Ventura is a Central California coastal community located about 60 miles northwest of Los Angeles. It's a California beach town with a relaxed atmosphere and plenty of surfers and open-air seaside cafes. A rental house will allow you to take advantage of the state's famously sunny weather; many homes have landscaped backyards with outdoor grills for barbecuing, but also frequently have fireplaces for when the evenings turn chilly. More often than not, rental houses will be located near the water or at least have views of the ocean. Parking and satellite television are commonly included, and pets are welcome at some properties. A very high percentage of the rentals here do not permit smoking.
Besides water sports such as paddle boarding and sailing, Ventura has an abundance of outdoor recreational pastimes. There's hiking in Los Padres National Forest. Biking along the beach is popular, and so is taking the Ventura River Trail to the neighboring city of Ojai. Consider a day trip to the Channel Islands off Ventura's coast for hiking or kayaking.
When you're enjoying vacation activities in Ventura such as shopping, dining and sightseeing, you'll probably be doing these things near a beach. The sea is a big draw in this city, with its historic pier and seaside boardwalk. Then there are the beaches themselves where you can swim, sunbathe, play volleyball or build a sandcastle.
California has many buildings that exemplify its days as part of New Spain in the 18th and 19th centuries, and two of these are found in Ventura. Mission San Buenaventura was dedicated by Father Junipero Serra in 1782. Today, visitors can tour the remaining garden and church where regular services are still held. Olivas Adobe Historical Park features the Spanish-style adobe home built by rancher Raymundo Olivas in the 19th century on his 4700-acre property. Tours of the house and grounds offer an excellent view into what life was like then for a prosperous Hispanic family; it's especially fun to visit if you enjoy ghost stories, as the place is rumored to be haunted.
Ventura has the requisite sunshine and mild weather for enjoying a day on the links. What really sets golf apart here are the salty, cool ocean breezes that ensure comfortable temperatures when you're playing a round at one of several beautiful courses.
Ventura has an enviable climate, even by California standards. Year-round highs range from the mid-60s to mid-70s, and lows average 50 degrees. Rain is common during the winter which also happens to be the best time to see migrating gray whales; late June through late August is good for spotting Humpback and Blue whales. The annual Ventura County Fair in August has carnival rides, exhibits, food stands and live music. Unlike most county fairgrounds, however, Ventura's is situated between two sandy state beaches.
Ventura is served by one national airport, Santa Barbara Airport, and two international airports, one in Los Angeles and one in Burbank. It takes about an hour to reach Ventura from the latter airports; Santa Barbara is about 45 minutes away. All three airports offer door-to-door shuttle service and have rental cars available. Taxicabs are another option for reaching the city from any of the three airports. You can also board Amtrak trains that travel to Ventura at the Goleta station near Santa Barbara Airport and at the Burbank station near Bob Hope Airport in Burbank. The Ventura County Airporter shuttle offers daily service between Los Angeles International Airport and Ventura. However, it is not door-to-door service; the shuttle picks up and drops off passengers exclusively at one location on Harbor Blvd.