to my knowledge at this beach.

Oil Piers Beach Ventura

Hobson Beach Park is located north of Faria Beach Park and the Rincon Parkway, at 5210 W. Pacific Coast Highway, Ventura. It is managed by the County of Ventura. Day use parking is free but limited. Restrooms available. Limited beach space. Camping and RV spaces are available on a first come, first served basis. CLICK HERE for more info or call 805.654.3951.

Rincon Parkway is located between Faria Beach Park and Hobson Beach Park on Highway 1 off the Ventura Freeway at 5275 Pacific Coast Highway, Ventura. 127 parallel parking spaces are available for RV use only; no camping. All RV's must be fully self-contained units as there are no hookups, utilities, etc. Minimal beach, mostly rocks. Next to a train track. But nonetheless fun to stop by from time to time. No day use parking. CLICK HERE for more info.

Faria Beach Park is located south of Hobson Beach Park is another popular RV/camping spot at 4350 W. Pacific Coast Highway, Ventura. Also managed by the County of Ventura with spots available first come, first served. There are restrooms. No dogs on beach but they are allowed in camping areas. CLICK HERE for more info or call 805.654.3951.

South of Faria Park and north of Solimar Beach is an area referred to as Mondos Beach. We recently rode bikes from the Ventura Pier past this area and saw plenty of families enjoying the sand and the water. There is parallel parking available on the old highway. I believe there are also some porta-johns available.

Mondos Beach area in Ventura, south of Faria, north of Solimar.

Mondos Beach area in Ventura, south of Faria, north of Solimar.

There's a strip of beach along Old Highway 1 between Mondos Beach and Solimar Beach that has parallel parking available, with large rocks separate the street from the beach. I don't know the name of this beach, but it is there, open to the public. There's not a specific street address but it is in the proximity of 3456 Pacific Coast Highway.

Solimar Beach is a strip of beach between Faria and Emma Wood known for surfing, swimming and fishing. Park along Old Highway 1. No facilities. There are about 60 homes along this beach.

Emma Wood State Beach is popular for swimming, surfing and fishing.  The Ventura River estuary is at the mouth of the Ventura River at the southeast end of the park.  It attracts a variety of wildlife including raccoons, songbirds and great blue herons. Dolphins are occasionally seen just offshore. The park also features the crumbling ruins of a World War II coastal artillery site. Emma Wood offers family camping for self-contained vehicles only and group camping is available at Ventura River Group Camp. There are 90 campsites. There is a day use area in the park and beach access is available.  A bike path connects the park to Ventura and to the coast highway to the north. Parking is currently $10. Call 805.968.1033 or visit www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=604. Directions at this link. Campfires not allowed on the beach.

We noticed a new sign at Emma Wood in the summer of 2015

We noticed a new sign at Emma Wood in the summer of 2015

The Downtown Ventura Promenade beachfront area stretches from Surfers' Point and Promenade Park at Figueroa Street and Shoreline Drive on the north, down the Promenade bike/walk path to the Ventura Pier. This is a popular area with lots of surfers, a cool kids' playground area just north of the pier and plenty of beach with lots of interesting looking rocks. There are several restrooms in the area. Great place to go bike riding with the family. Plenty of parking in the area on the north end. On the south side by the pier you may need to pay for parking at the Crowne Plaza on Harbor Blvd east of California Street or at San Buenaventura State Beach further east.

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San Buenaventura State Beach stretches from the Ventura Pier down south past the homes of the Ventura Keys to Marina Park. This beach features swimming, surfing and picnicking. There are two miles of sandy beach, sand dunes, picnic sites, a parking lot and the Jolly Oyster. Bike trails connect to other nearby beaches. The 1,700-foot pier has a snack bar, Eric Ericsson's 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.

Marina Cove Beach is a very popular family spot located at Marina Park, with a newer, small playground area, lots of parking (though weekends can get pretty packed), restrooms and a nice family-friendly beach.. Walk from Marina Park south to Soter Point for picnic area, mermaid statue and more.

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Fun stone jetty to navigate at the beach adjacent to Marina Park in Ventura.

Fun stone jetty to navigate at the beach adjacent to Marina Park in Ventura.

Harbor Cove Beach is located at the west end of Spinnaker Drive near Ventura Harbor Village and across from the Channel Islands National Park Visitor Center. It is a "still water" beach protected by jetties that is considered one of the safest family friendly beaches in the area (and also referred to as "Mother's Beach"). Restrooms and showers are available and across the street, next to the Visitor Center, is the Harbor Cove Cafe.

