We set off on a 10 day city excursion to the central coast of California. First stop- Ventura. We stayed at a private RV campground named Ventura RV Resort. First impression -Wow, its really clean and organized. As our four days wore on we loved its close proximity to downtown and a
wonderful bike path we rode on that takes you right along the ocean. We disliked how close we were to 101 and maybe not too in love with Friday Night Karaoke.
Downtown Ventura was a nice combination of a laid back beach town (lots of thrift stores and restaurants) without all those beach town shops (t-shirts and taffy) . We enjoyed a terrific Mexican dinner close to downtown, a delicious Brew Pub in downtown, and finished with a breakfast at Pete’s on Monday before heading North. But I’m getting ahead of myself- The mission Buenaventura is also right downtown and gave us a historical perspective on the area. Visiting a structure that was dedicated by Father Junipero Serra in 1982, really opened our eyes to the impact of the mission system on the development of the Central Coast.
And, of course, no trip would be complete without some exploration of National and/or State parks in the area. We noticed an island while riding our bikes along the ocean and lo and behold, its the Channel Islands along with the Channel Islands National Park Visitor Center. We were not prepared to take a boat out for a day on an island (much advanced preparation needed) but we did enjoy a few hours exploring the visitor center and learning about the wildlife and plants found there. As well as its first human inhabitants, the Chumash, who were on the islands over 10,000 years ago. Pretty impressive place-add to the list of reasons to come back to Ventura. While we were out and about we also stumbled across Point Mugu Naval Station right off Hwy. 1. We stopped and looked at missiles and planes at Point Mugu Missile Park. Continuing our drive we went as far as Malibu before heading back to our home away from home.
Ventura is a place we can see ourselves coming back to–some things left undone. And the short stop at Mission Buenaventura and the Channel Island Visitor Center laid the groundwork for the rest of our trip. We eagerly set forth to learn about and see other missions, historical landmarks, and national treasures in this area. Off to Lake Cachuma and Santa Barbara.