2787 E. Main St., Ventura
Revolution Surf Co.
1775 Daily Drive, Camarillo
One Way Boardshop
4300 E. Main St., # B, Ventura
Ventura Surf Shop
88 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura
446 E. Main St., Ventura
Revolution Surf Co.
1775 Daily Drive, Camarillo
Ventura Dive & Sport
1559 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura
Pacific Scuba Center
3550 Harbor Blvd., Oxnard
Channel Islands Scuba
22725 Ventura Blvd., Woodland Hills
River Ridge Golf course
2401 W. Vineyard Ave., Oxnard
3750 Olivas Park Drive, Ventura
1033 E. Ojai Ave., Ojai
1788 Mesa Verde Ave., Ventura
Ventura Bowling Center
1888 E .Thompson Blvd., Ventura
Harley’s Camarillo Bowl
305 Arneill Road, Camarillo
The best place to enjoy the sand, sun and surf and to avoid the crowds
La Conchita beach
Unincorporated Ventura County, between Ventura and Carpinteria.
Yogi Berra once said about a restaurant that “No one goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.” With La Conchita Beach, it’s kind of the reverse. It’s so empty, everyone figures there must be a reason no one goes there.
Drivers passing La Conchita tend not to even glance to either side. One reason is that it’s a tight, busy stretch of highway. Another reason is that we all recall the tragedy that befell the little roadside town when, in the midst of devastating rains in January of 2005, the cliff collapsed, killing 10 people.
Understandably, we don’t wish to revisit that memory. But for these exact reasons, La Conchita beach is an overlooked gem.
To reach it, heading north, one must pass most of the beach, look for the U-turn, and wait until it’s safe to turn, which can take a few minutes. And one must park heading south along the concrete barriers overlooking the beach, just a few feet from traffic, so it’s not the best place to take little kids or dogs. (Padaro Dunes or Bates Beach are better for that.)
But if you’re looking for nature — shellfish, dolphins, birds –— La Conchita is unbeatable, because it is so little visited by people. And, ironically, because it’s empty, it’s strangely private. A rock band can bring a generator and set up and play on the beach, and no one will say “boo” about it — honest to God, I’ve seen it happen. It’s all cool. Especially at sunset, of course.
Believe it or don’t, one of the best beaches in SoCal is also one of the least-known beaches in SoCal.
— Kit Stolz
Open Air Bicycles
2386 E. Main St., Ventura
4060 E. Main St., Ventura
1987 E. Main St., Ventura
Best Urban Creek
Surfside Road, Port Hueneme. Park in one of the paid lots adjacent to the Hueneme pier, then cross the street
Nothing beats a day out in nature — walking through the forests adjacent to Puget Sound in Washington State, hiking in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and taking in the glory of the humongous redwoods, trout fishing in the lakes of Canada, etc. But if you find it inconvenient and/or too expensive to whisk away to some of nature’s finest spots, then head on over to Bubbling Springs and enjoy a walk alongside the creek that winds its way through a residential neighborhood
Often used as a spot for newlyweds dressed up in the appropriate wedding garb to take those momentous photos of a lifetime, this peaceful waterway is the perfect spot to sit and listen to breeze rustling the trees or to get in an energetic jog. It’s also very musical at night as the frogs and crickets croak in harmony.
The best thing about a visit to the creek is the water fowl. Although they aren’t domesticated by any means, they certainly enjoy visitors. Remember, bring bread! Those feathered friends certainly enjoy a scrumptious meal of wheat and oats. There are a variety of ducks and a pair of ornery geese. They won’t bite you, but they will come get bread out of your hand, squawking loudly as they approach.
So if you can’t jump on a jet to hike the Appalachian Trail, then get in your car and enjoy one of Ventura County’s best urban creeks: Bubbling Springs in Port Hueneme.
— Michael Sullivan
McGrath State Beach
Ojai Hot Springs
1691 Spinnaker Drive, Suite 105 B, Ventura
Zephyr Airbrush Tattoos
Wheel Fun Rentals
4526 Telephone Road, # 202, Ventura
Best place to go spelunking
The sea caves on Anacapa Island
The Channel Islands National Park is without a shadow of a doubt the best place to do some spelunking — inside the throng of sea caves that have evolved over thousands of years. With more than 200 documented craggy grottos on Anacapa and Santa Cruz Islands, the volcanic, honeycombed cliffs are a sea kayaker’s dream playground.
To narrow down the search for the best combination of toothy grottos, guano-covered rock arches, narrow fissures and gaping tunnels is a difficult task, but I would argue that East Anacapa Island has the best and most concentrated collection of these weathered, wave-battered volcanic natural wonders.
Although there is never a bad time of the year to paddle here, summer and fall are the best times to experience this beginner-friendly paddling environment. The paddling conditions there are typically the most ideal for caving. The generally calm and tranquil setting offers consistent sightings of pelagic birds, spotted harbor seals and raucous California sea lions, which only enhance this unique kayaking experience.
After Island Packers drops you off at Landing Cove, the put-in is off its dock. Paddle east toward the infamous 40-foot-tall rock arch, the symbol of the National Park, and beneath the historic lighthouse. Towering pinnacles between East Anacapa and the archway are also pockmarked with dank caverns and corridors.
Return back the way you came, and a short paddle farther, past friendly cormorants and over canopies of dense kelp beds, reveals knobby pinnacles inside Cathedral Cove. Share the cove with sleek-swimming sea lions while ducking in and out of several caverns, each one offering stupendous views of East, Middle and West Anacapa Islands.
For your boat transportation, contact Island Packers at 642-1393 or www.islandpackers.com.
For your spelunking pleasure, guided trips and rentals, contact the Channel Islands Kayak Center at 984-5995 or www.cikayak.com.
— Chuck Graham
Camarillo Skate Park
1030 Temple Ave., Camarillo
4226 Valley Fair St., Simi Valley
Oxnard Skate Park
3250 S. Rose Ave., Oxnard
Camino Real Park
Local sports team
Ventura County Derby Darlins
Ventura Pirates basketball
Cross at Grant Park