Harbor Cove Beach Lifeguard Station

Harbor Cove Beach Lifeguard Station

Surfer's Knoll Beach is located in Ventura adjacent from Ventura Harbor Village and as its name implies, is geared towards surfers, as well as others looking to relax and explore. Riptides are common here so be careful if you're a novice swimmer. There are restrooms and showers but no lifeguards on hand. Free parking!

And there you have it! Let's take a break for now but as mentioned above, beaches stretching further down the coast through Oxnard, Channel Islands Harbor, Point Mugu and Malibu are covered in this separate post!

But wait! Here's a compilation of beaches in the City of Santa Barbara and surrounding areas!

Stay Cool in the Pool! Community Swimming Throughout Ventura County

Stay cool this summer and year-round at some of these community swimming pools, water parks and splash pads in Ventura County and surrounding areas. For updates and additions, contact us!

Conejo Valley (Conejo Recreation & Park District)

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Community Pool at Cal Lutheran University Samuelson Aquatics Center is a year-round facility, offering recreational and lap swimming 7 days a week. Call 805.241.0894 or visit www.crpd.org. Admission is $3 ($2 for 62+). Current schedule at www.crpd.org/programs/aquatics/hoursnfees.asp. Water is heated up to 82 degrees year round.

Newbury Park High School Community Swimming Pool is at 456 Reino Road and is anticipated to be open to the public from June 10 to August 16, 2019. Recreational swimming to be offered Mon-Thu 1-4pm, Sat 12:00-3:00pm (6/15 to 7/27 only) and Mon 7-9pm. Only $3 ($2 for 62+). Call 805.498.6906 or visit www.crpd.org/programs/aquatics/hoursnfees.asp.

Thousand Oaks High School Community Swimming Pool is at 2323 N. Moorpark Road and offers recreational swimming Mon to Thu 1-4pm and Wed 7-9pm from June 10 to August 15, 2019. Only $3 ($2 for 62+). Call 805.496.8564 or visit www.crpd.org/parkfac/aquatics/hoursnfees.asp.

Free open swim at the CLU Community Pool and NPHS pool from noon to 4pm on the 4th of July 2019! (TOHS pool will be closed on the 4th.)

Conejo Valley/Agoura - Other

Childrens' Splash Pad/Water Area at Oak Canyon Community Park, 5600 Hollytree Drive, Oak Park. Hours of operation are generally Memorial Day weekend through September 30th. 10am to 7pm. Free of charge. 818.865.9304

Kids love the Interactive Fountain at Janss Marketplace.

Moorpark/Simi Valley

Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District offers a large community swimming pool at Rancho Simi Community Park, 1765 Royal Avenue. Pool hours at www.rsrpd.org/recreation/aquatics.php . Admission age 3 and up is $3 ($1 for 65+). Visit www.rsrpd.org/recreation/aquatics.php or call 805.584.4436.

Rancho Tapo Splash Pad

Rancho Tapo Splash Pad

Childrens' Splash Pad Area at Rancho Tapo Community Park, 3700 Avenida Simi. Free. Opens Memorial Day weekend through September. Hours are 11am to 2:30pm and 3:30pm to 7pm daily.

Simi Valley Aquatics is available for swim lessons and birthday parties only.

Simi Valley Family YMCA heated indoor swimming pool open 7 days/week.

Camarillo/Oxnard

Pleasant Valley Aquatic Center offers an indoor swimming pool with eight swimming lanes, a one meter diving board, 65 foot spiral water slide, outdoor splash zone and more. Pool heated between 81 and 83 degrees. Open Monday through Saturday. $3 for ages 4+, free to ages 3 and under and $2.50 ages 60+ and military. Visit www.pvrpd.org/howdoi/aquatics/default.asp or call 805.987.8198.  (Closed for maintenance 8/25 to 9/2.)

  • $2 admission on Fridays from 6:30-8:30pm

  • Free recreational swim from 1-4pm on 4th of July

  • Family Float Night from 4-7pm on July 20th (free rec swim)

  • Family Fitness Day from noon to 3pm on June 1st (free rec swim)

Camarillo Family YMCA heated indoor swimming pool open 7 days/week. Call 805.484.0423.

Oxnard Aquatic Center is located at Oxnard High School, 3400 W. Gonzales Road and the Hueneme High School Pool is at 500 W. Bard Road. Summer recreational swim from 11 AM-1:45 PM at both Oxnard & Hueneme pools Monday – Friday and offers lap swimming, diving boards, and open swim. Call 805.278.0910 (Oxnard) and 805.385.7772 (Hueneme). $4 per session.

There's a "Pop Jet Fountain" at The Collection at Riverpark in Oxnard, on Town Center Drive in front of the Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar and adjacent to Larsen's Grill.

