Ventura Harbor Village
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Ventura Harbor Village is a fun place on the weekend during the day when tons of people come here with their kids to dine, ride the carousel, and stroll around. There are colorful windcatchers that spin in the breeze and there's plenty of open space where toddlers can run. Kites, flags, and all manner of fun toys can be found at the kite shop (you can fly your new kite across the street at windy Harbor Cove Beach). And you can all grab a yummy icecream cone at the end of the outing!
The overall feel is a little bit like an office complex so it's not the prettiest architecture, but the yachts and boats are nice to watch. A cold wind blows here- hence the kite shop- but you can sometimes find an outdoor table that's tucked away in a sheltered spot.
There is an arcade game place for older kids, and the carousel is in the same noisy room.
There's plenty of restaurants to choose from. Andrea's Seafood Restaurant is very, very popular so come early! They serve popcorn shrimp for kids in a plate shaped like a ship. Spinnaker Seafood was a pleasant place to sit but the food was not so great. Le Petit Cafe lhas some pretty outdoor seating. Margarita Villa is a large restaurant with great views high above the harbor.
At night it's kind of dead here. Coastal Cone Icecream is even closed! But there's great dancing at The Greek. A belly dancer performs every night on an attractive stage surrounded by mirrors. There is a nice outdoor section with water views sheltered by glass. The sampler plates with warm pita and creamy dips are delicious.
While here, walk a little north and sit in the sand for a while at Harbor Cove Beach and watch the kite-fliers, jet-skiers, kayakers, and boats coming in to the harbor or play in the dunes. Across the road from the beach, visit the excellent Channel Islands Visitor Center with its fascinating and modern exhibits. Next door to the Visitor Center is the Harbor Cove Cafe (see photos), in a perfect spot on a grassy lawn next to the harbor. It's super nice to sit here at the picnic tables or at a table on the colorful balcony and take in the California vibes.
In July each year (1-4 pm on July 16 and 17, 2011) an event called Pirate Days is held at Ventura Harbor Village. Kids can enjoy strolling pirate bands, costume contest (even one for fido), treasure hunt, free water taxi rides, and greeting Captain Hook and Jack Sparrow. Admission is free.
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From Highway 101, exit at Seaward Ave. Turn left on Harbor Blvd, and follow it past some residential neighborhoods. Turn right on Spinnaker Dr. Turn right into the parking lot for Ventura Harbor. Parking is free.
Click "satellite" to see the area from above.
This is an interactive map, you can zoom and move it.
Overall Visitor Rating:
|I have had nothing but great experiances in Ventura. Met awesome people, and ate gdelicious food!|
|At night The Greek at the Marina not only has nice food but a great atmosphere with Greek dancing. The staff entertain with some especially lively Zorba type dances and a belly dancer brings amusement by interacting with the audience. Lovely marina side setting makes it a romantic retreat.|