Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel
Now that the holidays are over this is a great time to hit the open road for a beach getaway to Ventura – 60 miles north of Los Angeles.
Built around the Mission San Buenaventura, founded by Franciscan Father Juniper Serra in 1782, the City of Ventura is warm and welcoming with a beautiful coastline and city center perfect for strolling and browsing.
During the winter you’ll find some of the best surfing conditions and it’s less crowded.
Surfers Point – where the locals go – is right next to the Ventura Pier…with good wave breaks and long rides.
SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel couldn’t believe all the things there were to see in Ventura and how friendly everyone was. Everything is in walking distance – from the beach to the town.
If you want to be in the middle of all the action, the Crowne Plaza (450 E. Harbor Blvd.) is an excellent choice.
Whether you’re looking for breakfast, lunch or dinner, the restaurant options seem endless with everything from burger joints to fine dining, American classics to ethnic.
For a traditional hamburger and French fries combo try The Habit (487 E. Thompson Blvd). The burgers are so good you’ll wish there was a restaurant closer to home.
And now, fortunately, there is since one just opened in Cypress (on Katella and Knott).
SurfWriter Girls checked out the ice cream choices and weren’t disappointed. We came across the Busy Bee Café and Diner (478 E. Main Street)…
a 50s style shake shop with homemade ice cream and juke boxes on the tables.
For window shoppers (and buyers) you’ll find clothing, home goods, and surf shops, gift and book stores galore.
For a special treasure or taste of Ventura, be sure to stop in the Very Ventura Gift Shop & Gallery (79 S. California Street).
The shop carries art, jewelry, clothing, food, and more, along with information on events and activities in Ventura.
Michael Mendelson, whose wife Angela owns the shop, told SurfWriter Girls that the merchandise is made by locals. So, when you’re browsing, you might even meet one of them when you’re in the shop.
In the evening there’s no shortage of watering holes and sidewalk cafes to choose from.
You can’t miss the eye-catching downtown Century Theatre (555 E. Main St.) which was built in 1998 is notable for its art deco style.
This makes the theatre a perfect complement to the historic Watermark (598 E. Main St.), an upscale fine dining restaurant and nightclub.
When you visit the Watermark, be sure to look at all the architectural details from the building’s exterior and entry to the dining area’s vaulted, decorative ceiling. Its convivial atmosphere makes the Watermark a great place for a nightcap.
And, finally, when you’re ready to wind down…you can fall asleep to the sounds of the waves breaking.
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