Ventura and Up the Coast

Ventura Community Park Aquatics Center has a 50 meter competition pool, playground pool, two slides, fun, fun, fun! Open swim free for age 2 and under, $8 for ages 3 to 61 and $5 for 62+. Visit www.cityofventura.ca.gov/612/Aquatics or call 805.654.7511 for details. Open for the summer June 17 to August 25, 2019.

Casitas Water Adventure is open all summer with a multi-level jungle gym with waterfalls, bridges and slides in a lagoon in water only up to 18" deep for little kids and a lazy river with waterfalls, bridges and jet sprays with inner tubes for the whole family. Open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.  Sunday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday/Saturday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Call 805.649.2233 or visit www.casitaswater.org/lower.php?url=water-adventure for details. Cost is $13 per person all day on weekdays, $15 on weekends/holidays or just $7.50 if you come during the last 3 hours.

Ventura Family YMCA has 2 indoor heated swimming pools and is open 7 days/week.

Carpinteria Community Pool is located at 5305 Carpinteria Avenue. Day passes are $4.25 for kids, $7.00 for adults, $5 for seniors. Recreational swimming on Saturdays from 11am to 2pm. Visit www.carp-pool.com or call 805.566.2417 for information.

The Leo Robbins Community Sailing Center at Marina Park in Ventura is a U.S. Sailing Association certified facility for lessons in sailing, kayaking and navigation for all ages.

Other Places Around Town

The Calabasas Tennis & Swim Center located at 23400 Park Sorrento is open 7 days/week. Only $3 for adults, $2 for seniors $1 for kids under 13. Pool hours vary. Visit www.calabasastsc.com/aquatic.html or call 818.222.2782. Pools heated to 82 degrees year-round.

Malibu Community Pool at Malibu High School, 30215 Morning View Drive. Outdoor pool heated to 82 degrees. $3 per person. Visit www.malibucity.org/Facilities/Facility/Details/Malibu-Community-Pool-7 or call 310.589.1933 for details.

The Fillmore Aquatics Center at 575 1st Street opens Memorial Day through Labor Day each year for recreational swimming Monday through Friday from 11:30am-3:45pm and Saturdays 10am to 4pm. More information and fees at fillmoreca.com/fac.htm or 805.524.4902. 

The Ojai Recreation Department hosts public recreational swimming at Villanova Preparatory School, 12096 North Ventura Avenue.. Visit www.ojairec.com or call 805.646.5581 for information about hours and fees.

And let's not forget the incredible BEACHES close by! CLICK HERE for links to over 40 public beaches throughout Ventura County, stretching north to Carpinteria and south to Malibu.

Water Parks Outside of Ventura County

Knott's Soak City in Buena Park (about 70 miles from Thousand Oaks)

Legoland Water Park in Carlsbad (135 miles from Thousand Oaks)

Raging Waters Water Park in San Dimas (75 miles from Thousand Oaks) Goldstar is offering passes for $33.99 ($27.99 + $6 service fee) at bit.ly/RagingWatersSD.

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor in Valencia (50 miles from Thousand Oaks)

Hansen Dam Aquatic Center in Lakeview Terrace with a large pool, cabanas and two water slides. 

Restaurant Rewards Programs and Birthday Freebies Around Ventura County

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It's nice finding Kids Eat Free deals around Ventura County but there are also dozens of local rewards programs and birthday clubs that give you something for FREE!!!

This list includes programs where you get something for signing up or for being a repeat customer...a free burger, gift card, dessert, etc. Excluded are programs that do not provide an obvious freebie (i.e. only sends you promotional emails).

These deals often change, so click through to the restaurant website to confirm the deal is still good. Let us know of any changes, broken links or additions!!

VENTURA COUNTY AREA DAILY DEALS AND PRINTABLE COUPON WEBSITES!

Domino's

Piece of the Pie Rewards: Order online and earn points towards free pizza.

Locations: All over the place!

El Pollo Loco

My Loco Rewards: Sign up and get a free original pollo bowl, then earn 1 point for each $1 spent - 100 points = $10 reward.

Locations: Newbury Park, Thousand Oaks, Camarillo, Moorpark, Agoura Hills, Simi Valley (2), Oxnard (3), Santa Paula, Ventura

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The Habit Burger Grill

CharClub: Receive special treat on your birthday. (I received a CharBurger with cheese for my birthday!)

Locations: Many in Ventura County

IHOP

MyHop: Free pancakes for signing up, on your birthday and on the 1 year anniversary of signup!

Locations: Newbury Park, Agoura Hills, Camarillo, Ventura, Oxnard, Fillmore, Carpinteria

Islands

Islands App Rewards: Free chips and salsa for signing up, earn 1 point per $1 spent and get free entree for every 250 points earned.

