Natural Gas Flame North of La Conchita in Ventura County

Here are some views of the flame burning just north of the 101 near La Conchita. Taken from La Conchita Beach. You can often see the flame while approaching La Conchita from the southbound 101. The flame is derived from natural gas waste matter from oil drilling in the area. La Conchita Beach can be accessed via an undercrossing under the 101 from La Conchita or from Mussel Shoals on the rough or Rincon Point (via the La Conchita Bike Path).

Local area beaches in Ventura to Carpinteria

("Eternal Flame" cover by Eraina Joy.)

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

Texas de Brazil Churrascaria

eClub: Sign up and get $20 savings on two regular dinners combined and gifts on your birthday and other special occasions.

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 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, Moorpark, Agoura, Simi Valley (2), Oxnard (2), Thousand Oaks (2), 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)

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 any taco free 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

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.

Great photo opps here at Rincon Beach Park :)

Great photo opps here at Rincon Beach Park :)

South of Rincon Beach Park is a newer (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. You can also drive into La Conchita, find a parking spot and take the newer undercrossing that'll get you to the beach by walking under Highway 101.  No restrooms or other facilities to my knowledge at the beach. It’s several miles of beauty, directly adjacent to the 101.

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, 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.

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 areas, 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!

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.

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

More Than You Ever Wanted to Know About Serving Jury Duty in Ventura County

Jury duty in Ventura County is not so bad! Ventura County Jury service consists of one jury trial or one day of service in Ventura County. If you are not assigned to a courtroom at the end of your first day of appearance, you will have completed your service. Jury service is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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If you are summoned for duty, the night before your service you will be instructed to check online or to call after 5 p.m. for reporting instructions for the next day. If the "group number" you were assigned is called, you show up the next day. If your group number has not been called by the end of your summoned week, your service will automatically be completed without having to appear. (Yes, this does happen...to me, for one.) If this "call in" process is inconvenient, Ventura County Superior Court will allow you to schedule a firm date of appearance.

Hall of Justice Building

Hall of Justice Building

Jury trials in Ventura County average four days in length. The trial judge will advise jurors of the expected duration and may excuse prospective jurors from serving on a particular case if the service would amount to an extreme hardship.

Ventura County is one judicial district so all jurors are summoned to the county seat at the Hall of Justice, 800 South Victoria Avenue, Ventura for jury service. 

Get there early if you can. There is plenty of free parking but sometimes you have to walk a ways to get to the building. When entering the building you will be screened through a security device. Do not bring knives, scissors, handwork needles, metal fingernail files, tools, wallet chains, handcuff keys or any items that may possibly be used as a weapon.

The Jury Assembly Room has plenty of chairs, with some tables, electric plugs, etc. I highly recommend that you bring things to keep yourself busy...a laptop, magazines, newspaper, book, iPad, etc. They do have a TV available in one room but you'll want to bring something else to do too. There's also wireless internet access. For lunch and snacks, there is an in-house cafeteria as well as a variety of restaurants nearby.

No fees or mileage are paid for the first day of service. $15 per day and 34¢ per mile, one way from the juror’s home to the courthouse are paid for your second and additional days of service (as of September 2019; which is unchanged from the first time I checked in 2014).

[Jury duty fees are set by the California State Legislature, which consists of the 80 member California State Assembly and the 40 member California State Senate. California Code of Civil Procedure Section 215 sets the fees and mileage rate. Well guess what…it has been the same fee and mileage rate since July 2000. Cumulative inflation from 2000 to 2019 is 49%, which means the $15 would have grown to over $22. The IRS mileage rate in 2019 is 58¢ per mile, or over 70% higher. Might be time to write your local Assembly Member to address the issue.]

When I last served, the judge in my courtroom called us back the next day. We showed up and he subsequently cancelled the trial and we were excused to go home (or back to work). Two weeks later I received a check for $15 in jury fees and $7.82 in mileage from the Conejo Valley. YIPPEE!

Courtyard area in front of Hall of Justice building

Courtyard area in front of Hall of Justice building

Jury service is not voluntary, and there is no permanent excuse to serving. Any request for excuse must be submitted in writing. Any request to be excused from serving on a jury trial due to loss of income and/or business closure must be directed to a trial judge, only after you have appeared and have served one day as summoned. Unless notified in writing that your request for excuse is granted, you may assume it has been denied. If the date of appearance is not satisfactory, you may request a postponement to a future date within 90 days. When listing reasons such as medical, job, or dependent care issues, be prepared to receive a postponement and not an excuse.

For more information about Jury Service in Ventura County, visit www.ventura.courts.ca.gov/JuryService.

Guide to Finding Family Friendly Bike Paths In and Around Ventura County

As a casual cyclist with young kids I usually steer clear of riding on busy streets, particularly those that don't have any type of bike lane on them. Thankfully there are nearly 80 miles of bikeways in Thousand Oaks, including 3 miles of bike paths, 20 miles of bike lanes and 54 miles of marked bike routes.  

