Things to do in
Ventura

Ventura

Our most recommended things to do in Ventura

From SF: Highway 1 Coastal Exploration Driving Tour

From SF: Highway 1 Coastal Exploration Driving Tour

Hop in the car and enjoy the tour along the Pacific Coast Highway. Start in San Francisco or LA, and simply follow the guide to explore one of the most beautiful stretches of coastal road in the world. Take your time driving through Monterey Bay, artsy Carmel and more. Your guide will share interesting facts and insights as you drive. Admire views of rocky headlands, jewel-like coves, waterfalls and the famous bridges of Big Sur as you explore California’s coastal highlights. Your guide will give you plenty of opportunities to pull off the road and explore local beaches, wildlife and towns on foot. Wander through San Luis Obispo, Morro Bay, Santa Barbara, Ventura & Malibu before wrapping up the tour in Los Angeles.

Santa Barbara: Guided Kayak Wildlife Tour

Santa Barbara: Guided Kayak Wildlife Tour

Meet your guides at the boat launch at Santa Barbara Harbor, where they outfit everyone in paddle jackets and PFDs. Guides will give a basic paddling demonstration and safety talk before setting out on the water. The launch is easy, right out of the boat launch. This is a great introductory lesson to kayaking or a nice relaxing kayak for more experienced paddlers. Once on the water, paddle approximately 1-2 miles along the coast surrounded by beautiful beaches and marine life. The group will continue through the harbor, paddling past boats, through the historic wharf, under the pier, out to buoys, and along the beach.  Keep a look out for wildlife along the way such as harbor seals, sea lions, brown pelicans, sea stars, cormorants, and seagulls.  Guides will offer insight into the history of the region as well as local marine ecology. Enjoy a relaxed pace and incredible marine life as well as taking in the views of Santa Barbara from the water.

Santa Barbara Surfing Lesson

Santa Barbara Surfing Lesson

This is a simple introduction for a first-time surfer or someone who has tried surfing a few times and needs some pointers. The instruction starts with beach lesson reviewing: how to position yourself on the board, paddling techniques, and proper stance. Once in the water students will get pointers on maneuvering waves, balance techniques, and surf etiquette. Santa Barbara Adventure Company’s surf lessons offer students a great foundation for this exciting sport. Our knowledgeable instructors have over 25 years of combined experience and will use their skills to point out the finer points of catching waves. Instructors choose surf sites based on the current swell and tide conditions, finding the best breaks for successful learning. Lessons require a minimum of four students.

Santa Barbara: Sunset Kayak Tour

Santa Barbara: Sunset Kayak Tour

Discover the beautiful landscapes of Santa Barbara on a relaxing sunset kayak tour. You will watch a basic paddling demonstration and hear the safety talk before setting out on the water. Spend 2-hours on the water exploring the Santa Barbara harbor and the shoreline. Watch the sun as it settles over the sea, creating a gorgeous backdrop of the city and the Santa Ynez Mountain range. Enjoy paddling along the coastline and soak in the stunning surrounding views of the sea. Immerse yourself into a dream-like nature experience for all sea kayaking skill levels, including beginners to advanced.

Ventura: 1.5-Hour Private Beginner's Surf Lesson

Ventura: 1.5-Hour Private Beginner's Surf Lesson

Learn to surf at Mondos Beach with a private 1.5-hour beginner's surf lesson. Take advantage of the more gentle waves and generous space at Mondos Beach as you pick up the techniques and etiquette of surfing. Meet your instructor at the surf van located on Mondos Beach and get suited up in a wetsuit. Grab a longboard and walk to the sand for beach instructions. You'll be briefed on water and surf safety, etiquette, and proper technique before jumping into the ocean to catch some waves. Follow your instructor as they coach and push you into waves to give you an experience that will last a lifetime. Enjoy the gentle long breaking waves of Mondo Beach lending itself to longer rides for you. Your lesson is private so you or your group can have their own instructor and a more personalized experience.

Ventura: Rail Bike Guided Tour with Farm Stand Stop

Ventura: Rail Bike Guided Tour with Farm Stand Stop

Experience Southern California on a 2-person pedal-powered and electric-assisted rail bike. Ride along the train tracks through avocado groves, and stop at a farm to admire the animals. Buy some local produce and farm animals. Get onto your rail bike and pedal along the railway tracks through the citrus and avocado groves of Ventura County. Then, stop at Prancer's farm to check out the farm animals, and purchase some fresh produce if you like. Afterward, continue to Fillmore. Finally, get back onto the rail bike and return to the starting point and take some memorable photos with your guide.

Pacific Coast Highway: Self-Guided Audio Driving Tour

Pacific Coast Highway: Self-Guided Audio Driving Tour

Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app, which will function as your personal tour guide, audio tour, and map. Purchase one tour per car, not per person. Everyone listens together! NOTE: This 555-mile-long tour covers the essentials of Pacific coast highway in 5-7 hours. Drive along the iconic Pacific Coast Highway and experience the beauty of the California coast. Take advantage of the flexibility to set your own pace between stops during the self-guided app-based audio tour. See Monterey, the famous beach town known for its prestigious aquarium, and the popular golf courses of Pebble Beach. Stop off at picturesque Carmel-by-the-Sea, an artsy enclave where Clint Eastwood was once mayor. Hear the sound of barking sea lions at Point Lobos State Park, whose rocky headlands are interspersed with jewel-like coves. Big Sur is one of the not-to-be-missed highlights along the scenic road, where you can enjoy gorgeous views, waterfalls, and bridges. Near San Simeon, the home of Hearst Castle, pull off at Piedras Blancas Beach, where enormous elephant seals can be spotted in the winter months. Before cutting inland to San Luis Obispo, stop to admire Morro Bay Rock and hunt for anemones in the tidal pools. Explore Santa Barbara’s quintessential downtown and then continue down to Ventura and Malibu. If you started the drive in San Francisco, end your tour in Los Angeles at the famous Santa Monica Pier. The audio tour is curated by local guides and creative writers and is narrated by professional voice artists.