Locations: Agoura Hills, Newbury Park, Simi Valley

Jack in the Box

Text Signup: Free Jumbo Jack Burger with large drink purchase when you sign up for texts

Locations: Various

Jamba Juice

My Jamba Rewards App: Earn points for each purchase good for discounts on future purchases. Spend $35, get 35 points, which is good for $3 off your next order. Effectively an 8.6% discount. You also get a free birthday smoothie.

Locations: Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks, Camarillo, Newbury Park, Moorpark, Simi Valley, Oxnard, Port Hueneme, Ventura

Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at The Commons at Calabasas offers a free ice cream on your birthday. Birthday guests can order any single, standard, or trio size ice cream in a cup or cone of their choice, and get their order free of charge.  The birthday special is only applicable on a customer’s day of birth. Adults must show a valid ID, and kids must be accompanied by an adult who can vouch that the day is their real birthday.

Jersey Mike's Subs

Email Club: Sign up and get special promotions. I was pleasantly surprised when I received an email with a coupon for a regular sub and 22 oz drink redeemable on my birthday).

Shore Points Rewards: Register and earn points for each sandwich purchased. Redeem points for sandwiches. For example, each regular sub earns you 6 points; with 12 purchases you've earned a free regular sub. Effectively this is an 8% discount.

Locations: Over a dozen locations...Ventura, Camarillo, Newbury Park, Ojai, Oxnard, Calabasas, Simi Valley, Moorpark, Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks, etc.

Johnny Rockets

Rocket eClub: Sign up and get a free burger (with purchase of entree and a drink...basically a buy one, get one free) at signup and at your birthday.

Locations: Camarillo Premium Outlets

Krispy Kreme

Krispy Kreme Rewards App: Register and get a free Original Glazed doughnut. Earn points towards free doughnuts and drinks and get a free gift on your birthday.

Location: 220 Riverpark Road, Oxnard

Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar

Email Club: Sign up and get free birthday and anniversary treats (dessert or appetizer)

Locations: Thousand Oaks and Oxnard

Little Calf Creamery & Cafe

Follow Little Calf: Sign up with their email list and get a free scoop of ice cream and updates.

Locations: Thousand Oaks and soon in Westlake Village.

Maria's Italian Kitchen

Maria's Kitchen Club: Free birthday dessert. Earn $10 for every $200 spent (effectively a 5% discount). Free appetizer at signup.

Locations: Agoura Hills and Oxnard

Menchie's Frozen Yogurt

My Smileage Club: Earn a Smile point for each dollar spent. Cash in 50 smiles for $5 towards a future purchase. That's a 10% rebate in my book!

Locations: The Oaks Mall in Thousand Oaks, The Collection at RiverPark in Oxnard, The Commons at Calabasas

MOGL is a rewards program where you sign up your credit card(s) and receive a percentage (usually 4 to 10%) cash back when you dine at restaurants in the MOGL program. They pay your rebates directly to your credit card.  As of June 2019, some of the local restaurants in the MOGL program include The Alamo (7% cash back), Bandit’s Grill & Bar (7%), Subzero Ice Cream (10%), Karma Indian Cuisine (10% cash back), Johnny Rockets (7%), Cupid's Hot Dogs Simi Valley (5%), Grabbagreen Thousand Oaks (4%), Marie Callenders (7%) and Hatch Cafe & Market (8% cash back).

Old New York Deli

Deli Dough Rewards Program: Earn 1 point for every $1 spent. 75 points  =  $5 in Deli Dough.

Locations: Camarillo

Panera Bread

MyPanera: Sign up and receive a free "surprise" like a free pastry or sweet. Then receive other surprises as you accumulate points.

Locations: Camarillo, Oxnard, Ventura, Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley

Papa John's

PapaRewards: Earn 1 point for every $5 you order ONLINE (including tax and delivery). Accumulate points for food items.

Locations: Thousand Oaks, Moorpark, Simi Valley, Oxnard, Ventura and Camarillo

Peet’s Coffee

Peetnik Rewards App: Free beverage after first check-in. Earn point for check-ins; exchange 15 points for free drink. FREE drink on your birthday!

Locations: Thousand Oaks and coming soon, Westlake Village

P.F. Chang's

P.F. Chang's Rewards gets you a free entree when you earn enough points.

Location: Thousand Oaks

Locations: Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks

Pizza Man Dan's

Pizza Lover's Club: Free pizza on your birthday and much more.

Locations: Ventura (2), Oxnard, Port Hueneme, Moorpark and Camarillo

PizzaRev

RevRewards App: Use the PizzaRev app and earn one point for each dollar spent. Exchange 100 points for a free pizza or entree salad. Also receive a birthday surprise.