The City of Thousand Oaks ranked #49 on the 2016 BICYCLING Magazine list of Top 50 Bike-Friendly Cities.

Bike routes are shared with vehicles

Bike routes are shared with vehicles

Class I Bike Paths are separate from auto traffic and thus are great for family friendly cycling. Class II Bike Lanes are striped, painted and shared lanes adjacent to automobile lanes. Class III Bike Routes are marked by green signs that signify sharing with autos.

We also love taking our bikes to other places in and around Ventura County to enjoy other sights and surroundings. So how about if we highlight Class I Bike Paths throughout Ventura County, stretching from Thousand Oaks to Ventura.

Conejo Valley

The Conejo Creek Bike Path is a 1.2 mile path in the heart of Thousand Oaks that connects Gainsborough Road on the south to Conejo Creek Park and the Thousand Oaks Library. This is a nice, flat path, good for kids.

There is another Thousand Oaks bike path, the .5 mile Greenmeadow Drive connector bike path accessible on the west at Greenmeadow and Yellowstone, on the south side of Los Robles Greens. This is not a particularly interesting path but it does enable cyclists and walkers a path around the golf course to the Los Robles trailhead and Moorpark Road from Newbury Park. A bit hilly, too.

Entrance to Greenmeadow Avenue connector bike path in Thousand Oaks

Entrance to Greenmeadow Avenue connector bike path in Thousand Oaks

There is also the .8 mile bike path on the north side of The Oaks mall as well as the .5 mile Read Road Connector path accessible off of Olsen Road just east of the 23 freeway.

Sign at the Read Road connector path on Olsen Road east of 23 Freeway.

Sign at the Read Road connector path on Olsen Road east of 23 Freeway.

Medea Creek Natural Park has hiking, biking and fitness trails that stretch from Calle Rio Vista and Oaks Hills Drive in Oak Park on the north, then south past Medea Creek Lane and Conifer Street to a cul de sac entrance to the park at the west terminus of Tamarind Street. About a mile to mile and a half of paths, including paved and dirt paths.

Nicely paved path at Medea Creek Natural Park in Oak Park

Nicely paved path at Medea Creek Natural Park in Oak Park

Ventura

My personal favorite bike path in Ventura County is the Omer Rains Trail that runs the entire length of San Buenaventura State Beach.

Senator Omer Rains Ventura Oceanfront Bikeway Sign on Main Street next to Ventura Beach RV Resort

Senator Omer Rains Ventura Oceanfront Bikeway Sign on Main Street next to Ventura Beach RV Resort

We park the car at Marina Park in Ventura and ride a short distance north on Pierpont Blvd to the bike path entrance. This oceanfront path takes you past the Ventura Pier, through the Promenade area, adjacent to the Ventura County Fairgrounds, Emma Wood State Beach and beyond. Or you can get to the path from anywhere along the Ventura Promenade area.

Bike path along San Buenaventura State Beach.

Bike path along San Buenaventura State Beach.

Omer Rains Bike Path near Ventura Beach RV Resort on Main St.

Omer Rains Bike Path near Ventura Beach RV Resort on Main St.

Nice, newer paved section of Ventura beachfront bike path near Surfers Point.

Nice, newer paved section of Ventura beachfront bike path near Surfers Point.

The Ventura River Trail is a 6.3 mile asphalt pedestrian and bike path that follows the old Southern Pacific Railroad right-of-way from Main Street in Ventura to Foster Park inland towards Ojai. You can easily connect from the Omer Rains Trail to the Ventura River Trail up to the Ojai Valley Trail for quite a long, nearly automobile-free ride.

The Ventura Harbor Bike Path takes you 1.2 miles from Market St and Arundell Ave in midtown Ventura southwest through farmland to E. Harbor Boulevard and Schooner Drive, near Four Points by Sheraton.

Bike path from midtown Ventura to the Harbor is not the most exciting path but it is a convenient way to ride to Ventura Harbor, Marina Park and adjacent areas.

Bike path from midtown Ventura to the Harbor is not the most exciting path but it is a convenient way to ride to Ventura Harbor, Marina Park and adjacent areas.

The La Conchita Bike Path between Rincon Point at the Ventura/Santa Barbara County Line adjacent to Highway 101 past La Conchita to Mobil Pier Road in Ventura was completed in September 2014. This path has leapfrogged into my own personal favorite in Ventura County because of its spectacular beach views. This is about 4 miles of bike path in the Oil Piers Beach to Mussel Shoals to La Conchita Beach to Rincon Point beach areas.

Bike paths rarely get better than this stretch along the southbound 101 and the Pacific Ocean in Ventura.

Bike paths rarely get better than this stretch along the southbound 101 and the Pacific Ocean in Ventura.

There's another short stretch of bike path at the east end of Navigator Drive that goes west, then south, around the Ventura West Marina.

Entrance to short bike path adjacent to Ventura West Marina.

Entrance to short bike path adjacent to Ventura West Marina.