Santa Barbara: Wine Country Tour

Santa Barbara: Wine Country Tour

Your group will be picked up by an air-conditioned van in the morning. Travel then to the first winery in the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley on board a luxury passenger van. Once there, we will begin wine tastings! Lunch will be served in the shade at a favorite winery or park. Your guide will pick up a delicious lunch sourced from local, fresh ingredients. Cold beverages will be provided. Visit 3 local favorite wineries in the area. Each has its unique vintages and award-winning selections. The winery staff will offer insight into specific blends and selections to our guests.

Santa Barbara: Santa Ynez Wine Country Shuttle

Santa Barbara: Santa Ynez Wine Country Shuttle

Explore some of the best wineries in the famous Santa Ynez Valley. Enjoy a tasting, glass, or bottle of wine with a pairing of various food options at each winery.Learn from discussions of local history and gain insights into the Santa Ynez wine region along the way with your knowledgeable guides. Sample Itinerary: 9:30 - 10:45 AM – pickup at hotel 11:15 AM – winery tasting 12:15 PM – winery tasting 1:15 - 2:15 PM – lunch at a winery 2:30 PM – winery tasting 4 - 4:30 PM – drop-off at your hotel

Coastal Beauty: The PCH & 17-Mile Self-Guided Audio Tour

Coastal Beauty: The PCH & 17-Mile Self-Guided Audio Tour

Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app, which will function as your personal tour guide, audio tour, and map. Purchase one tour per car, not per person. Everyone listens together! Start your gorgeous journey to Fisherman's Wharf, full with marine life and cuisine. Cannery Row, John Steinbeck's novel's inspiration, is next. After Monterey Bay Aquarium, Lovers Point Park and Kissing Rock await. Visit the Point Pinos Lighthouse and peaceful Asilomar State Beach. Catch coastal splendor at Spanish Bay, Point Joe, and China Rock on the renowned 17-mile trip. Seal Rock Creek Beach and Fanshell Overlook offer scenic vistas. Lone Cypress, a symbol of resilience, is reached from Cypress Point Lookout and The Crocker Cypress Grove. Explore Pescadero Point and Pebble Beach. From Pacifica's rough shoreline to Pedro Point's breathtaking views, the route follows the Pacific Coast Highway. Visit Devil's Slide Bunker and Gray Whale Cove State Beach. Admire Mavericks Beach's surf and Half Moon Bay's beauty. See Pigeon Point Lighthouse and Butano State Park. Discover Davenport's art and Ano Nuevo State Reserve's varied animals. Watch Shark Fin Cove's geology and Coast Dairies State Park's scenery. Santa Cruz combines beach and boardwalk activities. Rio Del Mar and Sunset State Beach offer stunning coastal views. Marine life and birds thrive in Elkhorn Slough. Explore Big Sur's gorgeous coastline, stopping at Carmel Beach, Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, Garrapata State Park, and the Bixby Creek Bridge. After Point Sur State Historic Park's rocky landscape, Andrew Molera State Park and the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge are stunning. Pfeiffer Beach has quiet sands and unusual rocks. Grimes Point and Seal Beach Overlook offer stunning coastal views. Explore Partington Cove and McWay Falls near the Waterfall House for hidden jewels. Big Creek Bridge leads to Big Creek Cove Vista Point. Visit Limekiln State Park's tranquil redwoods and waterfalls. Pitkins Curve Bridge, Jade Cove, and Nathaniel Owens Memorial Redwood Grove combine engineering and nature. Big Sur's wilderness ends abruptly at Ragged Point. Wildlife lovers should visit Piedras Blancas Light Station and Elephant Seal Vista Point. Explore beautiful coastal villages like Cayucos and Morro Bay. San Luis Obispo's Bubblegum Alley and Irish Hills Natural Reserve are unique and peaceful. Visit Avila Beach and Dinosaur Caves Park. The Monarch Butterfly Grove in Pismo Beach and Rancho Guadalupe Dunes Preserve's wilderness are stunning. Explore Lompoc's Wine Ghetto murals. The route passes Jalama Beach, Refugio State Park and Beach, and Goleta's Butterfly Grove before reaching Santa Barbara and Ventura's beautiful beaches. This self-guided tour of California's most beautiful coastal landscapes blends nature, history, and culture for an amazing drive.

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What people are saying about Ventura

Overall rating

4.5
(51 reviews)

What a pleasant experience! Beautiful weather and the tour guides were so kind and helpful. The petting zoo was so cute and fun. Be aware that lunch is not included, there is a “lunch break” so you can bring a sack lunch or snacks and enjoy it there. If you want to pet the animals it is an additional $4/person. Overall a fantastic experience would love to do again and highly recommend! If you get tired you do have a battery operated engine so you can rest and just enjoy the ride!

This was my first time on a surfboard and Josh was an excellent instructor. After a few basics on dry land we were in the water and I was surfing my first wave. With precise feedback and answers to my questions from his side I felt more confident with every wave. Definitely a must do while in Santa Barbara.

It was phenomenal. Kyle was phenomenal. We had the life-changing experience of hanging out with a juvenile gray whale. We were new to kayaking. Kyle show us the way and kept a safe and happy. It was wonderful.

Really fun wine tasting and Johannes was a great guide who went out of his way to show sights. Pick up punctual and transport comfortable.

Our kids remembered a number of historical and other facts the guide explained