Locations: Camarillo, Thousand Oaks

Poseidon Brewing Company

Free Birthday Pint! Get a free pint of craft beer on your birthday, with valid ID showing birthdate (and of course assuming you are of legal drinking age.

Location: 5777 Olivas Park Drive, Unit Q, Ventura

RedBrick Pizza

RedBrick Rewards: Earn 10 points for every dollar spent. Receive $10 reward for every 1000 points. Effectively a 10% discount. Receive a small gelato after registering.

Location: Ventura

Red Lobster

My Red Lobster Rewards: Earn points for your purchases and redeem for food items. Receive something on your birthday too.

Location: Oxnard

Red Robin

Red Robin Royalty: Free burger on your birthday and every 10th item free.

Locations: Simi Valley, Ventura, Thousand Oaks

Regency Theatres

Regency Rewards: Earn points on purchases. 10 points for each adult ticket...100 points gets you a free companion ticket.

Locations throughout the area.

Rita's Italian Ice of Newbury Park

Rita's Birthday Club: Sign up and receive free birthday treat.

Location: 2290 Borchard Road, Newbury Park

Rubio's

Beach Club: Receive free food offers, promotions, etc. via email. First email gets you a free fish taco.

Locations: Oxnard, Ventura

Sbarro

Sbarro E-Club: Receive free slice of NY style cheese pizza for signing up, plus special promotions.

Locations: Pacific View Mall in Ventura

Subway

Subway MyWay Rewards: Earn 4 tokens for every $1 spent on food and drinks. 200 tokens = $2 reward.

Locations: Everywhere

7 Eleven

7Rewards Loyalty Program: Download app on your smartphone, scan when you purchase coffee, Slurpees and other fountain drinks, and get 7th drink free. Not a bad deal!

Sharky's Woodfired Mexican Grill

Sharky's Rewards: Earn 1 point for every $1 spent. 100 points = $7 good toward future purchases. Effectively a 7% discount.

Locations: Calabasas, Camarillo, Newbury Park, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Ventura, Westlake Village and Woodland Hills.

Sprinkles

Sprinkles Perks: Receive free cupcake on your birthday, free cupcake upon registration, buy 15, get one free and more

Location: The Promenade at Westlake

Starbucks

My Starbucks Rewards: Members receive a free birthday drink or treat. Free refills and other items based on number of Stars collected over designated periods.

Locations: Everywhere (where is there NOT a Starbucks?)

SweetFrog Frozen Yogurt

Sweet Rewards: Sign up and get a free cup of frozen yogurt on your birthday. Visit 10 times and get a free cup.

Location: Camarillo

T.G.I. Friday's

Friday's Rewards Program: Earn points and redeem for food awards. Also receive free appetizer or dessert after joining, free dessert w/purchase of entree on your birthday and more.

Locations: Oxnard, Simi Valley

The Dudes’ Brewing Company

Abiders’ Club: Sign up and get a free flight on your birthday and other promotions.

Location: Thousand Oaks

Tilted Kilt

Kilt Clan: Sign up and receive a free birthday burger, boneless wings on your birthday and more.

Location: Thousand Oaks

Urbane Cafe

Urbane Cafe App: Download the app, use it to pay for your purchases, and receive $5 credit for every $100 you spend; a 5% discount. I also received a $3 birthday credit.

Locations: Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Agoura Hills, Camarillo, Oxnard, Ventura

Veggie Grill

VG Rewards: Sign up via the VG Rewards App and earn points towards free food. Receive $5 off after joining.

Email: Sign up and receive a birthday surprise (don't know what this surprise is yet but I shall find out).

Location: Westlake Village

Wienerschnitzel

Wiener Lovers' Club: Get a free chili cheese dog for signing up and other stuff.

Locations: Simi Valley, Oxnard, Ventura

Which Wich Superior Sandwiches

Vibe Club Rewards: Get a free drink for signing up. Earn points and get free sandwiches.

Location: The Shoppes at Westlake

Wingstop

Email Club: Free fries for signing up and a free birthday gift.

Locations: Oxnard, Camarillo, Ventura

Yogurtland

Real Rewards Program: Earn points for each ounce purchased and exchange points for free yogurt and birthday treats.

Locations: Simi Valley, Westlake Village, Oxnard, Ventura and Camarillo

Arby's

Email Club: Free roast beef classic with purchase of drink after signing up

Locations: Thousand OaksVentura

Auntie Anne's

My Pretzel Perks: Free pretzel after signing up. Accumulate 300 points for a free pretzel. $1 spent equals 10 points.