Ojai

The Ojai Valley Trail is a 9 to 10 mile trail that parallels Highway 33 from Foster Park on the outskirts of west Ventura, to Soule Park in Ojai. It connects to the Ventura River Trail.

The Ojai Trail runs parallel to Ventura Ave/Ojai Ave.

The Ojai Trail runs parallel to Ventura Ave/Ojai Ave.

Simi Valley

The Arroyo Simi Bike Path is a two lane bike path in Simi Valley that runs from Madera Road, just south of Easy Street on the west, ending at Cochran Avenue between Fig Street and Ralston Street on the east. Roughly 6 to 7 miles.

Arroyo Simi Bike Path/Trail in Simi Valley.

Arroyo Simi Bike Path/Trail in Simi Valley.

Camarillo

We enjoy the newer, flat roughly 2 mile Calleguas Creek bike path from Pleasant Valley Fields up to the corner of Flynn and Upland Roads in Camarillo. Quick access from the Conejo Valley and a nice, relatively easy path good for all ages.

Look at how nice and flat this bike path adjacent to Calleguas Creek is!

Look at how nice and flat this bike path adjacent to Calleguas Creek is!

Other Areas

There's an online bike map available on the Ventura County Transportation Commission website at www.goventura.org where you can find other Class I, II and II bike paths around the county. Here are some of them.

The Santa Paula Bike Trail takes you roughly 3 miles on the east near W. Main St and Peck Rd to (roughly) Dike Road on the west

The Fillmore Bike Path runs from south of Highway 126 (Telegraph Road) up past Shiell Park.

In Moorpark there's a .5 mile path at Country Trail Park, around the neighborhood to the west, back to Mountain Trail Street.

There's a bike path that starts at the ocean side of Oxnard Beach Park and takes you south all the way to Hollywood Beach and Channel Islands Harbor. Cross Harbor Boulevard and make your way into Channel Islands Harbor, where you can ride all the way to the south end of the harbor.

Bike path near Oxnard Beach Park and Channel Islands Harbor.

Bike path near Oxnard Beach Park and Channel Islands Harbor.

In Port Hueneme there's a bike path that starts off of Bard Rd, west of South J St, through Richard Bard Running Springs Park and takes you southwest all the way to Hueneme Beach.

If you're willing to venture a bit further away from Ventura County, the Marvin Braude Coastal Bike Path stretches over 20 miles, from Will Rogers State Park in Pacific Palisades to Torrance. Flat, adjacent to the ocean, and so many things to do along the way!

Marvin Braude Coastal Bike Path in Pacific Palisades

Marvin Braude Coastal Bike Path in Pacific Palisades

That should be enough to get you started! Looking for local cycling clubs? Find some of them at this link.

Laugh it Up! Live Comedy in and Around Ventura County

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Looking for laughs around Ventura County? Here are some great options to consider.

The Ventura Harbor Comedy Club (located at Ventura Harbor Village), features top-notch comedy five nights a week. Admission is generally $15 plus a two drink minimum. The club is owned by comedians Andy Fernandez and Randy Lubas.

Levity Live Comedy Club at The Collection at RiverPark in Oxnard is now open, offering a weekly lineup of stand-up comedy. 

Jason Love hosts a monthly comedy show, Laugh Out Loud Comedy Night, at the Paseo Camarillo Regency Theater on the 3rd Wednesday night and at the Westlake Village Twin the 1st Wednesday night of each month. Shows start at 7:30pm.

Jason also hosts periodic comedy shows at the AMC DINE-IN Thousand Oaks 14 at The Oaks mall, including New Year's Eve and Valentine's Night shows. Tickets at fandango.com or at the box office.

Comedy & Cocktails at Studio Channel Islands in Camarillo is another comedy venue hosted by Jason Love on the 4th Friday night of each month. For information, visit www.studiochannelislands.org or call 805-383-1368.

Jason Love also hosts "Live Standup Comedy on the Hill" at the Hillcrest Center in Thousand Oaks. This is a monthly show on designated Saturday nights.

And yet another local comedy show hosted by Jason Love is at the Studio Movie Grill at the Simi Valley Town Center at 7pm the 2nd Wednesday of each month.

Jason Love hosts a lot of shows, doesn't he!? Check them all out in one place at www.jasonlove.eventbrite.com.

Ventura Improv Company, offers improv shows at various Ventura venues, including Bell Arts Factory and NAMBA Performing Arts Space.

The Canyon Club in Agoura Hills is known primarily for great music acts but they also have top-notch comedians on hand all the time! Ticket costs vary. Reserve a dinner table and get guaranteed seating!

The Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza hosts all types of performances...musicals, concerts, lecture, ballet, dances, plays and, sometimes, comedy!

Giggles Santa Paula - Live comedy shows with top talent at the Glen Tavern Inn in Santa Paula.

Comedy Nights at the High Street Arts Center in Moorpark and designated Saturday nights are posted at highstreetartscenter.com/comedy.