Location: Pacific View Mall Ventura

Baja Fresh

Club Baja: Free taco for signing up and a "special treat" on your birthday.

Locations: Camarillo (2), Simi Valley (2), Calabasas, Oxnard, Westlake Village

Bandits Grill & Bar

Bandits' Roundup Club: Free birthday gift, specials and more.

Locations: Thousand Oaks and Camarillo

Barnes & Noble Kids' Club: Free birthday cupcake and $5 gift certificate for every $100 spent on kids' books, plus 30% off one kids book.

Locations: Thousand Oaks, Calabasas, Ventura, Woodland Hills

Barone’s Pizza

Barone’s Loyalty Club: 5% back on all purchases.

Locations: Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village

Baskins-Robbins

Birthday Club: FREE 2.5 oz scoop on your birthday!

Locations: Newbury Park, Camarillo, Westlake Village, Moorpark, Agoura, Simi Valley (2), Oxnard (2), Thousand Oaks, Santa Paula, Ventura (2)

BJ's Restaurant

BJ's Premier Rewards: Earn 1 point for each $1 spent and redeem for discounts. For example, cash in 350 point for $25 off your meal, effectively about a 7% rebate. Free Pizookie at registration and on birthdays.

Locations: Westlake Village, Oxnard

Buca di Beppo

Buca E-Club: Join and receive a free pasta.

Location: Janss Marketplace in Thousand Oaks

Buffalo Wild Wings

Blazin' Rewards: Earn 100 points for every $10 spent. Exchange point for food rewards. Examples: 250 pts = soft drink, 650 pts = street tacos, 1,250 pts = burger entrees.

Locations: Simi Valley, Oxnard

BUY 10 (OR 12, or what have you) AND GET 1 FREE PROGRAMS

Quite a number of eateries have rewards cards where you get something for free after purchasing a certain number of items. These are generally not advertised, so we will add to this list as we hear of new programs:

California Pizza Kitchen

CPK Rewards: Free small plate when you register. Earn 1 point for each $1 spent. 75 points equals a $5 reward.

Locations: Thousand Oaks (The Lakes), Simi Valley Town Center, Ventura (Pacific View Mall)

Carrows

E-Club: Free dessert for joining, then another dessert on your birthday.

Location: Ventura

Chili's Grill & Bar

My Chili's Rewards: Get free chips and salsa or non-alcoholic beverage on every visit. Free dessert on your birthday.

Locations: Newbury Park, Simi Valley, Oxnard

Cold Stone Creamery

My Cold Stone Club® Rewards: Earn 1 point for each dollar spent. 50 points can be used as a $5 reward towards purchases of $5 or more. 25 points earned just for registering.

Locations: Thousand Oaks, Camarillo, Oxnard, Ventura, Simi Valley

Corner Bakery

Corner Bakery eClub: Sign up and get a free “sweet” (pastry, cookie, baked item). Then get emails with special offers.

Locations: Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Calabasas

Daphne's Greek Cafe

Pita Points E-Club Program earn one point for each dollar spent; 100 points = $5 off any purchase. Plus another $5 credit on your birthday.

Locations: Newbury Park, Woodland Hills, Simi Valley

Dave & Buster’s

Dave & Buster’s Rewards: $10 free game play with $20 game play purchase for joining. $10 free game play for every $100 spent.

Location: Thousand Oaks

Del Taco

Raving Fan EClub: Get 2 free grilled chicken soft tacos for signing up and a free shake on your birthday.

Locations: Newbury Park, Camarillo, Moorpark, Simi Valley (3), Oxnard (2), Ventura, Santa Paula

Denny's

Denny's Rewards: Sign up and get 20% off your next visit.  Separately, get a free Grand Slam breakfast on your birthday - bring ID!

Locations: Newbury Park, Camarillo, Moorpark, Simi Valley, Oxnard, Ventura, Port Hueneme, Santa Paula

Firehouse Subs

Firehouse Rewards App: Use their app and earn points towards free subs and more. Get free birthday sub too.

Location: Simi Valley Town Center

Eleven of My Favorite Things to Do In and Around the City of Ventura

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Incorporated in 1866, the City of Ventura is the county seat of Ventura County. The official name of Ventura is the city of San Buenaventura. Mission San Buenaventura was founded by Franciscan priest Junipero Serra on March 31, 1782 and was named after Saint Bonaventure. Enough with the history lesson...here are some of my favorite things to do in this beautiful city!

You can't miss the 1,600 foot long Ventura Pier, with its panoramic views, fishing and ocean-breezes. There's a cool little playground area in the sand just west of the pier, bicycle rentals nearby, miles of beachfront bike path and Surfers' Point. San Buenaventura State Beach stretches from the Ventura Pier down south past the homes of the Ventura Keys.

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Ventura Harbor Village is home to 33 acres of harborside activities, shopping and restaurants. There's an arcade with an antique carousel, boat rides, kayaking and sailing and quick access to family-friendly Harbor Cove Beach and Surfer's Knoll Beach. Also within a short walking distance is the Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center, an inspirational and interactive source of information about the Channel Islands National Park. Bring the kids!

Ventura Harbor Village is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.

Ventura Harbor Village is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.

For some of the most spectacular views of Ventura, stop by Grant Park / Serra Cross Park. You can drive up there, or park above the historic Ventura City Hall building and walk to Grant Park via the Ventura Botanical Gardens Demonstration Trail. This nice 1 mile trail, opened in October 2012, will give you a nice little workout, with views along the way.

A view from the Ventura Botanical Gardens Demonstration Trail. (Taken prior to the Thomas Fire of December 2017.)

A view from the Ventura Botanical Gardens Demonstration Trail. (Taken prior to the Thomas Fire of December 2017.)

Golf N' Stuff is a family favorite, especially when it's really hot in the Conejo Valley and you're looking for an outdoor alternative to the beach.  The kids never tire of the two 18-hole mini golf courses, bumper boats, large, nicely appointed arcade, go karts and bumper cars. Sign up with their email club and receive periodic 2 for 1 deals.

Mini golf fun at Golf N' Stuff Ventura.

Mini golf fun at Golf N' Stuff Ventura.

Another popular family choice is oceanfront Marina Park in the Ventura Keys, a decent sized park with plenty of grassy area, a newer playground and path to adjacent picnic and viewing area Soter Point. We enjoy riding bikes from the park to the Ventura Beach Path.

Marina Park Beach

Marina Park Beach

In Downtown Ventura, the Museum of Ventura County hosts a collection of over 30,000 pieces of fine art and historical items and a changing lineup of exhibits displaying items of local relevance. The Museum's Research Library houses over 150,000 resources related to the history of Ventura County. And the Museum regularly hosts public events geared towards all ages as well as free admission the first Sunday of each month.

La Conchita Bike Path Between Mobil Pier Road in Ventura to Rincon Point

My choice for most awesome Class I Bike Path in Ventura County is the La Conchita Bike Path that runs from Mobil Pier Road in Ventura (southwest of Mussel Shoals) to Rincon Point. The path is directly adjacent to the southbound Highway 101.

Entry point to La Conchita Bike Path at Rincon Point Rd/Bates Rd (directly adjacent to the 101 onramp).

Entry point to La Conchita Bike Path at Rincon Point Rd/Bates Rd (directly adjacent to the 101 onramp).

This distinct path premiered in September 2014 and provides for roughly 4 miles of unimpeded views of the Pacific Ocean on the west and is directly adjacent to the hustle and bustle of Highway 101 on the other side.

Do views from a bike path ever get any better than this!!??

Do views from a bike path ever get any better than this!!??

Class I bike paths are great to bring the entire family on as they are completely separate from street traffic. My kids love this path because it is flat, in great condition and is just so beautiful that its hard not to ride this path without a smile.

This separates the path from southbound 101 traffic. Pretty amazing riding carefree adjacent to the 101.

This separates the path from southbound 101 traffic. Pretty amazing riding carefree adjacent to the 101.

We brought the bikes to Rincon Beach Park to start our journey on the north end of the path. (Alternatively, park at Rincon Point or on Rincon Pt Road.) You first get to see surfers at the world famous Rincon Point, then on to the La Conchita Beach area.

One of several beach access points to the La Conchita Beach area.

One of several beach access points to the La Conchita Beach area.

There are several beach access points along the path.  As part of this project, Caltrans built an undercrossing to enable folks to walk to the beach from La Conchita

After La Conchita you reach a stopping point at the small community of Mussel Shoals, where you can stop at the Cliff House Inn for a drink and check out the man-made Rincon Island.

A quick stop to view the man-made an inaccessible Rincon Island

A quick stop to view the man-made an inaccessible Rincon Island

Walk your bikes across the offramp to the next bike path entry point, on to the next section of path that half circles southeast to its endpoint at Mobil Pier Road.

You cross here (signs indicate you must walk bikes across) to the next access point.

You cross here (signs indicate you must walk bikes across) to the next access point.

You will see beach area here referred to as Oil Piers Beach. There used to be piers here but they were taken down in 1998.  There is parking on Mobil Pier Road for beach/bike path access; you can park here and ride the path the opposite direction.

The beauty continues (except for the graffiti) as you ride towards Mobil Pier Road.

The beauty continues (except for the graffiti) as you ride towards Mobil Pier Road.

Mobil Pier Road is the endpoint of this Class I path, but, you can continue south if you'd like by taking the Mobil Pier Road underpass below the 101 to Pacific Coast Highway going south, past Hobson Beach Park, Rincon Parkway, Faria Beach Park and so on. This section is not Class I path but I've taken my kids here and we enjoy it.

Great stuff! A Ventura County "Bucket List" item that all of you have to try!

Jumping and Climbing Options In and Around Ventura County

If your kids are bouncing off the walls around the house and need to jump off some steam, perhaps they need a new environment for jumping and/or climbing in and around Ventura County. Here are some options to consider.

DojoBoom Extreme Air Sports opened at the Janss Marketplace in Thousand Oaks in November 2017, offering over 50,000 square feet of trampolines, launching decks, foam pits, obstacle course, climbing wall and much more.

Sky Zone Trampoline Park is located at 2825 Johnson Drive in east Ventura. Similar to Sky High, Sky Zone offers wall to wall trampolines with open jump sessions, a "SkySlam" court and more.

Platinum Sports Center is located at 160 W. Cochran Street in Simi Valley, offering, among many other things, an indoor trampoline court for bouncing off the walls and play slam dunk volleyball, dodgeball and other fun activities during open gym time.

Boulderdash Indoor Rock Climbing at 880 Hampshire Road, Suite A, Thousand Oaks, is a 10,000 sq ft climbing area with sections ranging from 25 feet to 45 feet tall. Fun for all ages.

An additional Boulderdash Indoor Rock Climbing opened at 2879 Seaborg Avenue, Suite 101, Ventura in January 2019. This facility is also 10,000 sq ft.

The Agoura Hills/Calabasas Community Center at 27040 Malibu Hills Road, Calabasas features, among other things, a 35 foot rock climbing wall.

Santa Barbara Rock Gym is an 8,500 sq ft facility located at 322 State Street, Santa Barbara.

Sky High Sports - The Trampoline Place in Camarillo used to be an option…but closed in the summer of 2018 . But there's also a Sky High Sports in Woodland Hills.

Not for the inexperienced...rock climbing at Westward Beach in Malibu.

Not for the inexperienced...rock climbing at Westward Beach in Malibu.

For more seasoned climbers, there is a sheer cliff used by rock climbers at Westward Beach in Malibu as well as near the Rock Pool at Malibu Creek State Park.

Recurring Gourmet Food Truck Events In and Around Ventura County

Gourmet Food Trucks are one of the hottest trends around town today. Here's a compilation of recurring food truck events in and around Ventura County and adjacent areas for your dining pleasure!

Note: Dates/times can vary and change, so check with organizers, particularly if there is inclement weather.

Monthly Gourmet Food Truck Events

Downtown Oxnard First Thursdays Gourmet Food Trucks:  First Thursday of the month from 5:30pm to 9:30pm at Plaza Park, 500 South C Street. Enjoy over a dozen food trucks and live music. downtownoxnard.org/activities/food-trucks

#TBT Throwback Thursdays Food Truck Fest at Camarillo Ranch House: Every last Thursday of the month, Spring through October, at 201 Camarillo Ranch Road, Camarillo from 5pm to 9pm. Ten food trucks on hand plus beer and wine available for purchase. camarilloranch.org/home/ranch-events

Tuesday Food Trucks at Los Robles Greens in Thousand Oaks on the 2nd Tuesday of the month from May through October from 5-8PM.

Gourmet Food Trucks at the Pacific View Mall in Ventura: Every 3rd Friday of the month in the parking lot next to Trader Joe's, along Mills Road, from 5pm to 9pm. Features over 20 food trucks and live music. shoppacificview.com

Ojai Valley Food Truck Friday is the 1st Friday of each month from 5-9PM at Mira Monte Elementary School, 1216 Loma Drive, Ojai. Free family movie screening at 7:30pm. www.facebook.com/pg/ojaifoodtruckfriday

Food Trucks the 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month at Sunland Vintage Winery, 1321 E. Thousand Oaks Boulevard, #108 in Thousand Oaks. 

Annual and Periodic Gourmet Food Truck Events

Here are a few annual gourmet food truck events for your dining pleasure. Food trucks make an appearance of course at hundreds of events throughout the year, but those listed here have them as a primary focal point of the event.

The Westlake High School Instrumental Music Boosters hosts a food truck festival in October (2007 event was October 8th). Details at www.whsfoodtruckevent.com

These are just a few. Something to add? Contact us!

Food Truck Fests No More: The Foothill Food Truck Fest at the Poinsettia Pavillion in Ventura was discontinued in September 2016.